Bungalows are getting bigger – in popularity that is, according to new research. 

To the extent that the price of a bungalow has soared by 17 per cent over the past two years (between May 2021 to May 2023). It compares to a jump of just five per cent for flats between the same period, and 13 per cent for houses. 

Research by the estate agency Knight Frank shows the cost of a typical bungalow was £349,127 in May, compared to £362,915 for the average house and £281,526 for a flat. 

Bungalows best sellers in certain communities

In certain areas, where there is a large community of retired people, bungalows can fetch more than houses. A spokesman for upmarket estate agency Hamptons said this wasn’t uncommon, referencing Bassetlaw, Nottinghamshire where bungalows are selling at more than 51 per cent more than three to four bedrooms home, coming in at 51 per cent (or around £135,680) more expensive than the average family home. 

Other areas where bungalows are becoming the property of choice include South Staffordshire (49 per cent or £185,110 pricier and North Ayrshire (48 per cent or £100,740 more expensive). In already sought-after locations, such as Cornwall and Bournemouth, a bungalow can set potential house owners back by as much as £450,000 or even £1 million in a particularly desirous locale.

Only 10 per cent of listings are bungalows

A spokesman for Knight Frank explained the fact there weren’t that many bungalows listed on estate agents’ books, put the price up too. 

“Bungalows made up less than 10 per cent of the total new listings of houses, flats and bungalows in the year to May 2023,” said Chris Druce, the company’s senior research analyst.

There are many reasons why bungalows have appeared on the radar of so many people in recent years, say economists. And it’s not just down to an aging population. There’s also the fact that the humble – and traditionally small bungalow with just one or two bedrooms – doesn’t cost much to heat. And with the shock of rising utility bills last year, that’s a big reduction for retired couples who until recently were living in underused three or four-bedroom homes.

Families favouring bungalows too

And it’s not just the elderly who are snapping up bungalows. Families struggling to cope with rising mortgage rates are also downsizing. The fact bungalows tend to have large gardens that children can play in doesn’t hurt the bungalow’s popularity with families either.

One local estate agent in Cornwall is so adamant bungalows are the ‘next big thing’ for his community that he’s urging developers to build more. But not just any bungalow. He knows too that many homeowners in their 50s, 60s and 70s are also interested in sustainability.

“I have even advised local developers to consider making bungalows a greater part of development plans. Due to the scarcity of new bungalows, along with an ageing population, there is a real opportunity and demand for future-proof properties that boast modern tech and contemporary design,” says Ben Standen, director of Truro’s Jackson-Stops estate agency.

By that he means ‘green energy’ initiatives such as ground source heat pumps, solar panels, and EV charging points.

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