The Park’s population continues to grow at a dizzying pace, and that’s good news for many businesses and services. But for those engaged in building and selling housing, the spike in population over the past few years has presented almost insurmountable challenges.
“We weren’t prepared for this,” says Wellington Whistlepig, president of the Park Association of Shops and Services (PASS), whose organization represents real estate services, but not builders. “We’re definitely having trouble accommodating newcomers.”
His admission is backed up by a recently-published report by the Department of Statistics and Records that concludes The Park has only enough sheltered housing for seventy percent of its resident Animals.
Whistlepig cites a number of reasons for the shortage and among them is one his organization brought to light after an investigation into the 2014 grooming house stampede: the sharp increase in those who look to others to do the things they used to do themselves.
“We used to groom ourselves, build our own housing, and find our own food. All that has changed over the past two decades and we haven’t kept up with demand because we didn’t take note of the changes in behaviour until it was too late,” he says, bluntly.
For some of The Park’s established builders, though, there is a silver lining in this housing cloud.
Orders are “way up,” according to Kerman Astoa, vice-president of sales for Burrows and Beyond. And, he says, at least twenty-five per cent of B&B’s new customers are neither hibernators nor natural burrowers.
“We’re surprised by the number of species willing to compromise on housing,” he says. “But burrows can be built in an eighth of the time that above-ground sheltered housing takes, and they last for years and can easily be enlarged. It’s a smart choice and more and more Animals are seeing that,” he says.
Resales are also up, according to Subterranean Sales and Rental.
“Burrows are hot property these days, no question,” a spokesAnimal for the company told The Mammalian Daily. “And we see no sign of a slowdown in sales.”