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2017-01-23

Stephen Haigh - Live Verde

Written by Stephen Haigh

Welcome to 2017, what appears to be an exciting time for the UK housing sector.

Following on from our £2.5 billion joint venture announcement at the back end of last year, the start of 2017 has been heavily focussed on the housing sector and the government’s attempts to tackle the housing deficit. Their announcement on the 2nd January of “14 new garden village and towns” was Teresa May’s first announcement of 2017 suggesting that housing will be one of the government’s main priorities.

As with all announcements, there are more questions than answers, such as “what will happen to green belt land?”, “do we have enough infrastructure to handle the volume?”, and these questions need working through but shouldn’t be a reason for not building, but rather opportunities for new thinking.

Jump ahead another week and another announcement, this time about the highly anticipated housing white paper. Early indications point strongly towards modular housing being one of the “key” components in the paper and the need for homes to be built quickly and efficiently. Team this with the further statement about the potential “tax breaks” for modular housing manufacturers, aimed at invigorating the “failing housing market”, government seem to have started 2017 by listening and suggesting the changes needed.

To me, these announcements are pivotal to the future of house building and should be acted upon rather than rubbishing them or likening modular builds to the “pre-fab” homes of the 1950’s.

Finally, I echo Mr Javid’s comments when he says “I am not pretending it is always going to be easy, but the opposition I am concerned about most of all is what happens if we don’t make these reforms”.

I’m looking forward to MIPIM and welcome the opportunity to discuss modular housing and our £2.5 billion joint venture deal.