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The Covid-19 pandemic is continuing to cause major disruption to the UK’s economy and businesses. Our aim during this time is to support our clients and contacts by sharing relevant updates, together with our insights into how the real estate industry will be impacted.

Follow us on Twitter or LinkedIn for regular updates and please get in touch if you would like to discuss anything with our team. We’re here to support you on any PR, business strategy or corporate communications needs you may have.

Best wishes,

Andrew Teacher and the Blackstock Consulting Team

 


DAILY BRIEFING TUESDAY, OCTOBER 20TH, 2020

UK Government Response Updates

Wales is to go into a “short, sharp” national lockdown from Friday until 9th November, meaning people will be told to remain at home while pubs, restaurants, hotels and non-essential shops will shut.

Primary schools will re-open after half-term next week, but secondary schools will only reopen to years seven and eight and for those pupils sitting exams.

Welsh First Minister, Mark Drakeford, said the “time-limited firebreak” would be “a short, sharp, shock to turn back the clock, slow down the virus and buy us more time.”

The move sparked fury among Welsh Tories, who said it was dooming the country to an endless cycle of two-week lockdowns. Meanwhile, Conservative MPs in Westminster said branded the lockdown a “blunt instrument” and that “closing down the whole of Wales is disproportionate to the level of risk in some parts of the country”.

One MP even accused Mr Drakeford of “small man syndrome”, telling MailOnline: “You have got somebody who is the head of what is essentially smaller than the West Midlands but where they have got a mayor, Wales has a first minister.

“He is trying to show he is an equal to Boris Johnson. He wants to be regarded as equal but he is not.”

About 2.3 million people in Wales are already living under local lockdown rules — 15 counties, plus Bangor and Llanelli.

Economic Outlook

The Mayor of Manchester said that he expects the 80 percent furlough to be restored in exchange for more stringent Covid-19 rules across the region.

Andrew Burnham told the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show that his standoff with the Government is “not about a big cheque”, but that a significant sum will inevitably be required to bring an end to the impasse over fiscal support for Greater Manchester.

He added: “We need to agree a package of support that will help people through this.

“It’s discriminatory for people in the lowest-paid professions to have a two-thirds furlough when people on middle incomes were paid 80 percent earlier in the year.”

Meanwhile, investors were disregarding the Prime Minister’s warning that Britain is willing to walk away from trade talks with the EU — responding to the latest communications breakdown by buying the pound.

Sterling’s stability reflects confidence among investors that both the EU and Britain will ultimately strike a deal.

James Athey, a portfolio manager at Aberdeen Standard Investments, told The Financial Times: “Nobody believes them. The market is unwilling at this stage to believe that the UK would just unilaterally walk away from talks. It’s a credibility issue.”

Housing Market

John Lewis has earmarked plans to enter the UK’s build to rent sector as part of fresh plans to expand the business.

The new strategy unveiled by chair Sharon White aims to generate 40 percent of future profits from areas such as financial services and private and affordable housing by 2030

Planning delays and securing permission remain a major barrier to housing delivery over the next 12 months, according to 83 percent of SME housebuilders.

Research carried out by the Home Builders Federation and Close Brothers Property Finance revealed 65 percent of SME housebuilders have said their growth projections are down due to coronavirus.

Retail, Leisure & Hospitality

The number of shop closures in the UK for H1 2020 has increased over 70 percent, compared to the same period last year.

According to data from PwC and The Local Data Company, 11,120 retail outlets have closed in H1 2020 while 5,119 have opened.

Offices

Commercial property investment in Scotland has increased in Q3 after investment levels plunged in Q2.

The market as a whole saw £400m of investment – just shy of the Q3 five-year average of £405m.

Planning

Donald Trump has received planning permission to build a second golf course on his Scottish estate.

Scottish officials said Trump’s new development will be subject to some conditions such as measures to minimise flooding at the site and safeguarding birds.

A planning inspector has allowed an appeal against a council’s refusal of plans for a 241,500 square metre warehousing and industrial scheme on a 57-hectare allocated site, after concluding that concerns about heritage, transport and biodiversity impacts had been addressed.

Transport & Logistics

Transport for London has said it won’t enter into any new contracts after enacting stringent cost-control measures as it battles the impact of the coronavirus crisis.

The authority has said it will extend existing contracts by six months “where necessary” as well as pausing all non-critical spending.

Construction

Construction firms have taken on more emergency loans than any other industry, new research has revealed.

Data from the British Business Bank has revealed construction firms have taken just over 218,000 loans across the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan (CBILS) and Bounce Back Loan schemes.

Further Reading

Dwayne Johnson made one elderly fan’s day as he personally sent her two bottles of tequila on her birthday, so she could celebrate turning 101.

Marie Glover, who turned 101 this month, received two bottles of Teremana to help her celebrate her birthday.

Matt Hancock has come under fire after being spotted without a face mask while travelling in a ministerial car.

Downing Street said ministers had been told to wear face coverings in their chauffeur-driven cars after the Health Secretary was snapped without one on a trip to the Department of Health and Social Care on Monday.

RESI 2020

If you hail from the residential property sector or you are looking to diversify with mixed-use schemes in the future, you can’t afford to miss the RESI Convention.

This unique hybrid event takes place at the Celtic Manor Resort and online for the first time in history. Whether you are joining the event physically or virtually, you will experience an immersive and interactive environment with networking at its core.

Don’t miss this unique opportunity to be a part of the conversation that will shape your investment, financing and planning decisions into the future, as we debate the key strategic issues that really matter post-crisis.

Book now without hesitation to secure your place at this exceptional event during an exceptional year. Our ticket options and booking terms and conditions provide reassuring flexibility whatever the circumstance.

Find out more about what’s included – view ticket information here >

If you have any further questions please get in touch – logistics@propertyweek.com

Perkins&Will webinar: Future Dialogues — Net-Zero for Interiors

The impact of climate change is being felt globally. We all have to act now, but the interiors, fit-out and refurbishment industry is already behind.

For the majority of interiors projects, it is currently not possible to deliver a Net-Zero Embodied Carbon scheme, but we need to figure out how we can.

If we don’t start now, we won’t get there in time.

Perkins & Will is launching a Manifesto for Change, which sets out our journey to achieving the Net-Zero Embodied Carbon target for interiors projects, and the key milestones we will use to track out progress along the way.

We must be agents for change, and take an inclusive approach to engage with our clients, partners, supply chain and peers to see how, together, we can deliver Net-Zero interiors.

To join Perkins&Will’s webinar on Thursday 15 October between 9 am and 10 am, please RSVP by emailing london.marketing@perkinswill.com