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The UK housing crisis – challenges and opportunities

27 November 2015

Cardiff Business School’s Executive Education Breakfast Briefing series recently heard from John White, Chief Executive at Brick Fabrication.

The briefing, the first of three to be sponsored by leading property consultancy Bruton Knowles, tackled one of the major social challenges in contemporary Britain – lack of housing stock.

Recent research from the Town and Country Planning Association has suggested that, in England alone, more than 220,000 additional homes are needed each year until 2031 if the projected growth in households is to be accommodated.

The briefing addressed some of the social, political and legislative challenges to increasing housebuilding.

It was argued that with supply and demand out of sync a perfect storm or a critical point had been reached. Social and demographic changes have become more prominent through the latter half of the 20th Century to the present day.

Increased longevity, rising divorce and separation rates, and the scarcity of property downsizing by the older generation have contributed to the housing shortage. Coupled with a lack of clear legislative direction, the commoditisation of housing and degrading housing stock, the challenge has become more pronounced.

The briefing concluded with a look at the pre-fabrication industry (sub-assemblies, modular and pod examples) and whether or not this is the answer to the housing crisis. It was suggested that while this industry has a part to play, other stakeholders (including government, lenders and land holders) must also contribute to develop creative new solutions.

Mike Rees, Senior Partner at Bruton Knowles’ Cardiff office said: “One way or the other, housing is a key issue for many businesses.  Many people in business are asking why we aren’t managing to build enough houses and whether pre-fabrication is one of the solutions to the chronic housing shortage.

“We were very encouraged to see such a good turnout at Cardiff Business School and look forward to holding further business breakfasts in 2016.”

The Cardiff Breakfast Briefings demonstrate one of the many ways in which Cardiff Business School and the Executive Education programme are engaging and working with the local business community and wider society. To sign up for future briefings and suggest topics of interest please contact Linda Hellard.

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