BSA: Let’s make offsite construction mainstream

Ryan Bembridge

November 17, 2016

Modular House Factory

The Building Societies Association has called for offsite housing construction to become mainstream with the help of housebuilders, mortgage lenders, surveyors and general insurers.

The BSA is launching a housing report today called ‘Laying the foundations for Modern Methods of Construction’ with 10 recommendations to boost appetite for the type of housebuilding.

The report says valuers and lenders need help understanding different types of modern construction, adding that terminology and systems should be standardised with more information being provided through an online hub.

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Dick Jenkins, BSA chairman, said: “We have to explore radical solutions to solve the housing crisis.

“To get there we rely on government to lead the way and break the cycle in relation to new construction technologies.

“At present supply is so low that lenders can’t routinely lend on these properties because they don’t fully understand the risks, and builders won’t build more of this type of home because mortgage lending is in limited supply as is home insurance.

“For the sake of consumers, these types of building technology must become as conventional and mainstream as brick and block has been for the past 100 years.

“If we do it could be a game-changer.”

The report is being released at today’s BSA lunch, where Housing Minister Gavin Barwell is the keynote speaker.

It is calling on the government to lead the way with its own developments, such as Northstowe near Cambridge, to encourage the rest of the housing industry to come together.

It is recommending for the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors to guide its members on standardising how valuations are carried out for mortgage purposes.

And it is calling for a ‘programme’ to improve the image of offsite properties, which it said are “robust, visually impressive and cheaper to run… a world apart from the flimsy prefabs of post-war Britain”.

Legal & General launched into off-site ‘modular’ housing in February.

And according to The Daily Telegraph the government will soon launch a white paper encouraging banks to lend to off-site homebuilders.

 

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