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Footing the cost? One square foot of property in some parts of the UK can cost up to TWELVE TIMES more than in others

16th September 2021

  • The average cost of purchasing one square foot of property in the UK currently stands at £282, but rises to an eye-watering £1,491 in some places, and drops to just £123 in others

  • The floor space needed for a double bed alone in Kensington and Chelsea is a whopping £43,951

  • One bed flats come with a price premium – giving those getting onto the housing ladder the least space for their money 

  • Three bedroom homes offer the most value for cost vs space – but prices are on the rise


When it comes to property, we all know you get more for your money in different parts of the country. But new data from Zoopla has revealed the huge disparity in how much space homemovers’ money will buy them – with the same amount of space costing up to twelve times as much in some areas compared to others. 

A foot on the ladder

The average cost for one square foot of property in the UK is currently £282, but in London, the figure rises to a whopping £562. However, in Wales, one square foot of space costs £199, in Scotland the figure is £160 and in the North East it is just £157. Burnley is the cheapest town in the UK for one square foot of property - coming in at just £123.

However, larger differences in costs can be uncovered by looking at more localised data. This reveals that in Kensington and Chelsea, one sq ft of space costs an eye-watering £1,491 – more than twelve times the figure for Burnley. 

Bedding in

This means that the floorspace required in a home for a normal-sized double bed would cost £46,550 in Kensington and Chelsea. But demonstrating the disparity in prices across London, the cost of space required for a double bed falls to £12,978 in Barking and Dagenham, London’s most affordable borough on a pounds per square foot basis. 

It is not just in London where the space to fit a double bed could cost a fortune – commuter zone prices are also very high. For example, in Elmbridge, Surrey, the space for a double bed would cost £18,766, whilst in St Albans, Hertfordshire, the figure is £18,443. 

Moving away from London entirely, Cambridge is the second most expensive city or town, with the equivalent space of a double bed costing £15,966. This is followed by Brighton (£14,520), Oxford (£14,168) and Bournemouth (£11,343). 

The property-type bias

It is not only location that determines the cost for one square foot, but the type of property. The data demonstrates that one bedroom flats, which are typically popular amongst those getting on the property ladder, come at a premium when it comes to cost per sq ft. UK-wide, the average cost per sq ft for a one bedroom flat is £389. However, for a two bed house this falls significantly to £270 and to £262 for a three bed, which is currently the house size which offers the best overall value for space


However, particularly with Brits seeking larger homes with more space, this figure rises to £292 for a four bed house and £312 for a five bedroom house. The price of three and four bedroom homes are currently rising more than any other size of home in the UK, suggesting the differences could level out. 

Gráinne Gilmore , Head of Research, Zoopla, comments: “The research reveals the scale of difference when it comes to how much  space you can get for your money in different parts of the country, showing that location really is a key driving force behind what a home is worth. 

“The type of property also has an impact on the cost of space, and given the market conditions since the start of the pandemic, and the ‘search for space’ among many buyers making a move, the value of houses has risen more than than value of flats - and as a result these types of home are commanding higher values per square foot. Those currently looking to sell a family house could be in pole position.”

Nicky Stevenson, MD of Fine & Country UK, says: “As the old adage says, location, location, location. Properties that are located in sought after areas will command a higher price. The price per square foot in a location is synonymous with buyer demand, which is driven by factors such as lifestyle offering and proximity to amenities. Buyers will pay more for homes in areas with excellent schools, easy access to commuter routes and shopping facilities, as well as lifestyle elements such as green spaces, restaurants and entertainment venues.

“Certain types of properties will also command a higher price, but again, this is down to demand. The more buyers interested in a certain type of property, the higher the price they would need to pay to secure it. Since the pandemic, space has been the name of the game with buyers wanting homes that offer gardens and an extra bedroom or home office, especially now with so many people working remotely. Not having to commute as much to the office has allowed people to move further from city centres, which has pushed prices up in those areas.”



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For further information, please contact PR Team on [email protected] or +44 (0)20 3873 8770.

About Zoopla

Hello. We're Zoopla. A property website and app.

We know you're not just looking for a place to live. You're looking for a home.

Yeah, we've got over a million properties for you to browse.

Tools that let you filter them in all kinds of clever ways.

And reliable house price estimates, so you can be sure you aren't paying over the odds.

But we know you're looking for more than that.

Because that first flat won't just be a 'great investment opportunity'.

It'll be the feeling of starting out on your own.

That extra bedroom won't just mean another £20K on the re-sale price, it'll mean having your sister over to stay.

And that bungalow won't just be a way to release some equity, it will be a chance to spend more time with the grandkids.

We know that searching for a home is about more than just checking its price, location and features (important as all those things are).

What really matters is how it makes you feel.

We know what a home is really worth.

So let us help you find yours.

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