Build Zone welcomes launch of ‘Action Plan to promote the growth of self build housing’

An industry briefing of the long-awaited proposals that aim to boost the number of self-builds that take place in the UK took place on Tuesday 12th July. The resulting report, An Action Plan to Promote the Growth of Self-build Housing will be formally launched next week and is the result of six months work from the Self Build Government Industry Working Group, involving Build Zone Director, Simon Middleton.

Working with the Government, the National Self Build Association (NaSBA), published an action plan to promote the growth of self build in the UK. This was the culmination of more than six months work, involving over 100 experts in the self build sector. The report calls for action on four fronts and lists proposals that should to make more land available for self builders and more finance/mortgages; it should also result in less regulation and red tape and better independent advice to encourage more people to build their own homes.

Grant Shapps said at the briefing ““This is an enormously important moment in the housing history of this country,”

He went on to say:

“Self-build isn’t happening anywhere near its potential in the UK, and these proposals go a significant way to helping achieve my aspiration of doubling the number of homes self-built each year.”

I don’t want this to be a one-off process, rather the start of a revolution. The age of self-build has come,” he said.

The proposals in the plan will now be considered by Government and an implementation group will be established to monitor the progress. It is understood that the aim is to see everything in place by spring 2012. We will keep you updated as things progress.

For more information from Build Zone about Structural Warranties, 10 Year Structural Warranties, contact the Build-Zone team on (0)845 230 9873 or email sales@build-zone.com

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HSBC Bank plc confirms acceptance of the Build-Zone 10 Year Warranty for lending purposes.

The HSBC Risk Management Committee is adding Build-Zone to their list of accepted warranties for new build properties. The leading high street bank has today confirmed their acceptance of the Build-Zone 10 Year Warranty for lending purposes.

The competitive range of structural warranties on offer from  Structural Warranty product provider Build-Zone provide cover for all areas of house building, social housing and commercial development as well as completed and self-build developments.

The Build-Zone Structural Warranty products provide cover against defects in the design, workmanship or materials of building projects.   The wide range of warranty products on offer from Build-Zone will suit most types of development and includes a New Home Warranty which has achieved Designated Warranty Provider status (DWS) in respect of the Warranty link Rule (WLR) by the Department for Communities and Local Government (CLG).  This enables builders and developers to consider the Build-Zone Housing Warranty as an alternative mainstream warranty provider.

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Mortgages paid off at record rate

Bank of England figures show homeowners paid off £7bn of mortgage debt in the last quarter of 2010

Homeowners paid off their mortgage debt at the fastest rate since records began in 1970, injecting £7bn of equity in the final quarter of 2010, according to the Bank of England.

This was well up on the net repayment of £6.6bn in the third quarter of 2010, as well as the £6.2bn seen in the first quarter, and represents the largest net injection of equity on record.

It also marks the eleventh successive quarterly net repayment of mortgage debt, meaning homeowners have been investing more in their homes than they have been taking out in loans – paying off a total of £57.4bn since the second quarter of 2008.

In contrast, there was persistent housing equity withdrawal between 1997 and the first quarter of 2008 – including a sizeable £13.8bn in the first quarter of 2007.

The trend for repaying mortgage debt is being fuelled by homeowners using extra money from lower mortgage interest payments to reduce the balance they owe on their houses, while extremely low savings rates make it far more attractive for people to use spare cash to reduce their mortgages.

Tight credit conditions have also made it more difficult for many people to withdraw housing equity.

Howard Archer, chief European and UK economist at IHS Global Insight, said: “The record figures highlight the strong desire and perceived need of many people to improve their personal balance sheets given high debt levels and serious concerns and uncertainties over the economic situation.

“The overall softening in house prices from their late-2007 peak has made housing equity withdrawal less attractive. And of course, house prices have fallen anew overall in recent months, which is likely to further encourage a net injection of housing equity in the near term at least.”

Housing equity withdrawal was used to support consumer spending during the boom years, but Archer said the ongoing net injection of housing equity is adding to the constraints on consumer spending, including high unemployment, negative wage growth and high debt levels.

Source: The Guardian

For more information from Build Zone about Structural Warranties, 10 Year Structural Warranties, contact the Build-Zone team on (0)845 230 9873 or email sales@build-zone.com

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Surprise fall in inflation cuts interest rate pressure

MORTGAGE payments could remain at rock bottom until the beginning of next year, experts have predicted, after a surprise drop in the rate of inflation in March reduced pressure on policymakers to raise interest rates.

New data showing a rise in inflation of just 4 per cent last month came as a shock to economists, who expected that the cost of living – measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI) – would increase again, as it has done for nine months. The index stood at 4.4 per cent in February.

The falling cost of food and drink was the main driver of the lower CPI, the Office for National Statistics’ figures revealed.

The price paid for products including fruit, bread and cereals, slumped as supermarkets and grocery shops slashed costs amid falling consumer confidence in the wake of looming public sector job cuts and tax changes announced in the Budget.

Lower-than-expected inflation will weaken the prospect of an interest rate rise – which will come as welcome news for Scotland’s home-owners, but a disappointment for those with healthy balances in their savings accounts, who were hoping rates would begin an upturn.

Members of the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) have recently come under increasing pressure to raise interest rates – which have remained at 0.5 per cent for 25 months in an effort to kick-start the country’s flagging economy.

Source: News.scotsman.com

For more information from Build Zone about Structural Warranties, 10 Year Structural Warranties, contact the Build-Zone team on (0)845 230 9873 or email sales@build-zone.com

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First time buyers’ mortgage approvals increase

Chartered surveyors are reporting a sharp rise in mortgage approvals, suggesting that first-time buyers are finding it easier to get on the house price ladder once again.

Research from chartered surveyors eSurv showed that approvals rose by 4.3pc in March compared with February, while those with smaller deposits are finding it easier to take out a home loan.

The year-on-year comparison is more positive too, with decline slowing to 0.6 per cent compared to March 2010, the slowest year on year decline since it began falling in May 2010.

According to the survey, the volume of high loan to value mortgages has increased. The number of people buying with a deposit of 10 to 15 per cent grew a third faster than average. It is generally first-time buyers, with smaller deposits, who take out this type of loan.

Cheaper properties were also popular, with those up to £125,000 accounting for a third of all mortgage approvals. According to the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML), the average first-time buyer mortgage is £100,000, while the average mortgage for a home mover is £130,000.

Richard Sexton, business development director of eSurv, said that more first-time buyers were jumping in thanks to record rents, and more high loan-to-value products on the market.

Source: The Telegraph

For more information from Build Zone about Structural Warranties, 10 Year Structural Warranties, contact the Build-Zone team on (0)845 230 9873 or email sales@build-zone.com

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