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Whether you're an investor looking to cash out or a homeowner seeking a quick sale, understanding the advantages and disadvantages of selling a duplex house is crucial.

In the United Kingdom, duplex houses have gained popularity as lucrative investment properties or homes offering additional rental income.

While traditional property sales may involve various contingencies and extended timelines, selling a duplex house to a cash buyer can present a compelling alternative, offering convenience, speed and reduced complexity.

In this article, we will delve into what a duplex house is, how to sell a duplex house and how you can do it effectively.

What Is A Duplex House In The UK?

A duplex house is a residential building with two living quarters spread over two floors, joined together by an internal staircase. A duplex building will have two or more duplex houses that all share an entranceway and staircase.

The two quarters are stacked on each other or arranged side by side and will have a common wall dividing them, although they will not share connecting doors or hallways.

It is known as a triplex if a duplex apartment or house has three storeys.

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What Does It Mean When A House Is In a Duplex?

A duplex house is an Americanism for a semi-detached or two-flats-in-one-building, although the term duplex house is rising in the UK.

A duplex house will either be one two-storey house attached to another two-storey home or a two-storey one on top of another.

For example, if you go abroad to mainland Europe or America, you will find duplex villas advertised; these are simply a building that houses two apartments for separate families.

What Is The Average Price Of A Duplex In The UK?

Due to duplexes being an underestimated housing type in the UK, more data must be collected. However, if you look down your local estate agents, you will see that most Duplexes in city centres tend to sell for around £850,000+.

Are Duplex Houses Popular In The UK?

Duplex popularity in the UK is rising, as a duplex offers a modern approach to living, being smaller than the average UK home yet more extensive than the average flat.

A duplex house can be an excellent purchase for first-time buyers working within busy cities as they offer more space than flats but less of a price point than a house. They also provide less responsibility as there are shared hallways and entranceways.

How Does A Duplex Differ?

Duplex housing is often a misunderstood type of property in the UK, and many websites will say many different things. Duplexes are also often used interchangeably with maisonettes and semi-detached houses; find out here how duplexes differ.

Is Duplex The Same As Semi Detached?

A semi-detached property is similar to a duplex house in that two living units have a shared wall. However, a semi-detached property will have its entrance.

A duplex property may also be stacked on top of another, whereas a semi-detached property will not.

What Is The Difference Between A Duplex And A Maisonette?

Although Duplex and Maisonette are used interchangeably, not all duplexes are Maisonettes.

A maisonette and duplex will always have more than one level, but a maisonette has its entrance and staircase, while a duplex has a shared hallway or staircase; a duplex will have a separate entrance for each duplex.

Is A Duplex Different From A Flat?

The difference between duplex houses and a flat is that; an apartment will usually be arranged over a single floor, but a duplex house is on two storeys and is somewhere in the square footage between a flat and a house.

A duplex can be divided between the two floors so one floor can be tenanted, making it a flat.

Is Duplex A Mansion?

A duplex is not a mansion; a mansion is a large residential building that is at least 740 metres squared in size; a duplex, however, will be, on average, 76 metres squared in size.

Are Duplexes And Penthouses The Same Thing?

A duplex and a penthouse are not the same things; a penthouse is a top-floor flat in an apartment block and is often the most expensive.

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What Is The Typical Duplex House Design?

The typical duplex dwelling design will be split across two floors with at least one bedroom. At most, a duplex house will have four bedrooms on each floor, but this is in rare cases.

In most duplex houses, there will be one kitchen, one living room, one laundry room, a couple of bathrooms, and a cloakroom.

In large cities, duplex houses tend to have one bedroom with a kitchen and living room downstairs.

What Types Of Duplex Houses Are There?

Duplex houses can consist of many variations, and many more people are turning to duplex homes for higher yields. Here are a few of the different types of duplex houses:

  • Standard Duplex House - A two-storey house with an interior connecting staircase between the two floors. The lower floor will have a living room and kitchen, while the upper floor will include bedrooms.

  • Ground Duplex House - The entrance way is on the ground floor via the communal hallway, with the bedrooms on the ground floor and the kitchen and living room on the upper floor.

In addition, you may also be able to find low-rise duplex houses designed to provide beautiful views across the area via a spacious balcony or attic on the upper floor.

The Benefits Of Duplex Houses

There are many benefits to living in a duplex house:

More Space

Although a duplex house does not have more overall space compared to a family-sized home, it does have a better utilisation of space as the living units are far more extensive than a flat.

Greater Flexibility

If you live in the property, or even if you own it, you could rent out the units and potentially have two incomes from the building.

Fewer Immediate Neighbours

Living in a duplex house means you will only have a few neighbours instead of being in a residential apartment block. This will minimise the chance of disputes between noisy neighbours and other annoyances.

There are also many benefits to selling a duplex house in the UK:

Potential For Higher Rental Income

Duplex houses are often separate units, which means that if you are the property owner, you can rent out the duplexes separately. This provides an opportunity for a higher rental income compared to selling a single-family house.

Flexibility For Homeowners

If you live in one unit of the duplex house, selling it could give you the flexibility to move to a different property or downsize to a smaller home according to your needs.

Market Demand

Duplex properties are attractive to investors, cash buyers and individuals looking for a property with rental income potential. This broader market demand can increase the chances of selling the duplex house quickly and at a favourable price.

Capital Appreciation

The market for duplexes in the UK is only rising, and already they sell for far more than the average family home. If you have held a duplex house in the UK for a significant period, selling it could offer a return on investment through capital appreciation.

The Cons Of Duplex Houses

There are many cons to living in a duplex house:

Higher Price

Duplex houses are more expensive than single-family houses due to their potential for rental income. The initial purchase cost of a duplex may be higher, requiring a more significant investment than a similar-sized single-family home.

Limited Expansion Potential

Most duplex houses are typically purpose-built or home renovations, which may limit the flexibility for expansion or significant modification on the property. Especially if any changes impact the structural integrity or disrupt the functionality of the duplex.

Shared Outdoor Area

Duplexes will tend to share gardens or terraces between households within a duplex building. However, there may be a private balcony.

There are also a few negatives to selling a duplex house in the UK:

Maintenance And Management

If you own a duplex house complex, you must manage and maintain two separate units. If you sell the property, you won't have to deal with these responsibilities anymore, which can be advantageous if you want to reduce the time and effort required for property maintenance.

Capital Gains Tax (CGT)

Depending on the duration of your property ownership and the profit from selling the duplex house, you may be liable to pay Capital Gains Tax, so it's essential to factor in any potential tax implications.

Transaction Costs

Selling a property typically involves various costs, including estate agent fees, legal fees and conveyancing charges, which should be included in the prices of selling your property.

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How Easy Is It To Sell A Duplex House?

The ease of selling a duplex house will vary depending on current market conditions: location, property condition, pricing, and demand for duplex properties.

Market Conditions

The ease of selling your duplex house will significantly depend on the current market conditions.

In a seller's market with high demand and low inventory, selling a duplex may be more straightforward as more potential buyers compete for properties.

In a buyer's market with limited demand, it may take longer to find a buyer.


Location is an essential factor in selling a property; if the duplex is situated in a desirable neighbourhood within a large city, with good access to amenities, transport and quality schools, it may be attractive to investors and cash buyers.

Property Condition

The condition of your duplex home can impact its marketability on the open market. If it's well-maintained, updated and move-in ready, it will be far more attractive to potential buyers than a property that is run down.

However, if the duplex needs a complete refurbishment, you may also attract property flippers looking to increase their margins.


Setting the right price for your duplex property is crucial; over-evaluating your property can deter potential buyers, while under-evaluating may result in your property selling faster but at a much lower value.

Demand For Duplex Homes

The demand for duplex properties can vary in different areas and at other times. Factors such as population growth, rental market demand and investment opportunities can influence interest in duplex houses.

Marketing & Exposure

Effective marketing strategies can increase the visibility of your duplex house to potential buyers via online property portals, and using professional photography, virtual tours, and targeted advertising can help attract more interest and make the selling process more manageable.

How Do You Sell A Duplex House?

Much like a maisonette, flat or a typical semi-detached house, there are many avenues to sell a duplex property. You could sell via an estate agent, an auction house or a cash buyer.

Selling your duplex home via an estate agent may help you reach the highest selling price, but you will face much higher estate agent fees. If you sell your duplex property for £850,000, you will pay £25,500 on estate agent fees (based on 3%).

Selling your duplex property via an auction house may offer one of the more straightforward ways to sell your property, as duplexes can be seen as unusual in the UK.

But, you risk being unable to sell your property, as duplex properties require specialist investing buyers.

Alternatively, you could sell your duplex property via a cash buyer like us.

As one of the UK's leading cash buyers, we'll buy your duplex property in as little as seven days on a timescale that suits you.

We have our cash reserves, which means we can purchase your property as soon as you want to sell it without waiting on mortgages or property chains.

Wherever you are in the UK, we can buy your property, whether a maisonette, terraced house or duplex property. And thank you for using our service; we will pay your legal fees.

If you are interested in selling your duplex property to us, please click the link below and one of our expert property consultants will contact you within twenty-four hours.

Tom Condon

Tom Condon, one of our content writers, has fascinating expertise in sustainability in the property industry. Tom thoroughly understands the market and has experience in both residential and commercial property. He enjoys attending conferences and staying current with the most recent property trends.