Housing roundup

A fresh All-Party Parliamentary Group for Housing and Planning has been formed to address the national housing emergency. Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) will take the lead role in supporting this new APPG. Chair is James Cartlidge, Conservative MP for South Suffolk supported by vice-chairs Mark Prisk (Conservative MP for Hertford and Stortford and former Housing Minister), Helen Hayes (Labour MP for Dulwich and West Norwood and former town planner), Lord Richard Best (Cross Bench MP and president of the Local Government Association) and Stephen Pound (Labour MP for Ealing North).

Growth in UK house prices slowed in the year to July, according tot he Halifax,  although they are still rising "robustly". The Halifax said that prices rose at an annual pace of 7.9% last month - down from 9.6% in June. During July itself, prices actually fell, by 0.6%, the largest monthly drop since April 2014. It brings the average price of a flat or house across the country back down to £198,883.