Housing roundup

House price momentum slowed to the same level it was a year ago and new buyer enquiries fell for the second consecutive month, according to the August RICS Residential Market Survey. Concern over potential rise in interest rates could be contributing to the fall in buyer interest it said.

Demand for new homes fell slightly in July, the first monthly decline since January 2013, while the supply of new properties coming onto the market increased for the second consecutive month, according to the July RICS Residential Market Survey. Prices are still projected to rise nationally over the next year and expected to increase by 2.6% on a 12 month view. 

Plans by Government to build new homes on brownfield sites will mean increased use of soil stabilisation to treat land in situ, according to Britpave. Planning and housing minister Brandon Lewis has announced the bidding criteria councils to share a £200M fund to create 10 housing zones on brownfield land. The new zones, all of which will be outside of London must support the building of 750 to 2,000 homes. A separate bidding process for £400M for 20 housing zones in London is already underway.

Hundreds of council homes are to be built in Waltham Forest over the next three years in the biggest public housing project in a quarter of a century. A £16.7M project funded by a mixture of grants and loans will lead to the development of 435 homes across the borough.

Work on nearly 13,000 homes stalled by the 2008 housing crash are set to be restarted with the help of £0.5bn of government investment. Ministers have published a shortlist of over 160 smaller housing developments across the country that could benefit from a share of the £525M Builders Finance Fund.

Plans to build up to 5,000 homes in Kent on a site that is said to be key to the UK's nightingale population have been condemned by environmental campaigners. The Wildlife Trust said the move could cause "environmental destruction on a scale not seen for more than 20 years". Medway Council approved Land Securities proposals for Chattenden Woods and Lodge hill last week. The developer said the area's 84 pairs of nightingales would be re-homed nearby.

Lord Rogers of Riverside has attacked proposals to build up to 40 new garden cities on the greenbelt as "a ridiculous concept" and has called instead for the developments to be stitched into existing cities using derelict sites. He spoke out after the £250,000 Wolfson Economics Prize was last week awarded to a proposal to take “a confident bite out of the greenbelt” and build 150,000-resident urban extensions to towns and cities across the country.