3-D Technology and Housing Market: A Game Changer?
A potential disruptor in home construction is the advent of 3-D printed homes. Not only does the use of 3-D printing obviate the current labor and supply shortages, causing an undersupply of available homes to purchase but also provides a more affordable market price for home buyers.
What is a 3-D printed home?
Picture courtesy interestingengineering.com
3-D printed homes are made by using substantial 3-D printers that are able to extrude concrete, plastic, or other building materials through nozzles in order to gradually build the house. These printers and, specifically, their nozzles, are able to move in multiple plains and are robust as they need to be able to operate outdoors on variable terrain.
While 3-D printed homes may be a novelty, they are considered to be the future of the construction industry. A typical 3-D printed two-bedroom home made of cement can take up to one day to be built. While estimates may vary, most agree that the 3-D printed home should last approximately 50 to 60 years.
Currently, there are 3-D printed buildings that have been designed to be biodegradable, for temporary accommodations, for use in disaster relief operations and other short-term housing.
Is 3-D printing a housing disruptor?
Picture courtesy architectural design
Recently, Realtor.com conducted a survey of over 3,000 adults across the country, finding that, overall, 42% of consumers, largely millennials (those born between 1981 and 1996) and Generation X members (those born 1965-1980), are aware of this technology and 66% surveyed indicated that they are willing to consider living in a printed home. Higher income urban consumers were more likely to live in a 3 D printed home. Only 16% of those surveyed indicate that they would never consider living in a 3-D printed home, and the demographics of this group were larger Baby Boomers, those born between 1946 to 1964, and the Silent Generation, those born between 1928 to 1945. The Silent Generation indicated that they prefer the aesthetics of a traditional home as the main drawback to 3-D printing.
The three reasons why those surveyed indicated that they would live in a 3-D printed home included cost, energy efficiency, and higher resistance to natural disasters. At the same time, those who were hesitant to embrace this technology indicated an uncertainty as to the long-term viability of the technology.
Regardless of opinion, all surveyed recognized that 3-D home construction is not only an alternative but also complements current construction methods. Further, most surveyed, especially Millennials and Gen Xers, as well as urban and higher income consumers, believe that 3-D home construction is the future of home building.
Florida’s first 3-D printed house, a three- bedroom, two- bathroom home, is located in Tallahassee.
One company constructing 3-D printed home, ICON, is planning 3-D printed homes for housing at all income levels. In particular, ICON, is currently constructing a 3-D printed home community on 51-acres called Community First! Village that will house approximately 480 formerly homeless people in Austin, Texas. The 3-D printed homes will be 400 square feet. ICON is also building its first mainstream residential project, offering up to 2,000 square feet 3-D printed two-story single-family homes in Austin.
Real Estate Agents and 3-D Printed Homes
Picture Courtesy© Ron Ulp
A Patchogue, NY based construction tech company, SQ4D, is the first to offer a 3-D printed house for sale on MLS. Realty Connect USA had a 1,400 square foot house in Riverhead, NY in January for $299,999—by March, the house had a buyer and gone under contract over asking price-even though the house had not even been printed yet.
Options and Alternatives
3-D home construction is evolving, and yet complements traditional home construction which is currently hampered by heightened labor and supply shortages due to the pandemic. 3-D home pricing appeals across demographics and is considered a more affordable option. Will it eventually be a construction disrupter? Time will tell but at least home buyers will have options.
Should you have a real estate legal issue, our team at Oppenheim Law may be reached at 954-384-6114. Should you need assistance with a real estate purchase or sale, our title company, Weston Title & Escrow, Inc. can be reached at 954-384-6168.
From the Trenches