As half the property world come together in the (hopefully) sunnier climes of southern France for Mipim 2018, one common theme that is bound to be discussed at length in the Palais de Festivals and up and down Boulevard de la Croisette is innovation.

Richard Williams

So it is no surprise that this edition of Perspectives has an overriding focus on the innovative approaches that have been adopted and will continue to be needed by the real estate sector. Whether that be novel methods to delivering the one million homes this country needs to build by 2022 or whether a different train of thought is needed to unlock infrastructure projects to make development viable, the 10 expert contributors to Perspectives have it covered.

As the saying goes, you have to innovate to elevate. And that’s certainly true for real estate if government housebuilding targets are to be met. Swan Housing Association’s Geoff Pearce discusses the modular-built customised homesthe firm is offering at its Beechwood scheme. Built in their own factory, the homes have 1.25 million different permutations in design and layout giving prospective buyers the Grand Designs experience. It is sure to create a buzz when it is launched later this year and raise the profile of offsite manufacturing to a wider audience.

However, finding appropriate sites on which to build continues to be a barrier to development. GL Hearn’s Jules Bickers highlights the need for a nuanced approach to unlocking complex projects. In what he labels “partnership 2.0”, innovative joint venture agreements need to be struck up between landowners, local authorities, developers and investors whereby they have a shared business plan that becomes more detailed as the scheme progresses.

Getting the scheme off the ground is straightforward if you have the backing of a funding partner, but how do small and medium-sized developers get access to finance? West One Loans’ Stephen Wasserman discusses the avenues open to SME builders.

There are many more examples of innovation flowing through these pages. We hope you enjoy the read.

Richard Williams is Property Week’s news content editor