Week commencing 18 January 2016

In today's bulletin

• Housing stock smashes 6 trillion pound mark
• Stamp duty increase leads to rise in demand

• Tfl and DfT announce ambitious plans for London rail network
• National Grid and Unilever ‘true leaders’ in low carbon future

Property, Planning and Regeneration

Average house price up 7.7 per cent in year to November

The average house price in the UK increased by 7.7 per cent in the year up to November 2015 according to a recent report by the Office for National Statistics. The average UK house price now stands at £288,000,
with the greatest increases seen in the East of England (10.2 per cent), while Scotland and the North East saw the lowest growth (both 0.4 per cent).

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Structured approach to high street rejuvenates town centres

Asset management of the high street could unlock much needed investment to transform local areas, according to a report from the British Property Federation (BPF). The BPF identify fragmented ownership and poor asset
management as overriding factors in the high street’s inability to adapt to change, and demonstrate how a structured approach to the high street’s offering might attract investment and bring about fundamental change.

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Moving (a bit)

Most companies relocating in London and the South East move just 800 metres, according to new research by Savills. The firm found companies preferred to focus on keeping staff and better offices, than on
saving money. The report did state that this trend could all change; however, as rising London rents push firms out of the capital.

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Housing stock smashes 6 trillion pound mark

Growth of £385 billion in 2015 has pushed the overall UK housing stock value past £6 trillion for the first time, according to new figures published by Savills.
However, the figures also show that growth continues to overwhelmingly favour the south of the country.

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Stamp duty increase leads to rise in demand

The latest RICS survey has revealed that the housing market has seen a rise in demand following the government’s announcement that stamp duty is to increase for buy-to-let investors.

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Commercial buildings worth over a fifth of UK wealth

Commercial real estate represents 20.6% of total net wealth in the UK, worth a staggering £1,662bn, according to a recent Toscafund report commissioned by the British Property Federation.

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Transport

Tfl and DfT announce ambitious plans for London rail network

The Department for Transport and Transport for London have announced proposals to offer a more interconnected rail network for the capital. The plans, launched 21 January, will seek to improve passenger experience by
boosting network capacity and increasing frequency of services. The joint venture will also aim to improve accessibility for both rail users and staff in addition to expanding rail lines to connect areas with poor service.

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ORR appoints interim chief executive

The new chief executive of the Office of Rail and Road (ORR) has been announced. Joanna Whittington has taken up the post from 16 January and will lead planning for the 2019 to 2024 rail funding period. The appointment
has been made on an interim basis with recruitment for a permanent chief executive set to begin in the summer.

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Interactive map shows disparity of rail use in Britain

According to an interactive map launched by Campaign for Better Transport on 20 January, there are vast disparities between regional use of railway systems. Compiling data from the last 17 years the map plots entrance and exit data from over 2,500 train stations across the UK. It shows that while
London and the South East have experienced huge growth in passenger numbers, other areas such as Humberside have seen figures tumble. Campaign for Better Transport suggests the varied data is due to uneven investment which has focused on reducing overcrowding on South East networks.

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Energy and environment

Pylons approved for new Hinkley Point C nuclear power station

The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) has authorised the use of the new T-Pylon as part of the electrical line connection for Hinkley Point C nuclear power station in Somerset. This will be the first use
of the new T-Pylon design, which was chosen from a competition in 2011 by the Royal Institute for British Architects, DECC and National Grid.

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National Grid and Unilever ‘true leaders’ in low carbon future

A report by corporate analyst, InfluenceMap, into pro climate change policy on the back of COP21 praises National Grid, Unilever, Ibedrola and Tesla
as ‘true leaders’ in achieving the goal for reducing global temperatures by 1.5C.

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Other News

Interest rates to remain the same

Speaking at Queen Mary University on Tuesday 19 January, the governor of the Bank of England, Mark Carney, eliminated the possibility of a rise
in interest rates, due to the fragility of the global economy and limited UK growth.

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