The age of the iceberg house: how to create space by going underground

iceberg house Photo Credit: via Compfight cc

There is no doubt about, new-build homes are getting increasingly smaller. This has been backed by recent research, which has revealed that a staggering 80% of all aspiring buyers would prefer not to invest in a new-build property, citing size and a perceived lack of charm and character as the central reasons for this.

This set of circumstances is hardly being helped by the current property market, which is hamstrung by a noticeable lack of housing supply in terms of listed homes. As a result of this, the government is looking to commission even more new-build property projects, although the lack of space means that these homes are likely to be even smaller than usual.

The Emergence of Iceberg Homes: What are they and what do they mean for the market?

The impact of this is inevitable, as home-owners have responded by seeking out increasingly innovative solutions to their lack of space. While these have included hidden and compact storage solutions, those living in the capital have unearthed the genius idea of utilising the space underneath their homes. Largely untapped by private firms and government unofficial, this type of development is commonly referred to an ‘iceberg home’ and it has the potential to revolutionise the UK property market over time.

As the House Network has also discussed, however, this type of development can also have an instantaneous effect on the London market. Initially, it can add considerable value to your property, essentially creating an additional tier to the home and enabling the development of considerable space. With a larger living area and greater functionality throughout the home, London properties will suddenly offer more value to buyers and create space in a metropolis that is typically tight and compact.

The Last Word: Will Iceberg Houses become Prominent throughout the UK?

Despite the ingenuity and considerable potential surrounding iceberg houses, this type of development faces a challenge if it is to have a long-term impact on the British real estate. More specifically, developers and home-owners in the affluent West London region must fight back after the local authorities in Kensington and Chelsea implemented new legislation that placed size restrictions on basement developments in all residential homes. The number of storeys is also subject to restrictions, making the future of iceberg structures uncertain.

This is not the case elsewhere, however, where permission for ‘iceberg’ developments is being granted nationwide. Although the majority of these relate to commercial structures (such as Grand Design’s innovative new underground nightclub, for example), it is logical that we will soon see iceberg homes adorning the residential streets of Britain’s most developed cities.

 * This is a collaborative post *


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