BoKlok – flat-pack housing?

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Do you, like so many people find yourself wanting to get onto the property ladder but simply cannot afford the practicality of buying your own home? If you are from the south west where the biggest deficit between average wage and house prices can be found then you could forgive yourself for being even more disheartened. Just remember that feeling when reading the following and perhaps you will take it that little bit more seriously.

Earlier in October of this year a new type of house went up for grabs on Tyneside, and costing £150,000 gave low income earners the chance to buy their own homes. The houses on offer are provided by the infamous home improvement store Ikea, and have aptly been nick named ‘flat-pack homes’.

The BoKlok – Swedish for live smart – structures as they are correctly known are timber framed and have low living costs. Each coming with a small plot of land and shared garden they are said to create unique communities and a safe environment that is particularly attractive to families.

Although new to the UK these properties are already well established in Sweden where they first appeared ten years ago in 1997. In 2002 they spread to Norway, the following year to Finland and then to Denmark in 2004, demonstrating the success of the BoKlok throughout Scandinavia. After the addition of the 92 square metre BoKlok villa in Sweden in 2005, it seems the planned apartments for Tyneside are yet another expansion of this popular housing product.

The initial sixty BoKlok houses being built in the UK will only be available to those earning between £15,000 and £35,000 who are not already homeowners. Although topping out at £150,000 there are a range of flats and townhouses available with up to three bedrooms from only £99,500.

As well as this initial build of sixty houses, approval has also been granted for a further 57 BoKlok properties on Tyneside. released on the 22 October, Alan Prole, Managing Director of Live Smart @ Home, the developer of the product said

“The first blocks of flats are already going up at St James and will be ready to move in to by the end of January next year, and now we will be able to build the houses, which will be particularly attractive to families,”

Although much is made of the lack of progress made by the government when it comes to affordable housing, I am glad to see one such innovative idea come out of the private sector that gives people the chance to get on the property ladder.

                    

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