Demand for bungalows from over 65s exceeds supply, research shows

McCarthy & Stone Pentelow Gardens, Chipping Norton

Only 2,418 bungalows were built last year despite three-fifths of over 65s saying they would consider moving into one.

This equates to 7.2 million over 65s in the market for bungalows, according to research by McCarthy & Stone and YouGov.

Of the 3,011 people surveyed, 70% said what they like most about living in a bungalow is being able to live on one level.

Half said the properties are easier to maintain, while 44% said they provide space for a garden. More than a third (35%) said being able to downsize but maintaining their independence also made bungalows an attractive proposition.

Office for National Statistics figures show there are 11.8m people aged 65 or over in the UK, rising to 17.3m by 2037, representing a 47% increase. For those aged 85 or over, growth will be larger, from 1.6m to 3m, representing an 88% increase.

The research found there has been a 6% increase in demand for bungalows in the last year, equivalent to 600,000 people, while 65% of respondents agreed there should be more bungalows built for older people.

Despite the demand, only 2m bungalows have been built in the UK. In 1987, 15% of all new homes were bungalows, this fell to 3.5% in 2007 and just 2% in 2018.

‘Bungalows are increasingly popular amongst older generations and should be a consideration for any drive to build more suitable housing – they are easier to maintain, are built with older people in mind and help maintain independence for longer,’ said John Tonkiss, chief executive officer of McCarthy & Stone.

‘Housing like this not only brings a host of health and other benefits to older people, it also helps free up under-utilised family homes for younger generations. This shift can play a major part in helping solve the UK’s housing crisis.’