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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.

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Best wishes,

Andrew Teacher and the Blackstock Consulting Team

 


DAILY BRIEFING TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 29th, 2020

UK Government Response Updates

New restrictions in parts of the UK from Wednesday will make it illegal for people to meet members of other households in pubs, bars or restaurants.

Nearly 2 million people living in Durham, Gateshead, Newcastle, Northumberland, North Tyneside, South Tyneside and Sunderland face being fined up to £6,400 if they breach the new rules.

Previously, residents in these areas were only advised not to meet others indoors. But future breaches will from this week be punishable by £200 for a first offence, doubling each time to the maximum of £6,400.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock said the infection rate in the affected areas had risen above 100 cases per 100,000 people, which is double England’s average.

It came as the Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham called for an “urgent review” of 10pm closure times for restaurants and pubs. Mr Burnham, said people were gathering in homes and supermarkets that were becoming “packed to the rafters” after last orders.

Economic Outlook

Britain and the EU have reached a temporary agreement on information-sharing arrangements between Eurozone banks and London’s clearinghouses.

Although Brussels had already agreed to grant UK clearing houses temporary access for 18 months after 31 December, an updated regulatory agreement between the Bank of England and the European markets watchdog was needed to implement the decision.

According to the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA), the temporary access arrangement would apply to the London Stock Exchange’s LCH, ICE Clear Europe and LME Clear.

Both ICE Clearing and LCH were classified as “systemically important” and so will face close scrutiny from the EU — especially during any market crisis.

Meanwhile, the FTSE jumped alongside with the pound amid a “relief rally across global markets”. London’s blue-chip index closed up about 1.5 percent higher, while sterling rose as much as 1.4 percent against the dollar.

And European stocks enjoyed their best day since June, with the Euro Stoxx 600 index sitting 2.2 percent higher and the German Dax 30 posting a 3.2 percent gain.

Housing Market

NHBC has launched its first ever apprenticeship scheme, aimed at developing the next generation of housebuilding talent.

Dave Sheridan, executive chairman at ilke Homes, said: “This is a hugely positive move for the future of the housebuilding industry as we continue our push to attract new talent to the sector. Apprenticeship schemes, covering both traditional and modern methods of construction, will be crucial as the sector looks set to take the lead on the UK’s economic recovery post-Covid-19.”

The number of council homes sold through the Right to Buy scheme in the first quarter of 2019/20 was the lowest recorded for a single quarter for nearly eight years, according to this article from Inside Housing.

The figures also revealed the total number of Right to Buy sales completed throughout the 2019/20 financial year, with the government recording 10,574 Right to Buy deals over the period

Retail, Leisure & Hospitality

Pizza Hut is set to close 29 of its 244 UK restaurants in an effort to stay in business which has put 450 jobs at risk. The Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA) was voted through on Monday, which has resulted in the closure of these restaurants. The move has saved over 5,000 jobs as the business looks to continue providing a Covid-safe restaurant.

High street bookmaker William Hill is in advanced discussions with US casino operator Caesars Entertainment over a takeover that would value the UK bookmaker at £2.9 billion.

Aldi has vowed to create thousands of new jobs by spending £1.3 billion to open 100 new stores by the end of 2021. The expansion will see 4,000 jobs created as Aldi reports sales have increased by 8 percent.

Boots has reportedly been accused of using the UK’s moratorium on evictions amid the Covid-19 pandemic as cover for ongoing lease renegotiations.

“Whilst we have reached revised agreements with many landlords, where discussions are ongoing we have paused some payments as we look to agree fair and equitable solutions,” Boots said.

Offices

Business improvement districts representing more than 200,00 employees across the capital have warned Boris Johnson that the government’s guidance to work from home during the pandemic “puts at risk London’s future attractiveness and global competitiveness”.

Insider takes a look at flexible working as the financial firms face the future of the office with much-renewed confidence. This comes as nine out of ten financial services businesses will maintain flexible working patterns for employees, according to a new survey.

Planning

Boris Johnson is committing to protecting 30 percent of the UK’s land by 2030. This will see the protection of over 400,000 hectares to support the recovery of nature.

Bruntwood and Trafford Council have received outline planning consent to transform the former Kellogg’s site in Manchester’s Old Trafford district.

The outline planning permission was given for the delivery of 750 new homes, 200,000 sq ft of offices, a 100-bedroom hotel and primary school.

Transport & Logistics

Uber has won a court battle to continue operating in London. This was following a lengthy battle between the company and the city regulator Transport for London over concerns about its safety practices.

The win is a particular bright spark for the company as it faces legal challenges around the world, and pressures of sustaining the business, as there has been a 75 percent drop in total ride-share bookings made through the app.

Construction

Construction has finished at one of Birmingham’s newest residential developments, Arden Gates. The 225-unit scheme will soon start welcoming its residents after celebrating practical completion.

Redrow founder Steve Morgan is giving away £20 million to help North West charities struggling with the impact of coronavirus. He has already given out £50 million in grants and committed another £250 million since launching the Steve Morgan Foundation in 2001 but warned that the charity sector faced an unprecedented challenge because of the pandemic.

Further Reading

Deliveroo is planning on hiring 15,000 new riders by the end of the year, as demand for its services has surged during the pandemic.

MPs have called on the Culture Secretary to arrange a bailout of lower-league football clubs or risk “the collapse of the national league structure we have known for over one hundred years.”

In response to the news about Trump’s tax situation, this article in the Metro claims that the US president spent £55,000 on his hair in one year.

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