The sum of £248 million has been allocated by the government towards the costs involved in social sector landlords removing and replacing the unsafe ACM (Aluminium Composite M) cladding. This applies to any social sector housing high-rise building which is defined as being a building 18 metres or more in height.

The sum is the first release of funds from the approximately £400 million that Prime Minister Theresa May announced earlier in 2018. Councils and housing associations can now make their properties safe without negatively impacting the provision of their other vital services.

So far, there have been applications from 12 councils and 31 housing associations covering 159 buildings, 135 of which have been approved. Gov UK.

The government has also updated its comprehensive Building Safety Programme guidance, again covering all buildings over 18 metres tall. Gov UK

Very different financial reports were issued by Barrett Developments and Crest Nicholson. Barrett reported that total forward sales, at October 14 2018, were up 12.4% year-on-year to a value of £3,146.5 million. By contrast, Crest reported difficult market conditions and that its tactics to mitigate falling sales volumes, such as speeding up bulk sales to registered providers and private rented sector investors had reduced its margins. They warned these are now anticipated to be lower than the previous estimates of 18%. Housebuilder

Bellway has announced positive figures. Their report states that they have exceeded 10,000 new home sales for the first time in their history. They have increased volume by 6.9% and completed the sale of 10,307 new homes in the year to July 31 2018. The results announced show pre-tax profit up 14% to £641.1 million for the year. Revenues have also risen to £2,957.7 million from the previous year’s £2,558.6 million. Housebuilder

There are news reports that prices of property approximately 60 minutes commuting time outside of London can be up to 60% cheaper than broadly similar properties in the capital itself. Telegraph

Some sources are speculating that a “no-deal” Brexit might have a spin-off benefit for some forms of property owner. Telegraph

Surveys have shown that properties located within easy and reliable commuting distances outside of the major cities in the North of England continue to out-perform those in the South. The “Which” survey attributes this to unreliable train commuter services in the South-East. The Mail Online.

Paul Hackett, Chairman of London’s housing group G15, has stated that the government needs to increase social housing funding from the currently promised £2billion to £6billion. Whilst welcoming Prime Minister Theresa May’s previous announcement of additional funds, he pointed out that considerably more would be required in order to meet forecast housing needs. Building

The National Audit Office (NAO) has called for better measurement of benefits realised and more transparency for projects commissioned by the government as “infrastructure related”. Building

McCarthy & Stone, the specialist retirement homes builder, has welcomed the government’s proposals to exclude properties built for retirees from a planned cap on ground rent. The company has campaigned for the exemption, stating that the retirement sector capitalises and sells the ground rent income “to recover much of the construction costs of the significant shared and communal areas within its developments that are integral to the retirement living lifestyle”. Building

The London Build Show is being held at Olympia from 23-24th October. This trade show covers the Building Technology, Machinery, Materials and Interior Construction business sectors. To Fairs   

The Generation Rent group has published claims that the increase in taxes on buy-to-let landlords has not had the knock-on effect of pushing up rents as some landlords had claimed. The group claims that since the then Chancellor George Osborne’s announcement of the increases in 2015, rents have fallen in real terms. The Guardian