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Gloucestershire Business News

Demise of the bungalow?

With bungalows making up less than seven per cent of homes currently for sale in the UK, and with declining numbers of new builds, we could be witnessing the demise of the British bungalow.

According to research by online estate agents HouseSimple.com, just 1 in every 14 houses currently on the market is listed as a bungalow. And with little incentive for developers to build one-storey houses, due to the lower profit margins compared to multiple-storey houses, that could be bad news for our ageing population.

The knock-on effect of fewer bungalows could force people into care homes earlier, or result in longer hospital stays putting more strain on NHS services.

HouseSimple.com looked at the percentage of houses currently for sale across 75 major towns and cities, that are listed as bungalows. In almost three quarters (73.3%) of those towns and cities, bungalows account for less than 10% of all houses on the market today.

The picture is a little more positive here in Gloucestershire, with bungalows accounting for 10.2% of houses for sale in Gloucester and 9.6% of houses for sale in Cheltenham.

But in London (0.9%), Aberdeen (1.4%), Portsmouth (2.0%), Oxford (2.2%) and Cambridge (2.5%), the situation is already at crisis point, with bungalows making up less than 2.5% of property stock.

Alex Gosling, CEO of online estate agents HouseSimple.com said: "We could be facing a specific housing shortage that hasn't been addressed, or certainly hasn't been at the top of the Government's priority list.

"We have an ageing population, but there isn't the housing infrastructure in place to meet the needs of this demographic. Bungalows have provided a solution, but the fact that fewer are being built every year speaks volumes. Without any incentives or Government intervention, why should housebuilders choose needs over profit? There is every chance that housebuilders could stop building bungalows altogether in the next three to five years. The knock-on effect of that eventuality could be catastrophic if provisions aren't put in place."

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