Homes by Ikea?

By 2010, 50% of all new homes will be built by just 10 national homebuilders, up from 36% today, say industry analysts (that’s a lot of influence). Why? As reported a few entries ago, most of our investment capital is held in large, corporate entities that only invest in other large corporate entities. Accepting this trend, there are two paths to steering this capital toward the readers of this site seeking urban, affordable, creative, unique, social, pedestrian-oriented places to live/work/hang out in: Invest in a real estate mutual fund model, or replace one of those 10 national homebuilders with companies who think like Ikea

Yes, Ikea’s getting into the homebuilding industry, starting in the UK and Scandinavian countries, with a company called Boklok. It doesn’t look like they have much corporate competition as far as their target market and values are concerned:

Their customers:
– “Small households
– Working people with average household earnings of around $25K-$50K per annum
– People who cannot access social housing
– First time buyers
– People who are currently priced out of the owner-occupied market or market rented sector in their chosen location”

Their design principles:
– “Inner courtyards and green space with fruit trees and seating
– Flexible open-plan layout
– High ceilings and large windows, giving the apartments a light, airy and contemporary feel”

The first prototypes are suburban and way too cookie cutter, but clearly have the potential for downtown urban development (the U.S. is one of the only countries that still depends on stick-frame construction), and certainly, it shows that their target market and product offering may be worth investing in on a very large, and yes, corporate scale.