Oliver Powlesland, business development director at Close Brothers Property Finance, discusses the enduring appeal of bungalows.

It was the 1930s Great Depression which gave birth to both the Art Deco movement and the bungalow, a popular and spacious housing design, often favoured by the older generation. 

In the decades since, demand for bungalows has increased, indeed rising by over 60pc in just the last few years – and it is easy to see why. Their spacious layout and larger gardens are no longer just attracting the over-65s, but young families and first-time buyers as well.

Eastern Daily Press: Oliver Powlesland, business development director at Close Brothers Property FinanceOliver Powlesland, business development director at Close Brothers Property Finance (Image: Graham Commons)
While Norfolk is home to many bungalows, research suggests that only 1,833 bungalows were built in the UK in 2020 – about 1pc of the homes built that year. However, our longstanding client David Wall, founder of Oakwood Properties, breaks that mould and is one of the few local SME housebuilders actively focussing on building brand new bungalows across the region.

A Norfolk resident and 30-year career professional, David came through the trades, establishing Oakwood Properties as a trusted and high-quality housebuilder. Its ethos is the antithesis of the ‘high density/small garden’ model. 

David prides himself on building tailor-made bungalows (as well as houses) based on the community’s needs. When designing new homes, the company prioritises using local materials, such as flint and chalk, in keeping with the local vernacular.

“Demand for bungalows has grown significantly since the pandemic as more people move out of urban centres looking for a different pace of life,” said David. “As a business, we are cognisant of what our community needs and always look to build the homes people want to buy and live in, which are spacious, high quality and reflective of the region’s architectural styles. 

“For me it’s really important to build homes which I would want to live in, which I can drive past in years to come and look on with pride, knowing that I’ve made our community a better place to live.”

Eastern Daily Press: David Wall, founder of Oakwood PropertiesDavid Wall, founder of Oakwood Properties (Image: The Norfolk Agents)
I love the fact that David takes the road less travelled, prioritising building bungalows and family homes on large plots to meet local demand. That was one of the reasons we were so keen to work with the business – we share similar, traditional values in how business should be done.

We have been supporting SME housebuilders for over 40 years and lend to borrowers who are forward-thinking, community-oriented and focused on building the right property for the right market and location.

We always back SME developers who understand their market, and we see the wealth of benefits they bring to both local and regional economies. It is for these reasons we are proud to support David Wall and Oakwood Properties. Relationships are the foundation of their business, much like our own, and we look forward to supporting them in their 
future schemes.

David continued: “Oliver was one of the only lenders who offered to come to Norfolk to meet me in person, to fully understand my business and the homes we build. It is that personal touch, that voice on the end of the phone, which makes me feel supported every step of the way.”

If you are building a new housing scheme and would like to discuss finance options, please get in touch at oliver.powlesland@closebrothers.com or 0203 857 6285.