Cambridge Building Society recently hosted a focus day to share its experiences of new house building techniques and technologies with industry colleagues, in particular Modern Methods of Construction (MMC).
The event was designed to create synergies and understanding of MMC and how it relates to building societies and the wider sector. As part of this, Custom Build sits within these new approaches to housing supply, especially as it so frequently utilises MMC in a range of forms.
Ten building societies from across the country came together at the event to hear industry leaders, with presentations from Legal & General Surveying Services (LGSS), BLP Insurance and Lloyd’s Register.
Delegates heard about the latest thinking in Modern Methods of Construction and accreditation schemes that are available for builders and manufacturers, while building knowledge of the many construction types and materials.
While MMC in housebuilding is not new, awareness is growing of the opportunities it represents. Stimulating demand for this type of housing was also highlighted as a key objective of Homes England at its recent launch.
Cambridge Building Society commented that while it is aware of the growing popularity of Self Build, the event’s core focus was to promote a greater understanding of this market. This knowledge will support the building societies as they work to develop mainstream new build propositions.
The day was the first in what is hoped will become a series that will support lenders adapt to changes in the construction industry.
Vicky Stubbs, Chief Risk Officer at The Cambridge said; “Building societies have always been at the heart of helping people have a home and over the last 150 years the approach to house building has changed dramatically.
“As technology and science have improved, a whole new range of materials and construction techniques now play a part in helping to provide homes in Cambridge and beyond.
“While [MMC] offers homeowners many more options than before, it is important that lenders keep up to date with the latest thinking to adapt underwriting criteria as appropriate.”
Tracy Simpson, Head of Lending at The Cambridge said; “We were delighted to host this event which saw keen interest from many societies – particularly those where individual underwriting is a key part of their offering.
“Lending across the sector remains strong, and building societies play a key role in helping to finance the home ownership ambitions of many borrowers.”
James Ginley, Technical Director at LGSS added; “This is a key sector as building societies are agile and in a good position to underwrite innovative forms of construction with property expertise provided by LGSS.
“We recognise the opportunities currently presented by Self Build and Custom build in government policy, which LGSS is helping the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government to develop.”
Education is key for growth when it comes to innovation in construction, and it’s vital that industry takes the first steps, so it’s great that Cambridge Building Society is taking the initiative as an educator with MMC. Only then can the next challenge of educating consumers be undertaken. I’d love to see more industry-led education on Custom Build, with a particular focus on business sharing its learnings with local government.