‘Don’t blame the parlous state of the property industry on Brexit’

first_imgHome » Guest Blogs » ‘Don’t blame the parlous state of the property industry on Brexit’ ‘Don’t blame the parlous state of the property industry on Brexit’The difficult middle and upper slices of the UK property market, particularly in London, are the fault of George Osborne’s 2014 Stamp Duty changes, not the UK’s decision to leave the EU, writes veteran agent Trevor Abrahmsohn.Trevor Abrahmsohn2nd March 20180774 Views Even intelligent observers of the residential property market, particularly in London, are being fooled into believing that Brexit and its uncertainty is responsible for the slump in activity to date, when the cognoscenti know full well, that it is all down to the ‘fall out’ from Stamp Duty.When Mr Osborne imposed these draconian hikes in this tax in 2014, he thought, somewhat stupidly, that it was the Tory’s version of a Mansion Tax. Like all myopic politicians, he had no idea of the devastating effect it would have on other parts of the economy, such as retail spending and the UK growth rate.Grabbing the Election victory in 2015 from the clutches of Labour was all that mattered at the time and he naturally thought that his strategy of ‘Project Fear’ would win the Referendum vote that would take care of any downfall. How wrong could he be?With, effectively, 15% SDLT rates at the middle to top end of the market, mainly in London, six out of ten potential buyers have been dissuaded from purchasing altogether, leaving just three to four ‘needs driven’ buyers who are prepared to ‘weather the storm’ and commit themselves.Although it’s good news for the Treasury, where Stamp Duty Receipts are up, I am quite sure that when you look holistically at the Budget Deficit, the receipts from VAT and Corporation Tax, for example, will be down and therefore, represent a net loss.Rather than Brexit hindering this property market with uncertainty until a deal is done with the EU, paradoxically, it’s depressing effect on the Sterling Exchange Rate has been de facto, an unexpected bonus to help lure international investors wanting to buy a piece of ‘English heritage’ in London at a good price.In fact, the more problems associated with the EU negotiations, the lower the Pound and the more incentive there is to buy. However, this only affects the market in excess of £5million, but one hopes that it will have a cascading effect on the lower sectors of the market as well.Estate agents and associated businesses are in a parlous state, as can be seen from the appalling results from companies such as Foxtons. They need all the help they can get at the moment to survive.Read more comment from Trevor Abrahmsohn. George Osborne Brexit stamp duty Trevor Abrhamsohn 2018-03-02Nigel 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

Marist hires former St. Anthony’s assistant as new head basketball coach

first_imgMarist High School has hired former St. Anthony’s Boys Basketball Assistant Coach, Frank Burno, as their new Head Boys Basketball Coach. Coach Burno has been coaching basketball since 1996 and spent the last four years as an Assistant Coach at St. Anthony’s High School in Jersey City. “We are excited to have Coach Burno with us. He brings years of experience with him that will be beneficial to our players,” said Athletic Director Erica Buonacquista.Coach Burno began his coaching career at the Boys and Girls Club of Jersey City in 1996 coaching at the grammar school level. He spent the last four years coaching boys basketball at St. Anthony’s under Hall of Fame Coach Bob Hurley. At St. Anthony’s, Coach Burno spent two years as the Junior Varsity Head Coach and two years as an Assistant Varsity Coach. “Working under Coach Hurley was unbelievable,” said Coach Burno. “I dreamed of coaching basketball when I was younger, and to learn from one of the best was a great experience.” Coach Burno plans to use this experience to make Marist Basketball a force in the county. “I want to get this program back to where it was in the ‘90’s,” said Coach Burno. The Royal Knights won the State Championship in 1992 and were consistently one of the top teams in the state. “There is a lot of great basketball tradition here that I want to bring back,” said Coach Burno.The first thing Coach Burno wants to bring to the team is a winning attitude. “I want to change the culture of the team at all three levels: Freshman, Junior Varsity, and Varsity,” said Coach Burno. “I want to instill leadership, respect, character, and a winning attitude into the players. They should feel proud to wear Marist across their chest.”Coach Burno also has a connection to current Marist Girls Basketball Coach and 2017 Hudson County Coach of the Year, Reggie Quinn. “Coach Reggie and I are good friends. We both coached at the Boys and Girls Club,” said Coach Burno. Coach Reggie was a large factor in getting Coach Burno to Marist. Coach Burno said, “He kept telling me to throw my name in the hat for the position. After I had my first interview, I knew this is where I wanted to coach.” The Royal Knights are coming off a 9-14 season, finishing 5-9 in the conference. They look to regroup next year with a new attitude under the leadership of Coach Burno.last_img read more

Mayor Jay Gillian: Hats Off to Lisa Rumer and Carrie Merritt

first_imgDear Friends:I am pleased to recognize one of our city team members this week. Lisa Rumer is a recreation supervisor who also serves as coach for the Special Olympics triathlon team.   A distinguished triathlete herself, Lisa has committed herself to training four very special athletes.  Their hard work has resulted in positive results at the Special Olympics World Games held in Los Angeles this week – one gold medal, one silver and one bronze! Lisa is assisted in her coaching duties by Ocean City primary school teacher Carrie Merritt.  We all should be very proud of the hard work, dedication and commitment these young athletes have displayed, and thank Lisa and Carrie for their selfless spirit of volunteerism and desire to help others.A reminder  that we will be holding a neighborhood meeting on Tuesday, August 4 at 7:00 PM with representatives from Michael Baker International to discuss road and drainage improvements for the area of 26th Street to 34th Street, West to Bay Avenue.  The meeting will be held at the Howard S. Stainton Senior Center located at the Community Center, 1735 Simpson Avenue.  The representatives from Michael Baker International will make a presentation on their findings and recommendations for this area.On the south end beach replenishment project the dredge “Liberty Island” is now not expected to return until August 6th at which time operations are projected to resume immediately.I hope everyone has a great weekend.Warm regards,Jay A. GillianMayor The U.S. Special Olympics triathlon team includes Courtney Dreyfus, Noah Dellas, coach Lisa Rumer,Ben Heitmeyer andAmy Noctor.The following is Ocean City Mayor Jay Gillian’s weekly update to citizens posted on Friday, July 31.last_img read more

Construction materials prices inch up in June

first_imgPrices for construction materials inched up 1.0 percent in June 2009, according to the July 14 producer price index (PPI) report by the U.S. Labor Department. Still, prices are down 6.1 percent from June 2008.Material prices feeding the increase include prepared asphalt and tar roofing, up 5.6 percent from May, and 38.9 percent higher from June 2008. Softwood lumber prices jumped up 1.7 percent in June, but are still down 18.1 percent from last year. Nonferrous wire and cable prices were up slightly at 0.8 percent from May, but are down 14.3 percent from a year ago.Meanwhile, fabricated structural metal product prices continue to dip, down 0.7 percent for the month, and down 4.2 percent on a year-over-year basis. Prices for fabricated ferrous wire products were unchanged on a monthly basis and are down 3.0 percent from June 2008. Plumbing fixtures and fittings prices were unchanged for the second consecutive month and have inched up 0.5 percent in the past 12 months.Crude energy material prices climbed 10.9 percent in June, and prices for natural gas rose 3.5 percent and crude petroleum jumped up 20.3 percent. Overall, finished goods prices edged up 1.8 percent on the month but are still down 4.6 percent on a year-over-year basis.What This Means The magic of economics rests with its self-equilibrating mechanisms. These mechanisms are designed to prevent economies from severe overheating or intolerable contraction, said Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) Chief Economist Anirban Basu. Producer prices represent a perfect example. When the economy is expanding, producer prices rise, making it more expensive for suppliers to expand, which limits the pace of expansion, said Basu. However, with the economy shrinking as it is now, producer prices tend to decline, which induces cost-efficient supply and limits the extent of the downturn. Recent reports indicate that a combination of factors continues to place upward pressure on construction input prices despite the ongoing global economic downturn, said Basu. One of those factors is China, which has introduced its own stimulus package of several hundreds of billions dollars with an intense focus on infrastructure. Moreover, the U.S. stimulus package is also likely having an impact on materials prices due to the anticipation of significant future construction. However, input prices are not declining as one would otherwise predict, said Basu.Source: ABClast_img read more

FARC Turns Over to Red Cross Pilots Kidnapped in Colombia

first_img On July 29, the FARC Colombian guerrilla group turned over to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) two pilots of a civilian helicopter whom they had kidnapped on July 10, the humanitarian organization announced. The ICRC brought them by road to the city of Popayán (the capital of the department of Cauca, 650 km southwest of Bogotá), “where they have now been reunited with their families,” the organization’s spokesperson in Bogotá told AFP. In a press release, the ICRC specified that the release took place “in a rural area of the municipality of Argelia (Cauca)” and identified the pilots as Juan Carlos Álvarez and Alejandro de Jesús Ocampo. Speaking to the television news program Caracol, Álvarez said, “God grant that this be an opening for this to not happen again to any other Colombian. Hopefully, we can live in a Colombia at peace,” he added. For his part, Ocampo said that the most difficult part of captivity was “being far away from family and not knowing what’s going to happen with your life.” The head of the ICRC specified that the organization’s action came about via a “direct request from the armed group,” and he reiterated that the organization is “ready to continue providing our good offices for this and other kinds of humanitarian action in which our role as a neutral intermediary is sought.” The FARC had captured the two pilots when the helicopter they were flying had to make an emergency landing on the soccer field of the small town of El Plateado, in the municipality of Argelia. Following the landing of the helicopter and after the two pilots were seized by the guerrilla group, a motorcycle bomb exploded at the location, causing the death of a seven-year-old boy and injuring four. The FARC asserted in that statement that the helicopter “had been engaged in intensive overflight of the mountainous area between the municipalities of Argelia, Guapi, and Timbiquí (Cauca) for nearly two months.” They also warned that any public or private firm that aims to conduct overflights, study, or execute construction projects in regions with a rebel presence should “have the approval of the community inhabiting the location” and “inform the revolutionary insurgency of their activities,” because “only in that way will their safety be guaranteed.” By Dialogo July 31, 2012last_img read more

Ramelize wins praise for effort to help children

first_img Ramelize wins praise for effort to help children Associate Editor“I’m excited. I’m scared. And I’m a little bit sad,” said Azim Ramelize, his voice crackling over the cell phone from his car somewhere in South Carolina, on the way to Baltimore to the Annie E. Casey Foundation, a private philanthropy that focuses on helping children and families.Ramelize, a former assistant general counsel for the Department of Juvenile Justice and passionate voice on the Bar’s Commission on the Legal Needs of Children, was chosen as a “human service innovator” for a year-long Children and Family Fellowship. He’s excited, because it’s quite an honor, chosen as one of 10 out of 99 applicants.In his nomination letter, Frank Orlando, retired judge and director of the Center for Study of Youth Policy at Nova Southeastern University, wrote: “What I have learned about Azim is that he is a child advocate who is not satisfied with the legal system as it exists, and he is not timid about making a case for change. I believe that too many legal advocates and organizations have become complacent with where we are and stay within the present system. Real change is not on their agenda. The work of the Bar Commission has validated my beliefs that the words of the U.S. Supreme Court in In Re Galt, 387 US 1 (1967), that the Bill of Rights in our Constitution is for children, too, has not yet been achieved. We desperately need lawyers and passionate advocates like Azim on the national scene to achieve for children what they are now so often deprived of — the protections and rights of the Constitution.”Ramelize is a little scared, he admits, because it’s a big change in uncharted territory. But he’s got guts to do whatever he sets his mind to, even though he’s been paralyzed since a bullet tore through his back when he was 17 and a member of a gang on the streets of Brooklyn’s Crown Heights.And the sadness? Well, it comes from knowing he will miss his own son, even though he’ll visit often. And especially sad is leaving the children behind that he so passionately advocated for at DJJ in Davie.“Fifteen kids threw a surprise party for me when I left. I was in tears. A few came back from college to say goodbye. I was shocked,” Ramelize said. “If a judge called and said he or she wanted help with a kid, I could help that kid. I could pull a lot of strings. I am going to miss that. I felt like I was giving up on the kids I love.”He talked his mixed feelings over with trusted judges, his college mentor, and good friends.As Yves Guerre, of Ft. Lauderdale, a friend going back to college at Cornell University, told him, it was an opportunity of a lifetime, “not a matter of choice, no ifs, ands, or buts.”“I believe with the training he is going to get, he will be able to come out and help 10 times the amount of kids,” Guerre said.That advice struck a chord. In the end, Ramelize realized: “This is my passion. This is my calling. I need to pursue it.”And so, he will join a top manager of New York City’s Administration for Children’s Services, the associate director of a private agency that works with children and families along the U.S.-Mexico border in El Paso, Texas, and the vice president of a San Francisco-based Family Violence Prevention Fund, and a half a dozen others who want to make a difference.“These individuals have been selected for this fellowship because we believe they have the vision and talent to bring about major reforms that will shape the future for large numbers of children and families in the United States,” said Douglas W. Nelson, president of the Annie E. Casey Foundation.The foundation describes the fellowship as “a full-time, 11-month, intensive program that provides an opportunity for accomplished professionals in the social, human, and community development fields to expand their professional and personal horizons through workshops, seminars, study tours, and field placements. It brings together leaders from varied professional backgrounds, geographic regions, and racial and ethnic groups, and is structured to serve the complex learning needs of each participant.”As Judge Orlando said: “I was honored that my nomination resulted in Azim getting this prestigious award. Not only is it a personal award, but it is a recognition of the state of Florida and the work Azim has been doing for children.” Ramelize wins praise for effort to help children February 1, 2003 Jan Pudlow Associate Editor Regular Newslast_img read more

Make your brand consistent across all channels

first_imgNote: The following is an excerpt from 30 Ideas to Build and Live Your Brand. For a free copy of the complete book, click here.You will hear a recurring theme over and over in this book because it’s that important – details matter. All of them. Everything needs to match.The colors you use to decorate your branches should be the same colors you use on your website and the same colors you use in your marketing collateral and e-mail campaigns. The verbiage you use in your marketing collateral and on your website should match the language your employees use when speaking to members in person, by phone and through e-mail. The images displayed in your branches should be the same images or at least have the same look and feel as the images on your website, in your marketing campaigns and even on your ATM screens. You must make our brand consistent across all channels.Every marketing campaign should have a similar look and feel, as well. Sometimes marketing departments struggle with this concept because they are creative and want everything they do to be unique. As commendable as that is, it will sabotage your brand. continue reading » 9SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

Broome County Sheriff mourns death of K9

first_imgPHOTO SOURCE: Broome County Sheriff’s Office Facebook page Alan was trained to be a police dog in California where he met his handler Deputy Will Andres. (WBNG) — The Broome County Sheriff’s Office reported one of its K9s passed away Monday. The sheriff’s office describes Alan as a “fun-loving dog” with the “determination, power and strength” to complete the job.center_img He was certified in criminal apprehension, narcotics detection and patrol. His handler and him were requested on calls to locate criminals, missing persons and drugs. The sheriff’s office is mourning K9 Alan. They say he died unexpectedly.last_img read more

New Zealand mosque shooter changes plea to guilty

first_img ‘The right direction’ Tarrant’s trial had been due to start on June 2 and last some six weeks, with police commissioner Mike Bush saying Thursday’s hearing was arranged after the gunman contacted his lawyers on Tuesday.”Police appreciate this news will come as a surprise to the victims and the public, some of whom may have wished to be present in the courtroom,” he said in a statement.Bush said imams from the Al Noor and Linwood mosques, the ones targeted by Tarrant, were among only 17 people allowed in court to hear the revised plea.New Zealand’s small and tight-knit Muslim community welcomed the fact that they would not have to endure a drawn-out trial raking over painful details of the worst mass shooting in the country’s modern history.”I have been praying for him and he has taken the right direction,” Farid Ahmed, whose wife Husna was killed, told TVNZ.”I am pleased he is feeling guilty. It is a good start.”Tarrant armed himself with an arsenal of semi-automatic weapons and attacked the Al Noor mosque first, before moving on to the Linwood prayer center, livestreaming the killings as he went.His victims were all Muslim and included children, women and the elderly.In a rambling manifesto posted online before the killing spree, Tarrant said he had moved to New Zealand with the specific aim of conducting an atrocity against Muslims.The document said he became radicalized while travelling around Europe, although intelligence agencies have so far failed to find any evidence he was working with right-wing extremist groups. His actions prompted Ardern, who has vowed never to say the killer’s name, to tighten New Zealand’s gun laws and launch a campaign to curb online extremism. An Australian far-right extremist charged with murdering 51 Muslim worshippers in last year’s mass shooting at two New Zealand mosques unexpectedly flipped his plea to guilty on Thursday.Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and the Muslim community expressed relief at the surprise decision, which removes the need for a lengthy trial that authorities feared would be used to spout neo-Nazi propaganda.Self-avowed white supremacist Brenton Tarrant, 29, had previously denied 51 charges of murder, 40 of attempted murder and one of terrorism but reversed his plea in a hurriedly arranged court hearing. “Yes, guilty,” Tarrant told Christchurch High Court via videolink from Auckland Prison as the charges were read out to him.Tarrant, wearing a grey top, stared intently at the camera while making his confession.Neither the former gym instructor from the Australian country town of Grafton nor his lawyers offered any explanation for the change, which makes him New Zealand’s first-ever convicted terrorist.The South Pacific nation does not have the death penalty but Tarrant faces the prospect of spending the rest of his life behind bars. The terror and murder charges all carry life sentences, setting a minimum non-parole period of 17 years but giving the judge power to imprison without the possibility of release. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said the admission of guilt would provide some relief to the many people whose lives were shattered in the attack.”These guilty pleas and conviction bring accountability for what happened and also save the families who lost loved ones, those who were injured, and other witnesses, the ordeal of a trial,” she said.Asked how she reacted upon hearing the news, Ardern replied: “I let out a huge sigh of relief”.Judge Cameron Mander recorded convictions on all charges and said Tarrant would be sentenced at a date yet to be determined.”The guilty pleas represent a very significant step towards bringing finality to this criminal proceeding,” he said.The plea came with New Zealand in its first day of a four-week COVID-19 lockdown.Mander said sentencing would take place “at a time when victims and their families can attend the court in person”.The judge said advance reporting that Thursday’s hearing was taking place was suppressed in case Tarrant changed his mind at the last minute and maintained his innocence. Topics :last_img read more

Make-or-break moment in virus fight could happen this week

first_imgThe world’s ability to check the coronavirus contagion and fully recover from the worst peacetime recession since the Great Depression may depend on what international economic policy makers decide this week.With emerging markets and developing nations facing health emergencies, collapsing demand and cash crunches, the guardians of the global economy are under the gun to ease the strains at this week’s video-conferenced meetings of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank.“It’s a make-or-break moment,” said former IMF chief economist Maury Obstfeld. “This may be the greatest global crisis we’ve faced in the postwar period.” Having all taken steps to support their individual economies, failure by the leading Group of 20 countries to now act together could consign the world to “reservoirs of disease” and trigger outward migration from poor countries on “a biblical scale,” said Obstfeld, now a professor at the University of California, Berkeley.G-20 finance ministers and central bankers will convene by conference call on Wednesday.A lack of forceful action could set the stage for damaging debt defaults and throw a roadblock in the way of any sort of robust recovery of the world economy. The dollar’s surge has been particularly painful for countries that ran up borrowing in greenbacks and which will now struggle to cover the loans, especially as their exports tumble.If the emerging markets lag behind, “it means more of a U-shaped or an L-shaped kind of recovery for the US and global economies,” said Nathan Sheets, a former US Treasury official who’s now chief economist for PGIM Fixed Income. While the US, Europe and Japan have opened up the monetary and budgetary spigots to fight Covid-19 and its economic after-effects, many emerging economies lack the scope to do so.Morgan Stanley economists predict that emerging markets, excluding China, will shrink 4.1% in the current quarter, a deeper dive than the 3.1% of the first quarter of 2009 when the world was last in crisis, though shallower than what’s expected in richer economies. They also estimated in an April 3 report that the peak rate of growth during the recovery for those economies will be 6% in the second quarter of 2021 versus 7.7% in the same period of 2010.The problem is even more acute in the poorest nations, where many denizens can’t easily practice the social distancing and regular hand washing that has become de-rigueur in rich countries.Such an environment leaves the IMF reckoning that emerging market and developing countries will need trillions of dollars in external financing to fight the virus, only part of which they can cover on their own, leaving gaps of hundreds of billions of dollars. Half of the international lending organization’s 189 members are already looking to it for aid.IMF managing director Kristalina Georgieva is trying to rally the world into a unified display of support at the Fund’s semi-annual meeting, which starts Tuesday as a virtual gathering after the typical spring gathering in Washington was re-imagined.“Today we are confronted with a crisis like no other,” Georgieva said in an April 9 speech. “The actions we take now will determine the speed and strength of our recovery.”There are questions, though, about whether the Fund has enough to counter the crisis, especially if it proves protracted.While the IMF says it has a $1 trillion war chest, Ted Truman of the Peterson Institute for International Economics calculates that the maximum amount available for new lending is $787 billion, after taking into account existing commitments and other factors. “The IMF will need more” from the US and the rest of the G20, he said.And it’s not just the amount of resources that are at issue. It’s what kind they are.The crisis has exposed a gaping hole at the center of the global economy. There’s no ultimate lender of last resort who can provide the liquidity that’s demanded in a financial emergency.Funds PulledSome $62 billion was yanked out of emerging markets in the first quarter in a global dash for cash by investors, twice the size of outflows at the peak of the world financial crisis, according to the Institute of International Finance.While there are signs that pressure is easing — Indonesia, for example, sold $4.3 billion of dollar bonds last week to help finance virus relief measures — there are risks the outflows could resume as the hit to emerging market growth becomes more evident, IIF analysts said.The Federal Reserve has moved to partly fill the void, including opening up dollar liquidity swap lines with Brazil, South Korea and Mexico. Sheets said it should do the same with India, Indonesia and Chile.The IMF also has to step up and be willing to set its aside its traditional playbook for dealing with countries in trouble, in which it demands economic reforms in return for financial assistance.“This is much more of an exogenous shock,” said former US Treasury official Mark Sobel, now at the Official Monetary and Financial Institutions Forum, a think-tank focused on economic policy and central banking. “There needs to be some recalibration by the IMF to provide far more liberal and fast liquidity to members.”The fund seems to be trying to do just that.It’s looking at the use of precautionary short-term loans to get cash to countries, as well other funding options like the increased use of reserve assets called special drawing rights, steps that would require the approval of rich nations.One problem with the IMF stepping up, said ex-IMF official Taimur Baig: Many countries don’t like turning to the organization because they fear being tarred as a nation in trouble.Repayment Pause“Drawing on to IMF resources has an element of stigma and it is still seen as the last resort of a crisis-hit nation,” said Baig, who’s now chief economist at DBS Bank in Singapore.As for the poorest countries, a plan championed by Georgieva and World Bank President David Malpass calls on wealthy governments to place a temporary pause on debt repayments. The World Bank in March estimated that $14 billion in service payments are due this year.Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed said in a Bloomberg Opinion column on Sunday that governments need to start “exploring immediate debt relief for all of Africa.”In the 2008-09 crisis, the G-20 banded together to come up with an action plan.That’s been more difficult this time for a group riven by rivalries — the US and China over trade, Saudi Arabia and Russia over oil, and the UK and the European Union over Brexit.IIF President Tim Adams said the G-20 must rise to the occasion, nonetheless.“There will be enormous attention and enormous expectations” focused on this week’s gatherings, he said. “Not meeting them could be detrimental for markets and for confidence.”Topics :last_img read more