Is your house big enough? According to a new report, many newly-built homes are dramatically smaller than recommended minimum sizes, but just how much do home buyers care about the size of their new home?
The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) has started a ‘national conversation’ with consumers about what we want from our homes in the 21st century – and they’ve launched it with a new damning report ‘The Case for Space’.
The facts speak for themselves. The average new one-bedroom flat is 93% of the recommended minimum size; that’s four square metres less space than the experts think you should have. While the average new three-bed house fares little better; it is now 8% under the recommended minimum size, with eight square metres ‘missing’.
What’s ‘missing’ from new homes
If your spatial awareness isn’t that great, RIBA has spelt out what this could mean in reality. In a one bed flat, it’s the equivalent space of a single bed, bedside table and dressing table with a stool missing from your newly-built flat.
Just think how small your bedroom and sitting room must be if this amount of space is missing compared to the recommended minimum size. And, in a three-bed house, it’s the equivalent space of a single bedroom missing from your house. Imagine how small the other bedrooms must be…
RIBA’s research also found that the top three things people look at when buying a home are: outside space, the size of rooms and proximity to local services.
So, with new homes often smaller than recommended minimum space standards, they’re failing to provide one of the top three things consumers are looking for. Plus, it’s likely to be the case, given the number of flats now being built, that many new homes will fail to provide outside space too.
Housing policy in the 21st century
But getting better housing is certainly not just a question of bigger designs – that’s just one on a very long list of issues. So RIBA’s report is very timely, following hard on the heels of the National Housing Federation’s report on the housing market in crisis, which showed home ownership falling and private rents soaring.
RIBA’s response is to set up a new enquiry – called the Future Homes Commission – to look at the challenging issues we face in getting a coherent housing policy. Which? magazine Editor Martyn Hocking is serving as one of its four commissioners to give a consumer perspective. The Commission will report later in 2012.
And that’s where you come in. We need your input on what you think are the key issues for the future of housing. Does size and design really matter that much, and are you ‘spatially aware’? Are enough homes being built and are they the right kind of homes? Vote in our poll and tell us more in the comments section to make sure we take note of your views.
Would you move into a home with rooms that don't meet minimum recommended sizes?
No (83%, 228 Votes)
Maybe (9%, 24 Votes)
Yes (8%, 22 Votes)
Total Voters: 274