In its annual survey, the Federation of Master Builders (FMB) says that the scarcity of land, access to finance, skills shortages, and inflexible planning requirements are major obstacles for small to medium-sized builders. Consumer demand continues to fall, primarily because of a lack of confidence in the industry. Federation of Master Builders.

A new report by the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) complains about housing development on the Green Belt. Pointing to the fact that planning permission for Green Belt development is granted under the guise that new homes will be “affordable” risks squandering the rural asset, says CPRE. Housebuilder and Developer.

The government is promoting hard its proposed new model for shared ownership for home buyers. Much-vaunted as a way of getting “thousands” more lower earners onto the housing ladder, the model allows “staircasing” of shared ownership in incremental stages as small as 1% – rather than the current 10%. Gov.UK.

Auctioneers Strettons have published an October catalogue with both residential and commercial properties ripe for building works and development. The most expensive guide price for offers of £1 million and more is for an office building in Turners Hill, Herts. It has planning permission for 11 flats on three of its floors. A guide price of just £900 is quoted for a vacant freehold building plot in Barking, Essex. Property Week.

The National Federation of Builders (NFB) has complained that the Queen’s speech on the re-opening of parliament failed to shine the spotlight on the country’s dire need for new housing. Eight out of every ten small and medium-sized housebuilders have gone out of business in the past 30 years, says NFB, yet housing and construction are at the core of the British economy. Politics Home.

Housebuilder Bellway completed a record number of completions in its financial year to the 31st of July. It delivered 10,892 new homes – 5.7% more than the previous year’s 10,307. In the coming year, the builder is aiming to achieve average selling prices for its homes of £285,000 – and believes it can complete 13,000 annually. Housebuilder.

Property developers the Commercial Estates Group (CEG) have secured planning permission for a £79 million regeneration project in the centre of Manchester. Plans for the site – between the High Street and Northern Quarter – include a ground floor and mezzanine for shops, restaurants and cafes, with 360 new homes on the upper floors. Construction.

Construction giants Laing O’Rourke intend to keep the lid on pay rises for their employees. The policy comes as the company recorded its first profits for the first time in four years. The clampdown affects all 12,685 of its employees. Building.

Housing associations must assume responsibility for their own indebtedness rather than rely on government funding, says the Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick. They must make their own decisions about the number of homes they provide and whether those they build are for social housing or offered for private sale. Inside Housing.

Britain’s biggest housebuilder Barrett Developments claims a positive start to its new financial year. In its year to the 30th of June, it operated from an average of 374 sites for new homes and has so far attracted a further 26. It delivered a total of 3,252 new homes (including joint ventures) in its year ending 2019 – up 14% on the previous year’s 2,852. Housebuilder and Developer.

Lenders are nervous about investing in the retail property market because of the “distorting” effects of the co-working start-up WeWork. As many as 200 to 300 of the country’s 650 shopping centres are thought to be in financial difficulties. Property Week.

Summarising the present government’s upcoming legislative objectives, the Queen’s Speech confirmed that the programme would include new laws designed to improve building safety standards in high-rise blocks. The legislation will include tougher enforcement and sanction against those in breach of the new standards. Housebuilder.

Midlands-based housing association WHG has revealed a joint venture with builders Lovells for the development of 250 new homes. In a £45 million scheme, the homes will be built on a 16.5-acre site in Walsall in the West Midlands. Inside Housing.

The government has ditched plans to bring in legislation designed to protect construction projects’ bank accounts and retentions. The Bill had been introduced by Conservative MP Peter Aldous, but any mention of it was omitted from last week’s Queen’s speech. Building.