These figures are very interesting. Is there any means to establishing figures that relate to housing which is described as 'affordable'? Yet another comparison of bedroom sizes between these private properties and Council housing affected by the 'bedroom tax' would be revealing.
Brian V Cockbill
My figures aren't very scientific as they only relate to houses that we were interested in viewing. The sample size is small and only covers our preferred house type and price band. The figures also relate to asking price rather than sale price. The purpose of my research was really to determine whether the asking prices were sensible.
The figures tend to indicate that floor area is more important than the number of bedrooms. A house with 4 large bedrooms costs roughly the same as a house with 6 small bedrooms. We looked at a 6 bed house, but it was really a 4 bed with 2 large cupboards. You could fit a child's cot in the smaller rooms but couldn't let them as bedrooms.
The prices are logical as the number of bedrooms is defined by the layout of inexpensive stud partitions rather than land take or bricks and mortar. Three storey properties were also cheaper than 2 storey for obvious reasons. The 3 storey houses tend to have more bedrooms, so you get small reception rooms on the ground floor and 2 floors of small bedrooms.
The more exclusive areas (eg. Broome Manor) were more expensive but they are less crammed in with wide verges and landscaped areas.
We only compared the Council Tax banding on a few properties but were surprised at the difference. A 6 bed house in Wroughton was Band G (£2500 per year), but a similar priced 4 bed in Abbeymeads was only Band E (£1600 per year). I thought council tax banding was supposed to be based on property value, but the council appear to have been influenced by the large number of bedrooms.
We didn't study the 'affordable' housing end of the market, but did sell my house (3 bed - £160,000) and my girlfriends flat (1 bed - £55,000). We were surprised at how cheaply 1 bed flats are selling for. My personal view is that new build 'affordable' housing and part ownership schemes have suppressed the 1 bed market and in many cases, couples who bought them at the peak will now be trapped in them with negative equity. Not sure how a young couple wanting to start a family can get out of this situation.
If you are interested in comparing the prices of 'affordable' housing, the Rightmove website lists properties for sale and in most cases will include floor plans with floor areas.