In a factory just outside Bedford sits the answer to Britain’s housing crisis. Here, workers inspect a line of containers — apartments in various stages of construction — and scribble on clipboards.

Welcome to Vision Modular Systems’ housing warehouse, a place where prefabricated homes are put together. It is a far cry from the dust and dirt of a traditional building site and looks more like something out of the futuristic movie Wall-E.

Entire homes are made here: ovens and radiators, even toilet-roll holders, are fitted and beds are topped with mattresses. When finished, the units are placed on trucks and driven 53 miles to Holloway in north London, where they will be homes for students.

Analysts predict that 2018 will be the breakthrough year…