I hope government and the development industry fully grasps the scale of the national housing issue. According to Shelter, one in 52 people are currently homeless in London, and one in 70 nationally.
It’s a gateway problem to many others and it requires urgent attention. My sense is that 2019 will be all about land, as investors respond to Brexit (or lack thereof). My guess is that public and private sector funding will be seeking urgent deployment and demand for land will therefore increase significantly. Equally, the political response to the post-Brexit landscape will be one to watch. Large-scale infrastructure investment has typically been seen as the rising tide that lifts all boats, and there is unlikely to be a quicker way to rebuild national economic pride.
Resolution: To continue to fly the flag for creative design on small sites as a means of increasing housing supply. There are thousands of sites across the country that could deliver tens of thousands of homes, but which your average housebuilder deems too difficult to develop. Encouraging development at this scale is far more likely to address housing need quickly than would be the case for large scale-sites.
Colm Lacey, chief executive at Brick by Brick
2019 forecasts: what lies ahead
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2019 forecast: Colm Lacey (Brick by Brick)