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Prefab home predictions for 2020

2019 was a big year for prefabricated homes. Not only were Westpac the first bank to offer special home loans for buyers building an affordable prefab home but prefab was further reinforced as the potential solution for the current housing crisis. With so much having happened already where does the future of prefab lie, and what predictions are people in the industry making for 2020?

Well, aside from continuing to be a lesser-known way for people to build quality yet affordable housing, we can expect to see a number of trends from overseas trickle into the New Zealand prefab housing market. Prefab home buyers can be typically categorised as being ahead of the curve, and not as swayed by populist opinion. This means they can be at the cutting edge of market trends, and unique in their needs. We see this heavily reflected in the trends we anticipate in the market for next year.

So, without further delay, let's dive into some to the top trends we expect to see for prefabricated homes in 2020.

Confusion remains

Transportable, prefab, modular, and kitset are all terms often used interchangeably with prefabricated and we don't see this changing anytime soon. With everyone trying to make their way of working sound revolutionary there are people within the industry helping to cause confusion! One generation called anything that was semi-prepared offsite and delivered on a truck kitset, so the next often think this is any house that is put together from a kit. Likewise, people often think transportable means it was transported to the site, whereas others think it's only transportable if it can be easily transported off again in the future.

Ultimately we don't think the water will be any less muddy in 2020 but we know that savvy consumers will do their research and find the best solution for their needs in amongst the myriad option.

Sustainability rules

Prefab home buyers know that prefab is quicker, cheaper, easier and more cost-effective. But just because it ticks so many boxes doesn't mean it's able to rest on its laurels. In order for prefabricated homes to truly be the perfect housing solution, they also need to be sustainably focused and this extends beyond the building process.

From ethically sourced materials to a low carbon footprint across the house's whole lifespan, we anticipate that prefabricated houses will need to step up in a way that traditionally built houses can't - with the added challenge of achieving sustainability whilst also being low-cost. Whereas this may seem like an impossible task prefabrication has many tricks up its sleeve that may make this achievable in 2020.

Because Genius Homes houses are built in a factory many of the commonly used materials, like insulation and timber, can be bulk bought. That's partly how Genius Homes can use insulting material like glasswool, a recycled material, as standard.

Combine that with insulation made to withstand the middle of a South Island winter, and also a South Island summer, and you'll see that sustainability in materials and energy consumption are already on our radar. We just need to keep pushing to deliver even more into 2020.

Living and earning

House prices only seem to be heading one way, and even if your mortgage is manageable the cost of living isn't going to be any cheaper as the years progress. This is why more homeowners are looking at ways for their greatest asset to also be their biggest earner or saver.

From designing their home's floorplan so it can be sectioned off for guests during the holiday season to building a separate dwelling into the same title there is a multitude of ways for a savvy home builder to reduce mortgage payments and earn their way into a more comfortable retirement. It's also just savvy money management. If you own a holiday home in the South Island then having it earn you a few hundred dollars a night with a guest using it when you are not, gives you more financial freedom without the credit card debt.

And because a prefab home is often cheaper to build than a kitset or plan-built home you might see a return on your investment even sooner than you thought.

Designed for life

Another area where we expect prefab to make significant changes in 2020 is in the design of the homes. Long gone are the days where people would happily accept a boxy, unimaginative design to see the benefits of quick build times and low-stress building. Now people want to see an architecturally designed home arriving on the back of a truck, and at a fraction of the price of a top-brand home with the designer looks.

Prefab can do this but it relies on the manufacturers to take risks that might not pay off. Design can't be appreciated until it's seen, which means investing the resources into designers to create pieces that might not be appealing, but that's what the future holds for prefab. Buyers want a home that looks like it came from a boutique architect, and they also want to boast to their friends how little they paid for it. Prefab is uniquely positioned to deliver this utopia.

Because the homes are so much cheaper to start with adding architect's fees would still keep the price below most standard plans, the real challenge comes from finding architects that can design with a prefab mindset at the forefront.

These homes also need to be practical, easy to look after and build. Part of the reason many people choose prefab homes is that they're less stress to build. That can't disappear with rounds and rounds of design revisions.

We do expect to see more beautiful, modern prefab homes coming in 2020, and we anticipate that any prefab builder that doesn't prioritise design, and sustainability, might be left behind.

With prefab home designs being affordable, modern, customisable and sustainable which reflect the latest demand trends, it's no wonder they're soaring in popularity. Check out our current range of prefab house options by downloading our latest brochure

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