Week commencing 18 April 2016

In today's bulletin

• Construction growth to be slower than expected in 2016
• Private housebuilders face rising construction costs

• ORR sets out objectives for year ahead
• Behavioural changes will stabilise oil prices, study finds

Property, Planning and Regeneration

Construction growth to be slower than expected in 2016

The latest Construction Products Association (CPA) forecast predicts a three per cent growth in construction output this year. Down from the previous estimate of 3.6 per cent, the CPA has attributed a series of political and
economic concerns for the revision, with the EU referendum, global economic growth prospects and industry skills shortages noted as contributing factors.

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RICS survey reveals construction slowdown

The latest UK Construction Market Survey from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors has shown private housing construction grew at its slowest pace since 2013 in the last quarter. Only 36 per cent of those
working in the sector reported growth this quarter, compared with nearly 50 per cent during the equivalent quarter in 2015.

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Skyscraper rents in London up almost 10 per cent

Renting space in London’s skyscrapers is getting more expensive, with prices rising faster than in any other global city. Figures from Knight Frank showed a 9.7 per cent rise in the second half of 2015, eclipsing rises of 4.75 and
three per cent in second and third placed San Francisco and Hong Kong respectively.

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Private housebuilders face rising construction costs

The cost of home construction for private housebuilders continues to rise, according to the Building Cost Information Service (BCIS). Its Private House Construction Price Index demonstrated a 3.8 per cent rise in the cost of
construction in the first quarter of 2016. Respondents to the survey said increases in labour and material prices and shortages of craftsmen were key drivers for the rise in cost.

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Investment in UK property down amid Brexit uncertainty

According to the latest edition of Lambert Smith Hampton’s (LSH) UK Investment Trends Report, investment in property is down 27 per cent on the previous quarter. It found that January accounted for half of the total
investment in the quarter, with activity falling significantly in the following months. LSH attribute the reduction in investment to the uncertainty over the outcome of June’s EU referendum.

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Office investment up 24 per cent, according to BNP Paribas Real Estate

BNP Paribas Real Estate’s latest research has revealed that take-up of office space has risen five per cent year on year, driven by the banking, finance and
Media Tech sectors. Over £3billion in office investment has been recorded, 24 per cent above the long term first quarter average

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Pointless road signs to be removed by Councils

Councils have received new powers enabling them to take down out of date and potentially distracting road signs. The new powers, which also mean road
signs will have a “remove by date”, have been introduced after the number of road signs in the UK went from 2.45 million in 1993 to 4.57 million in 2013.

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ORR sets out objectives for year ahead

The Office of Rail and Road (ORR) has published its business plan for 2016/2017. Improvements identified as being targeted include: value for money for the tax-payer, improved customer service and safety on
both rail and roads. The ORR also details its intention to work towards a 40 per cent reduction in serious injuries and fatalities on the highways by 2020. .

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Energy and environment

Behavioural changes will stabilise oil prices, study finds

Changing to low-carbon transport could reduce global spending on oil and save industry and consumers up to £232bn a year between 2020 and 2030.
The report, from Cambridge Econometrics suggests that moving to technologies such as electric vehicles would significantly reduce global oil prices.

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Other News

Devolution may stimulate economic growth

According to the National Audit Office, deals to devolve power from central government may stimulate economic growth. However, it found that the
arrangements were untested and the government is not doing enough to give confidence devolution will have the intended effect.

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