What is a Maisonette?

A maisonette is a unique type of housing found across the UK, especially popular in major cities like London and Manchester. As a hybrid between a house and an apartment, maisonettes offer homebuyers more space than a typical flat along with desirable amenities.

What Defines a Maisonette?

A maisonette, sometimes called a two-storey flat, refers to a self-contained housing unit spanning two floors that is part of a larger building. The key identifying features of maisonettes include:

  • Own private front door entrance – Unlike flats/apartments, maisonettes have their own street-facing front door rather than sharing a communal entrance. However, they may still share access ways like hallways or staircases.
  • Internal staircase connecting the two floors – This staircase allows maisonette residents to access both floors of their unit privately.
  • Often has access to shared backyard gardens – While not universal, many maisonettes open to a common green space behind or adjacent to the building.

In essence, maisonettes provide the multi-floor living space of a house alongside the communal amenities of flats in one self-contained property.

"Maisonettes are an ideal first rung on the property ladder for buyers wanting more than a typical flat but not yet ready for a full house."

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Advantages Over Flats

Maisonettes are prized in the UK market for offering more spacious and versatile living arrangements than comparably priced flats. Key advantages include:

  • More interior space – Spanning two floors provides 100+ square meters of living area on average.
  • Feels more like a house – The presence of an internal staircase and separate floors makes maisonettes feel more residential.
  • Often cheaper per square foot than flats – Especially in cities, maisonettes can offer buyers more space for less compared to flats.
  • Future rental potential – Maisonettes may be easier to rent out in the future thanks to their spaciousness.

Additionally, maisonettes allow buyers who can’t afford larger standalone houses to still enjoy some of their benefits at a more affordable price point.

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Where Are Maisonettes Located?

Maisonettes are found in abundance in certain UK metro areas, especially:

  • London – Particularly in boroughs like Greenwich, Hackney, Islington
  • Manchester – Prominent in suburbs like Didsbury and Chorlton
  • Edinburgh New Town and Leith neighborhoods
  • Glasgow – Scattered across the city’s sprawling tenement blocks
LocationAverage Price

Outside major cities, maisonettes appear in smaller numbers in converted houses or purpose-built maisonette blocks in suburban areas and towns.

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Comparison to Other Housing Types

It’s useful to contrast maisonettes to other common UK residential setups:

  • Flats lack the internal staircase and two-floor layout. Usually less private as well.
  • Apartments are essentially the same as flats in UK terminology.
  • Terraced houses are detached row houses while maisonettes are part of a larger building.
  • Detached houses sit apart from other houses unlike maisonettes which share walls.

You can think of a maisonette as a two-storey flat or an apartment-style terraced house inside a larger building shell. This makes them a versatile middle ground option for buyers.

Current Prices and Availability

The UK maisonette market has seen rising demand in recent years, leading to shrinking inventory and rising prices:

  • Average prices up 7% annually over the past five years
  • Inventory down over 20% compared to 2020 levels
  • Most competitive at the £300k-£400k price point

Above-asking offers and bidding wars are increasingly common, especially for updated properties in desirable areas.As the housing market continues to favor sellers, maisonettes present an affordable route onto the property ladder. Uncovering available options takes dedication but the unique perks often make it worthwhile.

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With their private entrances and extra living space, maisonettes merge the best aspects of houses and flats in one property. They offer a flexible middle ground between these two more common UK housing types. Though limited in supply, maisonettes provide a smart stepping stone towards homeownership for savvy first-time buyers.

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