UK construction and property
- EPC targets | The British Property Federation (BPF) has urged the government to clarify EPC targets for commercial buildings. It found that the lack of regulatory certainty was one of the key barriers to reaching a net-zero property sector. The BPF argued that the delay in publishing a response to a 2021 consultation has made the target of EPC C by 2027 “unrealistic”.
- Mortgage rates | Four of the UK’s largest lenders have reduced mortgage rates following lower rates of general inflation. The move means that a five-year fixed deal, which is currently marketed at 6.10% will be 5.39%.
- Skills | The City of London Corporation has written a report which recommends reforms to the Apprenticeship Levy and s106 policies to match the demand for skilled workers. It warns that addressing skills gaps and workforce shortages are crucial to central London’s transition to a more sustainable economy. The full report is available here.
- Contract awards | Barbour ABI’s latest analysis shows that the value of contracts awarded reached a year-high, with £7.6bn awarded in July. The industrial work increased 184% in the month, and the sector also saw its highest level of planning approvals in over a year. Residential awards remained low, 15% lower than in 2022.
- Buy-to-let | Analysis of capital gains tax receipts by Savills suggests that interest rate hikes and tougher laws on landlords have encouraged landlords to dispose of properties. There were 151,000 home disposals in 2022/23 financial year, the second highest on record after 2021/22.
- Construction output and inflation | The latest data from the ONS shows that total output has increased by 1.6% in the last month, with increases in new work (2%) and repair and maintenance (1.1%). Six of the nine sectors showed growth, with infrastructure new work and non-housing repair and maintenance being the main contributors (4.7% and 3.4% respectively). The ONS also reported that the average rate of construction output price growth was 4.6% between June 2022 and June 2023, showing a slowing from the record level set in May 2022 of 10.4%.