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This is a report of work by the Housing Forum on the application of information-age digital technologies with the potential to improve the quality and value of housing by harnessing consumer pull.


Housebuilders, surveyors, estate agents and designers need to be at the vanguard of a technology-lead revolution in housing that can help offer more choice, better quality and more energy efficient homes for a post-Facebook generation.

The digital age has transformed consumers’ experience in all aspects of life, from the way we shop, listen to music, work and communicate. But digital technology is yet to impact on housing and the house building industry, or help drive energy efficiency – one of the biggest challenges facing the building stock.

This is partly because demand outstrips supply of new homes, so there is not the pressure
on developers to innovate and offer genuine product differentiation as in other consumer goods.

Improving the quality of new homes, the choice available, and the whole purchasing experience would help get the public on the side of house building, reduce nimbyism and boost the popularity of new homes. As it is, surveys frequently reveal the public would rather live in houses built more than 100 years ago – despite older homes being less energy efficient and costlier to run.

We argue the Governments should take the bull by the horns and go further with this idea. Consumers should be much better informed about the implications of their choices before making house purchasing decisions and technology  is already available to make information more consumer friendly.

At the heart of our proposals is the recommendation of a new consumer- friendly labelling system for both new and second-hand homes that enables buyers to understand the size and energy consumption of the home.

Our proposed system of Home Performance Labelling uses data already collected for all new and second hand homes for sale or rent and so does not add cost. But the value is incalculable taking into account the benefits to consumers and the opportunity to improve quality of housing products and services.

Housing for the information age - 3D model of a housing design

Chair: Ben Derbyshire, Managing Partner

HTA Design

Read the full report for practical insights and analysis.

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Read the full report for practical insights and analysis.