Sector Forecast 2021

As we enter 2021, still in the midst of a global pandemic, government restrictions will continue to push us to be more dynamic in our way of working and delivering social housing.

Hosted by Christopher Wandel on 27th January the webinar started with SDS CEO, Phil Shelton sharing his plans for the ProVal and Sequel cloud roll out over 2021/2022. Up next was Alex Rose, Director of New Homes from Zoopla, who gave us an overview of what he is seeing in the market today. He discussed the demand for homes is at unprecedented levels, but supply is falling short. As a result of this prices are being pushed up. Alex also commented on:

  • Wealthier / older demographics are the beneficiaries and more likely to move

  • Demand for rental products are also up but faces supply issues

  • The number of people priced out of ownership is likely to widen

Following that, well known London based consultant, Mark Baigent discussed 3 key non COVID related challenges this year:

  1. Planning for the new building Safety regulatory regime

  2. Gearing up to deliver zero carbon and

  3. Continuing to push ahead with affordable housing

Mark’s focus was on the interrelationships between these three priorities and financial pressures across the piece ultimately asking the tough questions:

What is the right balance between investment in new housing and existing stock?

What are the advantages/perils of UK housing organisations adopting zero carbon technology now? Jo Fallon, Assistant Development Director of WeaverVale covered:

  • The New Affordable Homes Programme; Shared Ownership reforms

  • Increasing the delivery of home ownership products during this market uncertainty

  • The potential impact of planning reforms to affordable housing delivery and the need to diversify our procurement of schemes

  • Challenges around rising construction costs and the drive to improve the quality of our homes and neighbourhoods (referencing the climate change agenda)

Jo highlights the key question: Is the Modern Methods of Construction (MMC) industry ready to scale up? The audience showed concern over Stamp Duty holiday extension, lenders insisting on EWS1 surveys and sqm costs rising.

If you missed it you can watch the recording below....

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