Week commencing 30 May 2017

In today's bulletin

• UK housing market “losing momentum”
• Seventeen month high signals UK construction sector rebound

• Self driving lorries set to hit the road within the next decade
• Report calls for buildings to be carbon neutral by 2050

Property, Planning and Regeneration

UK housing market “losing momentum”

UK house prices fell for the third month in a row in May according to data released by Nationwide. Prices dropped by 0.2 per cent, while annual
growth slowed to 2.1 per cent – the slowest for nearly four years.

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House prices up 25 per cent in British seaside towns

Over the last 10 years, house prices in Britain’s seaside towns have increased by 25 per cent on average. While nine of the 10 most expensive seaside
towns are located on the southern coast of England, the highest growth was seen in Fraserburgh in Aberdeenshire, which rose by 95 per cent.

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Seventeen month high signals UK construction sector rebound

Business activity rose in May at its fastest pace since December 2015, according to the IHS Markit/CIPS UK Construction Purchasing Managers’ Index. The increase was supported by a sharp rise in residential
building demand, however survey data from construction firms suggested that economic uncertainty continued to stifle client spending.

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Office market remoulded to meet emerging business sectors

Growth in the telecommunications, media and technology (TMT) sector is reshaping the office letting market, according to the National Office Market Briefing 2017 report from Lambert Smith Hampton.
The rise of smaller TMT enterprises is forcing the office market to adapt and increase flexibility to accommodate SMEs.

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Self driving lorries set to hit the road within the next decade

The International Transport Forum’s report Managing the Transition to Driverless Road Freight Transport predicts that driverless lorries could be a common sight on many roads within the next 10 years.
This could result in the demand for heavy goods drivers in Europe and America falling by up to 70 per cent by 2030.

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Energy and environment

Campaigners take government to court over air quality strategy

Environmental law firm ClientEarth is taking the government to High Court over “major flaws” in its proposals to cut air pollution. The government is currently consulting on its strategy to meet air quality standards as
quickly as possible, but the group claims the proposals outline “plans for more plans” rather than “plans for action”. The consultation is scheduled to end on 15 June.

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Report calls for buildings to be carbon neutral by 2050

A report released by the World Green Building Council has claimed that the building industry needs to be carbon neutral by 2050 if global warming targets outlined in the Paris Agreement are to be met.
It says action should be taken to ensure all new builds meet these standards by 2030, while renovations should take place at existing buildings by the 2050 deadline.

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UK Energy blueprint issued ahead of General Election

On 31 May, Oil & Gas UK issued a blueprint outlining four key priorities for the next UK government to help secure the future of the North Sea oil and gas industry. Priorities include establishing an energy policy which realises the full benefits of the UK’s indigenous resources; ensuring the UKCS is globally
competitive for investment; ensuring that Brexit negotiations support, develop and promote the oil and gas industry; and establishing practical steps to protect, progress and promote operators, the supply chain and the industry workforce.

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New type of battery system connected to UK grid

Plans to connect the UK’s first flywheel battery to the grid were announced by the University of Sheffield on 2 June. The highly responsive energy storage
system will be the largest of its kind in Europe. It is designed to help respond to rising energy demand in the UK and Ireland.

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