With plans for Ikea to help build affordable homes in Worthing well underway, here is everything you need to know about modular housing.
1. Modular Homes
A modular home is a house or flat built within a factory-type setting. Once ready, it’s covered up and transported to its new location, before being constructed by a builder. These are becoming increasingly popular due to the time scale in which they are built (a matter of weeks as oppose to months) and they can be customised easily. However, price, taxes and insurance are the same as building a house on site.
2. Who is behind this?
BoKlok is a company co-owned by Ikea and Skanska. Their mission statement is as follows: BoKlok makes it possible for people with average incomes to own a sustainable, quality, low cost home. The company have plans in the UK to create affordable housing by building modular homes for those who are struggling to get on the property ladder.
3. What is their experience?
So far, BoKlok have built more than 11,000 homes across Sweden, Finland, Denmark and Norway. These have proved very successful, with people who live nearby saying the work is tidy, calm and quiet. The company also boast that they are environmentally friendly, doing as much as they can to minimise their impact on the environment.
4. Previous attempts in the UK
Over ten years ago, there were plans for BoKlok to bring their properties to the UK in Tyneside, but development was halted due to the recession. Now, they have signed up with Worthing council to build 162 flats, which will make a huge difference for those who live there. In 2018, average house prices were said to be 11.7 times the average salary, a stark contrast to the 7.8 times across the rest of England and Wales (Office for National Statistics).
5. Affordable housing for rent and purchase
30% of the properties will be used as affordable housing for locals to rent, with the remaining 70% sold by BoKlok based on its “left to live” scheme. The scheme calculates how much residents can afford to pay monthly after tax and living costs are deducted. As standard, the company usually assume 33% of a person’s take-home salary can be used towards a mortgage.
6. Commitment to quality
To keep costs down, BoKlok have analysed their figures and scaled down their expenditure, but state there will be no compromise on the quality of the property. Each flat will be fitted with an Ikea kitchen, and flooring/wall tiles are also included in the price. The show-homes range from one-bedroom (50 sq metres) to three-bedroom apartments (74 sq metres).
7. One of many?
Dependent on the success of the first, there are likely to be more to follow. Worthing council have teamed up with Boklok to provide 500 homes in Worthing, which presumably follow a similar model.
Work on the homes is set to begin in September 2020 and they will be delivered and assembled to the site in January 2021. They will be ready for people to move in as early as April 2021.
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Normette Homes specialise in property investment and tenant sourcing.