Week commencing 24 August 2015

In today's bulletin

• Strong growth forecast for construction sector
• Supply-demand gap predicted to send house prices soaring

• Taskforce to tackle pointless road signs
• Government slashes feed-in tariffs for small scale generation

Property, Planning and Regeneration

Strong growth forecast for construction sector

Private house building will drive a 13.2 per cent increase in construction output by 2017, according to a study by the Construction Products Association.
The organisation warned, however, that an impending labour shortage could hamper growth.

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Annual house price growth slows

The latest House Price Index from Nationwide has shown a 3.2 per cent year-on-year rise in UK house prices.
According to the building society, the rise represents the slowest annual growth rate since June 2013.  The rise means that the average UK house price now stands at £195,279.

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UK housing construction outperforming 2014

The National House-Building Council (NHBC) published its latest figures on housebuilding in July 2015 on 28 August.  The figures  show that the number of new homes being built in the UK is 14 per cent higher than in the same quarter last year.
Public sector homes increased by 17 per cent over the same period which NHBC suggests is indicative of the positive contribution of the Affordable Homes Programme.

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New housing policy aims to empower London’s self-builders

Residents in London have been invited to express an interest in a new scheme to encourage small-scale housebuilding across the capital. 
Residents in London have been invited to express an interest in a new scheme to encourage small-scale housebuilding across the capital. 

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Supply-demand gap predicted to send house prices soaring

The UK can expect an average rise in house prices of 30 per cent over the next three and a half years, according to a report published by BNP Paribas Real Estate UK on Monday 24 August. 
The UK can expect an average rise in house prices of 30 per cent over the next three and a half years, according to a report published by BNP Paribas Real Estate UK on Monday 24 August. 

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Transport

UK in Europe’s top five worst countries for traffic congestion

The Traffic Scorecard Report, published by the transport information company Inrix on 24 August, ranks the UK as the fifth worst country in Europe for traffic congestion.  Over three quarters of UK cities saw significant increases in congestion,
with London being newly ranked as the most congested city in Europe.  According to the report Londoners spent an average of 96 hours in traffic last year.

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Taskforce to tackle pointless road signs

On 28 August, the Department for Transport announced that a taskforce overseen by Sir Alan Duncan MP will tackle the overuse of traffic signs.  A consultation has also proposed a number of new measures including:
ensuring road signs that are used far longer than needed have a ‘remove by’ date; making sure traffic signs are visible on unlit roads; stopping temporary message signs from being cluttered with adverts and distracting logos.

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London comes top in transport costs

Tessa Jowell, the former MP currently campaigning to be chosen as the Labour party’s candidate for London Mayor, has released research showing that London has the highest public transport fares in the world.
Currently, a peak time Zone 1-6 Tube ticket in London costs travellers £5.10. The research found that this is four times the cost of a comparable fare in Paris, three times more than New York, and ten times more expensive than Moscow.

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Energy and Environment

Government slashes feed-in tariffs for small scale generation

Subsidies for people generating renewable energy on their property using solar panels or wind turbines are likely to be dramatically cut by the Government from January 2016.

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‘Onshore wind best for decarbonising UK’

Influential think tank, Policy Exchange, says the UK should pursue onshore wind to decarbonise but phase out subsidies over time.  In its report, “Powering Up: The future of onshore wind in the UK”,
Policy Exchange argues that onshore wind is a cost-effective form of low-carbon electricity generation, on a par with a new gas plant and considerably cheaper than offshore wind, biomass and nuclear.

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Other News

CBI predicts strong growth

 

The UK will experience strong growth this quarter according to updated forecasts from the Confederation of British Industry. The CBI expects overall growth of 2.6 per cent  this year and 2.8 per cent next year,
an increase on its June forecasts of 2.4 per cent and 2.5 per cent respectively.  The improved growth has been attributed to increased household spending and strong investment growth.

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