- AI and hyper-automation
- Rising house prices
- Decision intelligence
- People returning to city centres
- Privacy–enhancing computation
- Short-term lets continue to be popular
- Virtual assistance
Keeping up to date with the latest movements and trends in the UK housing sector isn’t an easy task. From changes to house prices to the latest disruptive technology, it’s not surprising that monitoring housing sector trends can sometimes be slightly overwhelming – where do you even start?
There is a constant flow of new information when it comes to the housing sector, which is why we have put together this handy list of the latest housing trends to follow. You’ll notice an emphasis on technology and IT trends on this list. This is down to the fact that the Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated our appetite in the housing sector for new technologies, as housing providers look at new ways to inform decision-making and gather information more effectively.
So, without further ado, let’s take a look at the key housing sector trends you should be mindful of.
Artificial intelligence and hyper-automation
In recent years, artificial intelligence (AI) has shown why it’s a useful technology for housing providers when it comes to predicting certain patterns in tenant behaviour, such as which tenants will fall short of their rent payments. This success will undoubtedly see it expand into other areas, including repairs and maintenance.
For example, housing providers can use predictive forecasting coupled with AI to determine when maintenance is likely to be needed, when there will be peaks in responsive repairs and when other issues may occur following an already reported problem.
Rising house prices
Unsurprisingly, one of the biggest housing sector trends at the moment is the continuing rise in house prices. Record-high property prices, alongside high mortgages and inflation, mean it’s becoming harder for people in the UK to afford a home. Unfortunately, this is unlikely to change anytime soon.
According to the Office for National Statistics, the average UK house price was £292,000 in July 2022, which is £39,000 higher than this time last year.
Decision intelligence (DI) is the application of AI to the decision-making process of all areas in a particular business. Within the housing sector, this trend could lead to more innovative ways of collecting data, bringing asset, tenancy and health data together to spot patterns.
This could come in many forms, but here are two potential ways that really grabbed our attention.
- More smart appliances: Whether it’s smart kettles, cookers or televisions, the introduction of more smart appliances in the homes of vulnerable tenants could create more tailored care. It’s also a good way of monitoring their behaviour to ensure they’re safe (if they’re comfortable sharing such information).
- Smart wearables: In the future, could we see smart glasses being worn by housing officers? It could help them conduct more efficient and accurate inspections by taking photos and recordings.
People returning to city centres
During the Covid-19 pandemic, people flocked to the British countryside and remote areas in search of more space. However, a housing trend we are seeing lately is that more homebuyers are now returning to the hustle and bustle of city centres.
This perhaps shows that once again people are considering location and proximity to amenities, which will invariably see demand for housing rise in urban areas and push prices up.
Sustainability is high on the agenda in the sector at the moment and is likely to remain that way forever more – and for good reason. As we all do our bit to meet net-zero emission targets, housing providers will rely more on new technology.
Internet of things devices could be used to measure the success of environmentally-friendly installations in homes and see whether it’s had a positive effect or not. This could save businesses and tenants time and money.
Housing providers could then be sure that the information provided by tenants is accurate and up-to-date.
Short-term lets continue to be popular
A rapidly changing housing market and growing concerns over the rise in the cost of living have meant that short-term lets are becoming more popular, as people seem unwilling to commit to longer-term options. While costs are so high, short-term rentals tend to be a safe bet, as people can bide their time and wait to see how things unfold over the coming months and into 2023.
This housing sector trend could help to reduce unnecessary call-outs for repair teams, who will be able to diagnose problems remotely through a smart device that’s installed in the tenants’ home and accessed through an app.
With the tenants’ permission, this could also help to reduce wasted visits, by being able to know whether anybody is in the property before the repair team arrives.
Housing sector trends are changing all the time, but one thing is for certain is that the role of technology in the sector is going to become even more prevalent in the years to come. The time to embrace technology is now, which is why we encourage you to start thinking about how you can use technology to improve your business.
At ROCC, we specialise in providing comprehensive and configurable IT housing systems and solutions that enable your business to succeed and grow. Whether it’s our social housing software, our fully comprehensive business intelligence and predictive analytics software or process optimisation tools, we may have a housing technology solution for you.