St Albans follows national trend for decline in bungalow sales
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Bungalows are falling out of fashion and a “catastrophic” housing shortage could result, an online estate agent has warned.
Single-storey houses now make up that less than 7 per cent of homes for sale in the UK and Alex Gosling, CEO of HouseSimple.com says “there is a crisis brewing that could put a terrific strain on the care home system and NHS”.
HouseSimple.com looked at the number of bungalows currently for sale across 75 major towns and cities; in almost three quarters (73.3 per cent) of cases, bungalows account for less than 10 per cent of all houses on the market today.
London has the fewest bungalows for sale at 0.9 per cent – just 129 in the whole of the capital, including Greater London.
Not surprisingly, Worthing (24.1 per cent), Bournemouth (21.9 per cent) and Eastbourne (20.1 per cent) - towns popular with retirees - have the highest proportion of bungalows.
In St Albans, 8.5 per cent of houses currently for sale are bungalows, compared to just 2.3 per cent in Hatfield and 2.5 per cent in Stevenage.
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With bungalows offering lower profit margins, there’s no great incentive for builders to construct more – spelling potential cause for concern among older home owners who may be hoping to move to a single-storey property.
Alex Gosling 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.
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“There is a lack of suitable housing for the older generation, and with fewer bungalows being built and the existing stock declining or off the market indefinitely, there is a crisis brewing that could put a terrific strain on the care home system and NHS in the next decade.”
He added: “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.”