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Bungalow, terrace, flat: What type of homes are we building?

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New research from the National House Building Council (NHBC) reveals a widely varying picture about what kinds of homes are being built around the country

According to the organisation’s figures for the year to date, nine out of ten new homes in London are flats, almost half of new-build homes in the North East are detached houses, and the most popular place for bungalows is the Isle of Man (11 per cent of all those registered with the NHBC).

The number of new homes registered with NHBC to September is nine per cent higher than this time last year (117,525 compared with 108,118 in 2014).

Although new apartments dominate the London market, nationally there has been a significant drop in the number of flats being registered over the last seven years, while there has been a resurgence in the construction of detached homes.

Commenting on the data, former PRP chairman Andy von Bradsky, said: ‘[The results for London] are not that surprising. What we have found is that when small family houses have been built against the trend, as at Chobham Manor near the Olympic Village, they have been extremely popular; there is a widespread shortage of family housing in London.

‘The latest accessibility requirements for all Category 2 & 3 homes with step-free access will render some typologies such as stacked maisonettes unworkable and exacerbate the problem (AJ 08.10.15).’

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Seth Rutt of Hawkins/Brown
‘It is clear that London’s status as a quasi-city-state with higher land prices predictably requires high density apartment living to be even remotely affordable, in the same vein as New York, Tokyo and most European capital cities. I guess it illustrates just how autonomous London is from the rest of the UK economically.

‘However, the graph doesn’t tell the full story, as a large proportion of the people that work in London commute inward from the Home Counties, either to have an escape from London’s energy at the weekends - or simply to be able to afford a house.

‘Wanting to live in a house is understandable - having a back garden, allowing secure outdoor play and inside-outside living, along with sleeping areas upstairs to allow for parallel living and privacy within the family group are all desirable functions that are more easily accommodated in a house. Additionally a vertical freehold gives more control over future changes and maintenance of the home.

‘Looking at the other stats for other UK regions, it is interesting that terraced housing does not feature more highly, as this is a good model for density while still permitting vertical freehold.  Perhaps this could be a focus in commutable areas - although we understand from our housebuilder clients that terracing reduces the sales value per sq ft.’

 

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