Industry News Sadiq Khan, mayor of London, has announced a pilot programme to bring forward publicly owned small sites to boost the capital’s small and medium-sized house builders. Owned by Transport for London (TFL) and The mayor has also earmarked two sites The Housing Builder Association (HBA) through his ‘Small Sites, Small builders’ specifically for community-led housing. congratulates the mayor and his team on programme the mayor will bring forward ten delivering a policy aiming to reverse the sites aiming to deliver 111 new homes, 68% Acknowledging London’s over-reliance on shrinking presence of our local house of which will be affordable. The ten sites volume developers, and the consequent 33% builders. SMEs are the typical candidates in question are a mixture of freehold and drop in SME house builders over the last for these sized sites and it is important that leasehold, with Lambeth and Tower Hamlets decade, Khan hopes that his programme will decision makers recognise this in policy, as bringing 62 affordable homes between them. deliver more opportunities for SMEs and well as language. more affordable homes. UK new home registrations up 6% in 2017, reports NHBC More than 160,000 new homes were registered to be built in the UK last year, an increase of 6% on 2016, according to NHBC’s latest new home statistics. 160,606 homes were registered throughout the course of 2017, up from the 152,017 the previous year and the highest since the pre-recession levels of a decade ago. Savings Champion: Latest figures show building societies outperform banks yet again Comparing the two groups as a whole, building The private sector grew by 3% with 118,825 new homes registered, with the societies continue to outperform banks in key affordable sector increasing by 14% to 41,781 – the highest yearly total for the areas, latest figures produced by Savings Champion sector since NHBC electronic records began 30 years ago. has shown. The research found that a significant percentage more building society accounts (71%) New home completions also increased by 4% from 141,685 in 2016 to 147,278 last year. pay a higher rate than the base rate, compared to banks (47%). This continues the trend that we have seen over the last six years and remained the case throughout 2017. Building societies trade strongly in tougher market conditions While rates on the whole are lower than they were six years ago - as savers continue to struggle in a low- interest savings environment - the average variable rate paid by banks has dropped by nearly 10% more than the average rate paid by building societies in lending and savings figures from the BSA for 2017 show that building societies approved 29% of all new mortgages in 2017, and savers deposited £8.5 billion in building society accounts. Building society mortgage lending 2017 • Approved 442,996 new mortgage loans, down 1% on the 448,222 mortgage loans approved in 2016. • Gross lending was £64.1 billion, down 3% on the £66.4 billion lent in 2016. • Hold outstanding mortgage balances of £298.7 billion, a 22% market share. that time. In fact, during 2017 the average variable interest rate paid by building societies was over 25% higher than the banks, showing a clear gap between the two groups. Tom Adams, Head of Research at independent savings advice site, Savings Champion said: “It is clear when you look at these figures that, on the whole, building societies are showing greater support for savers than banks. Building societies overall pay higher interest rates and demonstrate a greater commitment than banks to treating savers fairly.