When it comes to either getting onto the property ladder for the first time or deciding to try and move up a rung or two, one of the most important considerations for many prospective buyers is whether to buy a new build home or an older resale property.
However a recent report has suggested that if its space that you want then a new build home in the UK might not be the way to go.
The average size of a newly built home in the UK is now the smallest in Europe at just 76 square meters, smaller than second place Italy, where an average new build comes in at 81.5 square meters and lagging miles behind the spacious likes of France (112.8 square meters), Belgium (119 square meters) and Denmark which at an average of 137 square meters is nearly twice the size of a new build in the UK!
However there are also worries that this average size of a UK new build might be getting even smaller due to a recent relaxation of the government’s minimum new build house size standards, as published in their most recent housing white paper. Currently the minimum floor area for any new home is 37 square meters, which is hardly huge; however the relaxation of planning laws, especially in relation to the conversion of office blocks into residential dwellings, means that there are some new studio flats which are significantly smaller than that.
The conversion from office to residential is, in many cases, viewed as ‘permitted development’ and so not subject to minimum sizing laws. One example being a development of studio flats in Croydon which measure just 14.9 square meters, and plans have been submitted in Archway, Islington, which include studio flats measuring just 13.5 square meters – smaller than many people’s bedrooms yet supposedly big enough for two people to live in.
The obvious issue is that the UK population is expanding but the amount of available land is not. The government’s white paper sets out plans to review the guidance on minimum residential dwelling sizes, giving more autonomy to local councils to set minimum size guidelines, which could see more and more tiny homes being built.
So, if you are looking to move into a new build home then it might be worth thinking again – especially if you want to have enough space to both swing a cat, and store the vacuum cleaner that will be required to clean up all the hair afterwards!
Older and resale properties can offer significantly more space for your money than new builds, and if the thought of any property maintenance issues concerns you, then why not find a trusted local extension builder (such as the jolly lovely Bolton builders of Wisecraft LTD) to take on any work for you?