Leading proptech firm, houzen is at the forefront of innovation when it comes to blending the latest technology with the UK property market. To kick off 2022, the fast-growing firm has identified five top Proptech trends that will influence the sector this year.
“There’s been some resistance over the years to innovation in the real estate sector when it comes to technology, but we’re seeing a few different factors converging now, which means 2022 should be a big year for Proptech advancement.”
1 – Fintech integration into real estate
The first of the trends flagged up by houzen is the integration of fintech into the UK property sector, which will result in a notable alteration in the landlord/tenant relationship. houzen projects that, post-Covid, fintech will deliver seamless management systems that bring this financial arrangement into the 21st century.
UK renters are used to having to pull together huge deposits when they move, which can present difficulties while they await the return of the deposit for the previous property. It is telling, then, that UK-based service Fronted, which lends rental deposits to would-be tenants, has been able to raise £1m from Monzo, at a £2m valuation in 2021. Other firms are getting in on the action too, with products such as Housing Hand’s depositless renting service providing tenants with another way to avoid the burden of having to stump up a deposit.
2 – Customers come first
The UK, like much of Europe, has an agency model built around the selling side. This heavily fragmented model means that agencies with limited stock are incentivised to upsell the price of the home. For those looking to buy or rent a property, this is a frustrating process, involving maintaining relationships with multiple agencies in order to gain access to properties before they are listed.
The solution? houzen’s customer-focused tagging platform, which calculates the exact valuation of the property by considering multiple factors – location, quality of flooring, lighting and so on. houzen Deals supports consumers to buy and grow sustainably, finding properties based on what they can afford and providing recommendations to improve the value of the home and its energy efficiency.
3 – IoT-driven sustainability
Part of this new era of Proptech will see companies pushing new ways to enhance properties’ sustainability credentials. As homeowners strive to target carbon net zero, with new buildings having to adhere to new regulations, companies such as Metrikus are creating solutions that improve the energy efficiency of properties and the wellbeing of their inhabitants through measures such as measuring indoor air quality and optimising room temperatures.
4 – The growth of I-buying
I-buying is where an agency buys a property from the seller and then sells it on to someone else on their own balance sheet. It’s a speedy solution for homeowners who need to move quickly.
“The US has seen both successes and failures with I-buying, so there are plenty of lessons to learn as this model grows in the UK. We’re seeing Emoov gain traction in this space right now and it’s likely that a number of other contenders will expand their I-buying footprint over the course of 2022 as well.”
Saurabh Saxena, Founder, houzen
5 – Smarter property assessments
Houzen’s final Proptech trend for this year is that energy efficiency assessments will get smarter. The team asserts that EPC ratings are inherently flawed, with inaccurate measurements of properties leading to incorrect calculations of their energy demands – and thus their emissions.
Now, technology such as Leica 3D cameras can be used to create accurate floor plans through scanning properties instead. This makes it possible to accurately determine the dimensions of a property and thus correctly calculate its emissions.
“2022 is going to be a big year for Proptech innovation. We’ve got new players on the scene competing with more established brands, which is going to lead to some interesting developments in the real estate sector – watch this space!”
Saurabh Saxena, Founder, houzen