Monday, December 18, 2006

Want a flat-packed Ikea house? Buy a BoKlok.

While Belfast awaits the 2007 opening of Belfast’s very own Ikea store in the sleepy Holywood Exchange at the end of the St George Belfast City Airport and beside Secret Sainsburys and B&Q, you may want to bypass the kitsch lamps and metal bunk beds and leapfrog to the next Ikea revolution.

Ikea bring you BoKlok. Prefabricated, timber-framed homes.

“The BoKlok Concept: BoKlok, roughly translated, means "smart living". This captures the BoKlok concept perfectly: to provide space-saving, functional homes offering good quality at a price which enables as many people as possible to afford a comfortable home. The BoKlok concept is based on customers’ real needs and wishes: a safe environment, roominess and access to green space. BoKlok homes have a flexible open-plan layout, high ceilings and large windows, giving the apartments a light, airy and contemporary feel. The BoKlok vision is: to provide better homes for the many people.”

The FT comments:

“Fortunately—perhaps for those well used to the phenomenon of the missing part or allen-key-wrist—the homes come ready built.”

They’re expecting to sell moderately-priced three-bedroom houses (£150,000) and flats (£100,000) across the UK, starting in Gateshead and Glasgow (presumably before moving onto Gloucester, Greenisland, Glastonbury, Grimsby and Great Dunmow!).

Oh, and did I mention that they all come with Ikea kitchens and wooden floors.

And “when buyers move in, Ikea will even send round a handyman, at the company’s expense, [ahem, you’ve paid for it] to deal with those tedious tasks such as putting up curtain poles.” They could sell that as a standalone service. After 18 months I’ve loads of wee jobs that haven’t been completed.

Given the cheaper prices, rules are applied to limit who can purchase.

  • No buy to let.
  • Household incomes of £12,500–£30,000.
  • Aimed at those who don’t already own a home or needing to buy following a relationship breakdown.
  • And when you move out, the developers will resell your house at the open market value to a new suitable client!

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