Are bungalows a good investment UK?
Looking at all things bungalow, including the 'pros and cons', and answering the all important 'are bungalows a good investment in the UK?'...
With an aging population in the UK, it probably comes as no surprise that demand for bungalows is on the rise. What may shock you is despite this apparent growing demand, less and less bungalows are being built each year.
With demand completely outweighing the supply, this begs the question ‘are bungalows a good investment in the UK’?
Well, wonder no more! We’re going to give you all the answers, assessing whether bungalows hold their value, looking at the pros and cons of living in a bungalow and answering, ‘are bungalows a good investment UK?’
What is a bungalow?
A bungalow is a single storey property, which is normally built within a large open space, meaning a big garden. They tend to be smaller than a house in terms of square foot, as they only contain one floor, whereas a house stretches across multiple floors.
A general misconception with bungalows is that they’re the same as a cottage, but this is not the case. The main difference between the two is a cottage can have more than one storey whereas a bungalow will only ever have one.
To help you out, here’s a list of the key characteristics of a bungalow, so you know what to look out for:
Only one floor - makes them a great option for elderly or those with disabilities, as they’re easily accessible
More privacy - as most bungalows were built a little while ago, they tend to have been built with more land than most new build houses now. This means they will have a bigger garden, offering more privacy from neighbours and also more potential for modifications
Initial cost may be higher - bungalows tend to cost more initially as they have more square footage on the first floor compared to houses which are multi-storey. This makes the initial cost higher as they cost more per square foot. For more details on why a bungalow may have this initial premium, direct your eyes down to the next section!
Cost effective - although this isn’t something you will initially notice, a key characteristic of a bungalow is the heating and electricity bills tend to be lower, as the overall area is smaller and it’s all on one floor so the heat can’t rise into the top floors of the property
Why are bungalows so expensive?
As we have just mentioned, bungalows tend to come at a slight premium when you compare the price per square foot to a multi storey ‘house’. There are a few reasons as to why this may be the case:
Built in a larger plot - whether that be an extension or completely knocking the bungalow down to build a new property, the large plot brings loads of renovation potential! More land with the property also brings more privacy, further pushing up the price tag
Room sizes generally bigger - as there’s no other floors in a bungalow, the rooms tend to be of a bigger size to try ‘make up’ some of the square foot which is ‘missing’ as a result of having only one floor
Less of a supply - the number of bungalows being built is decreasing year on year, yet there’s still a demand for them, meaning the demand outweighs the supply, pushing the price of the property up
More expensive per square foot - we may sound like we’re repeating ourselves but as a result of the overall living space being less, the cost per square foot will be more than that of a ‘house’ making a bungalow a pricier option relative to its size
Do bungalows hold their value?
As a general statement, yes, bungalows do tend to hold their value. Whilst the demand for bungalows remains the same, potentially even increasing with the aging population, the supply remains almost at the same level year on year, with very few new bungalows being built.
Because of this, a bungalow will hold its value, maybe even increasing more than that of a ‘normal house’.
As we mentioned earlier, bungalows also offer a lot of potential for development, which if you were to make use of, would increase the value of the bungalow significantly compared to what it was bought for. In this case, the bungalow isn’t just holding its value but also adding to it.
Although, bungalows tend to be bought at a bit of a premium, they do tend to hold this value, if not increase, making it a worthwhile purchase.
Are bungalows a good investment UK?
In short, a good investment to one won’t be a good investment to another, and so the answer is a lot down to opinion. We know this isn’t the answer you’re looking for though and so we’ll give you our opinion and let you decide what you think…
As we said earlier, there are very few new bungalows being built, meaning the supply is slowing. With the UK having an aging population, the demand appears to be on the up. According to research done by McCarthy Stone in 2020, 70% of over-65s would consider moving to a bungalow, a 10% increase on the previous year.
Due to the growing demand, bungalows will hold their value, if not increase, allowing you to make a profit, making it a good investment.
However, as bungalows target a specific group of people, they can be harder to sell if this particular group aren’t looking to purchase. This makes them a slightly riskier investment in comparison to a ‘normal house’.
What are the advantages of living in a bungalow?
When making a decision, it’s always important to weigh up whether the pros match your priorities. Lucky for you, we’ve got all the advantages listed in one place to help you decide whether a bungalow is the investment for you:
Space and privacy - as we’ve already said, bungalows are normally built in a lot of land, meaning they’re far away from neighbours giving lots of privacy. It also means a big garden – a missing feature from most newer houses
Less maintenance - as bungalows are smaller, they naturally require less maintenance. This is key for those more senior, as something as simple as not having an upstairs to hoover makes all the difference when trying to upkeep a property
Potential for modifications and extensions - as we mentioned earlier, bungalows come with a large amount of land, which brings plenty of development opportunities. We don't just mean a little refurb here and there, we mean a completely new house - think knocking it down and re-building a whole new multi-storey house!
Cost effective - with bungalows being smaller, they require less heating and less electricity to keep them up and running. This will mean smaller bills, making it a more cost friendly investment for your purse strings
Bigger living area - with bungalows only having one floor, it tends to mean the room sizes are bigger than that of those with multiple stories, making it appear as though the actual living area is larger
Is there a demand for bungalows?
Demand in every market is ever changing and so there’s no straight answer to this. But if you’re wanting to know about the here and now, we can have a look at the facts…
Research by McCarthy Stone in 2020 found the number of bungalows being built in the UK is falling, with only 1833 new bungalows being built in that year, a fall of 23% compared to the previous year. This shows there’s a falling popularity of bungalows with 'new build property developers', suggesting they don’t think its an investment worth their while.
However, on the flip side, the research found the number of over-65s considering a move to a bungalow was on the up, with a 10% increase to 70% of those surveyed, when compared to the previous year. These figures would suggest a growing demand amongst elderly buyers for bungalows.
Having said this, the survey was just conducted on population aged over-65 and so it’s not known whether or not there’s really a demand outside of this age group. The survey also says they would ‘consider’ a move, not that they’re actively wanting to move to a bungalow.
You may think, after reading the advantages, ‘why wouldn’t there be a demand for bungalows?’ Well, don’t forget, with pros comes cons, and a bungalow is no different…
Living in a bungalow brings security concerns. As they’re all on one level they’re easier to access and see into, meaning they provide more easy access to burglars. If you’re considering moving to a bungalow, you will need to find a way to 'burglar proof' the property.
Bungalows also have no separation between living and sleeping areas – something that puts off many, causing a decline in demand. Alongside this, as we mentioned earlier, bungalows tend to come at a premium compared to other properties, costing more per square foot, making other properties seem better value for money, decreasing bungalow demand.
How to sell your bungalow quickly
If you’re looking to sell your bungalow quickly, the good news is you have multiple options to do so, even if the market demand for bungalows is low! Let’s talk through your choices…
If you’re looking to sell, going on the open market with an estate agent is most likely the first option which comes to mind. Through this ‘traditional’ route, an estate agent will give you a valuation for your property, which, if you agree to, will be used as the ‘asking price’ when putting your bungalow on the market.
You will then get approached by interested parties, who will come for viewings and (hopefully) make you an offer. The offers placed have no guarantee of being at the asking price and will be subject to survey, meaning it could always be reduced, or withdrawn completely.
Whilst the open market may initially seem a good idea, if you’re trying to sell your bungalow quickly it may not be the option for you. According to The Advisory, the average time taken for completion is 18 weeks, which has only been made longer by Covid related delays, with solicitors being very overworked.
The open market is also quite a costly option, with lots of fees to pay. You know – estate agent fees, legal fees, survey fees, just to name a few.
A part exchange scheme is where you trade the value of your current property against the value of a new build as a sort of ‘part payment’. This can be a good option for selling your bungalow quickly, as you’re avoiding a chain, getting a buyer for your current bungalow and getting a new build property all in one go.
During a part exchange, your house will be valued by two or three independent estate agents and then you will be made an offer based on these valuations. These valuations tend to be below what your ‘asking price’ would be on the open market and you can only take part in the scheme if your bungalow is in good condition and worth about 65-70% of the new build property’s market value.
Whether or not you can take part in a part exchange will also depend on whether the property developer believes your property is suitable for them. In most cases, they may not be open to the idea of taking on a bungalow. As we saw earlier, less bungalows are being built every year showing the lack of demand amongst property developers, meaning it may not be an option available to you.
Another option which may appeal if you’re trying to sell a bungalow quickly is going through auction. At auction, you will have contracts exchanged when the hammer comes down on a deal and then the buyer has to complete in 20-28 days.
Not only does auction help you sell your property quickly, but it’s also chain free, as the buyer is legally bound to the property after ‘winning’ it at auction, meaning you don’t have to wait around for them to sell their property.
However, even after exchanging contracts at auction, buyers can and do pull out of sales, forfeiting their deposit. You will also have to hold several open days to allow potential buyers the opportunity to look at your property.
You will also have to cover your own legal fees and pay a commission of the sold price to the auctioneer, as well as paying for room hire and advertising costs. Buyers at auction also go looking for a ‘good deal’, so it’s very possible your property will sell for significantly less than the ‘market value’. There’s also no guaranteeing there will be any buyers who have a demand for a bungalow.
The whole process can also take between 6-10 weeks, which, although is faster than the open market, isn’t the fastest option available to you…
Cash House Buying Company
A cash house buying company, also known as a ‘sell house fast’ company, help to sell your house ASAP. These companies will give you a cash offer for your bungalow, which is a guaranteed price that you will get in FULL.
As the ‘sell house fast’ name suggests, these companies specialise in helping you sell your house FAST, with some able to complete in as little as 7 days. Not only do they give you cash for your property, but they also cover all the legal fees, meaning there’s no cost to you.
If this sounds like a route you want to go down to sell your bungalow in double quick time, then we may be able to help…
Here at The Property Buying Company, we’re a cash buyer of houses, buying any property in any condition, in as little as 7 days, whilst covering all your fees – yes, the legal fees too! We only require one quick viewing of the property and the price we offer you is the price you’ll get in full in your bank.
Our offer may be slightly below the ‘market value’, but our average completion time is 2-3 weeks, meaning we’re here to help when it comes to selling your bungalow quickly.
We have over 50 years’ combined experience in the industry and countless good reviews on Trust Pilot (feel free to check them out), which we believe shows we’re a ‘sell house fast’ company you can trust.
If you want to get on your way to selling your bungalow quickly, why not fill in our online form or give us a call today to receive a no-obligation cash offer, which we could have in your bank in as little as 7 days!