Mortgage Intelligence Update: The revival of the prefabricated home

Product Development Manager Nathan Reilly reflects on the up and coming trend of prefabricated homes.

What we associate with prefabricated homes has come a long way in recent years. Previously thought of as cheap post war buildings, they were built en-mas lacking character and individuality.

Yet modern day prefabricated homes are now recognised for their unique and modern design, energy efficiency and advanced technology. Prefabricated homes are becoming widely accessible even to the point where you can now order your new home online.

What exactly are prefabricated homes?

Prefabricated homes are a type of specialist building, which are manufactured offsite in panels, modules or transportable sections of the full structure. These sections are then shipped and assembled onsite to make the final construction where the foundations will have been laid.

How can they help?

Many people aspire to build their very own dream home, but decide it is unachievable. However, prefabricated homes are making this goal more attainable by helping people avoid the lengthy, complex and expensive process of building a home from scratch.

Some even suggest prefabricated homes may contribute to solving the housing crisis. At a time when we require 250,000 new homes a year, with only 130,000 being constructed, the efficient nature of a prefabricated construction may be preferred. Prefabricated homes may be produced twice as fast as traditional constructions, due to the fact that whilst the foundations are laid on site, the house is being built in the factory.

So what’s the catch?

One of the main problems with this style of home is finding the land to build it on. Clear building sites are few and far between, especially in the south of England. For this reason many self-builders are choosing to buy a house and knock it down, making the process of building prefabricated homes less time efficient and cost effective.

There is also the issue of planning permission, as the modern structure of prefabricated homes are likely to be too distinct from surrounding homes. But, they may be favoured by some local authorities due to their design status and environmental benefits.

It is worth noting that because prefabricated homes aren’t typically considered to be of standard construction, some mortgage lenders may have certain restrictions when lending against them. This will all depend on valuer’s comments, warranties and the location of the property.

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