Lunchtime news Wednesday 3 October 2014

Homelessness in rural Wales has risen at almost twice the rate of urban areas over the past three decades, according to a report out by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF). Their figures show that the number of homeless households in rural areas rose by 300 per cent from 1978 to 2005, compared to a rise of 160 per cent in urban areas. The Home Builders Federation and the Chartered Institute of Housing Cymru said fewer new homes were being built in Wales than at any time since the Second World War. The JRF has launched a commission to study property prices, affordability and availability of social housing outside major towns and cities.

HBOS, the UK’s largest mortgage lender, has scrapped its annual targets for mortgage lending. The bank had been targeting 15 to 20 per cent of net mortgages since 2004, however chief executive, Andy Hornby, recently said that, as the home loan market is going through a ‘major repricing’, they would not chase market share. HBOs’s share of new mortgage lending has dropped to 8 per cent in the first half of this year from 21 per sent a year earlier.

A couple who built their own eco-friendly home for £240,000 have sold it three years later and made over half a million pounds profit. The five-bedroom, four storey house, which won a national award for the greenest self build is built on a small piece of land near Lewes, East Sussex which cost just £60,000. It is fitted with solar panels, condensing gas boiler, sheep’s wool insulation in the wall and ceiling, and underfloor heating.

And finally, the comprehensive spending review (CSR) – the government’s spending plans for the next three years, is expected to be published on Monday, fuelling specualation that an election announcement is imminent.