The government is launching a consultation relating to their decision to improve leasehold positions on new builds. The Communities Secretary, James Brokenshire, will deliver the proposition today (15th October). It is widely expected to outline significant changes that will result in the majority of new-build homes being sold as freehold, with a cap being applied to any new leases at just £10. A drive to ensure fairer conditions for tenants will be included. Gov UK

The Communities Secretary also announced a new £20 million fund on World Homeless Day (10th October). The fund and system are designed to help people facing homelessness to find safe and secure homes. The target is to help 9,000 people secure a home with prisons, job centres and NHS Trusts under an obligation to refer those at risk of homelessness to councils. Gov. UK

It’s reported that construction in Britain has increased by 1.5% in the three-month period to August 2018. A particularly strong result was delivered in the North West with growth of 15% – roughly ten times more than the national average. HouseLadder

Government housing minister, Kit Malthouse, has encouraged the building industry to do more to recognise and exploit new technology as it goes forward. He suggested that the industry’s existing exploitation of technology has been poor. He used the analogy of Kodak – once a leader in photography but who failed to recognise the impact of digital technology soon enough and was forced to file for bankruptcy in 2012.   House-Builder

Countryside Properties announced an increase of 27% to September 30, reaching 4,295 homes. Of that total, 1,276 were private sales – an increase of 7%. Property Reporter

A RICS survey reveals that the number of properties for sale on estate agents’ books has declined to record lows. This is attributed by some to sellers choosing to hold off selling due to price stagnation in some areas. Telegraph

Telford Homes shares dropped by 7.5% (average). This followed on from their statement that profit margins look to be under pressure as a result of Brexit uncertainty and its potential effect on London property prices. Telegraph

On average in the UK, Edinburgh properties are the fastest to sell with an average sale time of only 3 weeks. Glasgow, Cardiff and Northampton are also at the top of the list. Statistics from Zoopla suggest that properties in London are currently averaging around 54 days to sell. Daily Mail

The UKCW (UK Construction Week) coincided with National Housing Day (10th October). UKCW held seminar sessions discussing the country’s housing shortages and potential solutions. Building Talk

Some weeks after Prime Minister Theresa May’s announcement relating to future post-Brexit immigration being potentially restricted to skilled workers, members of the building and construction industries continue to express unease. Some are arguing for a much more positive assertion that building and construction must be considered an exception to the potential tough new rules defining “skilled workers”. Construction News

The government is reported to be considering new measures to crack down on letting spare rooms under the “tax break” allowance of £7,500. There have been reports in some quarters that some de facto landlords are letting rooms in properties they do not live in themselves and claiming the allowance. The Times

The annual Empty Homes Conference will be held on 18th October in Birmingham. Empty Homes Network

The European Parliament has voted to maintain an exclusion for construction vehicles from the forthcoming Clean Vehicles Directive. A suggestion had been put forward that the construction industry should be included within the scope of this directive but the vote rejected the proposal. This is reported as being widely welcomed by the sector. Construction Index