September 28, 2021

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Mortgage News

New eco-friendly modular homes aim to cut construction time by 80%

Van Meter Homes, a construction company serving Loudoun, Fairfax, Fauquier, Frederick and Prince William counties of Northern Virginia, announced the launch of its modular POWERhaus range. The houses are equipped with clean energy technology, such as magnetic induction cooking systems, charging points for electric cars and solar panels to bring every home to net zero energy consumption.

The range of factory-built houses is designed for “plug-and-play” construction in which every room on the construction site is connected. This reduces construction waste, as bulk goods can be ordered for the exact dimensions of the pods. Prefabricated houses tend to be sold at a lower price than traditional single-family homes because of the lower construction costs – a major problem right now, limiting the activity of home builders. Though wood futures came down from an all time high in May they remain inflated compared to historical norms.

The prefabricated houses take less than two months to build – a sharp contrast to the average of about seven months for a single-family home, according to the US Census Bureau.

“Since we’ve only built a prototype so far, the goal was to first figure out how to create a seamless process ‘in the field’ and ‘in the factory’ that could run simultaneously,” said Glenn Forester, Van Meter’s VP of Marketing, said NMN. “Once we do it, our ultimate construction time target will be between 30 and 45 days.”

Lending for prefabricated houses has gained traction in recent years and was increasingly taking as a potential solution the ongoing housing shortage. Earlier this year, JPMorgan Chase funded $ 488 million in commercial mortgage-backed securities to an industrial real estate operator Horizon Land Co., while Cascade Financial sponsored $ 162.7 million in manufactured home loan backed securities.

Van Meter currently has no plans to build outside of the state, but the region is ripe for more housing. Northern Virginia home sales – including Arlington and Fairfax counties – rose 63.8% year over year in May, versus the national rate of 44.6%, according to the Northern Virginia Association of Realtors. Homes also sold faster, going off the market in 13 days, compared to the US average of 17 days.

“Activity is brisk and there is no sign of subsiding. The federal government and an emerging technology industry are making our housing market even more resilient, ”said Ryan McLaughlin, CEO of NVAR.