European Market for Off-Site Built Housing Gains Momentum

By Chris Meyers

Prefabricated housing is an industry on the rise in Europe.

Over the coming years it is projected to grow significantly, and more companies are setting their sights on this expanding market. Due to Europe’s growing need for affordable housing, cheaper and more energy-efficient options are being explored. This rise in demand is driving the industry toward an increasingly lucrative but also increasingly competitive market.

Some have begun to tap into the European market’s potential, with groups such as Volumetric Building Company, ilke Homes, and Ecoworks all taking steps to grow their presence there.

In the United Kingdom, manufacturing of prefabricated homes has taken off, too, with British manufacturer ilke Homes announcing 100 million euros in new equity investments, equivalent to $106.86 million. That is on top of the explosive growth the company has seen in the last few years. Tophat, another British builder, is establishing a massive new facility that, once it is completed in 2023, will produce up to 4,000 homes a year and employ up to 1,000 people. Running smoothly, this facility could produce one home every hour. Once completed, it will be the largest modular home facility in Europe, covering an area of 650,000 square feet.

Europe’s demographic and economic landscape is changing, with an influx of migrants into the continent coupled with its ongoing energy crisis. This has produced a demand for more homes, as well as demand to make them more energy efficient. Not only is the demand for factory-built housing rising, but European homeowners and landlords are looking for ways to make their pre-existing homes less of a financial burden.

For example, German construction company Ecoworks has begun retrofitting homes to retain heat better. It replaces old facades and roofs with prefabricated segments, ones that insulate much more effectively. In June 2022, Ecoworks raised 7.7 million euros in funding, which is equivalent to $8.23 million. With Germany’s high inflation rate and energy prices, demand for affordable and efficient homes is likely to grow substantially in the coming years.

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