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On Friday 5th May, Labour‘s Andy Burnham was announced the Mayor of Greater Manchester after an election that could prove to be vital to residents, yet seemed to pass many by.

Greater Manchester – accounting for Manchester, Salford, Stockport, Trafford, Bury, Bolton, Wigan, Rochdale, Oldham and Tameside – was first to agree upon a devolution deal with George Osborne in 2014, prompting Whitehall to devolve powers on fire and policing, housebuilding, skills and transport. The region was also first to gain combined responsibility for health and social care budgets, amounting to £6bn for 2.8 million residents.

Burnham – the North West born, long term Labour MP and Cambridge University graduate – won the election in what proved to be a landslide victory, with a pitch almost entirely dedicated to resolving local difficulties and cutting ties with Westminster in order to do so.

Burnham put his success down to a determination to understand and combat local challenges, constructing a manifesto centred around the problems faced in local communities. In addition to reducing transport fares for young people, he has promised to contribute 15% of his wage to homelessness, an amount which has been matched by a number of organisations since.

“The public thought about who they wanted to be mayor of Manchester”, Burnham reflected.

“They did not use this as a proxy for the general election. This was hard won. I did not just stroll around Westminster and then think I would go to Manchester and see how I would get on there. I did a whole detailed consultation with people on the manifesto. We did not want to have the Westminster approach.”

Amongst the key focuses, which included transport, health and social care, and the interests of young people, housing was a particularly prevalent topic.

“There was an anger about housing policy in Greater Manchester” states Burnham, “and a sense that Greater Manchester hasn’t been focused enough on affordable housing. I agree, and that’s got to change”. As such, he has promised that more affordable housing has been built, with a proportion reserved for those born and bred in Greater Manchester.

Time will tell whether Burnham’s promises will come to fruition. However, his acknowledgement of local issues from the eyes of the community is certainly reassuring. Many of these issues would almost definitely have gone unnoticed in Westminster and by party leaders in a general election.

The devolution of these powers and budgets provides the Mayor and his cabinet with huge responsibility, but more importantly with the ability to create substantial, beneficial change to what is already one of the UK’s leading and growing economies.

Source: www.buyassociation.co.uk

May 10, 2017
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Greater Manchester Mayor Appointed: What does it mean for housing?

On Friday 5th May, Labour‘s Andy Burnham was announced the Mayor of Greater Manchester after an election that could prove to be vital to residents, yet seemed to pass many by. Greater Manchester – accounting for Manchester, Salford, Stockport, Trafford, Bury, Bolton, Wigan, Rochdale, Oldham and Tameside – was first to agree upon a devolution deal with George Osborne in 2014, prompting Whitehall to devolve powers on fire and policing, housebuilding, skills and transport. The region was also first to gain combined responsibility for health and social care budgets, amounting to £6bn for 2.8 million residents. Burnham – the North West born, long term Labour MP and Cambridge University graduate – won the election in what…
May 10, 2017
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Sales and lettings increased in prime central London market in first quarter of 2017

Property transaction levels have increased across the prime central London market for the last three quarters after seeing prices fall by 7% in 2016, the latest analysis report shows. Whilst London has historically been the primary driver of national house price growth, in 2016 the region was outperformed by the outer South East, East Anglia and the South West regions, according to the report from Strutt & Parker. Vanessa Hale, research partner at the firm pointed out that while UK house prices grew 4.1% year on year to the first quarter of 2017 but in the prime central London market it was a very different story. With a fall of 7% in 2017, prices in prime…
May 9, 2017
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Residential rents increase across most of UK

Residential rents have increased both month-on-month and year-on-year across all areas of the UK apart from London and Northern Ireland. The index was put together by Landbay and showed that national rents went up by 0.82% over the last twelve months and by 0.04% month-on-month. A breakdown of these figures showed that rents showed a monthly increase of 0.04% in England, of 0.09% in Scotland and of 0.1% in Wales. In London and Northern Ireland, however, rents fell by o.o9% and 0.37% respectively. The index also revealed that younger adults who lived on their own in a rental home would spend one third, or more, of their monthly income on rent. In the age bracket of…
May 9, 2017
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Sale prices for homes in UK in March varied from £11 million to just £10,000

Over 96,500 residential and commercial land and property sales were lodged with the Land Registry in England and Wales in March 2017 with prices varying from £10,000 to £11.25 million. Of these sales some 67,893 were freehold and 14,849 were newly built of which 510 were for £1 million and over 305 were residential sales in London for £1 million and over. The most expensive sale was of a terraced property in the London Borough of Kensington and Chelsea for £11.25 million while the cheapest was a terraced property in Blyth, Northumberland and a flat in Weymouth, Dorset, each being sold for just £10,000. Separate data from the National House Building Council (NHBC) shows that 13,277…
May 8, 2017
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Urban land for home building in demand in UK outside of London

City centre sites in the UK are seeing increased interest from developers, pushing up average urban land values by 1.8% over the last quarter, according to new research. Land within Birmingham, Manchester and Glasgow is in high demand with values rising by 15% or more for urban sites over the last year, the study from international real estate firm Savills. It points out that previously overlooked sites are now being considered as developers and investors seek opportunities for house price growth and Build to Rent, regeneration and infrastructure improvements are at the heart of the growth. Housing Associations are also buying more land. Indeed, urban land values have increased more strongly than values for greenfield land…
May 5, 2017
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April saw strongest growth in 2017 for British construction

Last month, the British construction industry experienced its fastest growth rate for this year so far, however doubts remain in the sector regarding the long-term. IHS Markit reported that the purchasing managers’ index (PMI) for construction rose significantly in April, to a value of 53.2. This is an increase from 52.2 in March. One of the main drivers was an increase in orders beyond levels original expectations. However, the construction sector was still beaten by manufacturing values, which experienced a three-year high. Max Jones, global corporates relationship director for construction at Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking, said: “Some of the nervousness is coming from contractors with a focus on infrastructure, where the pipeline remains strong. The success…
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