Daily Express

Deborah Stone Single-storey at the double

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BUNGALOWS: you either love them or hate them but one thing everyone can agree is, they’re an increasing­ly endangered species. This year the number of bungalows built in the UK has dropped to an all-time low, despite reports of increasing demand. In reality high interest rates and the cost of living crisis means all house building is down to its lowest level since spring 2020, when the first Covid lockdown brought the constructi­on industry to a halt.

Figures from the National House Building Council (NHBC), the UK’s largest provider of new home warranties and insurance, reveal that the number of new homes registered from July to September fell by 53 per cent compared to the third quarter of 2022. During this period only 228 new bungalows were registered – down 70 per cent.

It’s the lowest figure recorded by the NHBC in its 80-year history.

The reason, of course, is that single-storey bungalows are an inefficien­t use of land compared to building apartments or three-storey town house style homes.

No wonder Bertha and Maurice Smith were keen to use Bellway’s guaranteed quick sale scheme for a stress-free move to a new two-bedroom bungalow.

“We were so worried we were going to miss out on the bungalow due to not being able to sell our previous home, so the Express Mover scheme seemed the perfect choice,” says Bertha.

“We’d never heard of it before but it worked really well for us as the first people who came to view our home bought it.We’re so grateful for this as our house-moving story might have been very different without it.” The couple now live in the Poppy Fields developmen­t at Yew Tree Gardens in Cholsey, Oxfordshir­e, but it was a difficult decision to leave their four-bedroom family house, where Maurice had lived all his life.

“It held many happy memories, so deciding to move home was a big one,” admits Bertha, who works for a Reading upholstery company.

“However, we wanted to be mortgage-free and liked the idea of a home with no stairs and no maintenanc­e required.

“So, although it was a hard decision, the time felt right. Most importantl­y, it was a home that we would be prepared to give up our previous house for.”

Because bungalows are in such high demand those at Poppy Fields have now sold out but Bellway has a few more for sale at Radley Reach, a new developmen­t near the pretty market town of Abingdon-on-Thames, five miles south of Oxford.

TWO semi-detached two-bedroom bungalows are still available from £450,000 (0123 533 0807; bellway.co.uk) and these have open-plan kitchen-diner-living rooms as well as two double bedrooms, one with an en suite, and a large bathroom.

But if you have your heart set on a bungalow the time to move could be soon.As the NHBC’s CEO Steve Wood says: “It’s too early to say the bungalow is extinct.

“What we can see is that they are certainly on the critically endangered list with economic and land pressures as well as changes in consumer demand contributi­ng to a decline in their constructi­on.”

 ?? ?? HAPPY NEW HOME: Bertha and Maurice Smith enjoy their low maintenanc­e bungalow
HAPPY NEW HOME: Bertha and Maurice Smith enjoy their low maintenanc­e bungalow

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