Offsite construction driven by housing shortage

The demand for offsite housing is driven by many factors, including the ongoing shortage of homes across England, according to AMA Research.

Declining numbers of key skilled tradesmen and professionals within the house building industry, are also a factor.

These conclusions are from AMA Research’s ‘Offsite Housing Market Report, UK 2019-2023’, which said the growing demand was also due to increases in offsite housing manufacturing capacity as well as the number of systems that now come with quality assurance.

Key areas of demand are likely to be from new homes developers and local authorities, which are urgently trying increase the rate of completions quickly and efficiently. Affordable housing and the build to rent sectors are where offsite methods are particularly well suited.

“We are now used to seeing offsite housing in the form of timber frames due to the fact that the use of other offsite technologies for housing is quite limited,” the report said. “From 2019, onwards, demand for and supply of these type of volumetric and closed panel systems should grow. Key manufacturers within this industry include Legal and General, Laing O’Rourke and Urban Splash.”

A core driver underpinning growth is the increase in third-party investment, including from big names like Goldman Sachs. There is also a leading Japanese offsite housing manufacturer, Sekisui House, which is investing in the UK market.

A number of housing developers, such as Barratt Homes and Berkeley Group, are also increasing activity.