UK homes are shrinking in size despite rising house prices, says new data

Brits are getting much less for their money than a few decades ago…

house exterior with bricked wall and white window
(Image credit: Future PLC/David Hiscock)

The UK property market is in a turbulent state at the moment, with house prices soaring despite the current cost of living crisis. It’s arguably never felt more difficult to buy a house, or climb the property ladder.

And as it turns out, reaching that elusive next (or first) step might not actually be all it’s cracked up to be. According to outdoor building specialists Tiger Sheds, while house prices are shooting up - meaning we’re paying more for our homes than ever - the average total floor area of a UK home has actually decreased by almost 16% over the last five years.

house with brick wall and yellow door

(Image credit: Future PLC)

Data from the Department for Levelling Up states that the average floor area of a UK home has gone from 104.6 square metres in 2017, to 87.9 square metres today.

That, paired with the fact that the average house price has risen by £24,000 between 2021 and March 2022, according to the Office of National Statistics, means that Brits are seriously losing out when it comes to property at the moment.

Alongside this, salaries have stagnated over the last few years. In February 2020, the average monthly wage was around £1,859. Now, it is around £2,087 - a mere £228 increase, and a tiny sum compared with the rapidly rising cost of living, and homes.

Exterior of brick house

(Image credit: Future Plc/Simon Whitmore)

In recent years, our homes have become multi-functional spaces, thanks to the pandemic and more of us WFH than ever before. Our living spaces now act as home offices, kids playrooms, socialising spaces, and of course, a place to eat, sleep and rest. So the need to utilise the space in our homes to its maximum potential is more important than ever.

There’s obviously no easy way to do this, but it’s important to make good use of the space you do have. Helpful ways to make your home feel bigger include decluttering unnecessary items, making use of outdoor space - can you add a garden office idea to the bottom of your garden?

Use storage boxes for excess items e.g. office supplies and kids toys, and keeping items off the floor as much as possible, to create as much free floorspace as possible.


 Amy Hunt is an experienced digital journalist and editor, now working in a freelance capacity specialising in homes and interiors, wellness, travel and careers. She was previously Lifestyle Editor at woman&home, overseeing the homes, books and features sections of the website. Having worked in the industry for over eight years, she has contributed to a range of publications including Ideal Home, Livingetc, T3,Goodto, Woman, Woman’s Own, and Red magazine