Average house price rises, as affordable completions fall

ONS house price data shows slight rise in September

This week the Office for National Statistics published its latest house price index for September, revealing that the average house price has increased by 2.5% since August 2021.

The data, which covers England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, reflected an annual price rise of 11.5%, with an average property value of £287.895. The North West experienced the greatest monthly rise, at 5.3%, with prices in London falling in the month by -2.9%. The capital also saw the lowest annual price growth, with a rise of just 2.8%.

Meanwhile, Rightmove reported a 6.3% annual increase in house prices in November, with a national average asking price of £342,401.

The property website also revealed that house prices fell by -0.6% in the month, although these figures are not seasonally adjusted.

DLUHC statistics reveal drop in affordable completions

The newly-named Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities have reported that 52,100 affordable homes were completed in England from April 2020 to March 2021, a drop of 12% when compared to the previous year.

The department pointed towards the restrictions caused by lockdown as the main reason for the fall in supply, and noted that affordable housing for rent (including social, affordable and intermediate rent) represented 65% of completions.

HSE targets mental health of construction workers in new initiative

This week the Health and Safety Executive implemented a new campaign, targeting construction – along with four other sectors – in an effort to improve mental health and wellbeing.

Mental health issues are cited as the number one reason for sick days in the UK, accounting for 17 million working days lost last year.

The ‘Working Minds’ campaign sees the HSE partnering with other organisations and charities to influence a culture change across Britain to get psychological risks treated the same as physical ones in health and safety risk management.

And, with construction currently amongst the worst of all industries for mental health, a swift improvement is certainly needed.

Material price increases hit 40-year high

The latest Build Cost Information Service Materials Cost Index has shown price rises in the industry hitting a 40-year high.

Industry analysts said that between January and September 2021 the largest increases were seen in timber and steel; and warned that rises could continue into next year, exacerbated by labour rate increases.

The BCIS also reported that the cost of materials in constructing a 3-bed semi-detached house has increased by 14%, or £7,300, in the period.

Crest profit forecast ahead of expectations

This week Crest Nicholson published a trading update on the twelve months to October 2021, revealing that adjusted pre-tax profit was expected to be “marginally ahead” of its previous forecast of £101.2m.

The housebuilder also referred to its growth strategy, which targets completions in excess of 3,000 per year by FY24, and expansion into three new areas.

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