October 15th, 2019

ARP Chair Blog - Are UK Homes as small as suggested?

ARP Chair

Great news….! You are relocating to the UK and regardless of where your move is taking you from, one of the questions commonly asked is, are the UK homes small and if so, how does this compare to where I am living now.


Accepted that this is not breaking news, but it sometimes still comes as a shock when people understand just how small this amazing country really is.

This might not be directly answering the question but it’s a good starting point to understanding UK homes overall. Our favourite site is www.thetruesize.com which allows you to compare the size of any country compared to others. For example, the UK is not that much larger than Cuba!

Space has and always will be a sought after commodity, resulting in homes that are smaller than many countries. However, you will be pleased to know, there are plenty of places lower down the size matrix than Britain. The core issue is how to make a sensible comparison as most UK rental homes do not list the square feet or metres of the home in question. Why? They just don’t need to as majority will rent quickly regardless of size as it’s more about the quality of the location.


To be honest, this really does depend on where you are moving. Taking the UK overall is a sensible proposition regarding this subject but can lead to widely inaccurate regional outcomes when one person is considering central London and another considering a village in the Midlands.

However, there are some solid facts that can be considered. UK homes built from 2010, on average provide 67.8 square meres of liveable space according to analysis completed by LABC Warranty. (https://www.labc.co.uk/news/what-average-house-size-uk)

Have they always been this size? Tricky to answer as it’s both a yes and no. Land prices in all areas have encouraged builders to identify better designs to allow for the maximum living space within the development area they have to work with and the report from the LABC expands on the designs over the decades since the 1930s and this can be shown in the overall trends decade on decade as per the graph below.


Local government and planning departments are also the key to permitting the size of homes and can be highlighted by the fact that in the 1970s, the average home was 83.3 square metres. In the 1980s numbers of houses being built declined, however there was a focus on improved quality as newer houses greatly enhanced their design and overall fit & finish. This trend has continued to the current day with the largest issue remaining the slow build rate the UK has committed to in the past few decades. This has in turn helped to fuel the house price increase for both home ownership & rentals alike. Fresh building has increased notably in the past few years, however the impact of this on the market will take time to filter through with most around the same size as the average 1930s UK home.

In summary, LABC Warranty identified that the average UK housing from the 1930’s to now can be broken down as follows –

  • The average living room 17.09m2

  • The average master bedroom 13.37m2

  • The average kitchen 13.44m2

  • The average home has 2.95 bedrooms

Nevertheless, how does this compare to homes around the world?

As mentioned, any data available must be taken as a guide and not a statement. However, an excellent report from www.shrinkthatfootprint.com (http://shrinkthatfootprint.com/how-big-is-a-house) offers a suggestion as to how the UK compares.

If you are from Hong Kong, China or Russia then UK homes are going to be a good & sizable increase from what you are used to. Even if your relocation takes you from Sweden, Japan or Italy, the size difference is modest.

The real difference is when compared to Canada, Australia or the USA where homes offer between 181 to 201 square metres.

So how does this affect your relocation? The missing part of this is that one of the best aspects of UK life is the proximity to some of the best facilities possible within easy access. Outside just a few locations globally, the real benefit of living the British way of life is to be able to reach any part of this country so quickly. No place is more than ‘70 miles’ away from the coast bringing a way of life other countries will struggle to repeat.


If you want to know where would be best for you to live in the UK for your budget, then we can help in a way that no other relocation company can?

Big claim perhaps but all our clients have free access to both our ‘Rental Heatmap’ showing the most popular locations in the UK for relocating assignee’s plus free access to our ‘Average Rent Map’ offering an instant overview of the average price for a rental home in over 2,000 locations in the UK. Market awareness and knowledge, we not only know but can share with you on-line 24/7.


Our mission is to ensure that the right person is moved to the right place & in the right frame of mind to achieve their business goals. Let us help identify where you can find the best home regardless of how large or small it may be.

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