UK household spending rose to £554.20 per week between April 2016 and March 2017, according to data compiled by the ONS. Households spent most money on transport, followed by recreation and culture, a category which was ranked second for the first time. The ONS said inflation may have encouraged households to bring forward ‘big ticket’ purchases.
Housing Secretary Sajid Javid has launched "Homes England", replacing the Homes and Community Agency, during a visit to a new housing development in Cambridge.
The Secretary of State for Housing, Communities & Local Government wants the number of new homes built in England to rise from 217,000 to 300,000 per year by the mid 2020s.
Mr Javid said this ambition is a "big ask", but believes his department, in conjunction with developers, can achieve it.
Carillion, The UK's second largest construction firm, has gone into liquidation, putting thousands of jobs at risk.
The company is involved in numerous public sector contracts, including the management of prisons, schools and 50,000 Ministry of Defence homes.
It is also one of the prime contractors for HS2, the high speed rail link being built to connect London with Birmingham, Leeds and Manchester. It is a principle construction contractor for Network Rail.
UK house sales are forecast to freeze in 2018, but a lack of housing stock will ensure prices do not fall significantly, according to the annual housing market report by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS).
The organisation expects property price growth to reduce further next year, while transactions are forecast to see a modest fall.
A new poll has revealed that 60% of Britons believe the government is unable to deal with important domestic issues because it is focusing all its resources on securing a Brexit deal.
The survey by BMG Research for the Independent suggested a majority of people think “important domestic issues” are being ignored by ministers as they work towards a final divorce settlement between the UK and the European Union.