My housing predictions for 2017

December 28th, 2016 by Brian Ham - Executive Director, Development in Corporate Blog

'Trends 2017' written on a piece of paper on a clipboard

There has been a lot said about the need to “build more homes”. This is true, and at Home Group we are committed to delivering at least 10,000 over the next 5 years.

It is also important that we do not forget to consider how and where these homes will be built, how we will innovate during the building process and how we will give customers the best experience when buying and living in them. 

As we count down to the New Year, I’ve reflected on what I would be most excited to see in 2017.

Bespoke design
This is more of a personal wish on behalf of consumers than a prediction. I would like to see an increase in bespoke design in 2017 – at all price points. Our philosophy is to be responsive to the surroundings in which we build our homes and this will see us build schemes that respond to this for example those inspired by barns in Essex and farm houses in Yorkshire next year.  

Consumer personalisation
Consumers are used to mass personalisation and customisation in retail, from the targeted advertising they receive, to the ability to buy anything with their name on. When you buy a new car, you can customise it to your exact requirements, we don’t see why this should be any different when buying a home. Watch this space!

Internet of things
The internet of things shows no signs of slowing down and will become more and more accessible and exciting from a consumer’s point of view when it comes to its use in the home. This year Hive announced its partnership with If This Then That – making homes smarter, more eco-friendly and convenient for the ways people live today. I predict many more announcements of this nature in 2017 as the smart home becomes a reality for more and more of us in the UK.

Regenerating to improve rather than maintain
We are at a point in housing history where regeneration is not about maintaining houses in ‘sink estates’, it is about creating places, improving homes and helping communities to thrive. In 2017 we will be working with some of the UK’s leading architects on regeneration projects in both urban and rural locations.

Innovative use of space
Whilst Hygge (the pursuit of cosiness) has been a trend in 2016 – 2017 is all about space and light. We know that, in many places, space is at a premium, and even when it isn’t, footprint is expensive. As an industry we need to continue to find different and innovative ways of giving people the space they want, without the cost.  We are looking at many ways to do this including raising ceilings a foot above standard in some houses. It’s not a massive cost – just an extra four courses of bricks can make all the difference for only a small cost us.  It’s about looking at the space you have differently – and always thinking, ‘how can we bring more space and light into this home?’

Modern methods of construction
2017 will see new methods of construction really take off as home builders look to new and different ways to build quickly. We are exploring these new methods for some of our sites.

Subscription economy
From films to flowers, we buy much of what we consume on subscription today – a trend that will continue into 2017. We will experiment with different ways of helping people to get onto the property ladder in 2017 – and whilst it isn’t ‘subscription’, our ‘graduated home ownership’ proposition will allow people to buy as they live in a property, rather than saving before they get a chance to move in.

All in all, 2017 seems to shaping as an exciting year for us, the industry and consumers.

Can we build it? Yes we can!