Countryside Properties announced that it had “performed well” during its first quarter. This follows an increased emphasis on the private rental and affordable property sectors. Its updated figures 1/10/18-31/12/18 showed that the urban regeneration partner and housebuilder saw completions rising by 28% when compared to the equivalent period in the previous year. HouseBuilder

Contractors have until 22 February 2019 to register their interest in a £25m redevelopment scheme of The Royal Veterinary College’s Hertfordshire campus. Work on the project is expected to start on 14 July, with the main contractor due to complete by February 2021. Building UK

Speaking at the World Economic Forum at Davos, Mark Carney, Governor of the Bank of England (BOE), refused to exclude the possibility of interest rate rises this year. He stated he could not dismiss the chances of such rises even if the UK left the EU in a no-deal scenario. Carney noted the BOE was NOT predicting a no-deal Brexit but that contingency planning remained underway should that eventuality come to pass. Daily Mail 

The government has published Construction Products Regulations (CPR) guidelines as a contingency for a potential no-deal Brexit. This stresses that achieving a deal remains the government’s priority but concludes that it would be prudent to prepare should that eventuality not come to pass. UK GOV

Warnings have been issued relating to the imminent introduction of the banning of letting fees. Some commentators are noting that this is happening at a difficult time for landlords and the letting industry. They say rents may need to increase to cover the additional cost. The Guardian

The developer Bruntwood reported a 62% increase in its annual profits which reached £116m in the 12 months to September 2018. It stated its portfolio had grown to £1.3bn during the period. Property Week

A report claims new housebuilding starts in London have declined by 15% in one year. In Zone 1 the level is now 60% down and at its lowest since 2011. This is attributable to a number of causes including delays in obtaining planning permission, authority demands from City Hall and local councils for more affordable housing, and rising costs, plus a slow-take up of existing completed properties struggling to find buyers. Homes and Property

It’s reported that the UK government has confirmed that existing EU standards covering products and services (e.g. architects) will be adopted as “British Standards” even in the event of a no-deal Brexit. This has been widely welcomed by sectors of the building and construction industries. Building UK

Some forecasts indicate that around 50% of London’s office markets are tipped for rent falls in the year ahead. Property Week

A survey has indicated mixed-news for gender pay equality objectives and laws within sectors of the building industry. Some figures show that the gap between male and female earnings is increasing in spite of efforts to address this. There are some indications however that some companies are addressing the issue more successfully. Building UK

The construction industry has formally proposed to the government that 18 separate trades be listed as “necessary” and therefore subject to more relaxed immigration rules post-Brexit. This reflects the fears relating to a shortage of personnel that might arise after the UK has ended unrestricted rights to enter and work in the UK for EU citizens. Construction News

26 specialist contractors have been chosen by Highways England for a £205m framework in the northwest of England. The construction works cover 10 different specialisms of work. The framework starts on 1st April 2019 and runs for four years. The Construction Index

The Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government has published its latest report covering local authority housing statistics. The headline figure is that local authorities in England owned 1.59million dwellings at the end of March 2018. UK GOV.