You would imagine that the most popular property searches today would be for an apartment in the city center or a family home in the suburbs.
But in fact, the answer is the humble bungalow: the single-story house that is enjoying a new life.
Research from Confused.com Mortgages shows the proportion of internet searches for single-storey properties has soared 53 per cent in 20 years, while DIYers are taking to social media to show off their modern versions of the traditional bungalow.
There are more than 100 million views on TikTok for videos about renovated bungalows and 129,000 Instagram reels and posts with the hashtag #bungalorenovation.
Back in fashion: bungalows usually have large gardens and offer privacy. Increased competition from older and younger buyers, competing with developers, means prices are soaring
There are some places where bungalows are plentiful (in East Lindsey, Lincolnshire, for example, almost 24,000 of the 71,280 houses are bungalows), but in most places they are becoming increasingly rare as developers buy them up, ship them excavators and build bigger houses. properties in place.
Only 1,833 bungalows were built in the UK in 2019/20, equivalent to just 1 per cent of the total number of homes built.
The reason for this is that most builders want to maximize profits from a piece of land by building a large house or block of flats.
Nick Cunningham of Stacks Property Search, a buying agency, says: “There is a huge demand for bungalows, especially from those looking to avoid the expense of moving again when they are older.” ‘We’re only interested in bungalows’ is something I hear more and more often.’
Jeremy Leaf, former president of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, adds: “There is a strong aspiration to buy a bungalow among those downsizing because a two or more storey house may not suit their lifestyle, but it still doesn’t. They are prepared to live in an apartment. A bungalow is a transition house.
Side living is no longer just for downsizers or retirees, it’s an active lifestyle change for increasingly younger buyers.
Charlotte Moxon, Strutt and Parker
Experts say a bungalow with a high roof ridge line offers potential for two bedrooms and a bathroom on the “first and a half floors,” ideal for visiting family.
Just before the pandemic, a survey by retirement housing company McCarthy & Stone found that 60 percent of people over 65 would consider moving into a bungalow.
This is an amazing success story for a type of home that first appeared in this country 100 years ago.
Bungalows began as cabins built by 19th-century Indian farmers; They were arranged during the Raj to house British officers; They then came to Britain in the 1920s.
After World War II, they were considered good-quality, low-cost homes, superior to “prefabricated,” and became the housing equivalent of a national treasure.
Many agents now report that the bungalow is enjoying a 21st century renaissance with completely different types of buyers.
‘New single-storey houses are more architecturally interesting and have much better energy efficiency than bungalows built in the 1960s.
“Lateral living is no longer just for downsizing or retirees, it is an active lifestyle change for increasingly younger buyers,” explains Charlotte Moxon, of estate agency Strutt & Parker.
Bungalow prices are increasing
Increased competition for bungalows from young and old buyers, competing with developers, means prices are soaring.
Confused.com says the typical price of a bungalow in London is £606,000, a third more than the average of £446,000 for a purpose-built apartment or maisonette, while in the south west, a bungalow averaging £389,000 is about double the normal cost of an apartment. .
Despite the high prices, bungalows are relatively affordable compared to family homes, so they are being chosen by more imaginative young buyers.
‘Detached bungalows have fewer supporting walls, so owners feel like they are living in an open space.
“They also offer an escape from noisy neighbors in semi-detached and semi-detached houses,” says Claire Flynn, mortgage expert at Confused.
Experts predict houses will become a buy-to-let option for investment buyers as the age profile of renters rises.
The bungalow has been reinvented with new demographics and in doing so has become the coolest property to live in.