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Ikea's affordable housing could soon arrive in the UK



Worthing, a city in southern England, is considering a plan to work with developer BoKlok, a joint venture between Ikea and Swedish construction company Skanska.

The development would be the first of BoKlok in the United Kingdom since a previous project crash flat during the global financial crisis. The group, whose name for "live smart" is Swedish, has built more than 11,000 homes throughout Sweden, Finland and Norway.

By building houses in a factory and assembling them quickly, the project could suggest a way to ease acute housing construction bottlenecks that push up prices until they are out of reach of average earners. An innovative sales model that burdens customers with their financial resources could trigger further changes in the market.

The proposal for Worthing, which will undergo a more detailed financial analysis in the coming months, describes an unusual model of affordable housing.

BoKlok would build around 1

60 houses on land rented by the local council, with 30% of the units intended for public housing, as published on the Internet. The first apartments could be occupied within two years.

The remainder would be operated by the "Left to Live" payment model of BoKlok, where residents only have to pay what they can afford after taxes and living expenses.

Payments – typically around a third of the monthly net income – are made for a 25-year mortgage.

  A representation of the BoKlok development in Worthing, which could be opened in 2021.

In a statement, local councilors said that the project would help Worthing quickly build homes that meet quality standards.

A spokesman told CNN Business that the modular housing of BoKlok – or homes made with out-of-the-box fixtures – would be particularly helpful in Worthing, which has limited land. In comparison to a traditional development approach, three times as many houses could be built in the area, he said.

Construction is scheduled to start in January 2021. The residents could move in already in April of this year.

BoKlok said in a statement that projects can not be confirmed at the moment, but is looking into potential locations in the UK, especially in the UK, southern and western parts of the country.

Ikea's influence

The BoKlok approach to affordable and sustainable housing relies heavily on Ikea's proven methods.

"BoKlok was designed according to the IKEA principle: large volumes, low prices," says a 2011 Skanska blog post. "Industrialized production and large volumes – repetitions – are reducing prices and time saved in planning. "

including land acquisition, factory production, site work, sales and marketing. This saves costs. In addition, BoKlok builds wood for the construction of houses and only buys land when it is known that it will soon be accessible.

This efficiency can be lucrative. In 2017, BoKlok accounted for about half of the homes Skanska sold in Sweden, and the company said the company had achieved "great" returns.


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