Week commencing 6 November 2017

In today's bulletin

• Housing market subdued as sellers accept lower offers
• Infrastructure jobs could be moved if Brexit limits workers’ movement

• DfT community rail scheme to be expanded across the country
• UK companies reaping economic benefits from offshore wind industry

Property, Planning and Regeneration

Housing market subdued as sellers accept lower offers

Housing sales are expected to stay flat over the next three months, as demand and sales both continue to soften nationally. Findings in the October
RICS UK Residential Market Survey showed downward pressure on prices in London and the South East, with East Anglia and the North East also performing poorly.

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Infrastructure jobs could be moved if Brexit limits workers’ movement

The Association for Consultancy and Engineering has warned that large infrastructure firms could move jobs out of the UK if Brexit prevents access to
skilled EU nationals. After a survey of members, the group said Brexit is “casting a shadow” over the industry.

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Annual house price growth continues to rise

House prices rose 2.3 per cent in the period from August to October compared to the figures from the previous three months, according to the Halifax House Price Index.
This took the annual rate of growth to 4.5 per cent, up from 4 per cent in September, as the average house price reached £225,826.

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Q3 sees construction industry continue to grow despite challenges

Q3 saw further growth for construction, seeing the industry extend its run of growth to 18 quarters, according to The Construction Products Association. Despite this, performances in different sectors varied greatly with order
books only sustained by work in private housing, housing repairs and maintenance, and non-housing repairs and maintenance.

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Commercial and corporate ownership data made free

On 7 November, HM Land Registry made data on land and property freely available, where the registered legal owner is a UK company or corporate body, or an overseas company. In making this data free to access,
HM Land Registry is offering citizens and organisations the opportunity to scrutinise the records, and discover which companies own land and property in England and Wales.

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Councils should have power to buy land at cheaper prices

Councils in areas where housing is most expensive should be able to buy land at cheaper prices, think tank Civitas has suggested in its latest report, The Land Question: Fixing the Dysfunction at the Root of the Housing Crisis.
This would unlock land for new development, including social housing, and overcome slow build rates and unaffordable prices, Civitas says.

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UK housing crisis at a ‘critical phase’

The UK housing crisis has entered a “critical phase”, according to new analysis by Minerva Lending PLC. Its research has revealed that the UK’s fastest
growing cities cannot keep pace with their expanding populations, with just one house being built for every 23 new residents.

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DfT community rail scheme to be expanded across the country

The Department for Transport (DfT) has announced plans to build on the success of its community rail scheme, which allows local communities to adopt under-used stations and rail lines. Announced by Rail Minister Paul
Maynard on 6 November, the new multi-million-pound plan will see the scheme, which has helped to revive more than 80 routes and stations around the country so far, expanded across England and Wales.

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Energy and environment

UK companies reaping economic benefits from offshore wind industry

A new report by RenewableUK – Offshore Wind: Regenerating Regions – Investment and Innovation in the UK – has shown that UK companies are benefiting from the growing offshore wind industry.
The report, published on 6 November to coincide with Offshore Wind Week, says that UK-based companies provide nearly 50 per cent of the total content of British offshore wind farms.

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£25m project exploring how UK homes could be heated by hydrogen underway

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy has commissioned a £25 million programme looking at the feasibility of converting a small village or estate to hydrogen gas for cooking and heating.
The project, running until March 2021, will see an Arup-led consortium explore the practicalities of using zero-carbon gas, alongside the design and manufacture of new appliances such as boilers and cookers.

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