There was one intriguing bit in Margaret Beckett's speech to the Housing Market Intelligence conference yesterday that baffled me at the time and I am glad to say baffled others.

She said: "On land supply, there may be ways that we can reduce the risk to new developments, by bringing forward public sector land for development."

Now my take was that either her advisers were showing their usual ability to be months behind the curve, or that they have a nifty plan brewing in the pot.

Because I don't think house builders are that keen to take on more land at the moment unless it is handed over for free. Quite the reverse.

Maybe and here is a wild wild card and slap me if I am completely off beam as I speculate in a freeform fashion while shaking coconuts from the trees under a blue sky.

Could this be a hint that the Government will give land free on a quid pro quo basis to house builders?

Imagine, if you will, a kind of reverse Section 106 deal whereby it is the developer rather than the social sector that gets the in-kind benefit within the arrangement. They get some homes to sell for building some in the social sector.

This would be in the broad scheme of things pretty much a de-risked project. And the great thing here is it wouldn't add to the rapidly swelling public sector debt (unless I am mistaken, as is likely, and there is some arcane finance rule to the contrary).

I see some problems with it, but perhaps the Government is finally cooking on gas and squeezing the pips as it gets its brain juice flowing.

Then again I could just be mistaken on all counts.

More thoughts on this later, as it reminds me of an idea presented to me by the ever-interesting Paul Finch some while ago. I just have to remember the detail in more detail, or more sensibly ring him up and ask.