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DS News December 2022

DSNews delivers stories, ideas, links, companies, people, events, and videos impacting the mortgage default servicing industry.

Issue link: http://digital.dsnews.com/i/1488299

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Page 7 of 99

6 Journal ARE AI, MACHINE LEARNING THE ANSWERS TO RISING HOME COSTS? Analysis by the Joint Center for Housing Studies ( JCHS) from Harvard Universi- ty states digitalization cannot change the "long-discussed but not-yet realized" promise that offsite construction will reduce the cost of home building or improve its quality. Instead, increased use of digital tools will only occur when entities adopt "platform thinking," according to the study's authors, Ivan Rupnik (Northeastern University), Ryan E. Smith (University of Arizona), and Tyler Schmetterer (MOD X LLC). ey describe platform thinking as systems that use modules to take advantage of the economies of scale associated with standardization but are flexible enough to respond to customers' needs and preferences. JCHS' piece says this approach has allowed other industries to increase pro- ductivity and is also being used by offsite construction forms outside the United States, including Japan and Sweden. "e international examples also un- derscore the importance of creating indus- trywide standards for modular and offsite construction," the study states. An additional study, "Artificial Intelli- gence for All: Perspectives and Outlooks on the Role of Machine Learning in Architec- tural Design," notes developments in artificial intelligence and machine learning could speed up how housing is not only designed and built, but also reduce production costs. "In particular, AI and ML make it possi- ble to iterate design approaches more quickly, which, in turn, should reduce the time it takes to develop final plans for projects," the study claims. Elizabeth Bowie Christoforetti, of the Harvard Graduate School of Design, said both papers show that "digital transformation in housing design and construction is a com- plex, but not insurmountable, socio-technical challenge." A study by the National Association of Homebuilders (NAHB), published by Build- er Online, said lumber's price volatility has caused the average price of new single-family homes to rise. While prices have settled from their highs in the spring of 2021, when softwood lumber prices added approximately $36,000 to the price of an average new single-family home, softwood lumber prices are still contributing to price appreciation in both the single-fam- ily and multifamily sectors, according to the NAHB.

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