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Owners, tenants values’ shift back to basics

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Lifestyle trends are evident and will be in play over the next 10 years

Climate change, resource depletion, collaborative consumption, geopolitical and economic shifts in the US, Europe, Asia and Brics countries, and the 4th Industrial Revolution are radically changing the way we live, work, learn and play, says futurist Merle O’Brien.

This is especially true in Africa’s rising urban environments. “Demographic and generational societal changes mean value shifts among new buyers, sellers, tenants and players in the property eco-system.”

These shifts include connected living, space optimisation, “back to basics” simplicity from big status symbols, and “life tribe” co-habitation. Certain lifestyle trends are evident, and will be in play over the next decade.

O’Brien notes these lifestyle trends to be:

◆Smart home automation which connects all a home’s devices and appliances.

◆Companies like Apple, Google and Samsung are leading a trend to enable your car to talk to your appliances, turn your fridge into a bank and re-order food based on package expiry dates.

◆A rise in homegrown plant-based eating, which means less carbon and energy is used for big fridges and packaging.

◆More value being placed on boreholes, ground water security for food gardens, and good soil versus pools, paving and garages.

◆People entertaining at home versus eating out at restaurants.

◆New, compact home appliances like Dolfi ultra-sonic hand-size cleaning appliances which may replace bulky washing machines and dishwashers.

◆Water scarcity brings steam-misted showers versus flowing tap water.

◆Lifestyle shifts, most notably seen among millennials and Generation Z, mean changes to our future homes, from private family residences to multifamily, multi-generational living.

ON THE MOVE Mobile camper homes are beginning to gain more attention. Picture: Volker Glätsch

◆Millennials and GenZ are less ambitious about property ownership, preferring to travel, rent and share.

◆Tenant co-sharing is on the rise, especially single parents with children living between parents’ homes.

◆Themed security estates catering for different “life tribes”, such as graduate students, start-up entrepreneurs, and retirement villages.

◆Mobile camper homes are gaining more attention as eco-energy homes use green design technology. O’Brien says mobile, on-the-go living is rising globally and vehicles such as the old VW Kombi will make a comeback in 2022.

MACHINE MADE 3D printed homes are a possibility. Picture: Lutz Peter

“There are also ways to maximise nature’s ability to deal with waste, heat, cooling, water, food, and circulation.” Building materials will change, with 3D printed homes offering “great promise” to address Africa’s housing shortages.

“Materials that could revolutionise future buildings will include hemp, wood pulp and fungi.” The next decade will also see upmarket designer container home configurations. “Floating docks, houseboats and OPod homes along canals are on the drawing board.”

Forms of home ownership will also evolve, from sole buyers to co-ownership options via blockchain, co-operatives, trusts and corporate pension schemes building their own villages for workers.

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