The Government’s target of delivering 300,000 new homes a year is a figure plucked out of thin air, says the shadow Housing Secretary, who sees no prospect of anything like that figure being achieved. The Government’s spokesman countered that it was determined to deliver the target by the mid-2020s. Housing Today.

The National Audit Office (NAO) has revealed that the vast majority of those taking advantage of the equity loans offered by the Help to Buy scheme did not genuinely require the public assistance. Just 37% of recipients indicated that they could have bought their home only with the help, leaving 63% who could have done without it. Mortgage Strategy.

The potential mis-selling of leasehold agreements and unfair charges for ground rents, service charges, and permission fees – on both new-build and existing properties – all have come under the spotlight of an investigation by the official Competition and Markets Authority (CMA). Property Industry Eye.

Beleaguered construction group Kier suffered a further blow when its share price plunged a further 35.5% (erasing £116.7 million from its market value) on rumours that it intends to sell off its housebuilding division. Daily Mail.

Kier group’s former Chief Operating Officer says that with mounting debts and a slew of problem contracts, the construction contractor probably expanded too fast just as demand in the construction industry was slowing down. Building.

Legal & General’s Affordable Homes division has announced plans for its first development projects totalling 278 new homes. The shared-ownership, affordable rent and social housing units are on four sites in Croydon (50 shared-ownership homes), Cornwall (44 affordable homes), Dunstable (23 shared-ownership homes) and Shrivenham (52 shared-ownership and 109 affordable rental homes). Housebuilder.

In a bid to improve public confidence in the professionalism and quality of the building industry, the Federation of Master Builders (FMB) has promoted an industry-wide Construction Licensing Task Force for the introduction of a licensing scheme for builders engaged in major improvement works. Property Wire.

Planning permission has been denied to the supermarket giant Sainsburys to redevelop its 3.1-hectare site in London’s Whitechapel to provide as many as 471 new homes. The refusal is a result of the Housing Secretary’s intervention – contrary to official planning advice. Building.

Not only is there still a big gap between the number of homes needed in London and those currently being supplied but, the gulf is widening. The Housing Committee of the London Assembly said that in the year 2017/18 there was a demand for 65,878 homes, but only 31,723 were built (just 48% of the demand). Inside Housing.

Starts on new housebuilding projects within the popular Zone 2 of London have plummeted by 97% compared to just three years ago. It is thought that developers have been put off by government policies that discourage buy to let investors from purchasing new builds, so, also discouraging development. Property Week.

The continued uncertainties surrounding Brexit, the election of a new Conservative party leader, the prospect of a further general election, and an underlying shortage of skilled labour are all likely to hamper any early upturn in construction industry activity. Building.

Housebuilders and housing providers generally need to be aware of the ageing profile of the population and better serve the demands for more elderly residents, says the EMH Group. By the year 2040, a quarter of the entire population of the UK will be over the age of 65. Inside Housing.

Well-designed homes, brownfield site developments, homes for older people, further help for first-time buyers, and new town development are all policy objectives to be pursued by any new Prime Minister, advocates the think-tank Policy Exchange. Policy Exchange.

Global construction and consultancy firm Mace criticises the government’s failure to make progress on modernising the domestic construction industry and calls for an official commitment to guaranteed annual capital spending on building and the creation of special construction manufacturing zones. Building.