The new Housing Minister Robert Jenrick has pledged to carry further the crackdown on the leasehold sale of new homes. This follows concerns about high ground rents, the charges made for repairs and maintenance, and, difficulties faced by homeowners who want to sell. Tougher rules are likely to increase pressures on housebuilders. Mail on Sunday.
Housebuilding has slowed to the extent that 9% fewer were completed in July than the same month last year. A total of 14,262 completions were registered with the National Housebuilding Council (NHBC) – 10,398 sold in the private sector and 3,864 affordable houses. Average monthly totals taken over the whole year, however, still show an increase over recent years. 24 Housing.
In a bid to save money, the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea (RBKC) is looking into building additional storeys on top of existing housing blocks. Twenty blocks at 14 different sites owned by the Borough, have so far been identified as potentially suitable. Inside Housing.
Housebuilder Redrow’s plans to build 190 homes on a 39-acre greenfield plot in Knutsford have suffered a setback. Planning permission has been rejected by Cheshire East because the development threatened to turn Knutsford into “Anywheresville”. Knutsford Times.
Barratt Developments seem to be bucking the trend in an increasing struggling housebuilding industry thanks to financial successes that have seen its share price increase by nearly 20% – to 632.4p – during the past year. Daily Mail.
Southampton City Council has cancelled – without explanation – its contract with RPW Southampton Ltd for the development of a major £450 million waterfront development of the Royal Pier Waterfront. The ambitious redevelopment scheme was to have included a hotel, casino, gourmet market and 730 residential apartments. BBC.
Hightown housing association which already owns 6,300 homes across Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire and Hertfordshire has announced a steep increase of 12% in revenue. It plans to use the surplus to build or acquire a further 1,000 homes by 2021. Inside Housing.
The Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) has reminded local authorities of their duty to apply “bedroom tax” rules irrespective of the size of the bedroom in question – even when it involves young children having to share a very small space. The DWP reminder comes after a High Court decision on the issue. Gov.UK.
The Clarion Group and developers London Square have agreed a £90 million project for the development of social housing at two London sites – Neasden and Staines. In Neasden, there are plans to build 121 affordable rent and shared ownership homes by 2022; in Staines, 104 shared ownership homes to be built by 2021. Inside Housing
Guild Living – a retirement home developer owned by Legal & General – has bought its third development site. It is a two and a half-acre site at Walton on Thames near London, on which the company plans to build up to 300 homes. Housing Today.
Although they may be earning as much as £30,000, only 2% of those earners currently in private rented accommodation are able to buy a home with the support of the government’s Help to Buy scheme. Some 2.78 million people earning £30,000 or less live in private rented accommodation, but only 4,142 of them have been able to buy a home through the Help to Buy scheme. Inside Housing.
More than 5 million of those aged 65 or more want the government to make it easier to downsize – whether through relief from the payment of Stamp Duty, the building of more housing for those in later life or, planning permission for the building of more bungalows. Housebuilder.
WM Housing – a social housing landlord of some 30,000 homes across the Midlands – has managed to turn around its financial fortunes ahead of a rebranding exercise. From its previous year’s deficit of £52 million, the annual accounts to the end of March this year show a surplus of £21 million. Inside Housing.