2018 was a difficult year for the home building industry. The recent decline in mortgage rates has encouraged an increase in the number of people building new homes. Despite this, the demand for new houses in 2019 has far exceeded supply, with many home builders unable to keep up. This is due to factors such as rising construction costs and a shortage of skilled workers, as well as insufficient lots available to build on.
In the past decade, the home building industry has seen significant developments. Sustainability and technology are two keys areas that continue to rapidly expand. In order to stay on top of demand, as well as remain competitive, home builders must continually improve their processes and adapt their offerings to suit the market. Here are some areas where builders are shifting with trends in 2019:
This has been a big trend with new homebuyers in recent years, which is likely to continue. The shift towards energy-efficient homes has seen builders adopting new building materials and processes.
More and more new homes are being built with solar energy systems. While solar power still has its detractors, it has strong ecological and financial benefits. Some companies have even started manufacturing prefabricated homes with solar panels built into the structure of the house. This system is even more affordable than adding solar panels to typical home construction. Many new home buyers insist on solar power, and some states are even making it mandatory for new home constructions.
Sustainable and eco-friendly materials are becoming more popular, especially as they become more affordable. They can offer benefits over traditional materials such as improved insulation, breathability, simpler construction methods and lessened impact on the environment. Hempcrete is one example, which is manufactured from the core of hemp plants and lime which is used as a binder. Although materials such as Hempcrete often require approval for each construction project, the increase in builders using such materials will likely lead to changes in regulations, allowing more widespread use.
The way homes are built is constantly changing and evolving with the emergence of new technology and materials. Computer software developments are also helping builders to streamline their processes and complete construction projects more efficiently.
Prefabricated solutions are on the rise. Constructing all or part of a dwelling and assembling it on-site is often much faster and often more affordable than traditional methods. Whilst this is nothing new in itself, recent technological advances are making it possible to construct prefabricated homes that are structurally and stylistically on-par with traditionally constructed homes. In addition, many of these houses are designed to be eco-friendly and energy-efficient, utilising modern design principles and materials.
Advances in robotics and 3D printing are making it possible to build houses in a matter of days, rather than months. In many countries around the world, new start-ups are emerging to push the boundaries of design, speed of construction and affordability. Brick-laying robots and massive concrete-dispensing 3D printers could become more widespread in the future, as the demand for affordable housing continues to rise.
The housing market is likely to remain fraught with challenges for both home buyers and builders for years to come. Current trends in sustainability and technology present some hope, however. The face of the home building industry may be almost unrecognisable in another decade’s time. The way houses are built in the future could create a lot more business for home builders, and make the dream of homeownership accessible to many more people.