Figures show UK homes have never been smaller

Every house hunter knows the feeling. You’re looking at a variety of properties on the market and you can’t help noticing that the more modern the home, the smaller the rooms appear to be.

Well, you’re not imagining things. The UK’s modern homes really are smaller than the ones built in previous decades.

LABC Warranty, which works with developers and local authorities to provide structural warranties on newbuilds, analysed data from property-listing sites such as Zoopla and Rightmove to discover the true size of Britain’s homes.

A total of 10,000 houses built in each decade from the 1930s to the 2000s were examined and LABC Warranty concluded that, yes, modern homes have less space than their older counterparts.

In fact, the living-room of a newbuild is almost a third smaller than a similar home built in the 1970s, according to the research.

Living space is shrinking

The 70s, in fact, was the decade where Britain built its biggest houses. Since then, new developments have seen living space shrinking and newbuilds today offer the same space as those built in the 1940s, when wartime meant building materials and construction workers were in short supply.

The LABC identified the average sizes of bedrooms, kitchens and living rooms from the 1930s to the current decade, showing that newbuilds that have been constructed in the last seven years have the fewest number of bedrooms in 80 years, allied to the smallest living and cooking areas.

That confirms 2014 research from Cambridge University that showed UK newbuilds have the smallest floor area of any European nation with an average 76m2  of living space. The Danes enjoy the largest living space at 137m2.

LABC’s report noted: “Today, Britain’s houses have never been smaller. Our analysis of the first seven years of the decade is continued regression.

“The overall statistics don’t make for pretty reading. Compared to the previous decade, homes built from 2010 onwards are more than 4m2 smaller.”

How does your home measure up?

Decade

Living room

Master bedroom

Kitchen

Average No of bedrooms

1930s

16.01m2

15.34m2

12.27m2

3.21

1940s

17.22m2

13.74m2

13.70m2

3.63

1950s

22.03m2

14.05m2

14.49m2

3.16

1960s

21.05m2

15.37m2

15.05m2

3.21

1970s

24.89m2

14.96m2

14.71m2

3.53

1980s

22.06m2

14.02m2

13.83m2

3.58

1990s

21.33m2

13.79m2

13.95m2

3.42

2000s

19.75m2

13.44m2

13.64m2

3.32

2010s

17.09m2

13.44m2

13.37m2

2.95

Post Author: Frances Traynor