Week commencing 12 February 2018

In today's bulletin

• Homeownership continues to decline in young-adults

• Over 400,000 homes with permission left unbuilt

• Network Rail five-year plan promises investment and fewer delays

• Onshore wind opposition limiting growth in turbine use

Property, Planning and Regeneration

Homeownership continues to decline in young-adults

An Institute of Fiscal Studies briefing note, The decline of homeownership among young adults published on 16 February, shows that young adults are less likely to own their own home than their counterparts from one or two decades ago.
The research suggests that the decline in homeownership among young people has been driven by the dramatic increase in house prices, which have risen around seven times faster in real terms than the incomes of young adults.

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Over 400,000 homes with permission left unbuilt

Research published by the Local Government Association (LGA) on 16 February shows that more than 423,000 homes are still waiting to be built despite being given planning permission – a rise of 16 per cent in the past year.
According to LGA analysis nine in every 10 planning applications is approved by councils, but they lack the powers needed to take action on uncompleted schemes and land where homes remain unbuilt.

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Brownfield sites still have room for a million homes, says CPRE

The greenbelt is being developed for housing despite councils identifying space for more than a million homes on brownfield sites, according to a recent study by the Campaign to Protect Rural England.

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£45 million to unlock council owned land for new homes

Housing Minister Dominic Raab announced on 16 February the Government’s plans for a £45 million cash injection to help kick-start the building of thousands of new homes.
The money will be split between 79 projects, across 41 authorities, helping them unlock council owned land and supporting the building of up to 7,280 new homes.

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Number of first-time buyers at highest level for a decade

The number of first time buyers hit a 10-year peak in 2017, with 365,000 people taking ownership of their first home last year, an increase of 7.4 per cent from 2016 and the highest level since 2006, said UK Finance.

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UK house price growth slows in 2017

House prices grew more slowly in 2017 than 2016, with annual price rises at 4.8 per cent compared to 7 per cent in 2016, according to government analysis of the UK House Price Index.

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Network Rail five-year plan promises investment and fewer delays

Network Rail has published its Strategic Business Plan, a programme that sets out its proposals to transform Britain’s railway over the next five years.
The plan, could see up to £47 billion invested in the rail network to reduce delays and improve infrastructure reliability, plus making a commitment of 1,000 extra services per day by 2021.

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Government slow to address several of the UK’s infrastructure needs, says NIC

In its first Annual Monitoring Report the National Infrastructure Commission (NIC) found that the UK Government has been slow to tackle a number of the country’s infrastructure needs. NIC’s report says urgent action is needed to improve key services such as mobile phone coverage and digital connectivity on the UK’s road and railways.
It also reviews the Government’s progress against NIC’s 12 key recommendations, that it identified last year

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Vehicle-to-grid technology to get £30 million investment

The government is planning to invest £30 million in technology that could lead to electric cars feeding electricity into the smart grid which can then go towards powering homes and businesses.
The funding will go towards research, design and development of vehicle-to-grid projects, which aim to demonstrate how energy stored in electric vehicle batteries can feed into the grid at peak times, before being recharged in off-peak hours.

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Lane rental schemes set to be introduced nationwide

A new congestion busting scheme, where contractors must pay up to £2,500 a day for digging up busy roads at peak times is set to be introduced nationwide, after successful trials in Kent and London, which saw congestion on the busiest roads drop.
The land rental schemes aim to encourage firms to work on less congested roads, do highway work outside of rush hour, or to collaborate with other companies to reduce the effect of roadworks on traffic.

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Energy and environment

Onshore wind opposition limiting growth in turbine use

Resistance to the use of onshore wind turbines is preventing significant growth in the use of the technology, according to Lloyd’s Register research released on Tuesday (13 February).
The ‘2018 Technology Radar – Renewable Energy’ study examined when renewable energy is likely to become the dominant source of energy, in addition to examining the impact of different technologies.

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Committee tells government to set energy price caps

The Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee has advised the government to set price caps on energy tariffs, to ensure customers are protected next winter.
The committee argued that the current system is not working for 12 million customers, with some paying up to £300 a year more than others.

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Other News

Strong start for UK GDP in 2018

UK GDP is expected to grow in early 2018 as the country’s businesses find themselves with strong order books. According to BDO LLP’s latest Business Trends Report, the UK can expect GDP growth of around 2 per cent in the coming months, the first increase since July 2017.
Growth is mainly being driven by the services sector which is benefitting from better than forecast consumer spending in the UK as well an uplift in the global economy. However, despite growth the report also flagged future price increases for consumers who will be directly affected by higher costs for businesses.

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