Changing demand means a new outlook on building practices

Changing demand means a new outlook on building practices [Photo: iStock]

A change in the demand from buyers has meant builders planning differently for their new projects, according to a new report, which suggests flats and apartments could be on the way out in the UK. 

Although they are prime stock for the rental market, fewer owner occupiers are now looking towards flats as the way to own property, and are instead turning their eyes towards larger, more spacious family homes with more rooms away from city centres. 

This is partly to do with the commuter lifestyle, which is seeing more people looking to get a little more for their money by buying homes further away from bustling urban centres such as London, as well as generation rent, which is seeing more young people choose to rent the types of home they might have previously bought. 

According to an analysis report from the Home Builders Federation (HBF), in the 2008/2009 period, as many as 50 per cent of all homes being built nationwide were flats. However, this has fallen markedly in recent times, and by 2015/2016, it had dropped to just 25 per cent of all homes. 

In the same period, the number of houses being built saw a rather impressive increase, climbing from 80,000 to 120,000, according to the HBF. 

The report also shows a real climb in the volume of properties being built in general across the UK. According to the HBF, in the last seven years, there has been an increase from 385,000 rooms to 478,000 being built. 

However, the federation said there is still more to be done to ensure that house building helps to meet demand across the country. 

"The report illustrates the huge increase we have seen in house building since the economic crash but this is more than just a numbers game. We have an acute housing crisis that can only be solved by building more of the right homes in the right places," said Stewart Baseley, HBF executive chairman.