A new property portal called “Rummage4Property” is receiving increasing support from a number of Estate Agents and some London-based house builders who have agreed to list their properties on the new site. The concept is to create a viable and more cost-effective alternative to the current duopoly that exists with RightMove and Zoopla. Lower fees are a main business driver for the Estate Agents concerned. The Telegraph
Some decades after it fell from fashion and vanished from much of the UK, the immediate post-war “Prefab” is making a major comeback. Fully-fitted three bedroom prefabs are now being produced in Yorkshire with sales prices of between £65,000-£79,000 (excluding land purchase and other site fees). Build time for such properties is as low as 10 days. The Guardian
The government’s new amendments banning the use of combustible materials in the walls of properties over 18 metres high come into force on 21st December. NHBC
The BBC covered an issue relating to claims that some new builds had incorrect proportions of sand and cement in their mortar. In some cases, this subsequently led to structural problems and complaints to the NHBC. BBC
A major Supreme Court ruling in London has seemingly made it much harder for landlords to repossess a property from tenants based upon the justification that they need to undertake building work. The judgement has proven to be something of a shock to the legal system representing landlords’ interests and it may mean that in future landlords will need to prove that they are not seeking eviction for reasons to do with building work. Sunday Times
The Berkeley Group published an increase in its pre-tax profit guidance for this financial year, which was up in excess of 5%. Their statement said this was due to “resilient trading in the period”. The firm’s pre-tax profit for the first half period reduced from £539.9 million last year to £401.2 million this year. HouseBuilder
There are reports of some building and construction firms stockpiling materials sourced from the EU in the run-up to Brexit. This is apparently taking place as insurance against a price-spike post Brexit in any of several scenarios that might be unfavourable for business. Construction News
The Mortgage Works, part of the Nationwide, has announced a new mortgage product aimed at making it easier for buy-to-let businesses to secure a mortgage. Essentially they have reduced the “stress test” threshold which is part of a test to check affordability for a landlord should rates increase in future. This should mean more landlords will qualify for a mortgage than under other current stress test systems. Sunday Times
McCarthy & Stone announced the appointment of Nigel Turner and Mike Lloyd as dual COOs (Chief Operating Officers). They will join the board commencing 1st January 2019, aiming to help deliver the retirement sector housebuilder’s new strategic plan which it published earlier this year in September. HouseBuilder
The number of people taking up building apprenticeships fell by 25% in the 2017-2018 academic year. The Federation of Master Builders (FMB) blames the government’s apprenticeship levy and has called for urgent reform. Brian Berry, Chief Executive of the FMB, stated that such reform should be a priority. Building
Major new plans have been put forward for a second stage of flood protection development in Leeds. The planning application is for a £112m scheme aimed at protecting businesses and housing in key at-risk areas. The development will lower the risks of flooding along a 14km length of the River Aire catchment, to include the A65 Kirkstall corridor. Construction Index
Contractor Forrest has entered administration. It has appointed FRP Advisory as administrator following failure to secure refinancing for the main business after suffering losses on a number of problem contracts.
Forrest employed around 230 people. 64 jobs, however, are believed to have been saved due to an agreed sale of part of the business to Engie Regeneration. Construction News.
Amicus Property Finance has halted lending after failing to agree a deal with a suitable investor. Bridging and Commercial