203818-3afb1c82-1bbf-11e5-add4-7aceb8442fbe
  • THE AUSTRALIAN
  • JUNE 27, 2015 12:00AM

No longer the domain of mine sites and holiday parks, a new wave of modular home builders are taking inspiration from modular containers to create luxurious homes at an affordable price. Our CMD series modular foldable container are most available for the inspiration.

“We’re selling about four a month, and some of them are for granny flats, but most are people looking for a long-term home ­because they see it as an affordable alternative,” said Hitek Living ­Solutions founder Sanjay Goel.

The Indian-born businessman is the latest to join a wave of modular home builders capitalising on rising demand for affordable housing, with prefabricated homes that save on building and site costs.

“The homes are very well suited to provide a solution for the ­affordability crisis,” says Ingenia Communities chief executive Simon Owen. “I think we’ll see more and more that are targeting a young demographic.”

The proliferation of modular home parks for over-55s is stoking demand in the sector, but young buyers looking for homes and older home owners looking for an additional rental stream or overflow accommodation for adult children moving back in are providing a growing customer base.

Hitek’s prices start from $29,500 for a one-bedroom unit measuring 6m by 2.4m and go up to $170,000 for a four-bedroom pavilion with two bathrooms. ­Installation costs range between $20,000 to $25,000, including council approval, delivery and connection to services.

Other manufacturers, such as Fleetwood Homes, are nabbing customers with inclusions such as stonebenches, wooden floors and cyclone-grade construction.

“We’re doing more and more work in areas like the Gold Coast hinterland and upmarket areas,” says Fleetwood general manager Richard Pugh. “People are also ­realising there are gains in style and speed of delivery.”

Lynne Davies, a grandmother of 10, has bought a small block of land in Riverstone, 50km north of Sydney, on which she will install a 2.5 bedroom modular home as overflow accommodation for her children and grandchildren, for a complete price of $110,000. “At best, one of these homes will give us a place to have our grandchildren to come and stay. At worst, it will be a place where our children can come and live if they need a bit of help,” she says.

A mother of six, Ms Davies wants the home initially so that her youngest daughter and husband have somewhere to live rent-free when they have a baby, so they can get ahead on their mortgage. “Prices are so high at the moment that it doesn’t take much for someone to suddenly find themselves out of a home, or unable to afford their home,” she says.

“In time councils will see a huge benefit in structures like this, and more and more people will start to think of these first as primary dwellings.”

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