Reports highlight that approvals of planning permissions are being granted at record high levels, as confirmed by the recent “Housing Pipeline” report from HBF and Glenigan. The report states that permissions for more than 350,000 new homes were granted in England in the year to June.

The report confirms that for the year to June 2018, 354,646 plots received planning permission approvals on a total of 20,076 sites. This is the first time in 10 years that more than 20,000 sites have received planning permission within a 12-month period. Housebuilder

Sunderland-based builder Brims Construction has reported a 50% increase in profits following the successful acquisition of several big contracts. It was stated that the firm posted turnover of £35.5m, a 36% increase on 2017’s £26.1m with operating profits also increasing by some 49% to £1.58m. Chronicle Live

On a day of volatile trading (October 26th), property firms in general suffered stock price falls on the financial markets. Purplebricks’ shares fell to under £2 for the first time in almost 24 months. Hunters were another big faller, ending down nearly 13%. Property Industry Eye

The Rt. Hon James Brokenshire MP, Secretary of State for Communities, announced that further extensive environmental testing will take place around the Grenfell site in order to protect public health interests. The plans will include further soil and water analysis plus enhanced health testing. Gov. UK

The government has announced a review of the regulations covering carbon monoxide detector regulations. The review will look at the suitability of the existing regulations currently covering solid fuel appliances in the private rented sector and building regulations. It will consider whether existing alarm requirements should be extended to cover oil and gas boilers as well as social housing. Gov. UK

Around 349 savers lost the government’s intended help for first-time buyers. Solicitors report that the Treasury is refusing to pay out sums of up to £3,000 because of paperwork errors on the “Help to Buy Isa”. The Times

Some influential mortgage advisors are stating that market conditions still favour variable as opposed to fixed-rate mortgages. Figures suggest that base rates would need to rise by 1% before a fixed mortgage at today’s rates would be beneficial. The Times

Statistics show that in over 100 local authority areas across the UK, it is cheaper to rent than pay the monthly costs associated with buying property.  The average monthly rents are lower than monthly buying costs in 104 localities in the country, while in another 272 areas, buying remains the cheaper option. This is based on data originating from Hometrack and Zoopla. The Telegraph

The credit reference agency, Experian, will now be including information relating to property rental payment on their databases. It is hoped this will allow potential mortgage lenders to be more inclined to advance mortgages in situations where tenants have a clear history of maintaining regular rent payments. Work is ongoing between Experian and mortgage lenders in order to fine-tune the system. Daily Mirror

A story covers the statistics suggesting that while planning permissions for new homes are at a record high, the gap between permissions granted and homes built is increasingly rapidly. Some sources suggest this is due to speculators “land banking” in the hope values will increase. There are suggestions that the government will be asked to take action to penalise cases where this is taking place. The Guardian

The Singapore-based City Developments Limited has paid Blackstone £385m for 125 Old Broad Street in the City of London. The deal covers the 329,200 square feet office tower, which works out to £1,170 per square foot with a yield of 4.7%.  Blackstone had the property on the market late last year with a guide price of £430m. Property Week