Flats and Terraces Top UK Housing Type
Brown calls for a 'home-owning democracy', NHBC's latest
statistics reveal the demand for affordable homes is fuelling an
increase in flats, maisonettes and family-friendly terraced houses
in the UK.
According to NHBC's
latest statistics, flats and maisonettes made up of 44% of new homes
started in the UK in the 1st quarter of this year, double the
percentage seen in 2000. Also, the number of terraced properties
started in the quarter exceeded the number of semi-detached and
detached homes. NHBC statistics show that during the 1st
quarter of 2007, 20% of all new homes started were terraced houses -
1% higher than the percentage of detached homes started and 5%
higher than the percentage of semi-detached homes started in the UK.
Imtiaz Farookhi, NHBC's Chief Executive, said:- "The drive for
more affordable homes is being intensified by the number of first
time buyers and a rise in the number of people living alone. This
has led to a shift away from traditional semi-detached and detached
homes towards a greater number of flats, maisonettes and traditional
terraced housing schemes."
Additional statistics by NHBC for quarter 1 2007 show that the
number of applications to start new homes increased when compared
with figures for the same quarter last year. 53,717
applications were made to build new homes in the UK, showing a 3%
increase on the same 3 month period in 2006 (52,140). Of that total,
43,933 related to private sector activity (i.e. excluding housing
associations), showing a 4% decrease on the same quarter of 2006
(45,823). Housing association starts totalled 9,784 - an increase of
55% on quarter 1 of 2006 (6,317).
Based on actual selling prices, during the 1st quarter of 2007 the
proportion of new homes in Great Britain priced at over £150,000
went up to 72%, an increase on the same period in 2006 (69% ).
1st time buyers found
their ability to buy dropped in the 1st quarter of this year. NHBC's
1st time buyers' ability to buy index decreased by 4 points during
the quarter to 54 (the figure for quarter 4 2006 was 58). The index
is based on a formula which takes into account the average cost of
homes bought by 1st time buyers, average income and mortgage
interest rates (from the Nationwide Building Society). The higher
the index, the greater the ability to buy.
The average number of daily sales of new homes in the UK for quarter
1 2007 was 650, an increase of 14% on the same period in 2006 (571).
TENANTS TOLD TO PREPARE FOR DIGITAL SWITCHOVER
half of all tenants in Southport know what they need to do to
prepare for digital switchover. Digital UK is urging everyone
living in rented accommodation to check that their landlords are
taking the necessary steps to ensure that everyone can still receive
TV after switchover.
At the moment, only 43% of private tenants and 54% of council
tenants know what they need to do to be ready for switchover,
compared to the national average of 64%, and less than 5% have
discussed switchover with their landlords. The process of
digital switchover starts in October this year in Whitehaven,
Cumbria, with the Granada region making the switch in 2009. After
switchover the analogue signal will be switched off.
So, if you are living in rented accommodation, what should you do?
Firstly, speak to your landlord to check they know when switchover
is happening in your area and are getting prepared. Some
landlords will upgrade to digital on your behalf, whilst others will
leave it to you. The sooner you find out exactly who is doing what,
the sooner you can relax, knowing that it is being taken care of.
If you live in a flat dependent on a communal aerial system, you
should speak to your landlord as soon as possible. Many communal
aerial systems will need updating in order to provide digital
television, which only landlords can arrange.
Secondly, consider which way of going digital suits you, whether
that is by satellite, cable or Freeview, and check with your
landlord which services you can get. You can also find out
what digital services are available in your area using the Digital
UK online postcode checker (digitaluk.co.uk) or by ringing our
helpline on 08456 50 50 50.
Finally, remember to convert all your sets to digital if you want to
continue watching TV on them after switchover. Whilst 3/4 of tenants
already have digital TV on their main sets, less than 1/3rd of
secondary sets in rented property have been converted. If you
want to watch a different channel to the one you are recording you
will also need to get a digital DVD or hard disc recorder. This
gives you extra features too, such as the ability to pause live TV.
To help inform tenants, we have launched a campaign to boost
awareness of digital and understanding of what you need to do.
Advertisements and leaflets will appear in the first four regions to
switch – Border, West Country, Wales and Granada, to offer advice
for tenants. Our message is simple: switchover is coming, the
countdown has started and Digital UK will help you prepare.