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September 16, 2018

Housebuilders Berkeley and Redrow warn on tax

The high-end housebuilder Berkeley Group, which is set to drop out of the FTSE 100 this week, has launched an attack on government housing policy, saying increased taxes in the sector are a risk to London’s prosperity. In a trading update, the group said changes to the stamp duty regime

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Report highlights ventilation compliance 'failure'

Report highlights ventilation compliance ‘failure’ Published:  12 April, 2016 BSRIA has expressed its disappointment at the findings of a report that highlights a failure of ventilation systems to comply with Building Regulations. The recently published Zero Carbon Hub report ‘Ventilation in New Homes’ describes a catastrophic failure of ventilation systems

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BDC 317 : Jun 2024

September 16, 2018

Housebuilders Berkeley and Redrow warn on tax

The high-end housebuilder Berkeley Group, which is set to drop out of the FTSE 100 this week, has launched an attack on government housing policy, saying increased taxes in the sector are a risk to London’s prosperity. In a trading update, the group said changes to the stamp duty regime would prevent the capital from meeting its housebuilding targets. “What is increasingly clear is that government policy, which has been helpful outside London, has had a negative effect on the capital,” Berkeley said. “Transaction taxes are now too high and this is restricting both mobility in the second-hand market and the pace of supply and delivery of new homes in London and the south-east.” Berkeley said reservations of its homes had been at least 20 per cent below 2015 levels during the year so far, due to the tax changes as well as June’s EU referendum. But the group reiterated its profit guidance until 2018, saying it still expected to make £2bn of pre-tax profit by the end of April that year thanks to a strong pre-order book. Redrow, meanwhile, a FTSE 250 housebuilder, predicted “another excellent year” in 2017 after clocking up its third straight set of record results in the 12 months to June 30. Redrow proposed a 67 per cent increase in its full-year dividend to 10p a share after pre-tax profits improved by 23 per cent to a record £250m on revenue of £1.38bn, a fifth higher than the previous year. Profits came in higher than the £224.8m expected by analysts. Redrow said it completed 17 per cent more home sales last year and also achieved a 7 per cent uplift in average selling prices to £288,600. The Flintshire-based company said it had entered the fresh financial year with a record private order book of £807m, up 54 per year-on-year. Prices for homes in London’s wealthiest areas have been declining since the former Chancellor, George Osborne, overhauled stamp duty on homes in 2014; an additional surcharge on second homes introduced this year has further damped the market, according to agents. Berkeley and Redrow both said the changes would have broader effects on the housing market across the capital, including the provision of affordable homes that developers are required to include in new schemes. “While these challenges persist, and the barriers to entry for small builders remain high, London will fall well short of its targets for new homes,” Berkeley said. Berkeley said it had taken a “selective” approach to land buying since the Brexit vote, acquiring just two sites. Its shares are still 18 per cent lower than their pre-referendum price. Related article The public is not bovvered about Brexit. Even shares in housebuilders are bouncing back, after losing two-fifths to one-third of their value… The group said this week that it had halted work on a partially completed £20m development in Barnes, west London — a rare move, although people close to the company said this was to allow buyers to customise their apartments, rather than because of sales concerns. The company will pay out a dividend of £1 a share on September 15 and said it still planned to pay out an additional £10 a share over the period to September 2021. Redrow has sought to navigate softness in the top end of the London market — for large houses and luxury apartments in “prime” central London — by focusing on “mid-range” homes and “affordable” flats in the capital’s outer boroughs. “We have made good progress working through our legacy of prime London apartments … and now have very little exposure to this sector of the market,” the company said. Sample the FT’s top stories for a week You select the topic, we deliver the news. Source link

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Funding available for innovative architecture research with the RIBA Research Trust Awards

Browser does not support script. Contact us The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) is calling for applications from individuals interested in conducting new research into architecture. The RIBA Research Trust Awards has grants of up to £10,000 available to support original independent architecture research by practitioners, academics and recent graduates. The judging committee particularly welcomes applications from new researchers and practice-led researchers, those in collaboration with academia and those not from a traditional research background. RIBA President Stephen Hodder said: ‘The RIBA Research Trust Awards have supported many talented people in the past who have gone on to become skilled researchers both in the academic field and as practising architects. The originality of proposals is always highly valued along with clarity in the methodology and objectives of the research. I eagerly await the results of this year’s awards.’ The deadline to apply is 1 June 2015. For more information, visit http://www.architecture.com/researchfunding ENDS Notes to editors: 1. For further press information, contact Callum Reilly callum.reilly@riba.org 020 7307 3757 2. For more information about the RIBA Research Trust Awards, visit http://www.architecture.com/researchfunding  3. For application queries, contact Hayley Russell hayley.russell@riba.org 020 7307 3678 4. The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) champions better buildings, communities and the environment through architecture and our members www.architecture.com 5. Follow us on Twitter for regular RIBA updates www.twitter.com/RIBA   Posted on Friday 27th March 2015 Search architecture.com just start typing and hit enter again × Browser does not support script. Browser does not support script. Source link

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Report highlights ventilation compliance 'failure'

Report highlights ventilation compliance ‘failure’ Published:  12 April, 2016 BSRIA has expressed its disappointment at the findings of a report that highlights a failure of ventilation systems to comply with Building Regulations. The recently published Zero Carbon Hub report ‘Ventilation in New Homes’ describes a catastrophic failure of ventilation systems to comply with the requirements of Building Regulations Part F and negate the issues associated with poor ventilation, including indoor air quality, condensation and mould growth. The report visited 33 dwellings across six construction sites during 2015, to see how effectively their mechanical ventilation systems were designed, installed, commissioned and handed over to occupants. According to the report, the Zero Carbon Hub team found issues at many stages of the construction process at every site it visited, with significant underperformance of the systems as a result. At five of the six sites, fans were operating at only half the required flow rates, with other common issues including flexible ducting being installed instead of rigid ducting, and long duct runs with multiple bends reducing performance. Chris Knights, general manager of BSRIA Compliance, said: “Unfortunately, but not unsurprisingly, the report confirms that there is a widespread lack of understanding, at all levels, of the importance of correctly designed, specified, installed and commissioned ventilation systems. “Moreover, the checking of final testing documents appears near non-existent. The report highlights the poor level of testing documentation available. A recent survey by BSRIA of calibration facilities also showed that less than 10% of the thousands of airflow measurements devices in use, by both electrical contractors and commissioning specialists, for ventilation system commissioning and testing, were UKAS calibrated in 2015 in line with the requirements of the Approved Document.” BSRIA agrees with the report, based on its own experience at the commissioning/testing stage, and echoes that appropriate measures must be implemented, including whether voluntary certification schemes are strong enough to be part of the solution. The inspection and enforcement protocols for this ‘notifiable’ work must reviewed. The Zero Carbon Hub report can be downloaded online at http://www.zerocarbonhub.org/sites/default/files/resources/reports/ZCH_Ventilation.pdf. Source link

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