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5 things to help future of UK housing market

Changing demographics and evolution in technology are having a significant impact on the future of UK housing. Many are hoping that the nation’s housing crisis will be alleviated thanks to technological innovation.

ResiConf, the biggest property conference in the UK, had the issue on the agenda at this year’s event, centred around the theme of correcting of Britain's "broken" housing market. Fixes are desperately needed, as there is a severe shortage of homes and builders are failing to keep up with demand. Rising prices and rents are also keeping young professionals and first-time buyers off of the property ladder.

The chief topics of discussion at this year’s ResiConf are discussed below.

  1. Factory-built homes are on the rise

A lot of talks focused on modular homes, otherwise known as prefabricated housing. These affordable properties are assembled in factories across the UK and then delivered to the client’s site.

Many regard modular homes as a solution to the housing crisis, especially in communities where space is at a premium. Lower costs make it possible to offer high-quality affordable homes at around 80% of the local market value. A potential downside is a comparatively small size, but the waiting list for a modular home from the pre-fab company Pocket is still over 35,000.

  1. Proptech can make land available while reducing costs

Property technology, or Proptech for short, is showing signs of imminent groundbreaking innovations. For example, software firm Land Insight is obtaining valuable data from the Land Registry and local government to help developers pinpoint potential sites quickly and at less expense than traditional methods.

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  1. Build-to-rent can help those who cannot afford to buy

While a relatively new concept in the country, build-to-rent has the potential to improve the future of UK housing. There are presently 83,650 such homes completed or in the planning stages across the country.

Because a BTR development is intended for renters, many of them have perks such as gym membership and Sky TV, which can mean higher prices, but developments in the UK often have affordable home quotas. There are also no letting agency fees and rents of more than three years are only increased by inflation, not landlord whim.

  1. Blockchain could change the way property sales are carried out

Blockchain technology underscores Bitcoin. Some developers are accepting rental payments in Bitcoin, and the potential property-related applications for blockchain go beyond this. ClickToPurchase, for example, is a site what allows people to exchange legal contracts online, and such a technology could be used to conduct property sales and related legal transactions.

  1. Rent controls are ruled out

Rent controls are another area with the ability to affect the future of UK housing. The Conservatives have balked at introducing them: speaking at ResiConf, Housing and Planning Minister Alok Sharma called them “Marxist” and vowed that they would not take effect in this parliament. Instead, the government would focus on building more rental homes and completing its White Paper.

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