NHBC new home registrations in October were up to 14,579, an 8% increase year on year. Registrations in the private sector were higher by 7% at 11,097 when compared to the 10,383 recorded in 2017. The affordable sector increased by 12% to 3,482 when compared to the 3,099 of 2017. House Builder

The government has published figures for Help to Buy and Equity Loan success rates. These figures indicate that one or more of the various schemes were used in over 458,000 completions. 402,000 of those related to first time buyers. More statistics released on 30 November indicated that first time buyers have taken out 1.2 million Help to Buy ISAs. The average house price purchased through the schemes was £201,881 and in excess of 93% of Help to Buy completions were outside London. GOV UK

The latest Hometrack analysis has reported that Brexit has played only a marginal role in the cooling of property prices in certain housing sectors. They believe that the overall economic position coupled with detrimental tax changes have been the major factors affecting slow or negative growth. Financial Reporter

There are reports of a surge in interest for £10m+ country estates, meaning essentially large country manors with substantial acreage. This comes after a decade of low interest, as fashionable choice moved to prestige city centre properties. Sunday Times

PRS REIT, the private rental sector developer, has confirmed its acquisition of four new sites at various locations in the North West. It plans to deliver 464 new family rental homes at a gross development forecast cost of £68.2m. Property Week

Michael Gove, the government’s Secretary of the Environment, has unveiled proposals that will make it mandatory for builders and developers to show a net environmental bio-diversity gain as part of their planned construction of homes and related facilities. This means local habitats for wildlife must be shown to be better after development than they were before it. Gove commented, “Our commitment to protecting and enhancing our natural world can go hand in hand with our ambition to build more high quality homes.” GOV UK

Estate agents have been warned of a new phishing scam. This is in the form of a bogus email pretending to be from the property portal Rightmove, which invites recipients to follow a link to “Rightmove Plus”. This then becomes a conventional scam in that a look-alike site will attempt to solicit passwords and other confidential information from the agents concerned. NAEA / Propertymark

The regulator has confirmed that Westmoreland Supported Housing, a tenant of Civitas Social Housing and Triple Point Social Housing, has been rated as ‘non-compliant’ in terms of assessment of its viability and governance. Property Week

The government have stated they may need to intervene to construct a new common system for energy smart meters in homes. This comes after widespread consumer complaints that the devices don’t work or do not work if the energy supplier is changed. Daily Mail

The Association of Residential Lettings Agents (ARLA) confirmed that in the period September-October, 3.7% of tenants had been able to successfully negotiate rent reductions in the private rental sector. That’s according to the latest monthly report from the association. This is the highest figure ever recorded since record keeping began in January 2015. Property Wire