Week commencing 9 July 2018

In today's bulletin

• Higher spending on London’s infrastructure could boost the UK economy by £33bn a year
• Stagnation in UK residential sales and lettings set to continue

• Government wants half of new cars to be ultra-low emission by 2030
• Britain has a “golden opportunity” to switch to low cost energy

Property, Planning and Regeneration

New fund to tackle integration problems

The government last week announced a new Integrated Communities Innovation Fund, which will provide £7 million for new approaches to increasing integration in UK communities.
Announced by Secretary of State for Communities James Brokenshire on Monday (9 July), the fund follows the end of consultation on the government’s Integrated Communities Strategy green paper.

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Higher spending on London’s infrastructure could boost the UK economy by £33bn a year

A report by the Mayor’s office suggested that major public investment in some of the biggest transport schemes in the capital could generate £33 billion extra for the economy per year by 2050.
The report, Mind the Gap: Funding and Financing City Investments in the 21st Century, argued that extending the Elizabeth Line to Ebbsfleet, completing Crossrail 2, extending the Bakerloo line to Lewisham and extending the Croydon tram network to Sutton could lead to 365,000 new houses in the capital and huge economic benefits

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House price growth slows slightly in June

Annual house price growth in the three months to June was 1.8 per cent higher than the same period last year, according to Halifax’s latest house price index, slightly lower than the 1.9 per cent annual growth in May.
The figures showed a rise of 0.3 per cent on a monthly basis, taking the average house price to £225,654.

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Stagnation in UK residential sales and lettings set to continue

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors’ (RICS) June 2018 UK Residential Market Survey indicated little change to the subdued residential property market. June 2018 represented the 16th successive month of decline in newly agreed sales, while the time taken to complete a sale rose from 16 to around 18 weeks.
Although new instructions rose for the second month in a row, average housing stocks remain close to historic lows.

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English Housing Survey shows homeowners are older, and fewer

A report by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) into the circumstances, condition and energy efficiency of housing in England showed significant changes in the demographics of homeowners.
The report found that 63 per cent of households are homeowners, compared to 68 per cent in 1996, and that they are older than they were 20 years ago.

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Boost for UK commercial property values, but retail property values drop sharply

Commercial property values in the UK increased by 0.2 per cent in June, according to the latest CBRE UK Capital Markets Monthly Index, released on Monday (9 July). This means the total growth for the second quarter of the year was 0.6 per cent, with a 1.5 per cent total growth for the first half of the year.
Retail sector capital values fell -0.8 per cent in June, one of the sector’s biggest monthly falls for over six years. However, capital values in the office and industrial sectors increased by 0.3 per cent and 1.7 per cent respectively.

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Government wants half of new cars to be ultra-low emission by 2030

The Government has launched its Road to Zero strategy, pledging that half of the new cars on the road by 2030 will be hybrid or electric.
The strategy also aims to improve the electric vehicle charging network by forcing housebuilders to fit infrastructure for charging points to new builds. The policy published on Monday 9 July aims to make the UK the best place in the world to build and own an electric vehicle.

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Campaign group condemns slow actions for cutting emissions

The Campaign for Better Transport group has welcomed the new Road to Zero report aimed at cutting vehicle emissions by 2030.
However, it has criticised the slow action taken in cutting emissions, claiming that the “strategy fails to match the urgency of the situation”.

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Six million more train journeys with new Midlands hub

The Our Routes to Growth report by Midlands Connect says developing a ‘Midland Rail Hub’ with new routes, faster journeys and more frequent services will create the capacity for six million more individual train journeys a year across the region.
The report, which outlines regional transport infrastructure priorities for the Midlands and sets out how these will create economic benefits, says the rail hub could boost the regional economy by £649 million annually.

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Energy and environment

Water companies not doing enough to reduce pollution, Environment Agency finds

Despite the improvement in environmental quality in recent years, the Environment Agency has urged water companies to improve their performance in reducing pollution and to effectively comply with permits.
The Water and Sewerage Companies’ Environmental Performance Report, published on Wednesday (11 July), comes after a rise in serious pollution incidents last year.

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Britain has a “golden opportunity” to switch to low cost energy

The National Infrastructure Assessment – a first for the UK – has found that Britain has a “golden opportunity” to switch to renewable and low-carbon sources without increasing bills. The switch could be a reality by 2030, but only if Ministers take action and prioritise long-term investment in the sector now.
The report also found that an energy system based on low cost renewables may prove cheaper than building further nuclear plants and therefore cautions against a rush to agree government support for multiple new nuclear power stations.

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Mayor of London announces £500m energy fund to support low-carbon infrastructure

A recent study from the Green Finance Taskforce has found that public buildings including hospitals and libraries want to become energy efficient but often lack adequate finance to do so.
In response, Sadiq Khan, the Mayor of London, has worked with key financial leaders including Lloyds Bank to create a £500m investment fund – the largest of its kind – aiming to create low-carbon infrastructure as the UK moves towards a renewable energy portfolio.

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Rise of UK electric vehicles sees National Grid’s 2040 forecast double

National Grid’s Future Energy Scenarios report, published on Thursday (12 July), suggests there could be as many as 36 million electric vehicles on UK roads by 2040 – double the number expected a year ago.
The figure supports the continued trend towards low-carbon generation and reflects the Government’s plan to ban petrol and diesel cars by 2040.

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