How is the housing stock changing?

23 April 2013

  • Slight increase in the proportion of detached houses within the stock
  • 26% of properties have been extended, 5% have a loft conversion
  • Energy efficiency within the housing stock is improving

Type of property & floor area

Over the last 15 years the total owner occupied housing stock has increased from 16.6 million to 17.7 million1, but there has been relatively little change in the composition.

8.2% of owner occupied properties in England are flats, a similar level to back in 1996. There has been a slight increase in the proportion of detached houses, from 21.5% to 23.8%, offset by a slight reduction in bungalows (11.4% in 1996, now 9.7%).

But properties have been getting larger. Since 2001, the mean floor area has increased from 86.9m2 to 91.6m2. The table below shows the increases across different property types. The largest increase has been in detached houses, where the average floor area is 7% higher than in 2001.

Average floor area (m2) 2001 2010
Flats 58.6 58.1
Terraced 78.8 83.1
Semi-Detached 88.0 93.5
Detached 139.2 149.1

Whilst larger new build houses may have helped boost average floor areas, extensions and loft conversions are also likely to have contributed. 26% of properties have been extended since their construction, whilst 5% have had a loft conversion2. 16% of properties benefit from additional space through having a conservatory.

Bedrooms & bathrooms

85% of owner-occupied properties in England have at least one spare bedroom3. Remarkably, 49% are classified as being 'under-occupied', that is to say they have two or more spare bedrooms. In contrast, in the private rental sector, only 16% of properties are 'under-occupied'.

Nearly half of all private homes now have a second loo, up from 39% in 2001. 26% have a second bathroom.

Energy efficiency

With fuel costs continuing to rise and an increased emphasis on environmental sustainability, we expect households to become increasingly conscious about their energy use. Energy efficiency within the housing stock has improved over the last 15 years4.

Energy efficiency ratings for homes are gauged in terms of the A-G ratings, comparable to those used for domestic appliances, with A being the most efficient. Since 1996, the proportion of owner occupied property rated A-D has increased from 14% to 55%.

Increased use of insulation measures such as cavity wall insulation and double glazing, especially amongst newly built properties, have helped to improve energy efficiency (see chart below). For example, since 1996, the proportion of dwellings with double glazing has increased from 30% to 76%.

1 1996 to 2011. Source: Communities & Local Government, UK Dwelling stock by tenure.
2 Source: Communities & Local Government, English Housing Survey – Home Report (2010)
3 Source: Communities & Local Government, English Housing Survey – Headline Report Tables (2011-12)
4 Source: Communities & Local Government, English Housing Survey – Household Report (2010-11)

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