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The humble bungalow is in demand

The humble bungalow is in demand

What would granny say?


With more people living longer and less bungalows being built, single storey homes are in demand. Nick Eley, from Watsons, discusses.

Bungalows have been in Britain since the 19th century although the most amount were built between the two world wars. Some built in the 1930s were very basic in design but this has changed hugely with single storey homes now offering palatial open plan accommodation suitable for all kinds of buyers. However, despite an ageing population with 18 per cent aged 65 and over and 2.4 per cent aged 85 and over, not enough bungalows are being built. Figures from the National House Building Council show a rapid decline from 26,406 built 30 years ago to just 2,210 in 2017.

Single Storey LivingMr Eley, partner at Watsons, which needs more bungalows to sell because of awaiting buyers, said: “Not surprisingly, the numbers just don’t stack up for developers; some will say, why build one storey when the same plot can give you a two or even three storey house which can be sold for more?

And it’s not just older people who want bungalows; we’ve found at Watsons a growing demand for single storey homes from families and young couples because of the enormous potential these properties offer to extend. The basic bungalow model can be taken on to create incredibly luxurious open plan living spaces with the roof space often ideal for creating an extra bedroom or study.”  So, bungalows are in demand. This is particularly evident in Norfolk where one in 10 people is over the age of 75.

Add to the decreasing build numbers the fact that the social provision has dwindled, too, with councils nationwide selling off 15,300 bungalows over the past two years and what it means is, if you have a single storey home to sell, the buyers are most certainly there.

Mr Eley continued: “In Norfolk, large numbers of bungalows were built both in the 1930s and 1950s in areas like Thorpe St Andrew, Norwich, and on the north Norfolk coast, in places like Sheringham, and you see many which were built in the 1980s. There are specialist retirement companies, but the trend seems to be towards building larger homes and apartments with the humble bungalow deemed a more unpopular choice by developers yet people want to live in these kinds of homes which offer so much potential.

Such is the demand for bungalows, Watsons needs more instructions. It does currently have some on its books, ranging from the more modest in style to palatial homes offering four bedrooms or more for up to £875,000 (see images above).

  • Of particular note is 3, Frazers Court, Norwich Road, Aylsham, for sale for £220,000 with Watsons Period & Prestige on 01263 733881. This impressive contemporary designer home has a floor to ceiling glass wall and an open plan sitting room and kitchen/dining room, two double bedrooms and a private courtyard garden.
  • The Sycamores, Warham Road, Wighton, near Wells-next-the-Sea, is for sale for £750,000 with Watsons Period & Prestige on 01263 711021. This is a fully refurbished and extended four bedroom single storey property with luxury interiors.
  • Apple Pickers Barn, Grove Lane, Holt, is for sale for £875,000 with Watsons Period & Prestige on 01263 711021. This detached residence offers four en suite bedrooms, a superb sitting room with a multi-fuel stove, a vaulted reception hall and a quality John Lewis kitchen. This has two bedrooms upstairs, but in fact, the current owners have used these for guests only, so it offers ideal accommodation for those looking for a bungalow.


If you have a bungalow to sell, please contact Nick Eley at Watsons on 01603 619916 or email him at



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