UK houses are not immune to the miniaturization trends as the recent data suggests houses in the UK are shrinking in size every decade since 1950. UK's house sizes grew from 1940 till the seventies before declining. The present house sizes are comparable with their 1940 counterparts. A shift in the Government policy to encourage higher density housing on brownfield locations from large houses on greenfield sites resulted in reversing the trend of spacious living from 1950 onward.
Less space more cost
A recent study comprised 450,000 homes in the UK, showing a steady size decrease since the fifties. The research leverages historical data from Propalt dating back to the thirties. Interestingly, the living room size of the 2020 home was 20 percent smaller than its 1950 counterpart. The study reports the room sizes were the lowest because of the recession effect during the thirties.
However, the houses grew in size beginning in 1950 and continued the upward trend until the seventies. However, the government's policy of promoting high-density house-building on greenfield sites resulted in a drop in house sizes from the seventies. Yet, there is considerable growth in house prices since the twenties. Most areas report a double-digit rise in house prices as the house sizes continue shrinking.
Need for quality developers
Consistent shrinking of house sizes and affordability through decades is causing severe strain on house hunters struggling with less land for their money and mounting costs. The decline in home sizes was rampant during the seventies with the entry of house builders who were chasing volumes to comply with the government's high-density housing policy.
The shrinking of house sizes went hand in hand with land availability challenges, it has got no easier since. The consequence became a drop in the build quality as developers sought to maximize plots and accelerate house-building activity. It highlighted the need for better innovation and encouraged the entry of several developers in the SME sector.
What are the trends for optimizing space within a house?
The recent pandemic underlined the need to use houses as multi-purpose abodes that support work from home. Homes transformed into makeshift offices, mini classrooms, play areas, and gyms as lockdowns seemed eternal. These developments shifted the focus on space optimization as the available space became inadequate.
UK homeowners can explore diverse DIY options to maximize the available space using a few smart tips.
Housing space optimization - outdoor rooms
Creating space by leveraging the building's outdoor structure can allow a small space for storage, an office, or a gym. It will improve the availability of space inside the house and eliminate the need to look for a new house with more space.
Housing space optimization - de clutter
Cutting down on clutter and storing unwanted items inside matching storage boxes helps enhance the space. Place large pieces of furniture inside a non-functional garage, greenhouse, or garden to free up space in the house. Invest in minimalistic furniture that looks trendy and occupies lesser space.
Housing space optimization - try foldable furniture
Using foldable chairs and tables is helpful if more people work from home. Keep these aside after folding to create a larger open floor space after finishing the work.
A steady decrease in house sizes corresponded with the exponential rise in house prices forcing house hunters to settle for smaller houses at higher prices. Regardless of the shrinkage of house sizes and an uptick in prices, there is an urgent need for new build homes that are energy efficient. For energy efficiency smaller new homes are perfect for first-time UK buyers rather than investing in older properties.
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