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Construction output drops 9% in April
Construction output drops 9% in April
Industry experts fear construction output will continue to fall for another 18 months after grim figures for April were released. Latest ONS construction statistics show a 9% drop in output during April compared with 2011 and an 11% fall on the previous month. The ONS added that construction output taken over the wider three-month period between February and...
Government looks to accelerate £2.3bn affordable homes cash
Government looks to accelerate £2.3bn affordable homes cash
The Government is understood to be looking at re-profiling the planned release of its four-year affordable housing programme. The Homes and Communities Agency is reported to be in talks with the Department for Communities and Local Government about releasing cash earlier. The move is a clear sign of growing unease about plummeting affordable housing starts,...
Treasury plans new ‘growth bonds’ to fund house building
Treasury plans new ‘growth bonds’ to fund house building
Chancellor George Osborne plans to offer Britain's army of savers a new type of growth bond to fund house building and infrastructure. The Chancellor has told Treasury officials to find ways to persuade savers to transfer billions of pounds held in low interest bank and building society savings accounts into the new growth bonds. According to a report in...
Boris beats London affordable home building target
Boris beats London affordable home building target
Mayor of London Boris Johnson has met his pledge to build 50,000 affordable homes in his first term. Latest figures from the Homes and Communities Agency show he is on track to deliver 100,000 affordable homes by 2015 after beating his 50,000 first term target. New figures reveal more than 54,000 homes were built over the four-year period, exceeding the...
House building solution to IMF growth fears
House building solution to IMF growth fears
The International Monetary Fund has joined the call on government to back growth to dig its way out of recession. In a tough assessment of the UK's economic problems, the IMF praised Osborne for sticking to his debt reduction plans, but echoed calls for fresh measures to stimulate the economy. The global economic watchdog said Chancellor George Osborne...
Call to Get Britain Building as dismal housing starts figures released
Call to Get Britain Building as dismal housing starts figures released
The Government is failing to tackle the worsening housing crisis, leading housing groups have warned. Latest Government figures out today show annual housing starts totalled 104,970 in the 12 months to March 2012, down by 6% on the same period a year before. The number of homes built is now running at less than half the number even the Government...
Building jobs needed to combat UK shift to part-time working
Building jobs needed to combat UK shift to part-time working
Unemployment dipped for the second time in three months to 8.2% in March, but this was entirely due to a rise in part-time workers. Almost eight million people are now in a part-time job, the highest since records began in 1992. Those locked in part-time work because they cannot find full-time work increased by 73,000 to a record high of 1.4 million. The...
Construction output revised down sharply
Construction output revised down sharply
The official fall in construction output in the first part of the year was even worse than first feared, according the new Government figures. Revised figures from Government number crunchers showed the total volume of output fell by 4.8% in the first quarter, rather than the preliminary estimate of 3% released at the end of April. The effect of its downward...
Fresh call to build 25,000 social homes as Coalition vows to stimulate growth
Fresh call to build 25,000 social homes as Coalition vows to stimulate growth
The Coalition Government must commit to building 25,000 social homes as part of its pledge to 'do everything it can do to stimulate growth'. The call for a big house building push came after Prime Minister David Cameron and Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg vowed to maintain their commitment to tackling the deficit and promoting growth. The two...
Liverpool elected mayor promises to tackle housing need
Liverpool elected mayor promises to tackle housing need
The newly-elected mayor of Liverpool has pledged to tackle the housing crisis in the city. Joe Anderson will govern Liverpool for the next four years and is now the most powerful politician in England outside London. Speaking after the result of the ballot was announced, he said: “We will deliver on our pledges and our promises, the people of this city...
First Get Britain Building site deal signed
First Get Britain Building site deal signed
Contracts for the first site to be unlocked through the £570m Get Britain Building Programme have been exchanged. Crest Nicholson will deliver the first site under the programme designed to accelerate the delivery of 15,000 homes by December 2014. The first site on the south east outskirts of Ashford has been granted £2.3m of funding for the...
UK in double dip recession as construction falls 3%
UK in double dip recession as construction falls 3%
Latest official figures for GDP released this morning show the UK has been plunged back into recession. The 0.2% fall in GDP in the first quarter of the year pushes the UK into a double dip recession and will increase pressure on the Government to stimulate the economy. The latest economic data showed construction dragging down the overall economy after it...
Housing industry “think tank” seeks to drive positive change
Housing industry “think tank” seeks to drive positive change
Press Release New homes "think tank" The Futures Group sets out recommendations for future Building Regulations. Housing industry “think tank” seeks to drive positive change New homes “Think Tank”, The Futures Group, has published a detailed report setting out the industry's agreed view on how to rise to the...
Victory for commonsense as U-turn on extension tax looms
Victory for commonsense as U-turn on extension tax looms
Senior Conservative ministers are pressing to kill off plans to introduce an 'extension tax'. The so-called consequential improvements proposals were to be introduced this October as part of a raft of measures to improve energy efficiency of homes and update Part L of the Building Regulations in 2013. The draft regulations would mean householders...
HCA set to beat housing delivery targets
HCA set to beat housing delivery targets
The Homes and Communities Agency is set to report it has surpassed targets for housing starts and completions for 2011/12. Early indications of year-end figures show it is on course for a “very strong year of delivery”, chief executive Pat Ritchie has revealed. The results will be formally reported in June, but the agency said it anticipates...
Shapps consults on bringing private cash into social housing
Shapps consults on bringing private cash into social housing
The Government has unveiled details of plans to encourage more private investment into social housing. Housing Minister Grant Shapps and Economic Secretary Chloe Smith have published a consultation seeking views on encouraging investment through Real Estate Investment Trusts - vehicles for those wishing to invest in property. The current Finance Bill will...
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Opinion: Balfour axe just the start of job cuts
Balfour Beatty's decision to cut jobs through wholesale changes to its operations is a bleak warning to all. The industry is being tipped into yet another round of restructuring and job losses, with austerity measures hitting building divisions hardest. Click here to read...
North Midland Building loss forces group restructure
A £4.8m building loss dragged down the rest of the profitable divisions to record a group wide loss of £706,000 last year. Click here to read more
New planning framework in force from today
New planning framework in force from today
Planning minister Greg Clark has unveiled the National Planning Policy Framework, which comes into force today for most local authorities. Designed to boost growth and simplify the planning system it contains the central presumption in favour of sustainable development and enshrines a brownfield and town centre first policy. Clark predicted that new planning...