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Modern methods of construction and mortgages

Cambridge Building Society has been speaking at Future Cities Forum about the need for assurance and education around the build quality in modern methods of construction. Please watch Chief Risk Officer, Victoria Stubbs speaking above about the importance of linking infrastructure to housing - a subject that we covered with the NIC in our May forum at City Hall, London.

Professor Nick Whitehouse a senior lecturer from Oxford Brookes University joined our panel discussion this week in the City of London on behalf of the organisation, Buildoffsite, to talk about devising a benchmark of common warranty and insurance standards that lenders can reference when considering mortgage applications on properties built with modern methods of construction - the Build Offsite Property Assurance Scheme (BOPAS).

He commented: ‘Along with Lloyd's Register to provide assurance, BLP as the insurance expert, and the RICS, we put our heads together to develop a standard for offsite building manufacture, and to put together a database of property specifications. BOPAS has been positioned as a benchmark for offsite construction, and to encourage a united approach from the insurance industry.'

Victoria reacted by saying: 'It’s really important to hear what BOPAS is achieving. It is about ensuring that we have adequate assurance (on a modern methods of construction property), it’s about knowing that the property is easy to repair, it remains marketable, and is adequate security for our mortgage loans which may be for 35 years.

'BOPAS, covering assurance and insurance standards, is part of a jigsaw we need in order to develop a market for MMC, with our surveyors on-board. We need economies of scale to ensure there is an adequate market for properties built in this way. It is essential that there is a level of education and understanding within the surveying community as to what ‘modern methods of construction’ means because it is such a broad term – as a small lender understanding MMC is helpful as we can work with smaller developers – such as Hill – and this is where building societies can add value.'

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