Hyper-productive goods

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Asset owners enthusiastically take up the collaborative economy, resulting in a rapid increase of publicly accessible goods. People respond positively and short-term, access-driven models of consumption overtake individual ownership. Individual assets are used considerably more over their lifespan, while people have greater choice.

The mainstreaming of the collaborative economy creates demand for small-scale production of high quality, ‘shareable’ goods. UK manufacturing responds, resulting in modest domestic growth alongside a decline in total imported goods. Meanwhile, certain sectors – such as short-term home sharing and co-working spaces – help mitigate some of the realities of unequal economic development in UK.

The Numbers

  • Around one in five households state that the value of the possessions in their homes excluding vehicles is less than £10,000 yet the average value of possessions in people’s homes is nearer £35,000
  • Presuming possessions owned by the bottom fifth are around the level that are essential for everyday living, around two-thirds of the total amount of physical possessions in Britain could potentially be traded at least for part of the time
  • The total value of physical assets held in people’s main homes in the UK is around £850 billion, implying that the value of tradable goods currently situated in people’s homes could be around £500 billion
  • Currently, around three quarters of households in England and Wales own cars and 15 million people in England and Wales - nearly 60 per cent of the workforce - travel to work by driving a car or a van. Over a million vehicles are not used for the daily commute that could be made available to others, not to mention the vehicles that then spend most of the day parked outside a workplace
  • In 2011, there were 16 million households in England and Wales with at least one spare bedroom, of which half had two or more spare bedrooms. There are 1.7 million households currently on the waiting list for local authority housing in England when 8 million homes in England and Wales have two spare bedrooms