Only about 33% of consumers are willing to purchase a car online, despite the incredible growth of online shopping marketplaces and “shopping mall” smartphone apps in the past few years. But maybe more consumers would be willing to purchase homes made out of the shipping containers that were once intended for all those car sales?
One Vancouver company decided it was worth a shot, and now Canadians are starting to see shipping container housing developments spring up across the city, thanks to Atira Property Management Inc.
The housing program started as a pilot project, according to the Huffington Post, in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver, where many families struggle to find reasonably-priced living spaces in safe communities. Huffington Post describes the situation as an “overheated real estate market,” and it’s been a problem in Vancouver — and many other major cities throughout the country — causing residential real estate prices to skyrocket.
As CNBC recently noted, housing prices in Canada have increased by 60% since 2000, and the average Canadian home is overvalued by about 20%. For middle-class families, finding affordable housing isn’t easy, and this is where the shipping container idea plays a role.
It’s most likely that the shipping container house trend began for this reason, and not because consumers simply liked the idea of living in old shipping containers. But regardless of how the housing design picked up speed, it might just be one of the best solutions to the housing problem in packed Canadian cities.
Currently, Atira Property Management is planning on expanding the initial project in Vancouver to communities in British Columbia, Alberta, and Nunavut. Most of the targeted communities are aboriginal, where building new homes out of durable materials isn’t always possible, simply because transporting the material is too difficult and too expensive.
The shipping containers, on the other hand, are fairly easy to transport (no surprise there) and are a great way for Canadian cities to recycle old containers.
And according to residents of these new trending houses, they’re actually fairly comfortable. The containers can be stacked, resembling duplexes, and the average container home is about 285 square-feet.