Drought in small houses stalling market in some places

Robyn Ashman

July 25, 2019

With two-up, two-down homes fast becoming an endangered species first-time buyers are finding it increasingly hard to get on the property ladder, research from modular homes developer Project Etopia has found.

Analysis of latest official figures shows that 9% of all new private properties completed in 2017/18 were two-bedroom houses. This is down from 17% two decades ago.

Since the data was first collected, two-bedroom houses peaked at 23% of all new build homes in 1992/93 and 1993/94 and they have not risen above 10% since 2012/13.

Joseph Daniels, CEO of Project Etopia, said: “The two-up, two-down was once thought of as the typical first house for aspiring home owners, giving people a step onto the ladder where they have space to start building a family.

“But couples are inevitably finding it increasingly difficult to buy smaller two-bedroom homes because developers have simply stopped building enough of them.

“Decades of inadequate home building has already left hundreds of thousands of people unable to afford to buy a place of their own. Developers need to remember they’re building for people, not just profit.”

Further analysis of new-build houses currently on the market with online portal Zoopla shows that two bedroom houses make up as little as 2% to 3% of the houses on the market in some areas.

Durham, Cambridge, Stafford, Nottingham, Crawley and Birmingham, all see more than 97% of new-build houses for sale have at least three bedrooms.

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government’s completion data shows houses made up 80% of new build properties in 2017/18, with flats making up the rest.

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