The East Midlands is reported to be the area with the highest increase in the number of £1million+ property sales – up 67% in the first half of 2018. By contrast, property sales at that level fell in London and the South East during the same period. Daily Telegraph.

House prices have increased on average 9% since the Brexit vote, according to the Office of National Statistics. This is leading to the development of new investment products. Sunday Express

Reports indicate that England is set for its worst decade in terms of housebuilding since World War II. This is based upon a large new-build reduction since the Conservatives were elected. A think tank has indicated that total completions in the period 2010-2019 are estimated at around 130,000 each year – significantly well below the 147,000 of the 2000s or the 150,000 of the 1990s. The figure is less than 50% of the 1960s-1970s level and is seen as maintaining a 50-year cycle whereby successive governments have failed to build sufficient new homes, reports the Centre for Policy Studies. Independent

House prices are growing at their slowest pace since February 2013, increasing by only 0.5% in December compared to the same period in 2017. The December figure reflects a significant slowdown from earlier months when prices had been seen to be increasing at around 2%. The figures were published by Nationwide, who commented that “this is broadly in line with [its] expectations” relating to property prices rising by 1% during 2018. Daily Telegraph

There are reports that construction industry confidence has picked up even though Brexit uncertainty continues says IHS Markit/CIPS data. This is being driven by major infrastructure spending including things such as HS2 and Crossrail. Building UK

North West Construction Hub has selected a dozen contractors for its progression of the third generation framework covering projects in excess of £8m. Balfour Beatty, Bouygues, Graham and Vinci were successful for the first time. BAM, Kier and Wates were also successful in retaining their existing position over another four years.

Other newcomers to the high-value framework, joining the roster on lower value lots include: Conlon, Bowmer & Kirkland, ISG, Seddon and Eric Wright. Construction Enquirer

A forecast of potential UK house prices in 2019 has shown considerable variation. Most experts expect modest increases across all areas, perhaps held back by anticipated interest rate rises. Some see Brexit as having the potential to offer a “bounce back” effect on driving prices up. Daily Mail 

Communities Secretary, James Brokenshire MP, announced four significant projects under the “East Midlands Manufacturing Zones” initiative.  The projects, related to the space, food and manufacturing industries, are part of a major initiative targeting the East Midlands Engine undertaking. GOV UK

BrandSafway announced its acquisition of Lyndon Scaffolding plus the subsidiary Taylor’s Hoists company. BrandSafway’s existing ownership of SGB means that company will now be rolled together with Lyndon to form “Lyndon SGB”. Dave Witsken, BrandSafway President of Energy and Industrial, commented “This is an exciting combination. It allows us to bring together a full range of scaffolding solutions — plus deliver excellence in a suite of other access technologies for our customers”. Construction Enquirer

Manchester and Sheffield housing association, Great Places Housing Group, is undertaking the renewal of its housing maintenance structure. The new framework will undertake operations during the period 2019-2023, and the budget is expected to be an investment up to £300m. The organisation is now searching for firms to undertake work packages covering kitchen and bathroom upgrading, windows and doors replacement and roof installations. Construction Enquirer

Flagship Group and Victory Housing Trust have announced a partnership creating the East of England’s largest housing association, owning and managing 28,000 homes. Over the next decade, the partnership aims to invest £534m in maintaining and improving existing homes as well as building more than 10,000 new homes. The development is expected to support 400 new jobs. Victory Housing Trust