In the past 12 months we’ve all had to rethink how we use our homes and living spaces, with houses and flats becoming temporary office spaces, schools and gyms. With few opportunities to get out and about, it’s been a case of making the most of the space we’ve got available.
For many of us that was easier said than done however, as the size of properties in the UK is actually shrinking. In fact, the average home in England is reported to be a surprising 20% smaller than it was back in the 1970s.
To help you learn more, we've created an interactive map where you can view average property sizes in your area.
Home Is Where the Heat Is
You might think that a smaller home would be cheaper to heat, but that may not be the case if your property has the wrong size boiler. At Ideal Heating, we know that there’s plenty to consider when it comes to finding the right size boiler to heat your home, such as the number of bedrooms, baths and showers. But what is the average size of a home in your area?
To find out which regions enjoy the most living space, and which may have been feeling the squeeze, we researched the size of homes in ceremonial counties and Lieutenancy areas across Britain. We based our research on homes on the market for amounts close to the UK's average price of £252,000*.
10 Key Findings from Our Research
- The people of Scotland enjoy the most living space in Britain on average, with a median house size of 128m2.
- The median floor space for households in England from our research is 96.17m2, which is around two-fifths the size of a tennis court.
- Homes in the north of England can boast they have more space than those in the South. Northern homes have 103.43m2 of living space on average, compared to 81.37m2 in the south.
- The average size of homes in London was 78m2, which means the capital was outside the top 10 most squeezed regions in England.
- Houses in Edinburgh are the fourth smallest on average in Scotland (104m2). Inhabitants of less populous regions such as Moray (186.5m2) and Shetland (172.94m2) enjoy much more space.
- The residents of Gwynedd, home to Bangor, enjoy the most living space in Wales on average (135.77m2). The country’s median house size is 121.31m2.
- Mid Glamorgan, one of Wales’ smallest areas, also has the least living space on average for its residents (84.4m2).
- Our data showed Northern Ireland’s homes are slightly larger than England’s, with a median size of 98.05m2. People living in Londonderry have the least space available on average (89.85m2).
- Residents of County Tyrone enjoy the most room in Northern Ireland, enjoying a spacious average house size of 172.3m2.
- Cumbria has England’s largest homes on average, with its residents enjoying a roomy 148.53m2. Berkshire has England’s smallest homes on average, with residents having 55.33m2 of floor space.
Why Are Our Homes Shrinking?
In 2018 it was reported that new build homes were on average 20% smaller than those built in the 1970s. As the size of new homes has reduced, so has the size of the average dwelling size in England and beyond.
In line with this trend, our rooms are getting much smaller too. The size of living rooms, master bedrooms and kitchens all reduced in new properties built over the past 50 years. What’s more, the study shows that new builds now feature 2.95 bedrooms on average, a reduction since the 1970s when the average number was 3.53.
The Impact of New Build Homes
According to information from the same survey, new build properties that are being constructed today average 67.8 m2. That’s a sharp contrast to the median floor space for households in England from our research, which is a much roomier 96.17m2. This trend points to the average living space in UK homes continuing to fall in England in the coming years.
So how do we compare to the rest of the world? It certainly seems like smaller house sizes in England and the UK is not a new trend. A survey that looked at average house sizes worldwide showed that British nations are nowhere near the top of the pile. In fact, Australia was found to be the best place to live for a spacious abode, followed closely by the USA and Canada.
The statistics actually showed that 5.7 British homes could fit inside the average Canadian home!
House Sizes and Lockdown Moving Trends
The years 2020 and 2021 have been like no other for the housing market, with many people moving to find more outdoor and indoor space. Outside of London, the most popular English cities for buying new homes included Leeds (1.7% of the market), Birmingham (1.6%), and Bristol (1.6%).
The people moving to Leeds are likely to have got the most space for their money, with West Yorkshire properties boasting 99.23m2, almost 3m2 over the national average. Those who found a new home in the West Midlands (69.20m2) and Bristol (73.20m2) may feel a little hard done by, with both areas ranking in the bottom 10 regions when it comes to average house size.
Finding the Right Boiler for a New Home
No doubt many of these movers will have settled in smaller towns with larger house sizes than the region’s average. Indeed, when the busiest property markets of 2020 were revealed, market towns such as Pontefract in West Yorkshire proved among the most popular places to move.
If you have recently moved and need a new boiler, or just know that your boiler needs replacing, it’s important to have the right size appliance for your home. A new central heating system is a big investment, so it makes sense to know you’re going for the most efficient model for your property.
Research and Methodology
We compared the average house size of ceremonial counties and Lieutenancy areas in Scotland, Wales, England and Northern Ireland. We looked specifically at detached, semi-detached and terraced houses with between 2 and 4 bedrooms.
For London, we used existing data on the average floor areas of properties based on government datasets, collected by www.atticstorage.co.uk/.
* For Northern Ireland, which has the UK’s lowest national average house price of £154,012, we adjusted the average price down for our research.