Debating downsizingPosted: April 24, 2013
So it turns out that the Daily Mash has the answer to the housing crisis: build more bungalows but make them stackable.
As ever, Policy Exchange has succeeded in identifying a problem – the distribution of housing between old and young – and coming up with a media-friendly solution that sees planning as the villain of the piece. The ‘return of the bungalow’ for elderly downsizers has duly made all the headlines this week.
The problem with bungalows – and the reason why so few are now built – is that they don’t make financial sense in areas with high land prices where the affordability crisis is most acute. No housebuilder or housing association in their right mind would use scarce and expensive land in such an inefficient way. Existing bungalows tend to cost more than bigger terraced homes but only because of the potential to knock them down and redevelop their large plots. As the RIBA revealed yesterday, the average new-build one-bedroom home is now not the size of a spacious bungalow with a garden but of a London tube train carriage.
Read the rest of this post on Inside Edge, my blog for Inside Housing