Stairs - who needs 'em? According to a new survey, demand for bungalows is on the up among those of a certain age and a new crop of single storey homes could help ease the UK's housing crisis
While the humble bungalow has a bit of an image problem as the home of choice for silver-haired suburbanites, it turns out that actually it’s the dream home for one in three Brits.
However in 2009, only 200 new bungalows were built in the country, despite them being one of the most popular types of home.
According to a new report from Policy Exchange, building more bungalows could provide a solution to older homeowners who want to downsize, and be a huge boost for the housing market as a whole.
‘Older people, currently living in large family homes, might want to downsize to a bungalow, which is smaller and easier to maintain, as well as being on one floor and offering outside space,’ says Alex Morton, Head of Housing, Planning & Urban Policy at Policy Exchange.
And if more bungalows are built, it could be good for you too – even if you’re not quite at the stage where you dream of owning one.
If you’re looking for that forever home – you know, the kind of spacious house with lovely rooms for the kids, a huge garden (and space for the Labrador) – then more single storey homes for the older generation could mean family properties become available to younger buyers.
‘There are huge numbers of spare rooms in homes older people are
currently living in,’ says Alex Morton. ‘What are needed are the homes that older people
like and so would like to move into. But planning policy prevents these
homes from being built.’
Interestingly, the humble bungalow has far more exotic roots than you may imagine. Colonel Bragg, who returned from India to London in the 1860s, had a lodge built in Norwood, London, which he called ‘the bungalow’ – the word coming from the Gujarati ‘baṅgalo’.