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The ending of the 'tapered' stamp duty holiday has had little impact on buyer demand which remains higher than typical levels for this time of year.

The demand coming from buyers searching from space and making lifestyle changes after consecutive lockdowns, has further to run.

Balancing this however, will be the ending of government support for the economy via furlough and more challenging economic conditions overall, which we believe will have an impact on market sentiment as we move through the last quarter of 2021.

The market is expected to remain busy compared to historical norms, and for price growth to remain in firmly positive territory at the end of the year, although lower than current levels of +6.1%.

Stock levels will start to rebuild in early 2022 as market activity returns to more normal levels.

Zoopla

Robert Jenrick has been sacked from his post as Housing, Communities and Local Government Secretary.

The 39year old, who was seen as something of a rising star when he first joined the Cabinet and is known to be a Boris Johnson loyalist, has been dogged by various scandals since he took on the role of Housing Secretary - in particular question marks over his links to Tory donors.

The Times has reported various sleaze allegations against Jenrick over the last 18 months, with the biggest controversy concerning a planning decision made, against the advice of planning officers, for a 2 billion, 500-apartment London housing scheme led by Richard Desmond. The move was subsequently ruled as unlawful.

He also faced criticism over his handling of leasehold, cladding and planning reform. Tories have been increasingly concerned, following the shock by-election defeat earlier this year in Amersham and Chesham, a traditional Conservative heartland, of how proposed planning reforms are going down with its voter base.

Tory MPs in Green Belt areas have been left horrified by Jenricks initial plans to create a presumption in favour of development in some areas, as part of the wide-ranging Planning Bill, and it is expected that the plans will be abandoned in light of a backlash from southern voters and MPs

Ministers are set to drop controversial changes to planning laws that would have stripped homeowners of the right to object to new houses in their area.

following a backlash from Tory MP's, reforms to build 300,000 homes a year by 2025 will be diluted, according to The Times. 

In a consultation, the Government suggested ripping up the planning application process and replacing it with a zonal system forcing local councils to meet mandatory building targets. But the overhaul - the biggest shake-up of planning laws for 70 years - met strong opposition in rural areas. Tory MPs blamed it for the party's defeat to the Lib Dems at the Chesham and Amersham by-election in June.

Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick will reportedly ditch mandatory targets and the zonal system. Instead, councils will identify 'growth sites' with a presumption in favour of development so applications are fast-tracked. The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government said: 'We will not comment on speculation. Our response to the consultation will be released in due course.'

The record climb in house prices over the past year is not expected to lapse, according to Halifax. New figures published by the lender on Tuesday showed the average cost of a home hit a record £262,954 in August - a rise of 0.7% from July and 7.1% over the last 12 months.

The rise in prices has continued even as the stamp duty holiday tapered at the end of June. According to Halifax's Russell Galley, the 'structural factors' that have driven the record prices - such as a shortage of available properties and continued demand for extra space - look set to persist. As a result, he said, price gains made since the start of the pandemic 'are unlikely to be reversed'.

Daily Mail

The cost of building materials for home improvements is rising at the fastest rate since the 1990s, data suggests.

'Unprecedented' demand for extensions, loft conversions and land scaping, amid a supply shortage, has led to prices 'going through the roof'. Builders say they are having to go back to customers almost daily with increased quotes as merchants raise their fees. One builder said that he had been forced to increase his the predicted cost of an extension from £20,000 to "27,000 - up 35%.

The price rises over the summer were thee highest since records began in 1997, according to research group IHS Markit and the Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply. And the high demand has come against 'sustained and severe' disruption to supply chains caused by global shipping chaos and the shortage of lorry drivers, forcing customers to wait up to eight months for deliveries of items such as bricks. The price of some wood products has almost doubled year on year , data from the Office of National Statistics shows.

The cost of a typical 4.8 metre (15ft 9in) length of sawn treated timber has risen from £17 to £29, while the cost of a 2.4 metre (7ft 10in) length of plywood has increased from £34 to £62. The price of tiles has gone up by close to a third, from £1.20 t0 £1.58, with builders facing six month waits for deliveries. The chaos in global shipping has also contributed, with the cost of a container from China reportedly increasing from £1,800 a year ago to £8,640 today.

A long-standing lack of skilled builders is also pushing up the price of labour and forcing householders to wait several months to start projects.

Tom Witherow   Daily Mail.

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