Space Requirements in Different Countries
This article sums up some learnings that we gathered with a tool for calculating the price of a prefab house (https://houseprice.creatomus.com/).
The tool, aimed at private customers, is a kind of “wizard” that allows users to quickly specify their “wishes” for a dream home and to get a price estimate. Over the course of 11 months, this wizard helped us to collect over 4000 different user generated configurations. We wanted to be able to look at this data and see which are the most popular requirements in a given country and which are the trends one can spot.
With this tool we had two primary goals:
- empower people to get an idea of the cost of building a new home, without having to go through a prefab-home manufacturer
- collect a reliable statistic of what people really want to build
Looking at the data we can see how people in different locations expect different things when it comes to a living place.
With this tool we asked people to configure their ideal home by choosing:
- the number of floors;
- the shape of the roof;
- the size of the windows;
- the number of bedrooms;
- the size of the kitchen;
- the size of the living room;
- the number of bathrooms;
- the size of the storage space.
Their choices also allowed us to calculate the overall size of their dream home. Interestingly enough, we found that people in different countries value different aspects of a home and look for different things.
For a Real-estate Developer, this information is extremely valuable. In fact, knowing exactly what people want in a certain area, can make the difference between making no money or selling properties for a premium price and earn a fortune.
Let's dive deeper into the data and let's have a look at how the preferences differ, country by country.
Number of floors
Without the shade of a doubt, most Swedish like one-floor homes. In fact, 61.5% of them choose this option in the configurator.
It might be quite surprising to discover that their neighbors do not agree at all on this preference. Data show that 75% of Norwegian people want a house with 2 or more floors.
While the hearth of people in the United Kingdom, the Netherlands and Ireland are split 50-50 between one and two-floor houses, Germany joins Sweden with a strong preference for one-floor homes and Belgium joins Norway, preferring taller houses.
Shape of the roof
Flat roofs are trending strongly in Belgium, where over 50% of people want one.
They are definitely not a thing in Ireland, Germany and in the United Kingdom, where less than 20% of people would get one over their heads.
Germans express a strong preference for slated roofs while Irish folks prefer pitched ones.
People in the United Kingdom and Belgium are equally fond of slanted and pitched roofs.
Complex roofs are appealing mostly to Norwegians.
Size of windows
Everyone seems to agree that windows have to be huge. People in Norway, the Netherlands,Belgium and Sweden lead the way with a preference for “huge” windows well above 40%.
Natural light is important and, especially in the Nordic countries, people are very sensitive to this topic.
Ireland has a marked preference for “large” windows and the United Kingdom, while still preferring large and huge windows, registers 26% of people who are looking for windows of regular size.
Number of bedrooms
There is no doubt: Norwegians like it big.
While all other countries register a top preference for 3 bedrooms, 51% of people in Norway chose architectural layouts with 4 bedrooms.
Germany registers 32% preference for two-bedroom house and Belgium leads the group of one-bedroom homes with almost 22% of people subscribing to that idea.
Size of the kitchen & living room
One might think that who wants a large kitchen is happy with a regular living room (and vice-versa).
Data shows that the only two countries subscribing to this concept are the Netherlands and Sweden.
Swedish folks prefer a large kitchen and a regular living room while Dutch people want large living rooms and regular kitchens.
Ireland, Germany and Belgium are big fans of “all regular” and people in the United Kingdom and Norway are perfectly happy “all big”.
Once again Norwegians stand out with over 50% of people opting for large living rooms AND large kitchens.
Number of bathrooms
When it comes to bathrooms, data show that every country has is own - clear - preferences.
It also shows that only a small percentage of the population wants more than two bathrooms.
Norwegians have a strong preference for two bathrooms while most people in the Netherlands, Germany, Belgium and Sweden are perfectly happy with just one.
Everyone agrees there should be storage space in the bedrooms.
Anyway, nearly 20% of the population would prefer a dedicated room for storage.
Area of the house
As a result of the choices described above, each country ends up having a different size for what can be defined as the “ideal home”.
In Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden the optimal size for a house is between 75 and 100 square meters.
In the United Kingdom, Ireland, Norway people want larger dwellings and the largest preference is for homes between 100 and 125 square meters.
Looking at the market demand can help to design architectural solutions that are highly appealing to potential customers, thus allowing for quick selling at premium prices.
Our mission is to empower Real-estate developers to:
- make better decisions using consumers' data
- offer better price points to their clients, using mass-customization techniques for design and factory production.
With this study, we believe we just tapped into the huge potential of demand-driven design. We are at the beginning of a new era in construction.
“This post was written with the support of the European Union European Regional Development Fund, in the frame of the project “PuitAIT vol3 House Machine”