Average house prices plateau

Average House Prices Plateau

Data produced by The Halifax in February shows an average house price rise of 1.8% for the preceding 12 months. As is so often the case the figure needs a little context to give a full picture. Specifically, that both December and January showed a decline in house prices with a small recovery into a positive number in February.

The implication here is that monthly price increase has been steadily falling throughout 2017 for the average to still be around 2% for the year but the last quarter has been either side of zero.

The decline in price growth has been attributed to a squeeze in household incomes and a slumping London market.

Lenders have responded with more than 300 products on the market with a 95% loan to value ratio. This is the first time since the beginning of the credit crunch that the number has exceeded 300. With mortgage approvals down to 61,000 in December lenders are fighting over a smaller pool of customers.

Nationwide have predicted just a 1% increase in average house prices for the forthcoming year.

Paris, Rome,…….Bolton??

Paris, Rome,...Bolton?

A proposed development by Peel Holdings to build over 1,000 new homes and a golf course specifically intended to host the Ryder Cup in 2026 has received backing from Bolton Council.

The next two Ryder Cups in Europe have been awarded to venues in Paris and Rome. However, this proposed site is Hulton Park in Westhoughton and has attracted fierce opposition from local residents, politicians and Westhoughton Town Council.

The planning officers report acknowledges the green belt would suffer “substantial harm” but argues the benefits of hosting the Ryder Cup would “clearly outweigh” that issue.

Correspondingly should the bid to host the event be unsuccessful Peel would “not be able to proceed” with the plans.

So in summary, whether this huge development goes ahead hinges on the bidding process for a sporting event which won’t be concluded until the end of 2019.

Letwin publishes Interim Report

Letwin Interim Report

Theresa May has turned her fire on the house builders as the government is increasingly criticised for failing to meet national house building targets. The lack of supply props up prices and increasing numbers of people are simply unable to afford homeownership.

She even called the fact that house building CEOs are bonused on profit rather than production volume “perverse”. A statement I would have expected from the hard left of British politics rather than a Tory Prime Minister.

In a bid to pin the blame for a housing shortage on the private sector house builders, Sir Oliver Letwin has been tasked with establishing if house builders deliberately restrict the supply of new homes to maintain sale prices and thus improve their profit margins.

Letwin has now sent an interim report to the Chancellor and the Housing Secretary acknowledging that the rate of build out of large sites was inhibited “by a web of commercial and industrial constraints,” such as limited skills and materials. However, he was “not persuaded that these limitations are in fact the primary determinants of the speed of build out on large permitted sites at present.”

He concluded that the absorption rate seemed to be the determining factor in build out rates on large sites once planning permission was granted.

Letwin intends to spend the summer producing some robust proposals to be announced in the autumn budget to incentivise a higher level of production from private sector housebuilders.

Three ways to get the recruitment results you want

Blog - 3 ways to get the recruitment results you want

Selecting the right recruiter to help you fill a vacancy is very important. However, what you do as the hiring manager still has a huge impact on whether your vacancy gets filled regardless of how effective your external recruiter is.

Here are three things you must do to maximise your chances of successfully recruiting:

Take the time to brief your recruiter properly

Your recruiter will be showcasing you as an employer to the wider candidate pool. This pitch will be based on what you tell them about your company, the job and the future prospects.

If you don’t arm the recruiter with the features and benefits of your vacancy and company they are simply asking candidates if they are looking for another job. In an employment market where there are plenty of vacancies it’s the recruitment equivalent of trying to sell sand in the desert and the result will be a very weak shortlist.

Keep the momentum going

Hiring managers justify delays in recruitment processes by prioritising their day to day work. Understandable, but deadly to the prospects of a strong candidate shortlist for two reasons.

Keep in mind your business is in the shop window as far as a potential candidate is concerned. They are assessing if they really want to work for you.

Now think about the signals a delay sends out to a candidate – indecision, don’t prioritise staffing, disorganised. This undermines everything you have said to the candidate at interview about the positive working environment of your company.

Furthermore, delays in your process also open the door to a competitor hiring your favourite candidate whilst you are busy with something else.

Get personally invested in the successful candidate joining

Assuming you have made an offer to the best candidate speak to them directly about the formalities of a written offer and any necessary background checks. Arrange to meet them for coffee during their notice period. Introduce them to their soon to be colleagues in an informal setting. Talk to them about what you expect their first few days to be like.

In short, invest in your new working relationship with this person. They will be much less likely to back out of an offer if they feel you are committed to them joining you.

I hope this helps. If you want to discuss any aspect of these tips or recruitment in house building just get in touch.