Week commencing 1 August 2016

In today's bulletin

• Brexit blamed for drop in construction output
• City of London Corporation announced new measure to cut air pollution

• Review highlights potential of offshore wind on east coast of Britain
• Baby-boomers fuel population boom

Property, Planning and Regeneration

Home ownership: the unrealistic dream

Data from the latest Labour Force Survey suggests that home ownership in England is continuing to fall, dropping to levels last seen in 1986. Outside of London, Greater Manchester has seen the steepest drop in home ownership recently, falling 14 per cent to leave fewer than six in ten houses
owned. As home ownership decreases, the number of private renters has doubled and even tripled in some parts of England. Data from the First Time Buyers report showed that 65 per cent of those renting, believed they would never be able to afford their own home.

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Brexit blamed for drop in construction output

Data from the Markit/CIPS UK Construction Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) has noted that uncertainty following the EU referendum has led to a decline in client confidence. July data showed construction output saw the fastest
overall drop since June 2009. This was reflected in a drop in commercial building and civil engineering activity as well as a decline in residential construction demand.

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Green Belt development corridors

Housing corridors built on the Metropolitan Green Belt and bounded by environmentally important ‘green wedges’ are the future for urban development, a report by London School of Economics has argued. It suggests that strategic development built around public transport links leaving
the city would provide the best way of meeting housing needs in London and the wider South East. The report proposes testing a ‘pioneer corridor’ between London and Cambridge.

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UK House prices may take a hit post-Brexit

A report from S&P Global Ratings, released 4 August, has suggested that while nearly all European markets will experience a rise in house prices this year, the UK will see prices fall over the next 18 months in response to the vote to leave
the European Union. However, the report suggests that strong market gains in the first 6 months of the year could maintain a house price rise of 5 per cent with the market likely to decline by just 2 per cent in 2017.

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Housing already slowing but full impact of Brexit still unknown

The UK house prices fell by one per cent in July compared with June but were still 8.4 per cent higher than a year ago, the Halifax has said.
However, the lender stated that it was too early to tell whether Brexit was the cause of slowing house price growth.

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Construction sector to suffer from tax deductibility measures

On 5 August the British Property Federation (BPF) warned that measures designed to tackle Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) will have a significant impact on jobs and growth, particularly in the construction sector.
The BPF has called for the measures to be delayed in the wake of industry uncertainty caused by Brexit.

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Transport

City of London Corporation announced new measure to cut air pollution

In a bid to cut air pollution in the capital, the City of London Corporation has said it will no longer buy or hire diesel vehicles. This is one of a series of plans announced by the public authority to improve London’s air quality.
Last year the Corporation declared a drive to crack down on drivers who leave their engines idling in traffic.

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EV charging points to outnumber petrol stations by 202 says Nissan

According to analysis from car manufacturer Nissan, public electric vehicle (EV) charge points will outnumber petrol stations by 2020. The research
suggests that, based on current trends, EV charge points will overtake traditional petrol stations to reach 7,900 locations by August 2020.

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Energy and environment

Study concludes tourism unaffected by Scottish windfarms

A study by consultancy BiGGAR Economics has concluded that there is no evidence to suggest that onshore windfarms have had an adverse effect on tourism in Scotland. Published on Tuesday 26 July, the study compared
the number of windfarm installations with the level of employment in Scotland’s tourism sector between 2009 and 2013.

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Government appoints new Chief Executive of UK Atomic Energy Authority

Professor Ian Chapman, a rising star in UK fusion research, has been appointed the new Chief Executive of the UK Atomic Energy Authority and will lead the UK’s magnetic confinement fusion research programme.
Having been appointed to the role on Wednesday 3 August by Universities and Science Minister Jo Johnson MP, he will take over the role from present CEO Steve Cowley on 1 October.

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Review highlights potential of offshore wind on east coast of Britain

On Friday 5 August, the Offshore wind Industry Council published details of a strategic review that has identified significant potential for the offshore wind sector to accelerate economic growth on the east coast of Britain. The review
of east coast port facilities from East Anglia to Scotland confirmed they have the capacity to support forthcoming offshore wind projects, which could stimulate economic activity in economically deprived areas.

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Other News

Baby-boomers fuel population boom

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has predicted that the UK population will grow by over 4 million by mid-2024. The boom represents growth of 7.5 per cent, mainly fuelled by a significant rise in the population of over 65s
in the country which is predicted to grow more than 20 per cent in the next 10 years.

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