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Life on one level is helping a Norfolk house builder to buck the trend

PUBLISHED: 12:29 18 January 2019

Abel Homes currently have bungalows and chalet bungalows for sale at their sites in Swaffham, Watton and Mattishall, with generous detached bungalows soon to be released on their highly anticipated site at Gressenhall. Picture: Abel Homes

Abel Homes currently have bungalows and chalet bungalows for sale at their sites in Swaffham, Watton and Mattishall, with generous detached bungalows soon to be released on their highly anticipated site at Gressenhall. Picture: Abel Homes

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A Norfolk house builder is bucking the national trend and creating significant numbers of single-storey homes – reflecting a strong local demand for this style of living.

A bathroom in one of Abel Homes' newly developed bungalows. Picture: Abel HomesA bathroom in one of Abel Homes' newly developed bungalows. Picture: Abel Homes

Abel Homes include bungalows and chalet bungalows on their sites to meet the needs of buyers who want to ensure that their home remains accessible as they get older, as well as for those who simply like the idea of living on one floor.

In 2017, just 2pc of all new homes in the UK were bungalows – down from 15pc just 30 years earlier.

And yet, as we are all living longer lives and want to remain living independently into our older age, demand for single-storey dwellings is buoyant.

“Changes in planning guidance have made including bungalows and chalet bungalows on new homes sites much more achievable,” says Abel Homes managing director Paul LeGrice.

Abel Homes' site at Gressenhall is highly anticipated. Picture: Abel HomesAbel Homes' site at Gressenhall is highly anticipated. Picture: Abel Homes

“Because we are based here in Norfolk and understand local needs, around one in ten of the new homes we build are single-storey, way above the national average.

“It is interesting that, while demand for bungalows is highest among older buyers, this is certainly not an exclusively older market, with single-storey living is also appealing to some younger buyers and families as well.”

Partly that wide appeal is being driven by something of a revolution in bungalow design. Many people’s perceptions of this type of property are coloured by badly-designed and poor quality bungalows, built in the 1970s.

Nowadays, single-storey homes benefit from new design thinking which provides contemporary, liveable spaces which embrace the newest technology including very high levels of energy efficiency, fibre broadband to the premises and open plan living.

Bathroom in a chalet bungalow offered by Abel Homes. Picture: Abel HomesBathroom in a chalet bungalow offered by Abel Homes. Picture: Abel Homes

Increasingly popular are chalet bungalows, where the main bedrooms (generally with en-suite bathroom) are on the ground floor, with further bedrooms and a bathroom upstairs.

This arrangement offers huge flexibility, allowing for a family guest bedroom, office or recreational space upstairs, but with the ability to live completely on one floor if that is preferred or becomes necessary.

Building on one storey does reduce the number of homes which can be created on a given piece of land, but Abel Homes has recognised that these homes meet an important need in Norfolk, and they remain an integral part of the way they create new homes for the county.

Abel Homes currently has bungalows and chalet bungalows for sale at its sites in Swaffham, Watton and Mattishall, with generous detached bungalows soon to be released on their highly anticipated site at Gressenhall. For more details, visit www.abelhomes.co.uk.

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