Docklands News

Construction industry hit by fall in output

Construction output in the UK fell by 1.9% in February, leading to a minimal GDP growth of 0.1%. The fall, which marks a 1% contraction in the three months to February, was driven by a slump in activity in eight out of nine sub sectors – with private housing repair and maintenance the only area of growth, adding 0.2%. Non-housing repair and maintenance, and private commercial new work were the worst affected, contracting by 2.5 and 4%, respectively. Poor weather conditions and high interest rates were cited as the main factors behind the decline. Sophie Lund-Yates, lead equity analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, said: "Falls in construction activity also indicate a broader malaise the UK is yet to shake off. We've known for some time that major housebuilders have been building fewer homes, as people wait for finances to improve before making large financial decisions".

Daily Mail (13/04/2024)  

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Ballymore to submit fresh application for 1,600-home Newham development

Ballymore is planning to submit a new application to Newham Council for a major riverside neighbourhood, two-and-a-half years after Mayor Sadiq Khan said the project needed more affordable homes. The 11-block development on the Thames Road industrial estate in Silvertown now includes 350 affordable co-living homes. The hybrid application is expected to be resubmitted this June with 798 homes in the detailed element and 862 in outline. Other changes made by lead architect Howells include second staircases added to the buildings, and an increase of 28 in the total number of homes, to 1,638. The project still includes more than 16,000 sq m of light industrial space, 25,000 sq m of public realm and park space and a 5,000 sq m primary school.

Building (09/04/2024)  

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Patel Taylor gets go-ahead for 547-home Wapping scheme

Architectural practice Patel Taylor’s plans for 547 new homes at the former News International printworks site in Wapping have won the backing of the Tower Hamlets Strategic Development Committee. The proposals for Berkeley Group's St George subsidiary include two blocks of 16 and 22 storeys. Recommending the scheme for approval, council planning officers said the design, height, massing and architectural appearance of Patel Taylor’s proposals would “respond positively to the existing and emerging local context”.

Building Design (09/04/2024)  

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House prices fall slightly in March

The average house price in the UK fell by 1% in March, marking the first monthly decline since September last year. According to Halifax, the average home now costs £288,430, down £2,900 from the previous month. Kim Kinnaird, Halifax's director of mortgages, said the housing market "remains sensitive to the scale and pace of interest rate changes. That a monthly fall should occur following five consecutive months of growth is not entirely unexpected, particularly in view of the reset the market has been going through since interest rates began to rise sharply in 2022. Despite this, house prices have shown surprising resilience in the face of significantly higher borrowing costs." 

BBC News (06/04/2024)   Daily Mail (06/04/2024)   Financial Times (06/04/2024)   The Daily Telegraph (06/04/2024)  

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First-time buyers more reliant on friends and family

Office for National Statistics data shows that first-time buyers are increasingly reliant on help from family and friends to get onto the housing ladder. Between April 2022 and March 2023, 36% of recent first-time buyers used gifts from family and friends to help buy a home, while 9% relied on inheritance. These rates far exceed these seen 20 years ago, when 20% of first-time buyers received financial support from family and friends and 3% relied on an inheritance. Data also shows Britons are purchasing their first home at 36, earning the greatest salary by 47 and are mortgage-free by 61. Meanwhile, the increase in private renting is greatest among those aged 35 to 54. In 2021, 21% of this group rented privately, compared with 14% in 2011. 

City AM (08/04/2024)   I (08/04/2024)  

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Unkempt gardens and neighbours impact home values

A messy next-door neighbour can significantly decrease the value of a seller's home, with unkempt gardens and even garden gnomes deterring potential buyers. According to insurer Churchill, 82% of estate agents emphasise the importance of improving the appearance of neighbouring properties before putting homes on the market. On average, a messy neighbour can reduce a home's value by £31,000, which is around 10% of the average house price in England. The biggest impact is seen in London, where untidy neighbours could decrease the sale price by over £56,950. 

The Daily Telegraph (06/04/2024)  

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