A mixture of our favourite news articles from the property world. This includes new developments, auction dates and changes to the UK law.

Housebuilders challenge on heat pumps still stands

Despite the prime minister Rishi Sunak’s plans to water down net zero targets on gas boilers the goal to fit all new homes with heat pumps by 2025 still stands. Industry experts worry there are insufficient qualified installers to scale up from fitting 60,000 heat pumps last year to an estimated 250,000 a year by 2025. Currently, there are about 3,000 qualified installers but innovation foundation Nesta has calculated the country will need 27,000 by 2028 to hit current government [...]

By |2023-09-20T13:40:05+00:00September 20, 2023|Advice, Auctions, Blog, Business, Finance News, News, Planning News, Projects|0 Comments

Scottish builders slam government for slow housing data

Scottish housebuilders are pressing their government to produce housing statistics more quickly in the wake of the latest stats showing a 35 per cent fall in completion rates for 2020. They are frustrated it has taken the government nearly a year to produce data for 2020 revealing there were just 14,834 new homes completions for 2020 – 7,839 fewer than in 2019. Homes for Scotland’s chief executive Nicola Barclay said: “The numbers are, however, depressing – not only in terms [...]

UK house prices in September show 12 per cent year-on-year rise

The average house price in the UK reached a record high of £270,000 - £28,000 higher than this time last year, reveal Office of National Statistics data. The sharp rise is being attributed to the rush to complete sales before the stamp duty holiday stops for properties worth less than £500,000. Hargreaves Lansdown senior personal finance analyst Sarah Coles said: “It was the busiest September for house sales on record. On the one hand, this rush for the deadline defies logic, [...]

Smaller builders still ignored by clearing banks for loans

Homes England’s chairman Peter Freeman told MPs there was still a real gap in the market among the major banks for lending to smaller housebuilders. Mr Freeman, the co-founder of the property developer Argent, related that 20 years ago he had walked into NatWest asking for a loan which he got within an hour of applying. But he said this was no longer the case and that clearing banks were only interested in lending to builders who constructed 500 homes [...]

£624m to kick-start housing projects across the country

New public money focussing on unlocking brownfield land to pave the way for up to 116,000 new homes has been announced by the government. The £624m funding is available to all housebuilders particularly SMEs to help them pay for key infrastructure such as public transport and new schools as well as land remediation. Housing minister Christopher Pincher said: “This money will build on our commitment to bring derelict and abandoned sites back to life, regenerating towns and cities as we [...]

Farming not housing should be limited to reduce river nutrient levels

Housebuilding in regions close to rivers is on hold because developers are being asked to fix the problem of high nutrients in the water before planning approval can go ahead. Savills has calculated 32 local authorities are affected resulting in 33,700 fewer homes being built a year in England and around 500 in Wales. National Federation of Builders head of housing and planning policy Rico Wojtulewicz said: “Developers should not be paying for the cost of others impacts but as [...]

United plea to conserve and improve existing buildings made at COP26

Better use of current buildings to reduce new construction demand are among the key points of a new report presented at COP26 today. Regeneration developers Galliford Try, housebuilders Wilmott Dixon and residential developer Wates Group were among the 200 endorsers of Built Environment produced by Architects Declare. The Royal Institute of British Architects president Simon Allford said: “Our buildings are responsible for almost 40 per cent of global carbon emissions. For the benefit of humanity, we need bold regulations and purposeful [...]

Net-zero for new developments should be a planning approval condition, argue MPs

Councils should have the power to call for net-zero emissions as an unconditional requirement for all new developments, MPs have argued. The cross-party housing, communities and local government select committee’s report calls for net-zero to be given a central role in the national planning policy framework. Select committee chair Clive Betts said: “Local councils will have a critical role to play in efforts to achieve the 2050 ‘net-zero’ target, building public confidence in climate action, and ensuring a just transition. [...]

New European fund to scale up timber construction

A network of pioneering developers, designers, investors and insurers have launched a multi-million euro fund to scale up timber construction on the eve of COP26. Engineers Arup, modular housebuilder BoKlok, Lendlease and sustainable architects Bennetts Associates are among the backers of Built by Nature, set up by the Laudes Foundation. Built by Nature chair Donald Brenninkmeijer said: “With building space expected to double globally before 2050, we must reimagine the way we build, from a carbon-intensive industry to one that [...]

Nine out of ten small builders’ projects are delayed due to material or skills shortages

An overwhelming majority, 89 per cent, of local builders are reporting delays because of supply chain issues or difficulty recruiting staff, according to a survey of SMEs. And 60 per cent of respondents to the Federation of Master Builders, FMB, state of the trade survey for the third quarter, July to September, said they had halted projects due to lack of tradespeople. Nearly all survey participants, 97 per cent, said material prices had shot up during July to September and [...]

Up to £2bn for homes on brownfield land receives mixed reception

Nearly £2bn of public money to remediate 1070 hectares of derelict or unused land will help the nation build more new homes but it is not a complete solution warns the construction industry. The National Federation of Builders, NFB, said more land would be needed to create employment space and amenities for the 160,000 homes the government hopes would be created. Although the government has pledged to invest £9m towards 100 urban ‘pocket parks’ across the UK. NFB head of [...]

Timber supply catches up with construction demand but prices soar

Timber imports from January to July increased by eight per cent on 2019’s figures to more than seven million cubic metres, according to the Timber Trade Federation’s, TTF, latest statement. The Federation said record-breaking volumes, nearly two million more than in 2020, reflected high demand from a resurgent private housing market and a strong repairs, maintenance and infrastructure sector. TTF technical and trade head Nick Boulton said: “It is highly likely the UK is at a point where there is [...]