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Report: Construction industry threat over skills shortages

A new report has warned that worsening skills shortages in the construction industry could threaten 27,000 projects a year by 2019.

Report Construction industry threat from skills shortages. Credit: PA

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (Rics) issued the dire prediction after a study found that most surveyors were having recruitment problems because of a shortage of suitably qualified candidates.

A survey of 75,000 members of Rics also revealed that more than two out of five were turning down new business because of the "dearth" of skilled workers.


Lloyds: 'Second steppers' get property ladder boost

A Lloyds Bank report found that people who were living in the first home they had ever bought and were trying to take their second step on the property ladder saw their equity position boosted by an influx of first-time buyers into the market in 2014.

An aerial view of houses on residential streets in Muswell Hill, north London. Credit: PA

Schemes such as Help to Buy helped to widen the availability of low deposit mortgages for people trying to take their first step on the property ladder, helping to unleash a flood of demand from first-time buyers into the market last year.

Lloyds estimates that potential "second steppers" are now sitting on £10,000 more equity in their home than they were a year ago, due to the increase in prices paid for first-time buyer homes.

On average, potential second steppers are now estimated to have £76,131-worth of equity sitting in their existing home, giving them a 25% deposit for their next property, for which they will typically pay £299,428.

Number of home owners moving hits a seven-year high

A report has found that number of home owners moving house reached a seven-year high in 2014 as rising property values boosted the amount of cash they had sitting in their existing homes.

Number of home owners moving house hits a seven-year high. Credit: PA

An estimated 365,400 people moved home last year with a mortgage across the UK, marking an 8% year-on-year increase and the highest figure seen since 2007, Lloyds Bank found. The report said that surging house prices last year boosted the equity position of many home owners, helping them to make the jump up the property ladder.

Yes vote 'would lead to sharp drop' in house prices

The average house in Scotland could sell for £31,000 less than current prices if the country votes Yes to independence, property pricing website Zoopla has suggested.

A YES campaign banner on a house in the border town of Galashiels, Scotland. Credit: David Cheskin/PA Wire

If large employers chose to relocate south of the border the increase in the number of available properties would dramatically rise leading to a drop in price, the website claimed.

House prices in Scotland have increased by 8.3% (£13,728) over the last two years with the average home now worth £177,599.

Uncertainties over tax, currency and interest rates following a Yes vote are also likely to impact on prices and mortgages could potentially be harder to obtain, Zoopla said.

A No vote would remove uncertainty from the market and allow the current recovery to continue, it suggests.

Largest drop in house asking prices during August

House sellers' asking prices fell steeply by 2.9% month-on-month to £262,401 typically in August as the mood of the market grows calmer in London in particular, website Rightmove has reported.

The dip as sellers adopt a "summer sales" attitude is the largest for the month of August that Rightmove has on its records, which go back more than a decade.

Largest drop in house asking prices during August Credit: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

Asking prices in London saw the largest monthly drop across England and Wales, with average prices in the capital standing at £552,783, which is 5.9% lower than in July.

Despite the drop, asking prices in the capital are still 10.3% higher than they were a year ago. The North was the only region to see asking prices increase month-on-month, with a 0.5% uplift pushing them to £149,354 typically.


Housebuilding soars at 'fastest rate in over a decade'

Housebuilding in Britain is increasing at the fastest rate in more than a decade amid soaring demand for property, according to a professional body. The Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply said that during the month of July the construction industry had one of its best performances since before the recession.

Housebuilding increases at fastest rate in over a decade. Credit: PA

The Times reported that the institute said residential building rose at the fastest pace since November 2003 because of “favourable funding conditions and strong demand for new housing starts”.

'I earn a good wage but still cannot afford to move out'

Sarah Mann, 32, has a good job but was forced to move back into her parent's house in Croydon, south London, after splitting up with a partner.

She says her salary is not that of a six-figure banker's but is "better than the average wage," yet still she cannot afford to buy a property.

Speaking to ITV News, she said: "You just think, why do I work so hard, who do I do all those extra hours, if it means all I can do is find somewhere to put a roof over my head. What kind of quality of life is that?"

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