Just in time for your weekend commute, here are some of the stories that caught our attention in the property press this week. Have a great weekend, everyone.

Half of UK home owners planning to improve their property this year

According to a survey from mortgage and loans provider Ocean Finance, more than half of homeowners in the UK are planning improvements this year, with 12% hoping to extend or convert their property. A growing family is the most popular reason, but older kids returning home are also a driving factor.

Cost of building has increased significantly in London, new global study shows

The yearly International Construction Costs Report by Arcadis shows that average cost of construction in Central London is now higher than in Switzerland, the most expensive country in the world to build. Currency fluctuations, commodity prices and increasing demand for development have all had a part to play.

London house prices to fall up to 5pc as sellers abandon the market

The Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) has shown that demand for new homes in the capital has continued to weaken, with estate agents expecting house prices to drop by as much as 5% this year, with the cost of larger family homes falling the most. Political uncertainty ahead of May’s general election continues to cool the top end of the market.

Rents dip in England and Wales, admit agents

Although rents are higher than a year ago in eight out of 10 regions in England and Wales, data from Your Move and Reeds Rains letting agencies have shown that rents have fallen slightly in December across England and Wales. The average residential rent now stands at £767, up from £745 in December 2013.

Property developer ‘boasts’ about ‘no social housing’ in luxury London tower block

An advert promoting a new luxury development in south-east London sparked controversy this week after “boasting” it will not contain any social housing. The £85 million regeneration scheme in Abbey Wood features 32 apartments and was advertising on the Fraser & Co Estate Agents website ahead of an exclusive launch in Hong Kong. Hashtag class war on social media, as you might imagine.

Crime map: is your home in one of London’s burglary hot spots?

Big Data time! There were 56,220 property break-ins recorded across Greater London in 2014. This interactive map built by the Telegraph shows you where they were. Snoop away!

Rentify is an online letting agent for landlords, established in 2012. Learn more about our services here. You may contact the editor of this story at editor@rentify.com.

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