British homes are now 20 per cent smaller than in 1970s

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British homes are now 20 per cent smaller than they were in the 1970s, with families typically squeezing into 700 sq ft new builds, research has found.

The largest homes were built during the 1970s and have decreased in size every decade since then, reports the Times.

A study using data from Rightmove and Zoopla, the biggest property portals in the UK, found that the typical properties have five per cent less space than those built since 2010.

The average house across the UK has 2.95 bedrooms and a kitchen that is just 213 sq ft. The average living room is also 184 sq ft – a third smaller than in the 1970s. 

Kitchens have also shrunk by a quarter, down from 161 sq ft, and the average number of bedrooms fell from 3.53.

British homes are now 20 per cent smaller than they were in the 1970s, according to new research. This cramped studio flat in Stockwell will set you back £349,950 for just 293 sq ft of space

Floorplan for a 293 sq ft Stockwell home that costs £349,950

Floorplan for a 293 sq ft Stockwell home that costs £349,950

Floorplan for a two-bedroom property in Westminster that costs £700,000 for 680 sq ft

Floorplan for a two-bedroom property in Westminster that costs £700,000 for 680 sq ft

On the left is a 293 sq ft Stockwell home that costs £349,950, and on the right is a two-bedroom property in Westminster that costs £700,000 for 680 sq ft

The study by LABC Warranty, a warranty provider for new-builds, looked at 10,000 homes built in every decade from the 1930s up until the 2000s for the study.

Ben Derbyshire, president of the Royal Institute of British Architects (Riba), told the Times: ‘Our research shows that average new-builds in Britain are smaller than in Europe and getting smaller.

‘This becomes a critical problem when people have families. In a two-bed, four-person home there is no space to be on your own except in the lavatory. Humans are social animals but they also need peace, quiet and space for concentration.’ 

Although the trend of building smaller homes has gripped Britain, other European cities have avoided it – with homes in the Netherlands being nearly twice as big at 1240 sq ft. 

The double bedrooms in this Westminster property are described as 'generous', as is the reception room (pictured) 

The double bedrooms in this Westminster property are described as 'generous', as is the reception room (pictured) 

The double bedrooms in this Westminster property are described as ‘generous’, as is the reception room (pictured) 

New homes in the capital are the smallest at just 600 sq ft, but a new build in Cambridge is the biggest at 840 sq ft, the equivalent of just under an extra double bedroom (file photo)

New homes in the capital are the smallest at just 600 sq ft, but a new build in Cambridge is the biggest at 840 sq ft, the equivalent of just under an extra double bedroom (file photo)

New homes in the capital are the smallest at just 600 sq ft, but a new build in Cambridge is the biggest at 840 sq ft, the equivalent of just under an extra double bedroom (file photo)

New homes in the capital are the smallest at just 600 sq ft, and builds in Cambridge are the biggest at 840 sq ft.

One studio flat for sale in Stockwell, south west London, will set you back £349,950 for just 293 sq ft of space.

The government introduced a minimum size standard for flats in 2015 which says a one-bedroom property must be 420 sq ft – although many developers ignore this.   

David O’Leary from the Home Builders Federation has argued that smaller homes have cheaper prices that mean more people can get on to the housing ladder. 

Tom Copley, the Labour housing spokesman on the London Assembly, told the Times: ‘The more homes you cram on to a site, the more profit you can make. 

‘But that drives up land prices because landowners demand a bigger share, which encourages developers to cut more floorspace. It’s a race to the bottom.’

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