Nick Walkley

300,000-homes target impossible without 'significant disruption'

Nick Walkley, CEO at Homes England (pictured above), believes that without “significant disruption” in the housing market, achieving the government’s 300,000-homes-a-year target will be impossible.

Speaking to property professionals and developers at MIPIM UK, Nick said that while not being critical of the big four housebuilders, another dozen builders producing equal numbers in different modes would be required.

“It is almost impossible to imagine how we are going to get to 300,000.

“We will [focus on] diversity and be looking for new investment, new areas and we want to work with you to identify areas of land and, above all else to do this, the agency will begin to focus more and more on tackling the issue of affordability.”

Nick also said that Homes England was putting a major emphasis on embracing the challenge of productivity. 

“How do we tackle the centuries-old means of production of housing in the UK to find what can be done to get to 300,000 homes a year?

“There is no way that traditional brick-and-mortar methodology will get us anywhere near 300,000 homes in the UK and, therefore, we as an agency will be taking proactive steps to invest in and require modern methods across our estate and in our investment going forward.

“We have the opportunity to use our leverage to influence.”

Nick added that it was looking to bring the private sector back into the market and highlighted its £1bn deal with Barclays to support housebuilders. 

“We will be looking to do more of those deals.”

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