Exclusive minutes from Propteq Europe 2018 session: Superheroes of Residential Innovation
Residential Proptech: Hybrid estate agencies
Attendee: Property is a slow asset class to incorporate technology, due to lack of standardisation. Another issue is chasing up documents and progress. This could be solved through automation.
Crowdfunding through Blockchain
Attendee: From a residential point of view, there is still the issue of participation of local authorities. Land registry may be digitalised by 2030 in the UK and until that happens, blockchain may struggle. RICS suggest it is a big call to digitalise it and will be a challenge.
Who are the superheroes?
Attendee: The ‘superheroes’ of innovation are those that are slashing construction costs in residential buildings. 3D printing is a new concept that can reduce these costs. Chinese company is building a 1.5m housing unit in Saudi Arabia and have managed to reduce construction costs to $140 per sq meter. It takes 48h to build one housing unit.
Attendee: RICS is keen on backing modular buildings to tackle housing in UK. One company converts offices into micro-apartments around suburbs. Apartments of this nature can be made smaller in London to make them more affordable.
Attendee: The concept of co-living could also improve the rental market, but it is a commercial venture, not residential. Difficult because you need to buy a whole building and get permission. 10% of those over 50 years old would rather share a home than be in a nursing home. More needs to be done for the older generation.
Attendee: There is also a huge problem for families who need more space, as some people do not have financial support from parents, so it is limited on what they can afford to rent or buy. There is not much being done for those in between parents’ home and having a career that can afford your own home.
PropTech startup: Institutional investment into residential PropTech is important. This gives security to the buyer. American pension funds’ capital is entering the UK more. OakTree capital is a big American pension fund and are powering billions of pounds worth of development in London, which is a relatively new concept.
Estate agency model in the future?
Attendee: There may be a slow move to online or hybrid models from high street estate agents. There may be differences in rentals & sales. Not many people would buy and sell houses through an online interface, but the hybrid model may seem to work well.
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