For many years now, there have been reports of the housing shortage in the UK. A combination of lack of existing availability and not enough new houses being built has led to spiraling costs, with many people being effectively priced out of the market.
The knock-on effect of this has been that many who would prefer to buy have found themselves having to rent instead. While this has many advantages, such as being flexible and meaning the landlord is responsible for upkeep and repairs, homeownership is generally regarded as being a better option in the long term.
But there is some quite encouraging news for anyone wanting to get on the property ladder and that is that technology is starting to come to the rescue in reducing the costs of building, running and buying homes.
More efficient building techniques
It’s estimated that it costs anything between £1,800 and £3,000 per m2 to build a new house in the UK. But advances in construction methods may well soon start to see this figure fall. For example, some builders are starting to rely on 3D printer technology to create modular units produced in a factory and joined together to create homes at a fraction of the cost of more traditional methods.
Another less obvious factor in the future could come with the future adoption of driverless cars. A study by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology suggests that these will need less road space and smaller driveways and garages, meaning smaller plots will be needed for homes – without compromising interior space.
Greater energy efficiency
Running homes can be expensive, too, especially those that are not very energy efficient. Again, technology is coming to the rescue. New manufacturing techniques mean that glass is becoming ever more effective at insulating homes and the growth of so-called passive house building reduces energy usage to a minimum.
Similarly, the growth of innovative technologies like heat pumps, photovoltaic cells to capture solar energy, and domestic wind turbines is also set to cut the cost of running a home.
Finding the most affordable home loans
Of course, for the great majority of people, the most important aspect of being able to afford a home comes down to finding a mortgage that fits in with their budget. In the old days, this involved approaching banks and building societies in what could be a long and drawn-out process to find a mortgage that they would qualify for and which they could afford.
But today, online mortgage brokers such as Trussle use sophisticated technology to find a comprehensive range of affordable mortgage products and provide quotes virtually at the touch of a button. Often backed up by detailed information guides explaining everything people need to know about home-buying, the journey towards finding an affordable mortgage is streamlined.
So the future is definitely looking brighter for would-be homeowners, even though it might not be quite so rosy for rental landlords.