The word bungalow has many different meanings in different countries but in the UK it is deemed to be “a house, normally detached, that may contain a small loft. It is either single-storey or has a second story built into a sloping roof, usually with dormer windows”. These have become particularly popular with the older generation who may have trouble with stairs in later life. However, the latest figures suggest that bungalows are becoming a thing of the past in the UK.
Significant reduction in new build bungalows
The National House Building Council produced a report which highlights a significant reduction in the number of bungalows built in the UK. Back in 1986, at the height of the property market, there were 26,406 bungalows built in the UK. If we fast forward to 2016 this figure has fallen to just 2210 which is a fall of more than 90%. There are growing concerns that some of the older generation who have traditionally downsized to bungalows in later life may not have that option anymore. As a consequence, this could lead to a decline in independence with a growing number of people forced to look at care homes.
To put this in basic terms, just one in every 14 houses listed in the 75 most popular cities and towns of the UK are bungalows. It was also interesting to see that many of the U.K.’s seaside resorts contain the most bungalow style homes and this is a trend more likely to continue with fewer bungalows inland.
No incentive to build bungalows
When you bear in mind the limitations on living space associated with the bungalow design compared to a traditional property, it is no surprise to learn that housebuilders across the UK have been shunning bungalows. There are some areas where bungalows are still popular but in order to maximise their profits, let’s remember that housebuilders have no social obligations, bungalows are not the best design.
There are growing calls for the UK government to introduce incentives for housebuilders to build bungalows but so far to no avail. If you look at this subject from a distance, surely it would be in the best interests of the UK authorities to encourage individuals to live in their own home securing their independence for as long as possible?
The cost of private and public funded care homes continues to grow and there are already rumours that the Conservative Party is reviewing the derogatory named “dementia tax”. Why do the authorities not use any type of forwardthinking?
No coherent policy for UK housing market
Time and time again politicians of all parties show their inexperience and their short termism with regards to the UK housing market. Yes, we often see tax incentives for builders and help for first-time buyers but these are not put in place to help the housing market but more to curry favour with the general public and attract votes. Despite the fact that the older generation have paid their dues, they are not even mentioned in the same breath as housing policies until there is an election looming.
It is all good and well maximising profitability, which is quite fair as builders are private owned companies, but surely the government has an obligation to build suitable accommodation for those coming towards the end of their working life or already in retirement?