Barratt 'changing housing locations to attract older buyers'

Reports that housebuilder, Barratt Developments, is 'changing the way it designs, locates and markets some of its homes' as it attempts to capitalise on the country's ageing population feature in today's newspaper round-up.

The Financial Times (subscription required) says Barratt "is changing designs for four-bedroom family houses traditionally aimed at young families and first-time buyers, to offer some properties instead designed with a larger master suite and two flexible study/bedrooms as it targets the growing market of over-55s". Barratt has also been "accumulating a portfolio of sites in picturesque village locations which it believes will appeal to a lifestyle-focused group of more mature buyers who are looking to downsize, having either fully or substantially paid off their mortgages", the newspaper adds.

The Financial Times also reports that Lord Barnett, the former Labour cabinet minister and creator of the devolution spending formula which took his name, has died aged 91. The newspaper says Barnet "constructed what became known as the Barnett formula, to allocate public spending among the different parts of the UK".

Elsewhere, the Financial Times picks up on research published by property firm Savills last week on the impact of the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) development tarfiff. The newspaper says that the research shows CIL "is deterring the construction of homes".

The Telegraph reports that housebuilding "fell to its lowest level in a year in October amid signs that Britain's recovery is slowing down and the property market is cooling". The newspaper says "the Markit/CIPS construction PMI eased to 61.4 in October, from 64.2 in September. While this was well above the 50 mark that divides growth from contraction, it was below economists' expectations for a fall to 63.5 and the weakest reading since May".

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