The incoming head of the government's 'super agency' Sir Bob Kerslake today told deglages at Property Week's RESI 08 conference that ambitious housing targets can be met.

Kerslake, who will take up his role on 1 December, said that it would work with the government, housing associations, residential developers, local authorities and other bodies to ensure that sensible funding models and proposals for residential schemes were put in place.

He said that there would be an extended down period for some time but that the government and the property industry had to prepare for the upturn in the cycle.

His new role was backed by Berkeley Chief Tony Pidgley who said the industry should shoulder its share of the blame for what had happened in the housing market and get back to basics of 'doing sensible deals' and listening to your customer.

'For Berkeley cash is king and thankfuly still is,' said Pidgley.

He said house prices were falling and still had further to fall and the past months had decimated transaction volumes.

'The downturn has not rolled out slowly out of London,' he said. 'It has been fast and felt equally across the country.'