The rise of bungalows in the Hemel Hempstead property market
During the pandemic, the property market experienced a surge in demand for larger Hemel Hempstead homes with spacious gardens. However, the tides are shifting, and a new trend is emerging. The combination of an ageing Hemel Hempstead population, the post-Covid trend for early retirement and economic uncertainty has sparked a newfound love for downsizing.
And surprisingly it is the bungalow that is now left, right and most certainly centre in the spotlight. As average mortgage rates have risen above 6%, middle-class families facing financial constraints seek alternatives to their larger homes.
Bungalows to downsize
Bungalows are becoming increasingly the preferred choice for those looking to downsize. Additionally, retired couples are joining the downsizing trend, motivated by the energy crisis experienced during the previous winter and the prospect of upcoming expensive winters.
This convergence of factors has ignited an earnest search for the quintessentially British property — the bungalow. The bungalow’s rise to prominence has been largely unrecognised.
In the first six months of 2021, the average sold price of a UK bungalow was £308,648, compared to the average sold price of a house at £353,661. Looking forward to the first six months of 2023, the bungalow has risen in price to £346,039, whilst the average house sold price has only risen to £385,392.
The average price of a bungalow in Britain has seen a 12.1% rise
From the first half of 2021 to the first half of 2023, compared to 8.97% for houses over the same time frame. This is because the number of Hemel Hempstead homeowners looking to sell and downsize increased by a third last year and continues to rise. However, it’s not just retirees who are drawn to bungalows.
Downsizing families with budget constraints are finding an appeal in bungalows due to their generous garden spaces as a new generation of house hunters recognises the allure of these properties. The supply chain needs help to keep up with the increasing demand for bungalows.
The national and local property picture
So let’s look at both the national and local picture. In the last six months, of the 870,031 properties that came onto the market in the UK, only 70,077 (8.05%) have been bungalows. Let’s look more locally in the Hemel Hempstead area (HP1 to HP3).
Only 28 Hemel Hempstead bungalows have come onto the market since the 1st January 2023, with an average asking price of £695,352. Whilst 955 Hemel Hempstead houses and 443 Hemel Hempstead apartments have come onto the market in the same time frame. Looking at what has sold over the first six months of 2023, an impressive 11 Hemel Hempstead bungalows have sold (stc) – a saleability rate of 39.2%.
In the same time frame, 556 houses have sold stc (a saleability rate of 58.2%) and 252 apartments have sold stc (a saleability rate of 56.8%).
A look at SOLD properties
These figures buck the national trend. To give some context to this, since 1stJanuary 2021:
225,297 of the 296,228 bungalows that have come onto the market have sold or are currently sold stc (76.1%).
1,813,330 of the 2,548,720 houses that have come onto the market have sold or are currently sold stc (71.1%).
528,010 of the 898,183 flats/apartments that have come onto the market have sold or are currently sold stc (58.9%).
So why do we love our bungalows?
Bungalows have long captured the imagination of Britons due to their charm, practicality, and accessibility. Initially influenced by the Arts and Crafts movement of the early 20th century, these homes reflect a simpler way of living.
With their convenient layout on a single level, bungalows offer easy accessibility and are an ideal option for Hemel Hempstead homeowners seeking to avoid stairs or mobility challenges. This aspect has contributed significantly to the widespread appeal of bungalows, particularly among older individuals looking for a comfortable and age-friendly living space.
One of the key attractions of bungalows is their versatility and adaptability. These homes can accommodate a wide range of lifestyles, making them an excellent choice for families, retirees, and everyone in between.
Bungalows provide ample space for growing Hemel Hempstead families, allowing for multiple bedrooms, living areas, and even home offices. Their layout also offers the potential for creative customisation, such as converting a spare bedroom into a hobby room, gym, or work-from-home office.
Additionally, bungalows often feature generous gardens, allowing homeowners to create outdoor havens for relaxation, gardening, and entertaining. The seamless integration of indoor and outdoor spaces is another appealing characteristic that makes bungalows stand out in the Hemel Hempstead property market.
These are some of the reasons why the Hemel Hempstead bungalow, long overlooked and considered the ‘Bridesmaid, never the Bride’ of the local property market, is now experiencing a resurgence in popularity.
How we can help
As a local estate agent, we sell and let all types of properties, including bungalows in Boxmoor, Hemel Hempstead, Berkhamsted, Eaton Bray and Kings Langley and the villages in between. If you are considering selling or letting your bungalow – or any other property – or looking to find your dream bungalow, we’d love to hear from you. Contact your nearest Castles branch today for an informal chat to see how we can help.