LONDON — The average new English home is nearly a third of the size of an average American home, according to the Office for National Statistics.
The government statistics agency found the average house sold in England and Wales in 2016 had a floor area of 104 metres squared, while flats averaged 49 metres squared (excluding bathrooms, corridors, hallways and landings).
Taking flats and houses together, the average size of properties sold in England and Wales in 2016 was 90 metres squared — smaller than the EU average, and significantly smaller than the USA, where a lower land prices and a smaller proportion of urban dwellers means homes are an astonishing 245 metres squared on average.
Here’s how English homes compare to other countries around the world:
Why is that important? New homes in England are among the smallest in Western Europe, lagging behind other major economies such as Germany, France, Italy, Spain, and Portugal.
A report by the Royal Institute of British Architects in 2012 found that “long- and short-term storage space” for everyday items such as ironing boards was one of the features people most wanted in their home — something that would have been a given in almost any English home only a few decades ago.
There is some good news, though: new homes in England and Wales are getting bigger. In the last three years, new flats in England and Wales have increased in size by 8.5 metres squared. The ONS says that could be due to a higher proportion of maisonettes — flats with more than one storey — in the housing market.