Property sales boom to continue in 2021, predicts Zoopla

first_imgHome » News » Housing Market » Property sales boom to continue in 2021, predicts Zoopla previous nextHousing MarketProperty sales boom to continue in 2021, predicts ZooplaPortal has stuck its neck out to say that the current sales surge is set to continue during 2021 despite the Stamp Duty ‘cliff face’.Nigel Lewis21st December 20200353 Views More sales at higher prices have boosted the value of homes selling in 2020 – with 2021 forecast to be just as busy for property sales.Zoopla’s House Price Index reports 40% more demand for housing than in 2019, despite the two-month shut-down.The greatest increase in property sales agreed was concentrated in the South East and Eastern England, up 20% on last year, and up 9% nationally.Higher price points meant the value of homes sold went up 26% this year – worth an extra £62 billion – taking the annual total to more than £300bn.According to Zoopla, this has been driven by a change in lifestyle aspirations as well as the stamp duty holiday; the fundamental search for more space has resulted in the average rate of price growth for houses (4.3%) running at double the rate of growth for flats (1.8%).Price growthIt reports national house price growth is running at a three-year high of 3.9%, the highest since August 2017 and up from just 1.3% a year ago.Manchester (5.7%) followed by Leeds, Nottingham and Liverpool are recording the fastest growth, but affordability issues have led to slower growth in southern cities such as Southampton and Oxford (2.1%).While demand is up, the flow of new supply has increased by just 4%, creating an imbalance and an upward pressure on prices.Richard Donnell, director of research & insight at Zoopla (pictured), says the housing market is ending 2020 strongly, with more buyers looking for a home than this time last year. “Looking ahead to 2021…we expect the number of completed housing transactions to match 2020 levels at 1.1m,” he says.Donnell adds that the ‘once in a lifetime re-assessment of housing’ kick-started by the pandemic has further to run. “With a long Christmas weekend, and many households isolating in smaller groups, we expect interest in housing to be stronger than usual ahead of the traditional Boxing Day bounce when interest in housing jumps and the next tranche of would-be buyers.”           property sales Richard Donnell Zoopla December 21, 2020Nigel LewisWhat’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 BREAKING: Evictions paperwork must now include ‘breathing space’ scheme details30th April 2021 City dwellers most satisfied with where they live30th April 2021 Hong Kong remains most expensive city to rent with London in 4th place30th April 2021last_img read more

In full: Vice Chancellor’s 90k expenses laid bare

first_imgWhen pressed on this, a University spokesperson told Cherwell: “Oxford’s team of Pro Vice Chancellors play an essential role in the University’s global pre-eminent position. Their respective portfolios requirethem to meet and establish partnerships with the world’s leading players in education, in research, in national and international policy-making, as well as with the donors who support our outstanding contribution to understanding and the international economy.“They all host key guests from their respective fields at Oxford and travel frequently to build the links which a modern, constantly innovating University requires.“In so doing, they incur expenses which are a legitimate part of their work maintaining and enhancing Oxford’s exceptional academic environment.”The salaries of the Pro Vice-Chancellors are not published by Oxford. The annual Oxford accounts do give a figure for the total and average remuneration of ‘Key Management Personnel’ – including the PVCs, the Registrar, the Heads of Division, and the Director of Finance, but excluding the Vice Chancellor.In 2016/17 a total of £2.4m was paid to this group, comprising of 12.5 post-holders. Nonetheless, Freedom of Information (FoI) requests sent and seen by Cherwell do help paint a fuller picture of the expense claims – as well as the as the as yet unpublished records of the University’s Pro Vice Chancellors.In total, the University has spent just over £92,000 on the vice chancellor’s expenses. The largest portion of this is made up of long-haul flights, for which the Vice Chancellor travels in business class. Over the two and a half years for which there is data, this figure totals at over £48,000, or approximately half of her total expenses.Another major contributor is the cost of hired cars and drivers. In total, the University has spent approximately £24,000 on personal drivers for the Vice Chancellor since Louise Richardson started the role. Over the months of May and June 2017, driver costs were particularly high, with each month seeing over £2,000 spent.The University’s website states: “The Vice Chancellor travels by train where possible. In circumstances where the VC is travelling under strict time constraints, is attending numerous business engagements in multiple locations and/or is travelling very late at night or early in the morning, she travels by car.” Almost £300 was spent of corporate gifts, with a similar figure being splashed on stationery. Richardson also charged her subscription to Foreign Affairs’ newsletter to the University.The University also covers Richardson’s quarterly subscription to the Harvard Club, an association for alumni of the American university, coming to around £125 each quarter. The University told Cherwell that this gave access to accommodation and to meeting and hosting facilities below New York market rates, making a net saving.A Cherwell FoI request also revealed that she spent £1,262 for a stay in the luxury Mandarin Oriental hotel in Hong Kong, while also claiming £145 for a trip to Wimbledon to watch the tennis championships. “These are all legitimate expenses raised in the cause of keeping Oxford in the forefront of the worldwide advancement of learning.”While there have been extensive investigations into the renumeration of the Vice Chancellor by this paper, there has been little interest in that of the University’s Pro Vice Chancellors.However, an FoI request seen by Cherwell outlining the corporate credit card statements of the various Pro Vice Chancellors does shed some light. An Oxford SU spokesperson told Cherwell: “It is deeply worrying to see such high levels of students money being spent on the expenses of senior management staff. We are seeing worsening conditions for students, from the quality of accommodation to a lack of welfare services but our money is being funnelled into expenses for senior management.”A University spokesperson told Cherwell: “Oxford University is ranked as the world’s strongest university, generating some £5.8 billion annually for the UK economy. To help deliver this, the Vice Chancellor forges global research and education partnerships, raises funds from international supporters and recruits the outstanding academics and students on whom Oxford depends.“The demands of keeping the University as a world leader are continual, involving sustained engagement with current potential funders, donors and partners, and extensive worldwide travel.center_img Oxford University have published the expenses records of Vice Chancellor Louise Richardson on its website, revealing how she has racked up over £90,000 in expenses since her appointment in 2016.Cherwell analysis of the new data shows that this figure includes almost £25,000 in fees for private drivers escorting the Vice Chancellor to and from events – despite University commitments to refrain from using such transport arrangements.It follows a widespread media campaign urging for transparency over the full levels of the Vice Chancellor’s remuneration. Richardson has repeatedly defended her pay against this popular backlash, once comparing her £350,000 salary to those of footballers and bankers.Oxford is believed to be the first university in the UK to publish its vice chancellor’s expenses online in this manner. However, the published records do not divulge the full details and instead categorise individual claims under general headings. The records do show that the Vice Chancellor’s office has made clear efforts to reduce her expenses over the course of her tenure, however, perhaps a result of public and media pressure. Richardson no longer buying first class tickets when travelling on rail. While the current year is not over, it is also likely that 2018 will see less University money spent on personal drivers and the Vice Chancellor’s expenses more generally.Beyond these main contributors, there are also the smaller peculiarities. Pro Vice-Chancellor with specific responsibility for external affairs and development, Professor Nick Rawlins, spent £304.25 over five trips to The Anchor Inn, in an expense listed as ‘Drinking places (alcohol bev.) – bars, taverns, nightclubs’.In similar fashion, former Pro Vice Chancellor with responsibility for research, Professor Ian Walmsley, spent £144 at Be At One on 2nd December 2016, in a filing again listed under ‘Drinking places’.last_img read more

Peter’s joins forces with Bisto on frozen pie range

first_imgPeter’s Food Service has struck a deal with Premier Foods to manufacture a range of frozen pies for the Bisto brand. James Osgood, central foodservice sales director for Peter’s, said: “We are delighted to launch this new pie range with Bisto, the UK’s number one gravy brand that has featured in home-cooked meals for generations and is bought by 58% of British households every year.“The delicious core flavours of the range and the strength of the brand make the range an attractive alternative in the foodservice market for caterers, fast food outlets, chips shops and sporting venues.”The 235g pies will be available in perforated heatproof film in four varieties, including chicken & mushroom, steak, steak & kidney and minced beef & onion.Paul Knapp, Bisto brand manager, said: “Bisto continuously keeps up with modern family life in order to create flavoursome and convenient products the nation will love.“The brand is delivering value growth ahead of the market within flavourings & seasonings, and Bisto is now enjoyed in 1.2 billion meals every year.“This launch is the next step in giving consumers the opportunity to enjoy their favourite gravy as part of a hearty meal away from home.”last_img read more

Bruce Springsteen Shares Full ‘No Nukes ’79’ Madison Square Garden Performances To Live Archive

first_imgBruce Springsteen has added his and The E Street Band‘s two performances at Madison Square Garden in 1979 to his online archive for the first time ever. The two shows were initially performed on September 21st and 22nd of that year as part of the “No Nukes” benefit concerts, which were organized by fellow rock artists Jackson Browne, Graham Nash, Bonnie Raitt, and John Hall, who operated under the organizational acronym MUSE–Musicians United For Safe Energy.No Nukes 1979 features The Boss himself on lead vocals, in addition to E Street Band members Roy Bittan, Clarence Clemons, Danny Federici, Garry Tallent, Stevie Van Zandt, and Max Weinberg. The live album can be purchased digitally through Springsteen’s archive website, with a CD format scheduled to arrive for order on January 21st of next year. This is the first time that Springsteen has shared the complete performances from both nights of the benefit shows, as portions were initially included on his No Nukes concert film and soundtrack released back in 1980.The setlist on night one (September 21st) included songs like “Prove It All Night”, “Badlands”, “Thunder Road”, “Born To Run”, and the live debut of “The River”, with the last track also acting as the title to Springsteen’s fifth studio album, which would arrive in October 1980. The band’s live rendition of Maurice Williams and the Zodiacs’ “Stay” on night one would feature a guest(s) sit-in from Jackson Browne and Rosemary Butler, with Tom Petty also joining in to help perform the 1960 doo-wop hit the following evening. The 11-song performance recorded on September 22nd featured the same setlist as the night one, with exception of “Detroit Medley”.A partial inspiration for the anti-nuke concerts came from Three Mile Island accident near Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, in March 1979, which “highlighted the risks of nuclear power to the entire nation and further galvanized the already active anti-nuclear movement,” as Erik Flannigan pointed out. Springsteen and the band had been in the process of recording the material which would end up becoming The River at the Power Station recording studios located up the street from Madison Square Garden on West 53rd Street at the time of the shows. Springsteen would dedicate his live debut of “The River” to his brother-in-law on night one; And to his mother and sister the following evening.Bruce Springsteen and The E Street Band – “The River” – 9/21/1979[Video:]More information on the release of the performances as well as the digital download purchase option can be found on the Springsteen Archive. $2 from each album sale will go towards Musicians United For Safe Energy.Springsteen recently shared both the pro-shot concert film and official soundtrack recorded during his Springsteen On Broadway theatrical run, which came to a successful end earlier this month.[H/T Rolling Stone]last_img read more

Kuwait Foundation grant extends program at Middle East Initiative

first_img Read Full Story The Kuwait Foundation for the Advancement of Sciences (KFAS) has given $8.1 million to the Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) to support the continuation of the Kuwait Program at HKS’s Middle East Initiative. The gift will be used to develop leaders with the capacity to address the many challenging public policy issues facing the region, as well as funding research issues of vital importance in the region, such as education, energy, and water.The gift extends a relationship between HKS and KFAS that began in 2000, when KFAS made a grant to support visiting specialists to the Gulf region, faculty research on Kuwait and the Gulf, customized executive education programs, and executive education fellowships. Over five years, the current grant will support a number of initiatives, including a visiting scholars program; fellowships for students from the region interested in achieving master’s degrees in public policy or public administration; faculty research; and executive education fellowships in existing programs and customized executive education programs.“Through the Kuwait Program, the Kennedy School will deepen its engagement with the Gulf region and help educate leaders who will make a lasting impact in the area and throughout the world,” says David T. Ellwood, dean and Scott M. Black Professor of Political Economy at HKS. “We are grateful for the gift to support the program and the many vital projects it advances.”last_img read more

A dearth of nutrition in school lunches

first_imgU.S. school cafeterias are starved for funds, lack facilities, and are staffed by workers who often know more about wielding “box cutters and can crushers” than chefs’ knives, according to Ann Cooper, a onetime celebrity chef turned Colorado lunch lady and school food reformer.Cooper, speaking at a Harvard conference on food in public schools, said schools should work to serve nutritious, wholesome foods, with plenty of fruits and vegetables, rather than the packaged and processed foods that are prevalent in many institutions. Part of the challenge, she said, is money. When more than half of a school district’s cafeteria budget goes toward personnel, it’s tempting to opt for prepackaged food that requires little preparation.But epidemics of diabetes and obesity prove that the choice is a false one, Cooper said. Both conditions, which cost some $250 billion annually to treat, have their roots in an unhealthy diet. To address the school food portion of the problem and how it affects young lives, she said, will require significantly more money for facilities — many schools today don’t even have kitchens — staff training, and fresh, whole foods.Cooper called on every school to start a garden to help students understand where their food comes from, and for nutrition and food literacy to be a core part of the curriculum, not an add-on to an occasional health class.Despite tight federal budgets, Cooper said that America should invest in school food programs because diet is so important to child health. The federal government, she said, spends less on school meals per pupil than most people spend on coffee each day.“It’s not that we don’t have the money; we are choosing not to prioritize our kids’ health,” said Cooper, who is director of food services for the Boulder Valley School District and founder of the Chef Ann Foundation, which works on national school food reform.Cooper was the keynote speaker Wednesday at an all-day conference on the foods served in the nation’s public schools. The conference was sponsored by Harvard University Dining Services, the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, Project Bread, the Greater Boston Food Bank, and the Let’s Talk About Food program.After a brief welcome by David Davidson, managing director of Harvard University Dining Services, Let’s Talk About Food founder Louisa Kasdon said the organizing groups’ interest in improving the quality of school food grew out of a broader interest in diet and the U.S. food supply. School nutrition, she and other event organizers thought, was a topic that should be readily addressed.“How hard could that be?” Kasdon said, sparking laughter among the almost 200 people gathered in Harvard’s Sever Hall.Instead of the easy task they expected, she and others found it a difficult fight to change school food offerings, which the critics rapidly learned is the most regulated aspect of the nation’s food system.“Kids who don’t eat well when they’re young, from the get-go, never really catch up,” Kasdon said.The speakers addressed a variety of issues, including federal policy, the business of school food, what kids now eat at school, links between diet and cognition, and models of change.Emily Broad Leib, director of Harvard Law School’s Food Law and Policy Clinic, said that Congress is now considering reauthorization of the Child Nutrition Act, which expires in September. Among other things, the act provides nutritional guidelines for school lunches, and must be reauthorized every five years. The last reauthorization, in 2010, took significant steps toward improving the nutritional quality of school lunches, Leib said. Possible changes this time include increasing the amount of federal reimbursement for meals, taking steps to increase student participation in the program, and providing grants for kitchen equipment and staff training.The school nutrition program is so large — 30 million children eat school lunches daily — that the stakes extend beyond America’s schoolyards, Leib said. Changes to the food program can influence the broader U.S. food system, which is facing a host of its own related challenges.The heavy lifting doesn’t have to occur just at the national level. While the federal government provides a broad framework, state and local governments have wide latitude in determining the final form of school food programs, according to Bettina Neuefeind, a research fellow at Harvard Law School who collaborates with the Harvard Food Law and Policy Clinic.Neuefeind said the clinic has worked with Project Bread to create a “school food interventions toolkit” that includes an array of suggestions on how to improve school foods. She discussed just a few of them, including proven ways to “nudge” students into making good food choices, emphasizing food literacy, and paying attention to what are called “competitive foods,” those sold to students outside the national food program, in cafeterias, or at school-related events.Efforts to improve school food have generated backlash, with some critics complaining that kids throw away the food they don’t like. That, Cooper said, is a problem that’s up to adults to solve by setting rules and guidelines for what kids eat. It hasn’t been that long, she said, since the days when there was no such thing as “kid food,” just food that kids ate with the rest of the family or they went hungry.“No child has ever died for lack of chocolate milk and chicken nuggets,” Cooper said.last_img read more

Eclipses, through the years

first_imgEclipses like the one coming Monday have mystified and intrigued humans for millennia. They also fascinate Harvard researchers, who have long studied them to better understand the workings of the sun and the solar system.In the early years of Harvard College, founded in 1636, most astronomical work occurred in the math department. That changed in 1839, when William Cranch Bond was hired as the “Astronomical Observer to the University.” His arrival led to founding the Harvard College Observatory, which might not have happened if not for an eclipse.John Adams Whipple created a daguerreotype of the partial eclipse of 1851 at the observatory in Cambridge. Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard Staff PhotographerBond viewed his first solar eclipse when he was 17 years old, and the experience jump-started his interest in astronomy.Since its inception, the observatory has dispatched expeditions into the path of total solar eclipses to study the sun’s corona and the inner solar system. Armed with telescopes, notebooks, cameras, and various bulky, eccentric experimental devices, the scientists have set out to understand a fundamental cosmic beauty. A team of Harvard scientists will be stationed in Kentucky for Monday’s much-anticipated total solar eclipse.In 1869, Harvard sent a team to Shelbyville, Ky., to record a solar eclipse on a sequence of glass plates. Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard Staff PhotographerThe first solar-eclipse expedition was to Lilla Edet, Sweden, in 1851. George Phillips Bond, son of William Cranch Bond and the observatory’s second director, was nearly clouded out. Disheartened, he had given up on observations until an hour before the event began.The clouds broke just in time, and Bond witnessed majesty. He sketched two diagrams of totality, coloring the “rosy prominences” that entranced him.“Language is utterly powerless … I cannot picture a sight more awfully glorious on this side of heaven,” Bond wrote of the experience.Not pleased with how “flat” the corona looked in photographs, William Pickering sketched how he envisioned the 1869 Shelbyville eclipse coming down on the plate as he prepared for an 1886 eclipse expedition to Grenada. Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard Staff PhotographerThese were rudimentary years for science. Bond had traveled to the site alone, and had borrowed his only telescope from a local observatory. But as the physical sciences grew in sophistication and researchers came to appreciate the potential of photography as a recording tool, scientists launched expeditions more often and with more complexity, taking with them cameras and scientific instruments.The partial eclipse of 1851 was recorded at the observatory in Cambridge by daguerreotypist John Adams Whipple. Such early photography was not a simple process. The participating astronomers and photographers all had jobs in the process: whether watching the boundaries of the sun for moments of contact, calling out the time, preparing photographic mirrors, exposing them to the image, or speeding them off for developing.A glass plate image of totality of the 1889 eclipse in Willows, Calif. Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard Staff PhotographerThese early eclipse photographers did not aim to represent the beauty of an eclipse, but to capture the image so scientists could parse the event’s details afterward.In 1869, Harvard sent a team to Shelbyville, Ky., to record a solar eclipse on a sequence of glass plates. The images of totality were striking, but not entirely satisfying. When William Pickering, an astronomer who worked at the Harvard College Observatory, later studied the images in preparation for an 1886 expedition, he described the corona as “flat” and wanted to better capture its wispy grandeur. With some adjustments to his instruments and methods, he was able to capture a stronger image in Willows, Calif., in 1889.Eclipse camp setup in Gray, Maine, for the Aug. 31, 1932, eclipse. Courtesy of Wolbach LibraryAs the capabilities of photography expanded, so too did the complexity and variety of instruments that were brought on expeditions. Each telescope and each camera needed an operator during the fleeting phenomenon. That made for large teams, usually 15 to 20 people. Their camps often took at least three days to establish and rig, becoming curiosities in local communities. Residents would gather around in crowds to chat or hear public lectures or to catch a glimpse of science in action.For the upcoming eclipse, as a century ago, Harvard scientists will be stationed along the path of totality to observe and study the sun, with one team observing it from a Gulfstream aircraft at 50,000 feet over Kentucky. The instruments and circumstances change, but the hunt for knowledge continues.To read more about the history of Harvard College Observatory solar eclipse expeditions, click here.last_img read more

Navajo Generating Station purchase falls through

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Bloomberg:Private equity company Middle River Power LLC is ending its bid to buy Navajo Generating Station, the biggest coal-fired power station west of the Mississippi River.The collapse of the deal deeply threatens the survival of the coal-fired power plant in Page, Ariz., which is slated to close at the end of 2019 unless a new buyer steps forward immediately.Middle River was “terminating its efforts with regard to the overall work” on buying the plant, spokesman Todd Fogarty told Bloomberg Environment Sept. 20. “Unfortunately, recent developments in California and Arizona will create additional challenges for baseload power plants, and it has not been possible to secure from counterparties commitments to purchase a sufficient amount of power generated from Navajo Generating Station to enable a workable operating paradigm,” the company said in an email to Bloomberg Environment.As such, Middle River Power and global investment firm Avenue Capital Group “have concluded that the steps required to facilitate our ownership and operation of the plant are no longer possible within the required timeframe and therefore we are terminating our efforts,” the company said.The plant has become a freighted political symbol, representing for some the Trump administration’s efforts to prop up the coal industry, and for others a dying business that can’t compete against cheaper natural gas and renewables.Another loser is Peabody Energy Corp., which owns the nearby Kayenta Mine. The mine supplies all the plant’s coal and has no other customers, because no rail spur connects the mine to the outside world.More: Private equity company ends bid to buy Navajo Generating Station Navajo Generating Station purchase falls throughlast_img read more

4 ways to manage workplace stress

first_imgWhen facing tight deadlines, an inbox full of unread emails and constant demands from others, how do you stay focused and get things done? We all know stress in the workplace is inevitable. However, as leaders, we must maintain a certain level of professionalism in all circumstances and hopefully teach our employees how to do the same.Forbes contributor Ashley Stahl lists four ways to manage workplace stress. But first and foremost, she suggests taking a deep breath.Her list includes:– Eliminate stressful thoughts. “Eliminating stressful thoughts is critical because they can build up over time, resulting in a meltdown or panic attack,” she writes. Stahl recommends replacing a stressful thought with a positive one. continue reading » 7SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

E-wallet OVO Indonesia’s most popular payment option: Survey

first_imgIn the survey, 17.8 percent of respondents said they preferred the OVO e-wallet over BCA’s online banking service klikBCA (12.2 percent), ATM transfers (10.4 percent) and the DANA e-wallet (8.6 percent).An earlier survey by market research firm Ipsos Indonesia, however, found that people’s “top of mind” e-wallet was GoPay, as most people used e-wallets for the first time to pay for app-based taxi services such as Gojek.Read also: No discounts, no problem: E-wallet users stick around despite less cash backOVO’s growing popularity has largely been backed by its partnership with Grab and e-commerce platform Tokopedia. A recent survey by global fintech organization Rapyd shows that e-wallet OVO is the most preferred payment method in Indonesia. The survey also found that online payments are more popular than bank payments in emerging markets in Asia.The survey report titled Asia Pacific E-commerce and Payment Guide 2020 showed that OVO was the most used e-wallet for online and offline payments during March and April, followed by debit cards, ATM transfer and the GoPay e-wallet.“While debit cards are frequently used, they score low in popularity, highlighting the stronghold e-wallets have on everyday transactions,” the report states. The report also showed credits cards remained the most popular form of payment in Japan, Singapore and Taiwan, while e-wallets were the preferred choice in India, Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand.“While developed countries have been using cards for years and seem to be slower in adopting alternatives, consumers in emerging economies leapfrogged the cards stage altogether and use mobile wallets or bank transfers,” the report stated.The report suggests that only 4 percent of Indonesians have international credit cards and that debit cards are usually preset to disallow online purchases.According to the 2019 e-Conomy SEA report by Google, Temasek and Bain & Company, 47 million people in Indonesia have bank accounts but not credit cards, investments and insurance, while another 92 million people are unbanked, meaning they do not have bank accounts.Fintech has been gaining in popularity over the years as it enables the unbanked and people in remote areas to access financial services, with the e-Conomy report predicting Indonesia’s digital economy grow to $130 billion by 2025.Digital payments in Southeast Asia are expected to reach US$1.1 trillion in value by 2025, according to the study. Accounting for just over $22 billion in 2019, e-wallet transactions are likely experience a more than fivefold growth and exceed $114 billion by 2025. (eyc)Topics :last_img read more