Week commencing 27 March 2017

In today's bulletin

• Early signs of stabilising UK housing market
• Regions outperforming London on build-to-rent

• The road to repair: One in six local roads will need fixing in the next five years
• £500m mistake

Property, Planning and Regeneration

Early signs of stabilising UK housing market

On 28 March, Savills reported that London’s prime housing market had seen a notable slowdown in the fall of property prices since the start of 2017. Central London properties, which average £4 million, saw their value slip by -0.8 per cent compared to -2.1 per cent last quarter. Savills also found that at the top end of the market where properties tend to reach £10 million and above,
values seem to be stabilising – in part due to foreign buyers attracted by the struggling pound. Elsewhere in the country, marginal price growth was recorded for the first quarter with all regions seeing small increases in property values.

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Brexit negotiations unlikely to hamper UK property market

Brexit is unlikely to cause significant upset to the UK property market during the two year divorce negotiations according to Property Wire (30 March). Experts are in fact suggesting that a slow in price growth could have benefits for first time buyers as homes become more affordable and interest
and borrowing rates remain low. And in London, which is arguably most vulnerable to the impacts of Brexit, it is thought that demand for homes and lack of supply will outweigh any uncertainty that results from ongoing negotiations

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House prices fall in March

The annual rate of house price growth slowed in the march to 3.5 per cent, from 4.5 per cent in February, with house prices falling 0.3 per cent,
Nationwide’s Annual House Price Index shows. The index revealed that the average house price is £207,308.

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Regions outperforming London on build-to-rent

The UK’s regions are constructing more than double the number of build-to-rent homes being achieved by London, according to new research published on 31 March by the British Property Federation (BPF). The research
for the BPF,conducted by Savills shows that while the regions currently have more homes under construction, London still has the most amount of homes in the future pipeline.

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Tall buildings to boost London housing numbers

An estimated 100,000 new homes will be delivered by 455 tall buildings scheduled for construction in London, according to a new report.
New London Architecture and GL Hearn’s study also shows a steady increase in tall buildings in outer London.

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Transport

The road to repair: One in six local roads will need fixing in the next five years

17 per cent of local roads in England and Wales are in a “poor” condition and are in such a bad state that they must be repaired in the next five years, according to the Asphalt Industry Alliance’s (AIA) Annual Local Authority
Road Maintenance survey (ALARM). Alan MacKenzie, chairman of the AIA has called on a “significant increase in funding” to clear the backlog of work needed

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Competition launched for access to £100m pot for CAV testing

Greg Clark, the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, has announced plans for the first phase of £100 million investment in connected and autonomous vehicles (CAV) testing, to 400 industry leaders at the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders Connected Conference
in London (30 March). The government hopes this investment will cement the UK’s position as the leading destination for the development of CAV technology..

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Government should set out ‘Clean Growth Plan’

The UK Government should publish a strong ‘Clean Growth Plan’ to include new polices to reduce emissions from homes and offices, according to 30
construction, heat and energy efficiency organisations in a letter sent to Greg Clark, the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

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Energy and environment

Hinkley given the green light

Consent for the start of construction of a twin European Pressurised Reactor (EPR) nuclear power station at Hinkley Point C in Somerset has been granted
by the Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR). It will be the first nuclear plant to be built in Britain in a generation.

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£500m mistake

One in every five business energy bills contains errors which could be costing UK businesses
up to £500 million, according to business utility advisor, Inenco.

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Flood defence projects compete for funding

Flood defence projects around the country will be able to compete for a share of £1 million fund to help protect homes and businesses,
Environment Secretary Andrea Leadsom announced on 31 March.

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