A dramatic increase in the number of single people buying houses is leading to a fundamental shift in UK housing demand, according to res-earch from Halifax.
The UK's biggest lender says in 2001, single buyers accounted for more than four in 10 buyers compared with only a quarter in 1983.
In the medium to short term, however, the changes are not nearly as significant, with the 17 per cent fig-ure for single women remaining largely static for the last nine years and the 24 per cent figure for single men increasing by just 2 per cent in the last 12 years.
In London, one in every two buyers is single and in Scotland, 45 per cent of buyers are single. This is compared with 41 per cent for the UK as a whole.
Halifax Group economist Martin Ellis says: “The dramatic shift towards more and more homeowners buying on their own is set to continue over the next 20 years. It is, therefore, imperative that planners and builders take account of this when deciding what type of properties to build and where to build them.”