Apparently, many major construction companies such as Taylor Wimpey, Persimmon, Berkeley and Your Housing are considering the introduction of ‘prefab’ homes within their developments.
This change is apparently being encouraged by the shortage of skilled labour in the UK. According to figures, around 12% of construction employees in the UK actually come from abroad. Therefore, the UK relies heavily on European workers, especially in London where figures of foreign workers are even higher.
Apparently, Brexit, “threatens the flow of skilled labour” at a time in which there is a housing shortage. To compensate, “offsite construction” will allow for entire homes to be built in factories. These can then be transported to the site on trucks and finally bolted together. This would, in the long run, require minimal labour in comparison to traditional methods. However, it will require a large initial investment.
The chairman at Berkeley described: “the construction industry has been doing some things the same way for hundreds of years.”
“Historically, we had the labour… But the challenge is different now.”
This year, Berkeley are producing their first prefabricated homes. In the “short to medium term,” they aim to have ten to fifteen percent of their homes built in this way.
Currently, ‘prefab’ homes are of the same standard as traditional methods. However, due to the upfront costs, they currently cost a lot more. Apparently though, as popularity grows, there is the likelihood that these steep prices will drop.
It is likely that the builder’s will be the ones to suffer in all of this though, as they will still need to offer homebuyers competitive prices.
So what do you think? Could you be impacted by this? Let us know in the comments below.