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  • New home registrations in the UK have risen by 25% for the year up to and including August, new figures released by NHBC revealed on Friday.  The figures show continued improvement around the country compared to the same period in 2012. In total 90,730 new homes have been registered in the first eight months of 2013, compared to 72,740 last year over this period.  There was a marginal increase in August registrations compared to the same month last year (9,769 in 2013 compared to 9,553 in 2012) but the rolling quarter for June - August 2013 saw a 15% increase from the same three months last year (33,593 in 2013 compared to 29,272 in 2012).
  • The UK Contractors Group’s Creating Britain’s Future campaign has called for further investment in construction projects in Newcastle and the wider North East. The campaign highlights the importance of UK construction investment as a means of generating jobs and growth.   Construction activity in Newcastle remains subdued, with the value of underlying project starts falling by 30% last year, and starts in the first half of 2013 down 10% against the same period last year.  Nevertheless, there are some positive signs: planning approvals in Newcastle increased by 48% in 2012 and 61% in the first half of 2013, and the region is home to a number of world class projects including the £200m Stephenson Quarter in Newcastle, and across the Tyne the £150m Trinity Square Regeneration project in Gateshead.  Full details here.

UK Economy

  • The UK economy grew by 0.7% in the second quarter of the year, official figures have confirmed.  Bright spots included the construction and industrial sectors, which expanded at their fastest pace for three years.  However, the pace of consumer spending was revised down, and business investment fell.  The Office for National Statistics (ONS) also revised up the growth rate for the first quarter of the year to 0.4% from 0.3%. 
  • Latest figures from the Nationwide show London house price growth reaching double digits.  All UK regions saw annual price rises in the third quarter of 2013 as London continued to lead annual price growth, reaching 10% in Q3Prices in London are now 8% above their 2007 peak, with the price of a typical London home standing at £331,338.  Outside of London, Manchester was the top performer, with prices up 10% over the last twelve months and Carlisle was the worst performing city, with prices down 3% year-on-year.

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