By Frances Traynor
14th February 2018
Thu 26 Oct 2017 by Frances Traynor
Could a new style of "naked" housing revolutionise the UK's property market to make homes more affordable for first-time buyers? A popular concept in other parts of the world, this model of housing is essentially providing a shell of a property with basic utilities installed – and that's it.
Having the bare necessities in place allows the prospective buyer to secure a mortgage on what is essentially a shell, allowing them to buy at a lower price and fit out their new home in the style they want and can afford.
Last month London mayor Sadiq Khan gave a welcome boost to the concept when he announced he'd be subsidising a development of 22 basic apartments in north London to the tune of £500,000.
Naked House are the not-for-profit developers aiming to provide an affordable option for buyers priced out of London homes – in the capital, the average price of a home is £580,000 while the average London salary is around £48,000.
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Their development in Enfield is on the site of derelict council-owned garages – back in March, Homeward Legal looked at how garages could be utilised to deal with the lack of affordable housing across the UK, not only in London.
Naked House, working with architects OMMX on their first project, say they have three priorities in their pioneering development: affordability, a bottom-up process of doing the work themselves where possible and building a community. Their apartments, when complete, will sell for between £150,000 and £340,000 and will be a basic shell with a working sink the only "extra" added. Buyers will then have to add flooring, internal walls, kitchen and bathroom units.
So-called "shell" houses consist of external walls and essential services but save money on leaving the actual fitting out of the property to the new owner. This emphasis on minimal design keeps costs down and brings the property within the financial reach of those currently priced out of buying.
Basic housing might not be everyone's idea of a dream home, but with demand continuing to outstrip supply across the UK and prices rising beyond the reach of many first-time buyers, it seems clear there is a place for innovation such as this in providing more affordable options.
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