Sales of prefab houses go through the roof

A report published by Standard Life Bank says 41% thirtysomethings would consider buying a prefab house.

The UK market for prefab housing is worth 1.6bn and growing at 30% per year.

Prefab penthouses – worth up to 2.5m, built off-site and delivered by helicopter to your rooftop – solid timber lodges built from wood from sustainable sources and two bedroom homes assembled within three days
costing 60,000 are all examples of the modern prefab.

Far removed from the shaky box-style structures that studded our post war landscape, these flat-pack homes are now heralded as the ultimate in cool.

Claimed to last 60 to 100 years before needing repairs, their benefits are proclaimed as maintenance-free, environmentally sound, flexible living spaces, with high spec fittings and the latest in consumer technology.

The report claims that tomorrow’s prefabs will come in all shapes and sizes and be built from more durable versions of lightweight materials like cardboard, plywood and polystyrene.

The 60,000 version is more indicative of the mainstream trend to come and the access point for people considering a prefab home today; pre-cast so that 80% of the house can be completed up front, 20% can be customised to suit the individual taste – from the
traditional cottage to corrugated steel finish.

The research is based on extended interviews with two architects – MAE Architects and Stuart Piercy – and the original Future of Homes report.

This included interviews with architects, product designers and property specialists and is part of a wider series commissioned by Standard Life Bank
that examines a group of urban thirtysomethings who don’t see their mortgage as a millstone but more of a life-management tool.

Dubbed ‘The Freestyle Generation’ , this group has the confidence to draw down on the equity in their properties for life-changing purposes.

Ashley Ramsay, marketing manager of Standard Life Bank, says: “The new generation of prefab houses dispels the myths associated with the cheaply built post war housing solutions.

“They are designed to accommodate changing lifestyles and maximise building as well as living space.

“Their growing popularity, especially among thirtysomethings, and flexibility demonstrates that prefab could be a future alternative to bricks and mortar.”

Ramsay continues: “We are in the homes business and as such we need to be aware of housing trends so that our policies and products remain flexible to our customers’ needs.

“The technical difficulties with mortgage lenders often prove to be a barrier to people wanting to buy homes with unusual construction.

“Standard Life Bank’s flexible lending policy means
that properties are assessed on an individual basis and according to market demand and saleability meaning that we would consider lending on a wide
variety of houses.”

In a separate survey, Standard Life Bank canvassed 1000 adults in the UK to gauge their propensity to buy a prefab home.

The data revealed an enlighteningly positive response.

Three out of 10 people in the UK would consider buying a prefabricated or self-build home with young people aged 34 and under the most likely age group to do so.

People living in rented accommodation see prefab or self build as a way onto the property ladder with 33% saying they would consider it.