Communities Secretary, the Rt. Hon. James Brokenshire MP has announced new plans for a commission to work to improve the quality and aesthetic attributes of new buildings. The new body is called “The ‘Building Better, Building Beautiful’ Commission”. This is following on from recent criticisms of aspects of modern architectural design and building quality. GOV UK

The government has published the terms of reference for the above-mentioned commission. GOV UK

Essex company Hill has been named best builder of the year. They were described as “a good company consistently delivering high quality development” by the judges.  Housebuilder

The government has announced it will extend the help-to-buy scheme by another two years from 2021 to 2023. The scheme will also be restricted to first-time buyers only. Housebuilder

Communities Secretary James Brokenshire has welcomed the recent budget stating that “it will boost efforts to build the homes communities need, restore the dream of home ownership, help our high streets and support councils to deliver local services.” UK GOV

New home registrations for Q3 2018 mark the strongest quarter in 11 years, according to the latest figures from NHBC.

The NHBC has announced that registrations have reached the highest quarterly number since 2007. In Q3-2018 (July-September) a total of 43,578 new homes were registered across the UK. This is an increase of 15% on the same period in 2017. It is also the highest quarterly total since Q3-2007 when 49,520 new homes were registered. Housebuilder

The government has released a new formal methodology for calculating the energy efficiency of buildings in England and in some parts of Wales. GOV UK

Homes England has announced new plans for its intention to what it calls “disrupt” the housing market. A number of measures are announced, all with the objective of forcing the more rapid development of quality homes. Housebuilder

Homes England’s new strategic plan has been welcomed and endorsed by the government. This is seen as an essential step on the government’s declared pathway towards building 300,000 homes each year by the mid-2020s. GOV UK

The Home Builders Federation (HBF) has welcomed the government’s statement that the help to buy scheme will be extended until 2023. However, they also expressed some reservations relating to certain scheme restrictions, the effects of which had yet to be fully understood. Housebuilder

New planning rules that will entail the construction of more than 1500 homes, will be introduced for building sites. This arises from the government’s study which has concluded that building rates are slowed down by the uniformity of the buildings on the site. The new rules will force diversity of construction meaning a faster overall building rate. GOV UK

Nationwide Building Society is reported to have said that UK house prices are rising at their slowest rate for five years. Growth in October fell to 1.6% against the 2-3% seen over the preceding 12 months. Daily Telegraph

There are reports that numbers of buy-to-let investors have left the market as a result of government policy changes. However, this is reported to have had a knock-on effect on some buy-to-let mortgage providers who are now aggressively competing for such remaining lending business via the provision of attractive deals. Daily Telegraph

There are reports in several papers relating to predictions that the North-South price divide is reducing and will do so further as prices in London and the south fail to keep pace with increases in the North. Daily Mail

Several papers also carry reports that technical changes arising in the budget could result in buy-to-let property owners facing new bills when they come to sell their property, with even “accidental landlords” being potentially worse-off by some £13,000. The Guardian