Prefabricated houses, tiny houses, parasitic homes, vertical cities and housing cooperatives could be the real estate future. Time passes and the real estate market is not immune to it. In the last decade, a series of initiatives have emerged that could revolutionize the housing sector.
The objective? Overcome the difficulties that consumers encounter while moving towards a more efficient and sustainable future. Among the emerging trends, we could highlight several cases that are taking importance in some parts of the world, Europe and our country.
Prefabricated houses: speed and efficiency
The prefabricated houses, constitute one of the great changes that the real estate sector is already living in our country. According to published data, in 2017 7,000 homes of this type were requested, while in 2015 the figure amounted to only 2,000. A trend that continues to rise.
The reason is mainly, saving time. While traditional homes require a work time that ranges from nine to 18 months, this new model of buildings can be ready between four and six, halving the wait for a finished home.
Good houses were made, but there were so many problems that the works ended up being great and with too many variables to control. We want to find a new way of building in which cost control, product quality and execution time are the goals to improve.
Prefabricated houses, bungalow type, have another important advantage. The environmental impact of these homes is very minor throughout their life cycle, especially in the phase of use, something that translates for the end customer into economic savings.
Highlights, energy efficiency, with levels far superior to traditional buildings. Therefore, industrial houses in our country are clearly the future, following in the footsteps of the Nordic countries, the United States and Canada, where most single-family houses are built using prefabricated modules.
Tiny Houses: pure minimalism
Just on the other side of the Atlantic, a current has emerged that increasingly has more followers. This is the small house movement and consists of living in houses of a few square meters. Its main advantages? Low prices and more sustainability.
This is pointed out by one of its drivers, Jay Shafer, who identifies economic conditions, concern for the environment and the desire for a simpler and more effective life as the main factors of this growing interest.
In the United States, tiny houses can be found in two realities. On the one hand, mini houses are serving as a remedy against precariousness. An example of this is the Quixote Village, a community created in 2013 and formed by about 40 cabins of 40 square meters accessible to the most disadvantaged. And is that the price per unit is around $ 19,000, equivalent to about 16,000 euros.
This current not only facilitates access to a home for the most disadvantaged. The public that this movement reaches also includes movie stars who have proudly reduced their homes to 900 square meters, five-member families residing in a bungalow, multi-family homes in a variety of more extreme forms and examples such as floating house residences or in trailer trailers of less than 30 square meters.
Although the small house movement still does not have a considerable influence in Spain, they could become the houses of the future. And they would make up an offer of affordable housing, the price of which would be around 1,200 euros per square meter in our country, a bargain compared to the 3,100 euros paid in Barcelona or the 2,600 it costs in Madrid. Given that the dimensions of mini houses are usually below 20 or 30 square meters, we would be talking about a final price of 30,000 euros per house.
Parasitic houses: the future in cities
The difficulty of finding housing in the main capitals of the world has raised another real estate trend: parasitic houses. These are homes added to existing construction, so they do not require an available plot. A fact that, in addition, would significantly reduce the costs of access to housing.
The boom of parasitic houses could be in 2008. While the UN estimated that, for the first time in the history of mankind, there were more people living in cities than in rural areas, the Calder Flower study completed the construction of Sydney Prefabricated parasite, with the purpose of populating the unused spaces that we find in cities, the parasitic houses cling to old facades, rocks and even bridges resulting in a good formula to achieve a sustainable urban density.
In the construction process, a mounting plate is placed on the host wall, or any other fixed space, where the parasitic house will be integrated. From there, the different prefabricated panels that will make up the building are added and, finally, the structural facade is placed to provide lateral reinforcements to the whole.
Being a hanging house, located three or four meters above the street, it will be accessed through a retractable ladder, deploying and collecting it every time you want to leave. The end result is a house of 36 square meters and different floors, which can be adapted to the tastes and interests of the buyers and that has a lasting character.
Vertical cities: living in skyscrapers
Access to housing and construction possibilities in large cities has led to another trend that will influence the houses of the future. It is about vertical cities. The idea reserved so far for science fiction films is proposed that the majority of the population reside in skyscrapers 500 meters high. In the same building, there will be homes, offices, schools and universities, shopping centres, sports centres and even parks. Everything that marks our daily life, but organized vertically, contrary to how we are used to seeing it, distributed horizontally.
Why is this architectural change necessary? This concern stems from the certainty that expanding horizontally is not sustainable since the population is growing at an unstoppable pace. At this point, the change in mindset is important.
If the population expands horizontally, the green areas will end and there will be a more serious environmental problem. That is why it is ruled out to grow wide and it is bet to make it up. If the conventional cities of 100,000 inhabitants occupy about 4 kilometres in diameter, the vertical cities will have only one. They will be skyscraper centres that will gather everything you need in your day to day.
In this way, the distances will be reduced and it will be possible to walk anywhere; cars will not be used and there will be less traffic; the use of renewable energies will be facilitated and more space will be returned to nature. As a result, energy savings of up to 75% and a reduction of 90% in polluting emissions are expected. So far, several projects have emerged in the world that row in this direction. An example? The Shanghai Tower in China, 632 meters and 128 floors.
Cohousing: an alternative to buying and renting
Beyond the architectural aspects, the houses of the future will also experience changes in property. And nowadays, apart from the sale and rental, alternatives have emerged. One of the trends that are emerging with more force are housing cooperatives, identified with cohousing anglicism, emerged to combat the high rental prices that plague the real estate market and the persistent fear of mortgaging.
Cooperative housing in transfer of use is an alternative model that is based on collective ownership. In other words: the members are collective owners through the cooperative and have the right to use the home ”.
The key to the model is the collective response to a basic need through self-organization and the promotion of affordable and self-managed housing. Therefore, cohousing has two essential pillars: collective ownership and the right to use. Collective property because the homes belong to the cooperative while its members can make an indefinite and transferable use of them in exchange for a returnable initial entry of 9,000 euros, and an affordable monthly fee of between 450 and 500 euros.
Currently, they have finished the first cooperative housing project in transfer of use in Barcelona, where the user partners already reside. The key to the model is to give a collective response to the shared need for housing based on the values of the social and solidarity economy and collective and participatory management.
All these trends, in short, open the door to a new reality for consumers. A future that could facilitate construction processes, promote greater efficiency and sustainability and facilitate access to housing.