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How Berkeley Homes Is Looking To Help London's Housing Shortage

Berkeley Group launched a new type of house to suit city-dwelling families that will enable twice as many homes to be built on a site as traditional terraced homes, helping to alleviate London’s housing shortage and maximizing valuable city land.

Berkeley Group’s executive director Karl Whiteman tells us people resist building higher and farther out into the suburbs. It’s a challenge to find a solution to deliver affordable family housing. 

Berkeley’s Urban House looks very much like a typical three-story terrace house, but instead of a back garden, there is a rooftop terrace. That space that would have gone for a garden can then accommodate another house. Karl says it’s the obvious thing to do, as it allows for much more density.

While the rooftop terrace offers 360 degree views, the British do love their back gardens. Karl says he hopes that people come to appreciate the benefits of the Urban House, even if it means changing. So far the response has been positive, with the company already selling 17 of the 22 built thus far.

The buyers are local people, Karl tells us, and not investors.  They’re looking for homes to raise their families and build their lives.

The cost of developing the Urban House is about the same as a traditional terrace home, Karl says. Berkeley has started construction on Green Park in Reading, which is slated to be completed early next year.

The company is also working on Kidbrook Village, a mixed-use project that will feature 5000 new homes, shown above. It is a 20-year project, set to deliver 300 new homes per year.