This week’s Housing Market Intelligence conference saw housing minister Kit Malthouse warn housebuilders not to become “the Kodaks” of the industry, suggesting if there is not more innovation in the sector then firms could risk becoming obsolete.
Speaking about innovation in housebuilding, Malthouse said that on site “not much had changed since 1985”. “Technological change will come to this industry through MMC, offsite, changes in plumbing and electrical methods and robotic bricklayers,” he said. “Innovation is coming – I would urge you to grasp it. You cannot allow yourselves to become the Kodaks of housebuilding.” Film pioneer Kodak was perceived to be slow to recognise the impact of digital photography culminating in the firm filing for bankruptcy protection in the US in 2012.
Malthouse thanked the industry for doing “remarkably well” in increasing housing supply and outlined the government’s plans for building “more, better, faster”. He called on the industry to deliver, not just for commercial reasons, but because of a moral duty: “I hope future generations will look back at this time as a golden age of housebuilding.”
In a morning of challenges to the industry, Liberal Democrat leader Sir Vince Cable also said that the industry was lagging behind on “industrialisation” and was critical of Help to Buy which he said “would almost certainly be discontinued”.
Also speaking at HMI, Barratt ceo David Thomas highlighted the progress his firm and the industry had made in recent years, defending Help to Buy and stressing that housebuilders recognise the need for more offsite and innovation. But he warned that companies are “claiming solutions for the challenges without having proven capability – they are running before they can walk and claiming the gold medal.”
Around 300 senior industry delegates attended the conference which was chaired by NHBC ceo Steve Wood and also included presentations from HBF executive chairman Stewart Baseley, Homes England ceo Nick Walkley, Nationwide ceo Joe Garner and David Inskip, head of strategy and research at CBRE Global Investors.
HBF planning director Andrew Whitaker chaired an expert panel debating and discussing the new revised NPPF.
|HMI - SB Stewart Baseley||Download Presentation|
|HMI - DT David Thomas||Download Presentation|
|HMI - JG Presentation Joe Garner||Download Presentation|
|HMI - JG Speech Joe Garner||Download Presentation|
|HMI - DI David Inskip||Download Presentation|