A Few Thoughts Following Resi 2015
Why is the government still not willing to embark on state funded house building to solve the housing shortage? Why are they still relying on the private sector? They are also causing uncertainty around key incentives such as permitted development (PD). We are led to believe that PD will be removed next year but also that it may be extended again – please make your mind up as this is causing clients to rush through schemes using PD, which must be putting a strain on local planners who are often criticized for being too slow.
Also PRS, being developer led, is concentrating on small units targeting single professionals. Where do these people go when they get married and have children? There is no talk about larger PRS units to accommodate for this. It is currently perceived that people will move further out of the larger cities, however in London, PRS schemes are being considered for zone 4, which most people would not consider to be central London. I foresee a mass shortage of affordable 2 bed plus accommodation in the future. Perhaps a solution would be to embrace the “naked house” concept – the Ryan-Air of new-build accommodation? These dwellings just pass building regulations, without even featuring internal partitions. I had not heard of this until the RESI conference earlier this month. The naked house concept relies on buying a property cheaply, and as you grow as a family and financially you are able to expand your property and add luxuries… such as internal partition walls!!!
A fundamental issue which appeared to be missed off the agenda at RESI 2015 is the new innovative construction methods used to build housing quickly. The seminars had modern method of construction as topics, but it was disappointing that these were not discussed in depth. A brief remark about 3D printing was made, with reference to a bridge being constructed in Holland using 3D printing, but that was the only news that made me want to get on Google and learn more about this very important topic. Engineers and contractors need to be more vocal and grab this topic by the horns and share innovative ways to build housing cheaper and quicker.