The housing slump and the rising demand for modular buildings

Posted on 4 Jun 2015 by The Manufacturer

There was a time in the not so distant past that the primary focus of modular buildings was in the public and commercial sectors. But as home prices rise and mortgages continue to be difficult to qualify for, modular buildings are becoming more common in the private sector.

With the housing market in a slump, increasing numbers of homeowners are simply expanding living space in their current homes rather than upsizing as their families grow.

Recent Report Published by Shelter

A recent study published by Shelter, a housing charity, and reported in the Guardian, stated that we are entering into a state of the ‘clipped-wing generation’ where more and more young adults are being forced to live at home due to the difficulty in buying homes.

According to Shelter, in the year 2004 there were only 675,000 young adults between the ages of 25 and 43 who were renting but by the year 2014 that number had risen to 1.6 million. They expect that number to increase to an estimated 2.3 million within the next five years.

Building of New Homes Not Meeting Increasing Demands

A huge part of the problem is that construction of new homes is not currently meeting the demands for housing. Shelter commented on government figures showing that only 125,100 new homes were constructed in England last year which is far below the number required.

There is also a shortage of rental properties which is causing young people to remain at home much longer than at any time in recent history. Young married couples are also living with parents as a result of a housing shortage and it doesn’t appear that the problem is going to ease anytime soon.

Additional Living Space the Solution

With rental properties in extreme shortage and young people unable to buy new homes, modular buildings are in greater demand to add living space to existing family homes. In this way young adults are able to maintain some semblance of privacy and independence whilst seeking to climb on the property ladder.

The figures released by government and reported by Shelter, as mentioned above, indicate that by the time this parliament ends, only 20% of young people would have successfully climbed the ladder whilst just ten years ago the figure was triple that amount at 60%. Modular buildings can be added for much less the cost of a new construction and are able to be assembled on-site much more quickly.

While figures would seem to indicate that the economy is slowly recovering, the housing shortage continues to be a major concern. Fewer young people are able to get a mortgage and of those that do, there just aren’t enough homes being built to meet the increasing demand. Since the ‘stay-at-home’ younger generation have already been labelled as the ‘clipped-wing generation,’ market analysts don’t forecast a quick or easy resolution to the shortage. Modular buildings and loft conversions are on the rise and if predictions hold true, this will continue to rise in the foreseeable future.