Week commencing 31 October 2016

In today's bulletin

• Housebuilders optimistic despite challenges
• CPRE estimates brownfield sites enough for 1.1 million homes

• Almost half of firms believe UK’s infrastructure has improved, but delivery is now key
• UK renewables expertise popular abroad

Property, Planning and Regeneration

Construction uncertainty leads to mixed forecasts in 2017 and 2018

Uncertainty caused by the vote to leave the EU, has led to a mixed picture for the construction industry in the coming two years, according to forecasts undertaken by the Construction Products Association.
Overall output is expected to remain broadly flat, however predicted growth in infrastructure and education is expected to mask decline in construction of commercial offices and industrial factories.

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Housebuilders optimistic despite challenges

Optimism among housebuilders remains high despite the challenges caused by a skills shortage and uncertainty following the EU Referendum,
according to research carried out by Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking

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Average house price reaches six times salary

The typical house now costs six times the average UK salary, according to figures from Nationwide. Over the past three years house prices have risen by
20 per cent, while wages have risen by just 6 per cent. The last time the price to earnings ratio was so high was more than 8 years ago, in March 2008.

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CPRE estimates brownfield sites enough for 1.1 million homes

Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) has published new research suggesting brownfield sites across England can provide at least 1.1 million new homes. CPREs previous estimate of 1 million homes was described by the government as being ‘wildly over optimistic’.
Now, using the government’s own pilot brownfield register scheme, CPRE has calculated that these brownfield sites can provide between 1.1 and 1.4 million new homes.

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Construction output rises in October

UK construction companies saw a rise in business activity last month, largely due to another large increase in residential work, says a survey.
The Markit/CIPS purchasing managers’ index (PMI) for the sector moved up to 52.6 from 52.3 in September.

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MPs raise concern over progress of land release by government

The Public Accounts Committee has said the government has made slow progress on its promise to release enough of its surplus land build 160,000 new homes by 2020.
MPs have warned that “the success of the programme will depend on accelerating land sales significantly in the remaining years to 2020”.

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Brexit vote causes uncertainty for UK housing market, says Savills

According to real estate adviser Savills, the UK housing market has entered a two year period of low house price growth and lower transaction levels as a result of the referendum.
Due to economic uncertainty, Savills has predicted mainstream house price growth will average 13 per cent by 2021.

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Transport

New West Coast mainline franchise announced ahead of HS2 services

The government has announced the new rail franchise, West Coast Partnership will combine the current InterCity West Coast services with the development and implementation of High Speed 2 services.
The franchise will be responsible for services on the West Coast Main Line from 2019 and designing and operating the initial High Speed 2 services from 2026.

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Almost half of firms believe UK’s infrastructure has improved, but delivery is now key

44 per cent of 728 firms surveyed believe the UK’s infrastructure has improved over the past five years, according to the 2016 CBI/AECOM Infrastructure Survey. However, the survey revealed only 27 per cent of firms think it will grow over the next five years.
The delivery of important projects already in the pipeline was revealed as the top priority by the firms surveyed, including the £38 billion investment in the rail network, and the £15 billion investment in motorways and A-roads.

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Energy and environment

UK renewables expertise popular abroad

British companies have already won 115 contracts to provide services for 50 offshore wind projects abroad in this rapidly-growing global sector, according
to a new report from Renewable UK which highlights the offshore wind industry’s export potential.

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UK renewables growing rapidly

Offshore wind power has the potential to grow to 100 GW in 2030 from just 13 gigawatts (GW) in 2015, according to new analysis from the International
Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA).

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Flood management systems not up to the job

Flood risk management systems need major reform, a Commons
environment and rural affairs committee report has said.

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Other News

UK services growing

The UK service sector grew in October according to a survey of purchasing managers. The Markit/CIPS services purchasing managers’ index (PMI) rose to 54.5 last month, from 52.6 in September; the highest level since January.
However the weaker pound is means inflation costs are running at the highest rate since March 2011.

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Growth and inflation to grow faster than originally anticipated

The Bank of England has raised its growth and inflation forecasts for 2017. It expects the economy to grow by 1.4 per cent next year, with inflation set to
surge to 2.7 per cent; almost triple its previous prediction.

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