Persimmon has announced that Jeff Fairburn, their Group Chief Executive (GCE), will be stepping down and will be leaving the group in December 2018. Current Group Managing Director David Jenkinson will take up the post of interim GCE at that date. Persimmon’s formal comment is “The board believes that the distraction around (Jeff Fairburn’s) remuneration from the 2012 LTIP (long term incentive plan) scheme continues to have a negative impact on the reputation of the business and consequently on Jeff’s ability to continue in his role”. HouseBuilder

Minister of Housing, Communities & Local Government, The Rt. Hon James Brokenshire MP, has replied to a formal enquiry relating to the ban on combustible materials in the external walls of high-rise residential buildings. His response has been published and clarifies certain aspects of the government’s proposals. UK GOV

The government has announced a new £2million initiative aimed at cracking down on “rogue landlords”. At the same time, the report also highlights that figures indicate an increased level (2.5%) of buy-to-let mortgage arrears with a 3% rise in serious increases defined as being where the arrears exceed 10% of the outstanding balance. Some sources, cited to include Mark Pilling of Spicerhaart, attribute the increased problems to the controversial universal credit benefits scheme. The Telegraph

The government’s decision to change probate laws, thereby effectively increasing their tax take upon someone’s death (in qualifying circumstances) has been heavily criticised in an editorial.  The Sunday Times

Redrow reports that Executive Chairman Steve Morgan will be retiring from the board at the end of March 2019, exactly a decade to the day that he returned to the company. John Tutte, the current Group Chief Executive will succeed Morgan. The existing CEO of Redrow Southern will become Chief Operating Officer. HouseBuilder

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) reports that the UK’s property market is at its weakest for six years. They state that surveys indicate that prices are flat or falling across half the country and suggest that sales will continue to stall until clarification over Brexit is reached. They went on to comment that October’s data was “the weakest reading since September 2012” and that prices are falling in London, the south-east, south-west and East Anglia. The Guardian

10% of property rental advertisements now exclude DSS claimants, according to some reports. This exclusion may be unlawful according to some sources. The Guardian

An economist has forecast that house prices will experience modest falls if there is no Brexit deal. By contrast, it’s anticipated that a firm deal would see property prices rising by up to 2%. BBC

Telereal Trillium’s proposals for a large residential redevelopment in a brownfield site in Farnborough, Hampshire, have received the approval of Rushmoor Borough Council. Property Week

The vast social media organisation Facebook has negotiated terms for the rental of the entire office space located at the Bankcentre campus in Dublin. The move will more than quadruple its headquarters presence in the city and the development will also house Facebook subsidiaries such as WhatsApp, Messenger, Instagram and the virtual reality company Oculus. Property Week

The UK experienced the largest half-year net reduction in retail units for five years, during the period January-June 2018. A report by the Local Data Company on behalf of PwC indicated that a net 1,123 stores vanished from Britain’s top 500 high streets during the period. During the same period in 2017, the figure was 222. Property Week