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Events Diary

Site Finding & Development 2018

Thursday 24th May 2018

Resi Funding & Investment 2018

Tuesday 3rd July 2018

Alternative Resi Development 2018

Wednesday 26th September 2018

latest news

The Spring Statement 2018: Plans for property

Perhaps predictably, the housing crisis was, amongst other things, top of the agenda for this year’s Spring Statement in March. With the Autumn Budget’s targets holding firm so far, here’s what’s in store for housing in the coming years according to the Statement.

Property development: the types of site taking centre stage

With Site Finding and Development 2018 coming up this May, we take a look at some of the sites catching the eyes of developers and investors in a bid to meet housebuilding targets.

A new approach? The changing world of student housing

Looking at the numbers, it’s no surprise to hear that the student living market has been enjoying a high in the last few years and with 1.04m students now undertaking higher education away from home, the demand for purpose-built accommodation is growing. Ahead of Student Housing 2018 we take a look at the ways in which the world of student accommodation is changing the property market both at home and abroad.

What Can We Learn from the Lyons Housing Review?

The long-awaited Lyons Housing Review was officially published on October 16, 2014. The Labour Party report, put together by ex BBC chairman Sir Michel Lyons, sets out a comprehensive plan for how a central UK government should and could tackle the UK’s fundamental housing issues. In a public statement, Sir Michel Lyons stated: “We face the biggest housing crisis in a generation because for decades we have failed to build the homes we need”. The 180-page blueprint of a better housing future for the UK has received mixed reviews from industry officials, the public and opposing parties. While the sceptics are out in force, such an intricate review on the state of today’s housing market should be studied by all parties before May 2015. We discuss the review’s main disclosures and what can be learnt from these claims. 

The Root Cause

House building lies at the heart of the Labour report, which is declared as the root cause of today’s sky high prices, shortage of social housing and the creation of ‘generation rent’. The central proposal by the Labour government is to build 200,000 new homes every year by 2020, with first-time buyers having priority. Although housing experts claim that a target of 250,000 per year would help to solve today’s shortage, it is a step in the right direction - in 2013, it was reported that completed properties reached a total of 109,370, the lowest since 2010. A proposal for five new towns, including two in the south east, has been included to alleviate demand in the UKs most sought after areas. Prior to the Thatcher years, house building and public social housing was seen as a national priority. As the report points out, this past attitude should be fully acknowledged next May to create future stability.

The Voice of Generation Rent

The voice of generation rent is louder than ever. It was reported this October that one in five homes are now owned by landlords, who are now seeing monthly earnings of almost £3bn – or £32bn a year. Recognising the pitfalls in the Private Rental Sector (PRS) is now so prevalent that the right policies could prove to swing the vote next May. However, according to the Residential Landlords Association (RLA), Labour have been misguided into producing a London-centric report, one which was not represented by any PRS professional. Labour’s plans on rent controls and the prevention of ‘revenge evictions’ have also been criticised by landlords who want to retain the right to evict unscrupulous tenants. What have we learnt? Finding the right policies for the private rental sector is crucial. Listening to landlords and tenants on the most pressing issues should be paramount.

Constructing a Better Future

The UK construction industry is set for a gruelling 12 months and is need of a drastic surge in skilled workers, according to a recent report. The Lyons Review did address the issue by claiming that a greater capacity would be built in the sector to create more than 230,000 jobs, alongside providing more house-building powers to councils around the country. Construction should also be helped along by the fact that the industry would be made more competitive with more small building companies competing for contracts. Finally, the freeing up of undeveloped land that has been in the system for years would be freed up to address land scarcity issues. From this report, we gain a better understanding of how many issues are constraining the current UK construction industry. As Brian Berry, chief executive of the Federation of Master Builders, pointed out: “…the target of 200,000 new homes per year is ambitious, but it is a necessary ambition. To achieve this aim we will need to significantly boost the capacity of the house building industry.”


While it cannot be contested that such a meaty report of UK housing is a welcome action taken by the Labour Party, its findings do highlight the complexities of how to respond to underlying issues that have been prominent for decades. The proposals set out call for greater changes across other sectors in the UK, for example a greater effort within higher education institutions to bridge the construction skills gap that is a constraint on current projects. Questions have also been raised on how councils can fulfil greater housing quotas after years of cuts and how borrowing should be handled and by whom. What we have learnt most from the Lyons Housing Review is that it is a starting point in a long and arduous journey.


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Posted: 06/11/2014
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