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New housing models 22/04/2017

The theme of the recent UDIA National Congress, Today’s Vision Tomorrow’s Reality, addressed the changing demographics and needs of homebuyers.

The theme of the recent UDIA National Congress, Today’s Vision Tomorrow’s Reality, addressed the changing demographics and needs of homebuyers.

From the expectations of millennials to the growing proportion of the population aged over sixty-five, as an industry we need to design and build places that are in line with what a range of buyer typologies are seeking.

There are several emerging trends that are a result of shifts in buyer expectations, including co-living, transitional housing and multi-generational housing.

It is useful for potential homebuyers to be aware of the different options becoming available to them on top of traditional housing models, to understand what might suit their own needs.

First, co-living is a trend that appeals to young singles and older generations alike, basically, anyone who is seeking a strong community.

Co-living developments feature small apartments or high-density living styles that offer buyers a one or two-bedroom residence with private bathroom and shared facilities such as kitchen, entertainment and living spaces.

The Collective Old Oak in London is the largest example of a co-living development in the world, with over 500 small apartments sharing a myriad of facilities including kitchens, laundrette, gym, spa, events space, lounges, roof terrace and outdoor spaces.

Co-living is becoming popular in Europe and America as an affordable and communityoriented living option, but is a relatively new phenomenon (outside of university campuses) here in Australia.

Transitional housing is an affordable housing option that allows buyers to bridge the gap between renting and purchasing their own home.

An example of a transitional housing model that is being promoted by Big World Homes, who are seeking funding, is a modular, mobile, o•-grid housing system made from structuralthermal-waterproof integrated panels.

The idea is that the homes will be able to be ordered online, and arrive flat-packed for building on a communal Big World Homes site over a few days, offering extremely affordable living options to buyers.

On the other end of the scale to the smaller living options I have outlined here, multi-generational housing is a model that provides space and flexibility for changing family dynamics within the one home.

This means that a home can be adapted for more or less people, at different stages of their lives, including features such as dual master suites, separate living spaces, or even separate entrances, second kitchens and even the option for a rental apartment within the family home.

There are a range of housing options emerging to suit buyers from different age groups, financial situations and lifestyles, and we are likely to see more innovative living solutions emerge in the coming years.

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