Variations in construction costs are a bigger barrier to increased housing delivery than those in land values, the UK’s biggest private landlord told the West Yorkshire economic growth conference.

Ed Ellerington, director of PRS at Grainger, “I don’t think land values is the biggest problem. In the majority of cases across the country, you get a land values that works.

“We won’t get there until you have a lot more standardisation around construction pricing and understanding of the tendering processes.”

But he said that the ‘biggest single obstacle’ to the roll out of these modern methods of construction, which could deliver this greater standardisation of the construction, was achieving a sufficiently big pipeline of projects.

He was backed up by Sir Edward Lister, the chairman of the government’s Homes and Communities Agency “Modern methods need quantity.”

Rosie Toogood, chief executive of insurer L&G’s modular homes division, acknowledged that costs for modern methods projects are still greater than traditionally built schemes.

“The only way we will make the finances jump is through volume and collaboration,” she adding that build to rent offered opportunities for bigger pipelines of work

“Build to rent fits modern production because it gives you pace and efficiency.”

On broader policy issues, Sir Edward said that many of the reforms outlined in the recently published housing white paper could be introduced without primary legislation.

“A lot can be done by secondary legislation so politically it’s quite easy to implement.”