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Notes from Left-Field, at the Labour Conference

By Adam Challis

A very American phrase, perhaps laced with a bit too much cynicism as I attended anti-American Jeremy Corbyn's first - some might say only - party conference as leader, this week. Brighton was chosen well before his surge to power after 30 years of perennial rebellion. 

Housing supply: new data shows problem, not solution

By Adam Challis

The latest figures from the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) show a strong improvement in housing completions for the year to June 2015 - 15% year-on-year growth should rightly be celebrated.

However, let’s not confuse these results with what is happening in the underlying market.

Have Residential Funding Taps Been Turned Back on?

By Jonathan Ma

While the UK’s wounds from the global recession have undoubtedly now healed, many have questioned whether some scars have been left.

Despite the fact the UK’s economy is the fastest growing among the G7, it remains to be seen whether the availability of capital will ever flow as it once did, following the world’s most catastrophic economic crisis.

Housing policies: like upping speed limits to unlock traffic jams

By Adam Challis

Following on from the Budget statement, chancellor George Osborne handed the house building industry another big shock with a complete reworking of planning permissions for housing sites.
This was big stuff – a veritable tearing up of the form book with “automatic” permissions now on offer through zone-style planning...

PCL outlook brighter after the election

By Neil Chegwidden

The Prime Central London sales and lettings markets have seen higher transaction levels during Q2 when compared with Q1.

We also predict that both markets will see further gains in activity and value growth during the second half of this year.



Fundamental Shift In Funding Affordable Housing

By Adam Challis

The 2010 Comprehensive Spending Review included a 60% cut in grant funding for social housing. That kind of cut doesn’t come without some changes for the sector.

Some of this change has been a good thing. The sector’s reputation – fair or otherwise – for being bloated and inefficient is now being re-engineered.

Lack Of Choice Pushing Up Uk House Prices

By Neil Chegwidden

Housing turnover as a proportion of UK housing supply has declined over the past 34 years and this has contributed to the notable rise in house prices since the 1980s.The implication for the market is that, despite an increase in the population and in housing supply, home buyers have had an increasingly...


UK’s pressing need for PRS

By Adam Challis

Six years on from the government’s launch of the Private Rented Sector Initiative, and two years on from the release of the Montague Report, real progress has been made.

However, it can’t come fast enough for some, and hasn’t come fast enough for many. In hindsight it may be naïve to have thought otherwise, given that...

Planning continuity: better the devil you know?

By Caroline Harper

With the Conservative administration we can expect a continuation of the status quo, rather than wide-scale planning reform. While some may welcome the chance for the NPPF to ‘bed-in’, it is questionable as to whether this approach is actually delivering more development, including much needed new housing.

Weak foundations – UK housing’s unrealistic targets

By Simon Latson

The definition of insanity is to complete the same task over and over, expecting a different outcome.
Housing delivery against ever more ambitious – some would say fanciful – targets can feel a bit like that sometimes. It is just not possible to carry on constructing homes as we are and expect that somehow that magic 200,000+ number can be reached.

GE15 Post Post-Rationalisation for Housing Supply

By Adam Challis

The soul-searching following the 2015 General Election has begun and for the opposition parties it will carry on for most of this year as they retool under new leaderships.
For the Conservatives, a clearer mandate to lead this country will mean continuity for housing policy and with that, a bit more clarity...

Registered Providers are Going Private

By Alix Green

Registered Providers (RPs) of affordable housing are changing – and in several ways.
Firstly, in terms of new Section 106 affordable housing opportunities – the affordable delivered through planning obligations - RPs are becoming more selective with some focusing only on the largest of schemes.

A big idea can be about small things

By Adam Challis

We are awash with high-minded political ambitions at the moment.
As with any pre-election build up, our aspiring leaders lurch from pronouncement to pronouncement trying to catch our imagination.
Electioneering is about selling a dream; hopefully one that a majority of voters share and a belief that we have found the man or woman who can deliver it.

Right to Buy 2 = bad politics

By Richard Petty

The Conservative Party’s manifesto includes, as one of its flagship policies, a commitment to extend the Right to Buy to housing association tenants. This will apparently be funded by requiring councils to sell vacant, high value properties. Let’s have a look at why this will not work in practice, and why it completely misses the point of what the next government needs to be doing to tackle the housing crisis.

London 2012 legacy – Rising in the East

By Neil Chegwidden

London won the right to host the 2012 Olympics in July 2005.
As part of the bid various legacy promises were made.
These ranged from encouraging two million people to take up sport and bringing communities together through to economic growth and the regeneration of East London