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News: Average plot size shrinks further

Mon, 27 Nov 06

Britain is now building the smallest homes in Europe, it seems. A recent think-tank report shows most of Europe builds houses of an average 100 sq m, while here in the UK fresh data from Wolsey Securities shows the national average plot size decreased a further 0.2% last month to 968 sq ft. (89.9 sq m.)

At the same time the proportion of apartments being built has increased to 62%. Dvelopers are being driven to build an increasing number of properties on a decreasing amount of available land.

Wolsey Securities’ portfolio covers 2,500 units across 140 developments. According to their latest statistics, the average plot size has decreased by 0.5% since the debut survey in the summer, and by 2.3% over the past 15 months, from 990 square foot in August 2005.

The number of apartments being built in Wolsey’s portfolio has increased from 61% in February 2006, to 62% this month, as the average plot size continues to decrease in size. The proportion of terraced houses being built has decreased by 2%, whilst the proportion of semi-detached houses remains the same.

The government has acknowledged that not enough family homes are being built, and for the first time this year the percentage of larger, detached family homes has increased from 13% to 14% .

Mike Ratcliffe, Chief Executive of Wolsey Securities, commented: “As the government is demanding greater density as part of PPG3, house builders are being driven into building more properties on less land.”

“Analysis of our portfolio reveals that over the past year, the number of apartments we have funded has increased. This has also affected the national plot size, which has decreased by 2.3% over the past 15 months. Families are having to accept smaller homes on smaller plot sizes.”

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