RICS report sparks lively debate

first_imgHome » News » Housing Market » RICS report sparks lively debate previous nextHousing MarketRICS report sparks lively debateSimon Rubinsohn paints a picture of demand AND supply heading downwards.The Negotiator17th July 20160715 Views The RICS UK Residential Market Survey for June 2016 indicates that uncertainty fuelled by the EU referendum has resulted in a marked drop in activity in the housing market.Buyer enquiries fall for third consecutive month – lowest reading since mid-2008Agreed sales fall sharply with further drop expected in the short term12 month price expectations turn negative in London and East – but longer term forecasts remain positive.Twitter was awash with sharp comment from those who might prefer to talk up the market rather than ‘spread fear’. A Country Agent said, “Its compiled by nervous surveyors! Calm down!”The report says that new buyer enquiries have declined significantly across the UK in June, with 36 per cent more chartered surveyors nationally reporting a fall in interest – this is the lowest reading since mid-2008. The South of the UK has been the hardest hit, with anecdotal evidence suggesting both the EU result and the tax changes, which took effect at the beginning of April, as having an impact on sentiment.There was a further fall in the supply of properties coming available for sale across the UK in June, with the exception of Northern Ireland. This highlights the continuing challenge presented to the market by the lack of stock. 45 per cent more chartered surveyors saw a fall in new instructions in June from a net balance of -31 per cent in May.This is the steepest fall on record and extends a trend that has been in place since 2014.Sales and prices decline in JuneThe market has also seen further decline in sales this month with a third successive monthly drop in activity. Contributors expect this trend to continue with 26 per cent more respondents anticipating a further drop in sales across the UK over the next three months. This is the most negative reading for near term expectations since 1998.House price growth saw a reduction in June and although prices are still rising, they are doing so at a more moderate pace. 16 per cent more respondents reported having seen prices rise rather than fall across the UK.London remains the only region where respondents are seeing prices fall (-46 per cent net balance) with this largely being concentrated in the central zones. That said, near term price expectations are now in negative territory across the whole of the UK with 27 per cent more respondents across the UK expecting to see prices fall rather than rise over the next three months.Looking further ahead over the next 12 months, sales expectations have turned negative for the first time in four years with 12 per cent more contributors expecting transactions to fall rather than rise.The long-term pictureBig events such as elections typically do unsettle markets so it is no surprise that the EU referendum has been associated with a downturn in activity. However, even without the build up to the vote and subsequent decision in favour of Brexit, it is likely that the housing numbers would have slowed during the second quarter of the year, following the rush in many parts of the country from buy to let investors to secure purchases ahead of the tax changes.Our data does suggest that the dip in activity will persist over the coming months but the critical influence looking further ahead is how the economy performs in the wake of the uncertainty triggered by the vote to leave.Respondents to the survey are understandably cautious but with interest rates heading lower and sterling significantly so, it remains to be seen whether the concerns about a possible stalling in both corporate investment and recruitment are justified.house prices decline housing sales decline RICS report Residential Market Survey for June 2016 EU Referendum July 17, 2016The NegotiatorWhat’s your opinion? Cancel replyYou must be logged in to post a comment.Please note: This is a site for professional discussion. Comments will carry your full name and company.This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.Related articles 40% of tenants planning a move now that Covid has eased says Nationwide3rd May 2021 Letting agent fined £11,500 over unlicenced rent-to-rent HMO3rd May 2021 BREAKING: Evictions paperwork must now include ‘breathing space’ scheme details30th April 2021last_img read more

‘Hats life

first_imgIn a parallel universe, the sun is shining on Oxford, and the clever students are donning hats for a number of reasons. Not only do hats stop those harmful rays burning your skin and act as the ever-present disguise of the bad hair day, but they also make you stand out in the crowd. However, to make sure the occupants of rainy, dreary Oxford do not commit any fashion faux pas, there are a few rules to observe. Obviously beanies and woolly hats are out, unless you are planning an ode to Shrek the sheep, or are looking for a greasy skater-boy style (in which case, this column cannot help you). But, apart from that, let your hair go (under that hat) and feel the wintry breeze. Boys: Caps are good, especially if your hair is all tousled and mid length-ish. Caps are basically foolproof (again exceptions to prove the rules), however, visors are not on the agenda and never should be, whatever anyone else says. Flat caps are also not for now. Yes they keep the sun off your face, let the odd bits of tousled hair appear underneath, but no; they are for winter, and last winter at that. Straw hats are definitely appearing around Oxford, and as it is Oxfordia, these shall be forgiven, but don’t return home (unless you live here, in Cambridge, or Henley) with them still attached. Girls: Any hat will do but remember the colours. No blacks, unless you are a Goth (in which case go for it). No whites – they are impractical and reflect the light into other peoples’ eyes, and can only make you look pasty (unless you are tanned, in which case just be a little wary). Make those hats work for their money; more is definitely more. Go for colourful hats, floral hats, retro hats, but don’t make them small. Caps look good on some girls, I am assured, but I have not seen any yet. There are only two more important things to bear in mind about hats this summer. Firstly, in the coming months, hats are not simply accessories. Don’t use them just to decorate your outfit. Use them to hide your hair by all means, but remember, like the garden, hair is an important part of the house/temple that is your body. Respect it, glam it up, take care of it, and it will nurture you back. Secondly, be original. Don’t see someone with a hat and decide you want the same. Don’t go into a shop and pick up the obvious style that you know suits you. Be different, try a new style, experiment. The summer is the most forgiving of months, (look at all the tourists) so use that to your advantage.ARCHIVE: 1st week TT 2004last_img read more

Westgate Centre to have “transformative” panoramic rooftop

first_imgThe Westgate Centre, currently under renovation, is to have a large rooftop space from which visitors will be able to enjoy views across Oxford’s famous rooftops.The original shopping centre, built in the 1970s, had no such rooftop area and a number of shops. But the new building will contain 100 stores, 25 restaurants and cafes and public spaces in which developers expect public performances and art displays to take place.Oxford City Council leader Bob Price said “the Westgate is going to be more than just a shopping centre, so this will be really significant to the development of this quarter of the city. It could be an exciting area for performances and art, as well as a great public space – which is something we need more of.”The plans feature a grass “quad” with retractable roof, which could be used for performances, if plans are approved. The £440m Westgate project is part of a wider development of the west of Oxford, which also includes development of the Park End Street area and closure of nightclubs.The completion of the shopping centre may help to allay concerns over the balance of shops and restaurants in central Oxford, which led to concern from Graham Jones of traders’ group Rox in July.“There is feeling that perhaps there are enough restaurants and cafes in the city at the moment – maybe we have reached the limit for them all to be viable,” he said.last_img read more

Homeless community speaks out against ‘spiteful’ armrests on benches

first_imgThis weekend two extra armrests were drilled onto an Oxford bench on Woodstock road to stop people from lying down.  Sam King, who has been living in sheltered accommodation run by the city council, commented:  “These arm rests were not installed by Oxford City Council or Oxford Direct Services and we are removing them today.  A number of individuals spoke to the Oxford Mail about their feelings on the issue, including members of Oxford’s homeless community.  “Hostile architecture is unwelcoming. Public spaces are for everyone – whether they have a home or not, and whether they are rich or poor. What this is saying is that public spaces are being limited for certain people.”  James Ellam, a 41-year old living on the streets, said: “It’s tough – you get moved on all the time. Police give you a hard time, everybody gives you a hard time. They put things in front of doorways so you can’t get some shelter.”  He said: “I think people can help us just by being nice. Not by doing things to benches.”  “You can’t have a city like ours that wants to move forward with homelessness and then do this – we are supposed to be making progress.  The action has been branded as ‘hostile architecture’, a design strategy which aims to restrict behaviour in public spaces to boycott ‘antisocial’ behaviour such rough sleeping.  He also said: “Begging is a life skill for homeless people – it’s needed for survival.  A photo of the bench, located inside a bus shelter, was uploaded to Twitter on Monday showing two new metal bars. The person who installed them is unknown and did so against Oxford City Council wishes. The bars have since been removed by the council.  Arm rests on benches are part of inclusive design as they provide extra help for older people and people with mobility issues, making it easier for them to sit and stand up again. This bench already has three arm rests.  28-year-old Jason Dart,who has been sleeping rough in and around Oxford for nearly ten years, said: “What happens if an old man needed to put his feet up or somebody with mental illness needed to rest – it might not be a homeless person using that bench.”  Ms Aziz shared the image on Twitter, writing: “I’m against all types of hostile architecture making it harder for people who are homeless to rest and take shelter from the rain and freezing cold.”  “Sometimes you are begging, but not all the time.”  Oxford City councillor Shaista Aziz said: “It’s quite an aggressive approach.  He added: “I sleep in the covered market ally bit – they move me on at about 7am, they’re really nice about it every day. Then I go and sleep on the gap doorway until about 9am – after that I just try and find places to be.”  “It’s really easy to demonise homeless people but they actually feel ashamed – and it’s exhausting to be homeless – you can see it just by looking at them.  “When you get trench foot you have to sit down or lie down because you need to rest, but when you do you get told off for sitting down on the pavement and people think you’re begging.  Linda Smith, deputy leader and cabinet member for leisure and housing at the council, said in a statement:  The council has recently opened a new £1.9m homeless shelter on Floyds Row off St Aldates. We believe that nobody should have to sleep rough in Oxford and we’re doing more than ever before to tackle the national homelessness crisis.”  “I feel really bad about doing it – I hate asking people for money and I always say sorry when I ask.” last_img read more

Business Leaders Warn of Impact of Higher Minimum Wage

first_imgMichele Siekerka, of the New Jersey Business and Industry Association, addresses the Ocean City Regional Chamber of Commerce about the minimum wage law. By Maddy VitaleJane Davis, owner of Johnny B Goode Ice Cream Parlor in Ocean City, worries about the minimum wage increase that will be phased in over the next five years to the tune of $15 an hour.“Minimum wage jobs are not meant to be full-time jobs,” said Davis, whose business at 1363 Asbury Ave. is in its 25th year.Davis was at the Ocean City Regional Chamber of Commerce monthly meeting on Thursday waiting to listen to guest speaker Michele Siekerka, president and CEO of the New Jersey Business & Industry Association (NJBIA), on the topic “Preparing for the New Minimum Wage Increase and How it will Impact Your Business.”“I have a small business, and everyone employed is under the age of 20 but one. When payroll goes up, the cost will go up for the customers,” Davis said. “The vendors will go up, too. How much can the market bear? In my case, how much can I increase the cost of an ice cream cone?”Ice cream parlor owner Jane Davis asks Michele Siekerka what can be done to help the small business owners.Siekerka addressed about 75 business owners during the luncheon meeting at the American Legion Morvay-Miley Post 524 in Ocean City.“I am passionate about jobs for New Jersey. New Jersey small business is the lifeline. It is so important for your voice to be heard,” Siekerka noted.Under the terms of the minimum wage legislation signed into law Feb. 4, most employees will increase from the current $8.85 minimum to $10 on July 1. It will then rise to $11 an hour on Jan. 1, 2020, $12 an hour Jan. 1, 2021, $13 per hour Jan. 1, 2022, $14 in 2023 and $15 in 2024.An exemption for seasonal workers, which Senate President Steve Sweeney and local legislators fought for, allowed the total raise to $15 per hour to be implemented by 2026. The same timeframe applies to businesses with less than six employees.While proponents of the legislation believe it will give the economy a boost by bringing the minimum wage workers up to a living wage, Ocean City business owners said all it will do is hurt the small business owners who can’t afford to pay their workers the higher wage.Boardwalk merchants are among the local business owners concerned with the higher minimum wage.Like Davis, other members of the Chamber wanted to know what could be done to lessen the impact of the financial responsibility on the business owners with the rise in the minimum wage.Mayor Jay Gillian, owner of Gillian’s Wonderland Pier, called the change in the law bad for the businesses.He said the end result will be doing more with fewer employees. He predicted customer service may go down.Gillian noted that the minimum wage law, in addition to potential legalization of marijuana, could have “devastating” effects for New Jersey.“What can we do to try and halt this?” Gillian asked Siekerka.Siekerka said the business owners could join a coalition of businesses rallying for relief from the terms of the law. There are currently 400 business owners in the coalition.Mayor Jay Gillian speaks about how the new law could affect the businesses.Ocean City Financial Group financial planner Mark Reimet said he was discouraged to learn that many decisions in Trenton are “purely political,” including the minimum wage increase and the potential legalization of marijuana.“It is discouraging to know that these political back-room decisions occur, especially when there are repercussions that are not thought out well enough or considered at all,” Reimet said.Siekerka explained to the audience that there are ways that the state can lessen the impact of the higher minimum wage by giving the businesses tax credits.The payroll would not change, but the tax credits could help level things out, she said.“We are trying to look for ways to make adjustments, like tax credits,” she noted.Other issues to be considered are possible changes in the economy, Siekerka said.“We need a trigger to freeze increases if there is a recession,” she added.Caitlyn Quirk, owner of Bowfish Kids, located at 956 Asbury Ave., asked if the minimum wage increases also apply to workers under 16.Siekerka responded that the law applies to all ages in the workforce.“You need people willing to train the next generation,” Quirk said. “I expected an age limit.”Merchants in the downtown shops are also raising concerns about the higher minimum wage.Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Michele Gillian led the effort to organize members of the business community to oppose the minimum wage hike, resulting in a compromise version of the legislation.On Thursday, she told the Chamber members that Siekerka is a great representative for the Ocean City business community to stay in contact with.“We need to get our representatives to listen,” Gillian said. “Michele gives us a seat at the table.”Siekerka ended her discussion by urging business owners in the audience to express their views about the minimum wage hike.“Ocean City is an incredible place to be,” she said. “Please get involved. We need your voice.”For more information about the New Jersey Business & Industry Association and specifics on the minimum wage law visit www.njbia.orglast_img read more

Warburtons’ Muppets ad crowned Christmas best

first_imgThe Warburtons’ advert promoting giant crumpets featuring The Muppets has been crowned 2015’s most successful Christmas campaign.According to a survey by market research agency Millward Brown the advert came top in a number of judging criteria like branding, persuasion and an overall appreciation.Amanda Phillips, UK head of marketing at Millward Brown, said: “Warburtons’ success shows you don’t have to make people cry to win their hearts, or shower them with Christmas to make an impact.“Their ad is highly branded and humorous, and cuts through the festive noise to build emotional loyalty and motivate people to buy. The UK public loves The Muppets and loves crumpets and, together, they are a winning formula.”The advert’s success stands out as it neither mentions Christmas nor tries to provoke a strong emotional response in viewers. John Lewis’ ‘Man on the Moon’ ad, which attempted to pull on heartstrings by focusing on old age loneliness, could only come 10th in the survey and, of the supermarkets, it was Lidl’s humorous ‘Lidl School of Christmas’ adverts which came highest in 5th place.last_img read more

University to launch pilot program in Chinese factories

first_imgNotre Dame is launching a pilot program that will allow selected factories in China to manufacture University-licensed products, with the goal of determining if they can meet and maintain worker treatment standards, University President Fr. John Jenkins said in an email to students late Wednesday night.Annmarie Soller | The Observer In 2013, University Executive Vice President John Affleck-Graves appointed a Worker Participation Committee (WPC) to review Notre Dame’s Licensing Code of Conduct due to an increasing frequency of interactions between the University and China, according to the website of the Office of the Executive Vice President. After two years of research and deliberation, the WPC issued a set of recommended changes to the University’s existing licensing policy. Jenkins approved these recommendations and directed the pilot program to begin, according to the email.According to Jenkin’s email, the University implemented a policy in 2001 that prohibited 11 countries, including China, from producing Notre Dame-licensed products. “The University’s decision at that time was bold, principled and widely applauded,” Jenkins said in the email. “It was hoped that Notre Dame’s action would encourage other institutions to follow, and that collectively pressure could be put on countries to reform their labor laws.”Jenkins said that since no other universities have adopted similar policies, and Notre Dame’s action had no discernable influence on the practices of nations that deny freedom of association, the WPC was created to reevaluate the University’s policy.“While still holding to the principle that freedom of association ought to be allowed and independent unions permitted, and recognizing that in the People’s Republic of China such rights are denied at the level of national laws and practices, the WPC considered whether there might be other criteria we should employ focused on the policies and practices of particular factories,” the email said.The committee worked with Verite, an internationally-recognized non-profit organization, to assess six selected Chinese factories using a list of 71 criteria. They proposed four specific recommendations, shared with the Notre Dame community at a public forum in September.“First, that Notre Dame undertake a pilot program with factories that met our standards to see if they sustain a standard of performance acceptable to Notre Dame, and we can confidently verify such performance,” the email said. In addition, the University will work with factories in the area that fell short of their standards to see “if they can improve to an acceptable level.”Notre Dame will also begin evaluating similar factories in other countries that currently manufacture Notre Dame-licensed products. “Even with the formal, legal right to form and join an independent union, worker participation may be below what is acceptable, and the University can use its leverage to encourage improvement. Moreover, the review of factories in different countries could establish a useful benchmark as we deliberate about acceptable standards.”The committee also recommended the University review and, as necessary, revise the current Licensing Code of Conduct to include a “a richer understanding of worker participation and, in general, that it reflects the best practices and the principles of Catholic social teaching.”Finally, the committee suggested the formation of a student subcommittee, in addition to continuing campus participation in the conversation.In response to calls to reject the recommendations, Jenkins analyzed the morality of the policy, concluding that Notre Dame’s actions would not support or sustain any form of injustice.“Participation allows us to affirm those factories that have high standards of worker participation, and to encourage other companies to meet these standards,” the email said. “Whether this in fact occurs is something about which a pilot program will give us valuable information.”According to the email, the pilot program ultimately seeks to promote the full set of workers’ rights recognized by Catholic social teaching at a global level.“I emphasize that this change in policy in no way signals a lessening of Notre Dame’s commitment to the full set of workers’ rights recognized by Catholic social teaching,” Jenkins said. “On the contrary, with the WPC, we are trying to develop a policy that is as effective as it can be in furthering the recognition of those rights around the world.”Tags: China, Father John Jenkins, Licensing, Worker Participation, Worker Participation Committeelast_img read more

Vespers offers alternate form of prayer

first_imgEvery month, the McGrath Institute for Church Life holds vespers, an evening prayer service in the chapel in Geddes Hall. John Cavadini, a professor of theology and the director of the institute, explained that Vespers is part of the church’s ongoing Liturgy of the Hours.“Liturgy of the Hours refers to the daily prayers of the Church,” Cavadini said. “The two hinges of Liturgy of the Hours is morning prayers, which is called Lauds, and evening prayers, which is called Vespers.”Cavadini discussed the other Liturgy of the Hours as well. There is mid-morning, noon and mid-afternoon prayers in addition to lauds and vespers. The idea behind Liturgy of the Hours, Cavadini said, is to “sanctify the day.” Since Mass can be held at any time of the day, it is independent of the Liturgy of the Hours. Vespers, in particular, centers around the Book of Psalms.“There are three psalms every day on a four-week cycle. You’ll go through the whole book of Psalms in four weeks,” Cavaldini said. “There are special psalms for feast days.”According to a program for a normal service from the McGrath Institute, vespers opens with a prayer, is followed by a hymn, which in turn is followed by a psalm, then a canticle. Next, there is a short Bible reading and a homily. In the final part of the service, the congregation sings a canticle and the “Magnificat,” or song of Mary. The congregation offers intercessions, recites the Lord’s Prayer, then says an additional prayer before the service is brought to a close.Cavadini explained that vespers is different than a usual Mass in that laypeople can preach the homily.“Laypeople can give the homily at the Liturgy of the Hours. We have lots of different people whose voices you hear,” Cavadini said. “It’s nice to get a wide range of voices from students, faculty, staff, etc. It’s sort of fun to hear and to be asked to deliver one.”Carolyn Pirtle, the director of the Notre Dame Center for Liturgy, said vespers services have been happening on campus for a long time.“We’ve been doing monthly vespers services for a number of years now. We’ve made a real effort to bring this form of prayer to the campus community,” Pirtle said. “It’s a beautiful form of prayer that incorporates the psalms and scriptures. We wanted to try and bring this to a wider audience.”From a logistical perspective, Pirtle said the readings and the psalms are laid out for the entire church, much in the same way Mass readings are. It’s simply a matter of figuring out what day it is and what psalms and readings correspond to that day. Pirtle said that this uniformity is a “beautiful symbol of the unity of the church,” since everyone throughout the world is saying the same prayers. She also noted that evening prayer services date back to the very beginning of the Christian church. She emphasized the importance of the psalms to the service.“The psalms are beautiful because they speak to the breadth of the human experience,” Pirtle said. “They speak to the joy of joys and the worst of sorrows. Whatever you’re going through, there’s a psalm for that.”Since laypeople can preach, Pirtle also said that it’s a great opportunity for masters of divinity students to practice preaching.“Traditionally, we’ve had a lot of masters of divinity students preaching,” she said. “I’ve drawn from that community so that they can learn how to preside and practice that as a lay person. It’s a great chance to exercise ministerial leadership.”Pirtle emphasized the beauty of vespers and its benefits in a stressful environment.“If you’ve never experienced vespers, it’s a really beautiful form of prayer that’s very reflective and very contemplative,” she said. “It’s a wonderful way to take half an hour away from the stress and busyness of student life to come and spend some time with God and let God speak to you through the scripture and the psalms, as well as enter into a community of people who you might not know through prayer and the grace of spirit.”Tags: Liturgy of the Hours, McGrath Institute for Church Life, prayer, Vesperslast_img read more

Odds & Ends: Anna Kendrick & Jeremy Jordan’s Last Five Years Goes Global & More

first_img William Ivey Long Will Work His Tony-Winning Magic on Joely Richardson If you’re ever at a Broadway show and find yourself admiring the costumes, chances are that William Ivey Long had something to do with their design. The six-time Tony winner, whose Broadway credits include The Producers, Hairspray, Bullets Over Broadway and Cinderella, will be designing the period costumes for William Luce’s The Belle of Amherst. We can’t wait to see what Ivey Long creates for the play’s headliner, Joely Richardson. The Last Five Years, Starring Anna Kendrick & Jeremy Jordan, Goes Global  This is good, but not yet ideal news, since it means that we are still impatiently waiting to know when we can see Richard LaGravenese’s big screen adaptation of The Last Five Years, starring Anna Kendrick and Jeremy Jordan. We were delighted to hear that the flick will play the Toronto International Film Festival this September 4, and of course we’re now pleased to learn, thanks to Variety, that the musical has already sorted out distribution deals so it will be screened in the U.K., China, Japan AND BASICALLY EVERYWHERE THAT ISN’T AMERICA. But yes those were caps, because yes we were shouting. Please Mr. Movie Bigwigs, don’t forget about screening the movie here in the U.S.of A. too! Harvey Fierstein is Looking for a Job Harvey Fierstein is job-hunting. That’s right. The four-time Tony winner, who has penned hits including Kinky Boots, Newsies and Casa Valentina, wants to go back to acting (who can forget his Edna Turnblad in Hairspray?). “I’m looking for something to act in now,” Fierstein told the AP. However, he wants something different. “When somebody thinks, ‘Oh, that would be cute for Harvey,’ it’s probably going to bore me.” Well perhaps we here at Broadway.com can help? We hear that there’s a role in a Stephen Sondheim revival up for grabs… Encores! Sings Rodgers, Hart and Hammerstein Will Play City Center New York City Center will host Encores! Sings Rodgers, Hart and Hammerstein on October 27. The gala performance will feature the music and lyrics of these beloved artists performed by some of Broadway’s top talent. 2014 Tony winner Warren Carlyle will direct. Here’s a quick roundup of stories you may have missed today.center_img Jeremy Jordan View Comments Star Fileslast_img read more

Hot Shot! Chicago Star Rumer Willis Freshens Up

first_img Related Shows View Comments Chicago Apparently there is a hashtag about pets and odor. (Yes, #PETiquette.) And apparently it has something to do with using Febreze to keep Rover from stinking up the place before guests arrive. What does this have to do with us? Not sure, but we’re thrilled to see Chicago’s sizzling new Roxie wherever she goes, so off we went to Liberty Hall at the Ace Hotel to grab this adorbs hot shot with our new favorite merry murderess and a pooch. Hotcha indeed! from $49.50last_img read more