British homes are shrinking – in fact, we’ve lost an average of 2 square metres each in the last 10 years.
The room to take the biggest hit was the traditional dining room, as developers “fob off” buyers with space saving kitchen-diners, according to a survey by insurer LV=.
The study also found one in 10 families were living in flats – a 20% rise in the last five years, to 790,000.
Multigenerational households also increased by 14% since 2008, due to the rise of the “boomerang generation” of young people returning home to live with their parents. Many of those were former students paying off debt while saving for a deposit on a house.
Families now live in a cramped 96.8sq m, compared with 98.8sq m in 2003 and a whopping 153sq m in the 1920s.
As a result of this squeeze, nearly half a million families are living in overcrowded accommodation, according to the government’s measure.
The classification is based on the number of bedrooms in a home, with one bedroom nominally allocated to a married or cohabiting couple, and to any other person aged over 21. Two children aged 10 to 20 of the same gender can share one bedroom, as can two children aged under 10, regardless of gender.
The study also found deposits have become unaffordable to many, as fewer families owned their own home. The proportion of families with children who were living in rented accommodation has risen from 15% in 2008 to 19% today.