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RIBA: UK homes are still too small

Typical four bedroom family home
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More than half of new-build homes are too small, according to a new RIBA report

The report, entitled #HomeWise - Space Standards for Homes, suggests homes being built in the UK are still too small for families to live in comfortably.

The latest survey of UK homes found that on average a new three-bedroom home is missing 4m² of floor space – the size of a family bathroom - while the smallest homes were missing the space equivalent to a double bedroom.

RIBA HomeWise Survey: Homes outside London


The new research has caused the institute to again call for minimum space standards to be set nationwide and for these to be embedded in the building regulations.

In October space standards were introduced by the UK government after a national review led by Andy von Bradsky, however these have to be locally adopted by councils.

The RIBA said the process which allows local authorities to set minimum sizes for homes is ‘extremely complex and onerous’ and the level of administration needed meant the process could take years for changes to be adopted.

Under the new standards, a new one bed, one person flat would have to be a minimum of 37m² while a three bed, five person home would be no smaller than of 93m². Many of the homes being built across the UK fall way below these standards.

InfoGrahpics2   London vs Yorkshire


Little has changed since the institute published a similar report in 2011. Yorkshire still has the smallest homes with the average home in the region 25m2 smaller than one in the capital.

RIBA president Jane Duncan, said: ‘Tiny rabbit-hutch new-builds should be a thing of the past. But sadly our research shows that for many people, a new home means living somewhere that’s been built well below the minimum space standard needed for a comfortable home.

‘We urgently need new homes, but building small homes or cutting corners when converting office buildings to flats is short-sighted and fails the people these new homes are meant to serve. The Government must take action to ensure a fairer minimum space standard is applied to all new homes across the country.’  

Average size of a three-bedroom house (by developer)

Housebuilder table

Housebuilder table

 Average size of a three-bedroom house (by region)

Region table

Region table

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