Confederation of British Industry Director General calls on government to re-energise the property market

John Cridland, speaking at the CBI (Confederation of British Industry) North East annual dinner as Director General, called upon the chancellor to introduce measures to assist first-time buyers and those wanting to progress up the property ladder. These included an expansion upon the shared ownership programme and a scheme by which first time buyers could get finance by accessing savings in their personal pension pots via a loan back system, involving borrowing money from their pensions and paying it back through their salary.

“I want to see the chancellor use his autumn statement on 29 November to jump start the housing market,” he stated.

Read more about his speech here.

Fire and looting damage advice offered for properties affected by the disturbances

The Association of British Insurers has urged anybody affected by the rioting, which swept the country in early August of this year, to contact their insurers as quickly as possible. Many providers, they say, are operating 24-hour help-lines to help arrange the necessary repairs.

To read the rest of this article, click here.

Homelessness – The Andrew Ludlow Awards

The annual Andrew Ludlow awards is a scheme that rewards the hard work of a short listed group of six innovative schemes, each aiming to tackle the problem of homelessness in London. With £50,000 available for a winner and two runners up, this is a valuable source of funds in the fight against destitution that, it seems, may only get harder.

To read more about why homelessness is becoming a serious issue for Great Britain, click here.

Fire Safety Recall on Beko Fridges

Up to 500,000 fridge freezers could be posing serious fire risks in homes and businesses across the country, the London Fire Brigade (LFB) has warned.

The LFB said a fire in the capital last week, which was originally thought to have been caused by a lightning strike, was caused by a Beko appliance.

Beko has been alerted to the problem which the LFB says has caused 20 fires and one death in London since 2008.

Fire chiefs are urging people to check if they own particular models manufactured between January 2000 and October 2006. A full list can be found via the trading standards website here

Anyone with concerns should contact Beko by calling their free phone number on 0800 009 4837 or visiting

Steve Turek, assistant commissioner for fire safety regulation, said: “Any fire can be lethal but the LFB is particularly concerned about this because fires involving any sort of fridge freezer develop rapidly and produce an enormous amount of toxic smoke.

“Having established this link, we have worked closely with Beko to ensure the public is kept safe.

“However, the brigade urges everyone who has a Beko fridge freezer to check it is not one of those highlighted by the company as potentially faulty.”

Minister’s Honesty Shock!

Grant Shapps, the housing minister, told Radio 4 on the 3rd January when commenting on the end of boom and bust in the housing market, that it was not “within the gift of government to do that”. He stated that “I would be foolish to say that you can simply end boom and bust, you can’t.”

Mr Shapps did confirm that there were policies that the Government could use to influence the market such as those affecting mortgages and investments.

Contrast that with the exuberant comments coming out of 10 Downing Street in the early years of the Blair-Brown Government.  “No more boom and bust.”

Such realism from a government minister seems rather novel and refreshing!

Uncertainty in the Housing Market in June

The National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA) have reported that although the number of houses on their books fell slightly in June, the number of house hunters rose.

The RICS (Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors) report gives the opposite picture, with the number of house buyers down and housing stock up.

To read the whole article, click here.