Prefab Housing’s British Invasion
For most Americans, the thought of the “British Invasion” conjures up images of teenage girls screaming and fainting while The Beatles play “I Want to Hold Your Hand” on The Ed Sullivan Show: a pop music revolution that brought a wave of beloved British bands to the United States during the middle part of the 20th Century. Now, a different kind of British invasion is happening, this time on English soil: the sharp rise in popularity of pre-fab housing throughout the country over the past year.
Across the pond, many of the same issues facing cities in America—such as housing shortages and affordability issues—have led to a recent increase in the production of factory-made homes in Great Britain.
“Modular housing is set to take off in the UK with experts saying that the ‘revolution’ in building could slash the usual 40 weeks it takes to build a home to just 10 days,” an article from PropertyWire notes. “[UK] Secretary of State for Housing James Brokenshire has acknowledged that the change will help the housing crisis by utilizing precision engineering techniques to reducing not just building time but costs.”
Brokenshire, who attended a factory opening earlier this month in Yorkshire, has become an outspoken advocate for pre-fab homes. “Innovation in house building is a key part of scaling up delivery, which is why I am keen to support increased modular build.”
Another British company, Comfortable Living, is taking manufactured housing customization to the next level by allowing customers to completely tailor their pre-fab homes through an online “building tool” to ensure ideal levels of personalization. (And all at an affordable price point, of course.)
“We aren’t interested in maximizing profits, we’re passionate about helping those onto the ladder who may otherwise be unable to afford it, and by dramatically reducing the cost of property construction, we’re able to pass the saving onto UK home buyers,” says Comfortable Living CEO Saadat Khan. “[The online building tool] enables us to not only showcase the quality, size and beauty of our modular housing, but allows our buyers to personalize one of our modular houses to their own style and needs in order to make it their home.”
And while pre-fab housing is currently being hailed as a “revolution” in the country, manufactured homes actually have a long history across Great Britain. More than 150,000 homes were produced after World War II—many of which still are in use across the country today.
Looking to the future, though, Secretary Brokenshire hopes that this new wave of more energy efficient, affordable (starting at 65,000 pounds) properties will become the rule, not the exception: “We want to see 300,000 homes being delivered by the mid-2020s.”