No longer a far-off or theoretical concept, 3D-printed houses are set to cause a shift in the 21st century real estate market. With several 3D-printed-house manufacturers already operating around the world, these new residential structures will not only help bring more creative architectural designs to life, but also the technology and rapid rate of reproduction have been touted as lower-cost solutions to affordable housing and subsidized living.
So where can you purchase a 3D-printed house of your own, right here in the United States? Here’s what you need to know about 3D-printed houses and what to expect as the concept hits the mainstream real estate market.
When will 3D-printed houses be available?
There are already a handful of 3D-printing companies offering 3D-printed homes across the United States and Mexico, but current waiting lists, strict parameters, and zoning issues mean that not just anyone can opt for a 3D-printed house over a traditional build.
The first 3D-printed homes sold in the United States were in East Austin and comprised four homes developed by 3Strands. Priced from $450,000, the houses, which ranged from about 1,000- to 2,000-square feet sold out within days of listing.
The Community First! Village, also in Austin, is a 51-acre development where ICON has printed seven buildings: a welcome center and six homes as part of the Mobile Loaves & Fishes project. ICON has also partnered with non-profit New Story to 3D-print a community of homes in Nacajuca, Mexico—this project comprises 10 3D-printed homes as well as eco-block homes built by Echale.
For those who are interested in exploring 3D printing over traditional builds, experts believe that 3D-printed housing will become mainstream and much more accessible within the next decade as 3D printers become more affordable, and the 3D-printed housing concept proves to be an effective and efficient construction alternative.
Where can I buy a 3D-printed house?
There are a very small number of companies and architectural firms offering 3D-printed houses, but it is possible to currently purchase and move into a 3D-printed house in the United States.
Texas-based construction company ICON is one of the largest 3D-printing companies in the United States. Their first houses hit the market in Austin in 2021. In October 2021, ICON and Lennar announced a collaboration to build 100 3D-printed homes near Austin. Set to break ground this year, the homes will be listed by Lennar.
How much does a 3D-printed house cost?
With 3D-printed houses and residential units designed to be energy-efficient and faster to construct than traditional builds—most 3D-printed homes can be constructed within a matter of weeks—the future of 3D-printed housing is set to be much more affordable than traditional real estate. However, due to current limited availability and strict zoning and construction laws, the cost of purchasing a 3D-printed home is currently approximately the same as a traditional build.
Purchasing a new house in the East 17th Street neighborhood just outside of downtown Austin, for example, starts at $750,000 for a two-bedroom house, whereas the median listing price in the greater Austin area is $659,000 as of June 2022.