Business Real Estate

Home Grown, Pre-Fab Homes Hit London

Pre-Fabricated, or modular homes aren’t a new trend. German and US home-owners and builders have been selling and erecting them for years. The market is less developed in the UK, but that could be about to change.

Legal & General surprised many when it announced over a year ago that it would build a pre-fab home building factory in Leeds and furnish the country with its product. But that’s exactly what it has begun to do in July 2017.

“L&G is known for insurance and finance, not house building and despite its confidence and investment, it’s all been a bit of the unknown, until now,” said Marylebone estate agent, Kubie Gold. “With the first successful delivery to London successfully completed, this could be the beginning of a successful period for the insurance specialist, turned home builder.”

Richmond Goes Modular

A site in Richmond-on-Thames was the first delivery destination for the L&G homes. UK housing association, RHP homes has ordered a prototype one-bedroom flat and a number of others, that will be placed on various sites around London, to house those in need of a home.

They’re not a temporary measure, either, but a sustainable and comfortable home, that the company has been able to secure at a price that is some 15% below standard on-site construction costs, according to an article in The Guardian.

The L&G factory has the capacity to build 3,500 homes in a 12-month period, which will be helpful in alleviating the housing crisis currently gripping the UK. It takes one week to build a one-bedroom flat and two-weeks for a two-bedroom home.

“A quick turn-around of comfortable, affordable homes is exactly what the UK needs right now, so this is great news for people in need of a home,” said Lawsons & Daughters. “It doesn’t mean traditionally built homes won’t retain the bulk of the market in the UK, but it does cause a disruption in the status quo, which will hopefully result in more investment in improving the speed and delivery among traditional builders.”

Lowering Rental Costs

Like all things, the L&G homes aren’t for everyone. First up, they’re pretty small. But, while that means they can’t hold a candle to the high ceilings and period features available in many parts of the city, they are cheaper to rent and to run. That’s another welcome piece of news to councils and housing associations who order and run them, along with the tenants who will inhabit the L&G modular homes and others like them.

The fact that they aren’t designed to replace the bigger flats and family homes that are still very much needed in the UK, provides further reassurance to traditional home builders that their skills and investment, remains key to delivering the 1 million plus homes the UK so desperately needs. It also ensures the choice of homes across London and the UK, satisfies the diverse requirements an international city has.

“London’s housing stock has undergone many changes throughout history and modular housing is just another option to suit part of the market,” said Plaza Estates. “It’s definitely a positive development for the country and it looks like it will be positive for L&G, too.”

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