The Case for Space: The Size of England’s New Homes

Space is an important factor when people are choosing a home, but many feel that newly built homes aren’t big enough.

Existing research suggests that consumers are right to be worried. A lack of space has been shown to impact on the basic lifestyle needs that many people take for granted, such as having enough space to store possessions or even to entertain friends. In more extreme cases, lack of adequate space for a household has also been shown to have significant impacts on health, educational attainment and family relationships.

Consumers buying or renting newly built homes in the UK are likely to get less space than their European neighbours. In the rest of Western Europe new homes being built are bigger, even in countries with similar population densities to our own.

Using publicly available documents submitted for planning applications, RIBA assessed the internal floor area of privately developed homes on a sample of sites currently being built by England’s 8 largest volume housebuilders. They compared their findings to the Greater London Authority’s space standards to benchmark good practice.

Author: RIBA

Publication date: September 2011