An English person's home may feel like their castle but in terms of physical size, this is certainly not the case! Compared to the rest of the world the footprint of an average UK home is the smallest in the developed world with the exception of China.
The average house size in Britain is just 86 square metres (925 square feet) - that's around 40% smaller than the average American home.
Australia beat us all hands down though, with the average size home almost reaching a whopping 2,500 square feet. That means 22.6 Hong Kong homes could fit into the average Australian residence!
Here in the UK, we now build the smallest new homes in Europe, much smaller than 100 years ago. This is not, as you might assume, due to lack of land to build on, but more so that builders make more money by building smaller homes as they can build more of them!
The interior design website Love Abode looked at a selection of house sizes from around the world. Although they didn't survey every country in the world, they did provide information on the average home size of the following ten countries:
Infographic from LoveAbode.com
The UK are the only country in Europe not to have a minimum space standard for the homes we live in. However, we did used to! In 1961, a government committee, chaired by Parker Morris, looked at what furniture was needed in which room, the space needed to use it and move around it, and the space needed for normal household activities. The Parker Morris standards stipulated, for example, that a two-bed flat for four people should have a net floor area of 71 square metres, and that one for three or more people should have enclosed storage space for the kitchen of 2.3 cubic metres.
These standards were intended by Morris to be minimum requirements; builders however generally used them as a maximum. With the introduction of things like dishwashers and fridge-freezers, these standards would in any case be inadequate for today. More importantly though, these standards did become mandatory for all council housing, and for a period of time did influence homes in the private sector too. In 1980 they were abandoned as the costs were deemed too high. Interestingly though, Boris Johnson has recently stipulated that publicly funded housing in London must be built to “Parker Morris + 10%.
All of this goes some way to explain why many of us here in the UK find ourselves living with insufficient space. The choices we are left with seem to be, find a self-storage company to free up space in our homes, or buy one of the many ‘How to Declutter your Home’ books on the market and get organised!