Summer is synonymous with the beach, vacations, a lot of heat – more depending on where you are – and renovations. There is no truce with the hammer and pickaxe during the summer months. And you only have to glance at deserted city streets to realize that the hole once occupied by a car is now owned by a rubble container.
It is not for less, one of the few positive effects that the pandemic has had on the world is the increase in savings. One that families are now betting on reforms. Something that, in any case, they had already been playing. Spain has one of the oldest real estate parks in Europe. Which, in addition, has been years behind in its renewal process. According to INE data, the average number of years of housing in Spain is 45; With Barcelona in the lead with 69 years on average, Madrid follows closely with 53. And the problem is not the years, but the lack of renewal of them. Since the 2008 crisis, the reform sector has not quite taken off; the country is still dragging the hiatus of the crisis years and a very old real estate market. An effect similar to that of the automobile.
Now, despite the coronavirus crisis, business seems to be picking up. And the technology sector takes it into account. Construction is, perhaps, one of the sectors with less tech in the making at first glance. The reality is that a group of entrepreneurs works to change that detail. As well as ending one of the problems that occurred in the business: the black economy.
The heir generation is already technological
What happened in the 2008 crisis is light years away from what is happening today. Few leave high school to enter a highly paid construction industry. The reality is that although the fame of the reforms is bad, “the profile of the workers is changing,” explains Gabriel Combra from Cubicup.
The reform management startup knows what is happening in the sector, it recognizes that “the people who work on reforms are young, digitized, technological and more modern; in two three years it will be a sector that attracts work, it will change a lot” . The deficit of a 2008 that left the housing bubble behind is beginning to be filled with young professionals.
And it attracts architects who are looking for a gap in the absence of new construction, also for entrepreneurs who are beginning to have business experience. Together with Cubicup, the renovation business has started to win from a technology point of view. While it is true that there is still an old-school group, companies such as Aqui tu reforma or Cubicup are beginning to improve the image of the group that still has a problem that has arisen: inspection.
Technology vs. submerged economy
Official data say that the volume of reforms during 2021 has grown by 14%. 2022 will be the same or better than the current year. This would leave a total of almost 3,000 reforms on average each month from January to now, with growth during the summer months.
The reality is that it is a figure that nobody knows. Data are only known of those that have permits issued under the project, the rest are part of the universe of the underground economy. The growth data are therefore estimated based on the consumption of materials that has been increasing for months – hence, also, the increase in its average price. And considering that most of the homes that are bought today are second-hand, well above the new, the search for renovation is the order of the day.
The use of works contracting platforms, therefore, would solve one of the biggest problems in the renovation business. The payment of taxes would be covered by this new generation of companies. More expensive yes, but with the consequent increase in security and professionalization. Platforms to promote the purchase of used housing also seek to reduce VAT on works in order to encourage the purchase by younger age groups. With works that range between 30,000 euros for basic areas, up to 80,000 in the case of a comprehensive service, the aid is understood as necessary for some representatives of the sector.
A matter of reforms based on energy consumption
In addition to a technological response for an increasingly technological generation, despite the fact that in the case of Cubicup they confirm that the average age of its clients is approximately 45 years -mainly due to a matter of purchasing power and real estate properties-, the The issue of efficiency is the flag of the collective. For this age group, the fact that they offer all the services, confirm the dates of a work –the biggest problem in the process–, close with insurance and be digital seems to be more than necessary.
Combra figures the work periods, a complete reform of the humid spaces of the house (kitchen and bathrooms), between 20 and 25 years. Taking into account the age of the houses today, the delays due to successive crises and the increase in savings due to COVID-19, this is a good time for your business. Especially when the part of the budget has been one of the biggest problems for the management of the works. 1 in 4 end up without being born due to lack of funds; This is a good time to increase the ratio of a sector that is beginning to face over time. Which adds up to a supervening problem.
New regulations on energy efficiency are driving business growth. It is estimated that 40% of energy consumption and 36% of greenhouse effect emissions originate from poorly equipped homes; which indicates that the reform of the facades, changes of boilers, windows and the rest of the infrastructures are no longer advisable, but mandatory. With renewal plans via State aid or the European Union articulated under public funding, the reduction of the electricity bill – reaching its record day by day – is also a necessary factor and from which the tech sector is taking good advantage .