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Bungalows are in short supply

More than 6.5 million ‘seniors’ say they want to move into a bungalow for their next move but there are only around two million in the whole country, according to new figures. The ageing population means demand for the single storey dwellings is at an all-time high, particularly for those worried about mobility up and down stairs as they get older. However a shortage of available land has seen housebuilders concentrate on apartment blocks and flats in the private sector in recent years instead.

A recent survey found more than half the nation's over-60’s (54 percent) are considering a bungalow as their next and potentially final property move. That equates to 6.6 million older adults. We’ve just conducted a search on Rightmove and could find only 21 single storey homes for sale within a 3-mile radius of Taunton, so they’re pretty hard to find around here. (There are an estimated two million bungalows in Britain and only a paltry 2,600 were built last year. This is down from 26,000 built in 1986 with both private developers and local authorities concentrating on traditional houses or flats in the past three decades.)

Council planning departments, under pressure to build more accommodation per square foot are more likely to approve 3 storey blocks than single storey dwellings. There is an urgent need to build more suitable housing to meet the different needs of those in retirement, and bungalows must play a key role. Though they were a dying breed, bungalows look set to make a comeback and are hot property, certainly in and around Taunton.

 As the population lives longer, more and more people want to downsize from their family homes to a bungalow, which is smaller, easier to maintain and offers independent living. In doing so, they free up homes for the younger generation, and keep older people healthier and happier for longer. It should be a win, win for everyone.

Chris Willey and the team at Wilsons have just launched Time2moveOn, an initiative which offers a bespoke personal service for retirees looking to downsize in the Taunton area. Over the years we have found ourselves selling more than our fair share of bungalows and this scheme is likely to provoke an even greater demand. We’ll therefore be delighted to hear from anyone looking to sell a single storey home anytime soon, or of course if they’d like to discuss a move or plan to downsize.

By Chris Willey

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