Land & New Homes

News focusing on new homes, housing development, land acquisition and joint venture projects between agents and developers.

  • Olympic Park, London, image
    Land & New Homes

    New £1.4billion vehicle for rented homes

    The investors behind residential schemes at the Olympic Park in Stratford and Elephant & Castle have merged the developments to create a £1.4bn vehicle for rented homes. Qatari Diar Real Estate Investment Company, which is owned by the State of Qatar, property firm Delancey, and Dutch pension fund asset manager APG have merged the assets to create a new company with 4,000 homes, 1,500 of which are already built. The partnership said its ambition was to become the leading player in the delivery of homes for rent in London and other major UK cities over the next few years. The merger is conditional upon regulatory approval. All of the homes will be managed and leased through Get Living London, an existing management and letting platform. Sheikh Jassim Al-Thani, chief development officer for Europe and the Americas at Qatari Diar, said, “This merger between two leading London private rented sector schemes is the first step in what is a much larger endeavour: to significantly increase the supply of new homes in connected and affordable locations in British cities.” The private rented sector (PRS) has boomed in recent years as requirements for sizeable deposits and stricter lending criteria have made it harder…

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  • Land & New Homes

    Government is not reaching its housebuilding targets

    The Government’s target of building 1 million new homes over this is unlikely to be met. Less than 460,000 homes were built between 2011 and 2014, according to figures from the National Housing Federation, despite forecasts that 974,000 new homes were needed. This contributed to the significant shortfall or residential properties across the country, prompting the Government to increase its housebuilding target to 1 million by 2020, including more Starter Homes and shared ownership properties. However, despite efforts by the Government to encourage more housebuilding, the latest PMI data for the manufacturing industry shows that the residential housing sector in Q1 2016 actually recorded the weakest pace of growth since January 2013. Tim Moore, Senior Economist at Markit, said, “Residential building has seen the greatest loss of momentum through the first quarter of 2016, which is a surprising reversal of fortunes given strong market fundamentals and its clear outperformance over the past three years.” Last week, the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) and Home Builders Federation (HBF) announced a major new partnership to help tackle the housing skill needs in the construction industry by creating long-term skills solutions to meet the Government’s target of 1 million new homes by 2020.…

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  • Housebuilding image
    Land & New Homes

    New partnership to support housebuilding sector

    With a backlog of almost half a million homes across England still waiting to be built despite receiving planning consent partly because of a construction skills shortage in the housebuilding industry, the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) and Home Builders Federation (HBF) have teamed up to form a major new partnership to help tackle the housing skill needs. More than 45,000 new homebuilding workers will be trained by 2019 to help tackle the nation’s housing shortage through the Home Building Skills Partnership – a £2.7 million training initiative designed to help boost the supply of new build homes. The shortage of skilled labour in the housebuilding sector is pushing up the price of hiring tradesmen. The financial crash of 2007-08 bears some of the blame as it led to thousands of people leaving the construction industry. Now that demand has returned, there is a skills shortage, with bricklayers, carpenters and joiners in short supply. Brian Berry, Chief Executive, FMB, said, “We’re already seeing housing developments starting to stall because the cost of hiring skilled tradespeople is threatening to make some sites simply unviable. Unless we see a massive uplift in apprenticeship training in our industry, there won’t be enough pairs…

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  • Latest property news

    London Mayor urged to build 50,000 new homes

    The next Mayor of London must commit to developing at least 50,000 new homes a year in the capital to help meet growing demand for housing, business leaders have demanded. The CBI’s London Manifesto aimed at candidates in the Election, which will be held on 5th May, insists that the successful candidate must remain firmly focussed on business growth, to ensure that the city is an attractive hub for investment, creativity, skills and tourism. Lucy Haynes, CBI London Director, said, “London’s star has continued to rise over the past few years. From setting a new standard for hosting the Olympic Games to the emergence of Tech City, the capital has shown the world it is still the best place to grow, do business and thrive. “But in an increasingly competitive global race, the next Mayor must take some tough decisions from day one for London to continue to grow and prosper, and to keep the city a magnet for investment and skills. “From building the 50,000 homes a year the capital needs to house its talented workers, and a new runway that will boost our exports to high growth markets, to making the city a global beacon for digital and…

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  • Housebuilding image
    Land & New Homes

    Housebuilders accused of ‘restricting supply’

    Housebuilders are being blamed for the lack of housing supply after it was suggested that they are intentionally ‘holding back’ the construction of new homes to keep property prices artificially high in order to boost profits. The latest figures from Glenigan, which were compiled for the Local Government Association, show that 475,647 homes in England now have planning permission granted but have yet to be built. This figure is up 60 per cent since 2010, but the number of new homes being built has increased at a lower rate of 48 per cent, owed in part to the fact that the average length of time it takes for developers to complete a new home has jumped from 24 months to 32. Labour MP Clive Betts, Chair of the Local Government Select Committee, has reignited a long-running row between policymakers and the housebuilding sector over who is to blame for the current housing shortage by accusing the big housebuilders of failure to speed up housebuilding “to maximise their profits rather than addressing the country’s housing need.” “These are private companies who are very simply trying to make money for their shareholders. They are restricting supply and the government urgently needs to…

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  • Planners image
    Land & New Homes

    New housing consents highest since 2008

    There was a noteworthy increase in the number of planning permissions granted in the third quarter of last year, up from 53,409 consents in the corresponding quarter in 2014, according to data released in the Home Builder’s Federation (HBF) and Glenigan’s latest Housing Pipeline report. The statement suggests that 242,819 permissions were granted in the 12 months to October, the highest ‘moving annual’ total since early 2008. According to the data, 181,000 new homes were constructed in 2014/15, which broadly equates to the number of planning permissions recorded some two to three years ago. However, the industry remains concerned that the ‘lag’ of turning permissions into homes is becoming lengthier. “Whilst the overall increase in outline permissions is welcome, most of these still have to navigate the complexities of the planning system before they can be built,” said Stewart Baseley (left), Executive Chairman of the HBF. “It is imperative we speed up the time it takes for applications to be processed to the point that builders can actually build if we are to deliver further increases in housing supply.” The Government is holding a consultation on proposals to fast-track planning applications and introduce competition into the planning process, with a…

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  • Housebuilders image
    Land & New Homes

    Plans to fast-track planning for housebuilders

    Planning applications for new residential property developments in this country could soon be fast-tracked for a premium fee as part of new radical Government proposals. Under the new plans designed to help housebuilders push schemes through more quickly, developers would have a choice of submitting a planning application to the local council, a competing council or a Government approved organisation that would process applications up until the decision point. Councils would also be able to offer the fast track planning application service – possibly through competition pilots or potentially through devolution deals. Communities Secretary Greg Clark (left) said, “Council planning departments play a vital role in getting local housebuilding off the ground, but for too long they have had no incentive to get things done quickly or better, resulting in drawn out applications and local frustration. “These proposals will be a boost for house builders looking to build much needed new homes for hard working families and first time buyers, and for local people looking to get a planning permission for home improvements through their local council quicker.” Given that planning is consistently listed as a major barrier to building more homes, the Government’s ambitious reform proposals have been warmly…

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  • Planners image
    Land & New Homes

    The West needs 85,000 homes

    85,000 new homes need to be built in the West of England over the next 20 years to meet demand, significantly more than anticipated. The four councils – Bristol, North Somerset, Bath & North East Somerset and South Gloucestershire – estimate that the West now needs 85,000 new homes by 2036, rather than the 56,000 units originally planned. They have vowed to work together to plan the new properties and all the roads and other infrastructure that will need to go with them. A 12-week public consultation is underway offering local residents the opportunity to have their say on what sort of projects should go where.

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