Demand for Offsite Housing Construction increases by 6% in 2021

The market for offsite housing is estimated to have increased by 6% at manufacturers sales prices, although this is lower than the 2019 estimate of 12%. This is due to the impact of the pandemic throughout 2020 which caused a decline of around 11% due to the huge disruptive nature from distribution issues and site closures at the peak of restrictions.

Many areas will be responsible for the demand in offsite housing construction. There is still an ongoing shortage of homes, especially across England. We must also look towards the continued decline in numbers of key skilled trades and professionals. On the plus side there has been an increase in the capacity for offsite housing manufacturing as well as the number of systems with quality assurance.

The availability of quality assurance and warranties for offsite housing systems is key to growth especially considering the broad lack of which has up to this point been a barrier. There has been an increase recently in the number of firms and propriety offsite housing systems which are obtaining BOPAS certification and/or NHBC or other provider warranties.

A key area to look at will be where offsite methods are particularly well suited, for example large scale build to rent and affordable housing developments. Both of which see an urgency to accelerate the build times and increase the rate of completions. Offsite construction will make a significant contribution.

Alex Blagden, Senior Market Research Analyst at AMA Research and editor of the Offsite Housing Report comments Offsite construction is key to accelerating the development of affordable homes, both social housing and build for sale properties. Many factors are driving up both demand and supply, among the most important being the urgent need to increasing affordable housing supply; a chronic shortage of skilled ‘wet’ trades; an increase in offsite housing manufacturing capacity and an increase in the number of firms and proprietary off-site housing systems obtaining BOPAS (Build off-site Property Assurance Scheme) certification and or NHBC or other providers warranties.

Where timber frame has always taken the majority share in the offsite construction market, there will now be growth in demand and the use of volumetric and closed panel systems. Particularly as there are now several large factories that have recently started operation. These factories are capable of producing 2,000+ units per year.

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