Housebuilder pivots to more bungalows amid ageing population

Housebuilder pivots to more bungalows amid ageing population

One of the biggest family-owned homebuilders in Scotland is pivoting new developments towards providing more bungalows, which tend to be most popular amongst more mature age groups, for the first time since 2018.

In recent times, most homebuilders tended to prioritise multiple-storey houses due to the lower profit margins that are achievable when building bungalows.

Late last year, the NHBC reported that new bungalows have all but disappeared from the list of new homes with registrations falling by 70% in the last year.

However, Muir Homes, part of the Muir Group, is bucking this trend, starting with its new development in Stanley in Perthshire. The Deer Pines development will have two different bungalow house types, with 2-bed and 3-bed semi detached available to buy. More than a fifth of the development will be one-storey.

The change comes as National Records for Scotland (NRS) reported in its most recent review of demographic trends that there are now more people aged 65 and over than people under 15 in the country.

The NRS explained: “This trend is mainly driven by the post-war baby boom generation getting older. But also, by people living longer and fertility in Scotland falling. Fertility is now at the lowest recorded level and is one of the lowest in Europe.”

According to National Records for Scotland, in the 1971 census, over a quarter of the population was under the age of 15 with only 12% being aged 65 and over. In the 2021 census, this had flipped to be more than one fifth of the population being 65 and over, with just 15% being under the age of 15.

With its very own forest, wildflower meadows, and air source heat pumps, the Deer Pines development will also have a keen focus on the environment and deliver reduced running costs for homebuyers.

Martin Smith, chief executive of Muir Group, said: “Scotland’s changing demographics have been clear to see for some time now and with more and more interest in bungalows we are taking a strategic decision to build more of them going forward.

“Understandably, mature groups and even young families are now shifting towards single-storey homes due to ease of accessibility or indeed, just trend-setting. We believe that our developments thrive when we create homes that attract a wide range of groups that quickly establish and evolve into a vibrant and sustainable community.”

“Our new development in Perthshire will buck the trend of most homebuilders across Scotland, not only for its availability of bungalows, but also because of the focus on the environment and ensuring homes are fit for the future.”

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