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Innovative house building and modern mortgage lending

Paul Broadhead, Head of Mortgage Policy, Building Societies Association has been providing expert knowledge at our panel discussion this week on modern methods of construction and mortgage lending. In the video clip above Paul describes the vital challenge of defining MMC and of changing perceptions around innovation in house building.

He joined Victoria Stubbs, Chief Risk Officer from the Cambridge Building Society and Professor Nick Whitehouse of Oxford Brookes University.

Paul stated that the BSA has been calling for an expansion in housing supply for some time, as governments have consistently under-achieved on housing delivery.

'We have a growing and ageing population, high immigration, and a reduction in the size of occupier families. The construction sector has its own challenges. With this background we decided to commission a report in 2016 to look at the opportunities that modern methods of construction could bring to help solve the housing crisis' Paul said.

'How can we bring additionality into the housing market? There is an almost perfect opportunity now with a government that is committed to accelerated house building and new ways of construction, and lots of private investment from the likes of Laing O’Rourke and L&G who are now equipped to produce these types of (MMC) homes.

'We asked ourselves how can we can help and how can we ensure that these (MMC) properties are mortgage-able? Our sector has always been involved in the self-build sector, where we see much more use of MMC – which is more energy efficient and has less environmental impact on-site.

What is the consumer appetite for living in these homes?

'The challenge lies in the terminology, with phrases like “pre-fabricated home” having negative connotations. If you ask ‘Would you like to live in home that is precision-built?’ then you are likely to get a different response. We published the report with a view to start the conversation about bringing new methods of construction into the mainstream.', Paul concluded.

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