Garry McDonald told delegates at the All-Industry Conference that housebuilding’s future is fairly bright, but the industry needs to become more innovative and efficient.
The procurement and sustainability director for Miller Homes said that he was more optimistic for the future of construction than Mark Berrisford-Smith was for the wider economy.
Coming out of recession, the biggest challenge will be the massive shortfall in housing. Although the required number has been downgraded to 221,000 a year, we are still miles off, he said.
Mortgage availability is still an issue, but McDonald said that shared equity schemes are the answer for the foreseeable future, particularly the government’s Help to Buy scheme.
“Help to Buy is a game changer…the spring market this year was clearly better than last year. That was when the Help to Buy scheme was launched. That’s a positive sign.”
The key question for the industry is how to differentiate, said McDonald. Miller Homes is striving to deliver this by surveying customers regularly and changing products and services to reflect this.
The market also needs to increase its efficiency, he said: “There has to be consistency in everything you deliver.”