New homes increasing in size

New home3

New homes are bigger than they were a decade ago and also have more bedrooms, according to new data from the Home Builders Federation (HBF).

A report entitled Goodness Spacious Me reveals that there has been a major shift away from flats and towards building more family homes since 2008, with the number of houses rising by 50 per cent.

In 2008/09 there were 80,000 houses built in the UK, but this stood at 120,000 in 2015/16 and is set to continue increasing in the years ahead. The average size of new build homes has also increased by nearly 15 per cent over the same period, expanding from an average 801 sq ft to 918 sq ft.

In line with the move towards larger homes being built, there has been a noticeable increase in the number of bedrooms in each house. Since 2008/09, the total number of bedrooms being built across the UK has increased from 385,000 to 478,000.

Rebounding housing market

The data shows that the industry’s output has been increasing at unprecedented rates, particularly in the three years to 2015/16. In this time the number of new build completions grew by 38 per cent, contributing to an increase in net housing supply of more than 50 per cent.

The type of housing that the industry is delivering has also changed over that period, with family homes now accounting for a far greater proportion as buyers demand more choice and space than ever before.

In terms of number of bedrooms per new home, in 2008/09 this figure stood at 2.44, but this has increased by an estimated 16.5 per cent to sit at 2.90 in 2015/16 – almost three bedrooms per home, on average.

Improving supply and conditions

Several reasons have been identified for the increases in both house sizes and bedrooms being built, with the HBF praising house builders’ response to new, more positive planning frameworks, and the introduction of the Help to Buy Equity Loan scheme in early 2013.

This has seen the industry ramp up investment in the land and labour necessary to build new homes, and played a key part in the major surge witnessed since 2012/13, which has seen overall housing supply rise by more than 50 per cent and new build completions increase by 39 per cent.

The HBF stated: “Since 2008/09, housing supply by any measure has increased, but the shift towards more spacious homes with additional bedrooms makes the speed of the increases in house building even more impressive, with the majority of builders having further plans to expand the number of units they are completing.

“Over the same period, the volume of housing produced and the number of bedrooms created has increased even more substantially, as we have seen an estimated 46 per cent increase in floor space provided and 48 per cent more bedrooms.”

Supplementary measures

The supply of new build homes is set to increase further in 2017/18, after the government announced two new measures to help support first-time buyers.

Prime Minister Theresa May has revealed that 30 areas across the UK are to be given help to unlock new land to build starter homes, which will be offered at a 20 per cent discount to people aged between 23 and 40 who have saved to get a mortgage.

Furthermore, 17 new ‘garden towns and villages’ of between 1,500 and 10,000 homes are to be built around the country outside of existing settlements, to further boost the supply of new housing available to home movers and first-time buyers.

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