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first_imgHome » News » Housing Market » House sales have slumped this year – or have they? previous nextHousing MarketHouse sales have slumped this year – or have they?Data from the ONS on number of homes sold in England and Wales contradicted by data from the HMRC published in the same document.Nigel Lewis12th December 201701,002 Views The number of house sales in England has dropped by 12% compared to a year ago, according to latest figures from the government’s statisticians, the ONS.The figures are for August and are based in part on the latest set of sales results to be released by the Land Registry.The data also reveals that the number of homes sold dropped elsewhere too – by 15.8% in London and by 3.4% in Wales, both by the same measure.But the house sales report is entirely contradicted by figures from HMRC which reveal it believes that the number of homes sold in the UK increased by 9.2% during the year to October 2017, and by 1.7% over the past month.We spoke to the Land Registry, who were unable to explain the difference between the two house sales numbers and, we are told, neither is the ONS.So baffling is the difference between the HMRC data, which is based on Stamp Duty receipts, and the Land Registry data, that the Negotiator has been told analysts at Savills have spent a lot of time and energy on finding out why.“I would back the ONS figures every time because they are the only independently-sourced and unbiased snapshot of how many homes are being sold,” says property expert and property finder Henry Pryor (pictured, left).“If we were allowed just one index in the UK then that’s the one I’d have.“The ONS are transparent about where their data comes from, but I don’t believe that the HMRC is quite so clear about its data – which is why I think it should be called out about this.”The ONS index this month also reveals that the average houses price in England has increased by 4.7% of the past year, decreased by 0.6% over the past month, and now stands at £240,860.HMRC ONS Official Of National Statistics December 12, 2017Nigel 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


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first_imgA postgraduate applicant who claimed St Hugh’s College refused to admit him on the basis of financial means has told Cherwell he is “prepared to appeal all the way to the European Court of Human Rights if [he has] to.”Damien Shannon, 26, filed a claim against the College last month after he was unable to demonstrate that he could meet living costs of £12,900 on top of his master’s tuition fee, thereby forfeiting his offer.He claimed that students were being selected on “on the basis of wealth, [excluding] those not in possession of it”, meaning the less well-off were “disproportionately discriminated against.”After the hearing on 15 February at Manchester County Court, Judge Armitage QC reserved judgment, and will deliver it with written reasoning at a later unspecified date.St Hugh’s have argued that fulfilling the University’s ‘financial guarantee’ guards a student’s wellbeing so that there is no risk of academic focus being distracted by money worries.During the hearing, Oxford’s director of graduate admissions, Dr Jane Sherwood, said she had been mistaken in suggesting that other universities such as Exeter and Goldsmith’s College, London, assessed applicants’ means in the same way as Oxford.Shannon accepted the admission of false comparison, but told Cherwell he was still of the opinion that “refusing access to those who cannot afford nightclubs etc. is manifestly unreasonable and cannot have been the outcome of any kind of expert analysis.”The University, a separate legal entity from St Hugh’s, gave an explanation for the size of the guarantee. A spokesperson said, “The core of the minimum recommended amount for annual living costs comes from a survey undertaken each year of domestic bursars in every college.“Domestic bursars manage accommodation, catering etc., and have expert knowledge of the local costs of core items of students’ living costs and expenditure. The survey provides estimated costs of things like accommodation, food, utility bills and other items, as well as estimates of costs for future years.”They stressed that the £12,900 figure still lies below the £13,726 national minimum doctoral stipend provided by the UK Research Councils, which “gives us confidence that it is not an overestimate.”Shannon contested that “the expertise of the bursars must be tested by cross examination.” In his court submission, he highlighted what he called “optional” costs, including “an unspecified amount for ‘sport and leisure activities’ – I wonder whether this includes punting.”“Every single [cost] is intended to support a typical lifestyle,” he continued. “None of them have anything to do with being financially able to complete study.”Shannon demands the financial guarantee be struck down or comprise “essential expenditure based on actual research of likely living costs”. He commented, “It is absolutely insane that people are turned away for not having money they do not need.”Shannon maintains that he is being denied his human right to education as prescribed by the European Convention on Human Rights, making him a “victim” under the UK Human Rights Act.“Oxford is in the very fortunate position of having enormous resources at its disposal, but precious little of this serves to widen access among postgraduates. Saying “go away and earn the money and come back in a few years when you are wealthier” simply isn’t good enough,” he told Cherwell.The University vigorously denies this. Pointing to announcements such as last year’s £26m Ertegun donation for graduate humanities study, it stated, “Oxford offers more postgraduate financial support than almost any other UK university, and has been proactive in highlighting this national issue by fundraising for scholarships and lobbying for a national loans scheme. The Vice-Chancellor wrote about the issue in The Times in March 2012.”St Hugh’s College declined to comment on the case so far.last_img read more


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first_imgWhat’s your job and what are your day-to-day responsibilities?I am sales director for Jacksons Bakery, which is a subsidiary of the William Jackson Food Group. My day-to-day responsibilities are to manage a team of salespeople to ensure we deliver the best possible service to our customers, while also developing new business.How did you get into the baking industry?I became addicted to the industry as a Saturday lad and subsequently joined Jacksons Bakery as a junior salesman. There is a phrase around our business that says if you stay six months, you will be here for life. The bakery has been around since 1851 and really looks after its employees.How has your career progressed (training, job switches, and so on)?I have held a variety of sales positions within Jacksons, focusing on the various sectors, and I am now very proud to head up a great team for a great business.What is the most important quality you need to have to do your job?I would probably say honesty, decency, passion and commitment. The foodservice industry is a very demanding place to be and there is no place for sharp practice.What is the key to success in your area of expertise?I guess as a business it’s all about people, there are 330 people here at Jacksons Bakery, who are very focused and customer-driven. We work to only one standard, which is that of the highest quality of product and service, and with the commitment and support of these people we will continue to grow and be successful.last_img read more


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first_img The pride of Adams House An Adams House contingent weaves through the Yard. Meese and love Dunsterites Anissa Mak ’13 (left) and Melody Wu ’13 display their affection for the Dunster moose. Welcome, freshmen From atop the John Harvard Statue, groups from Lowell and Mather Houses serve as beacons for the incoming sophomores who will be joining their Houses. Scream! Leverett House supporters lose their voices outside Matthews Hall. ‘Throp it like it’s hot Winthrop House members Ruo Chen ’12 (left) and Carl Malm ’12 get loud inside Annenberg Hall. Jon Chase/Harvard Staff Photographer Housing fair Students swarm inside Annenberg Hall to meet their new Housemates. Not even cold weather or the threat of rain could keep Harvard students down. Nay, actual precipitation might galvanize them further, making them stronger.After all, today (March 10) is Housing Day, the day of fantastical Mardi Gras-like costumes and parades, of yelling until your voice is gone. And if you’re a freshman, Housing Day means a sleepless night awaiting that early morning letter assigning your living quarters for the next three years.Soundbytes: Sounding off on Housing DayAmid frantic cheers audible from the subway station, friends Kyle Krueger ’14 and Rose Bailey ’14 were making their way through the Yard to Annenberg Hall to meet up with others assigned to Pforzheimer House. “PfoHo!” the pair yelled in unison when asked where they’ve been assigned. “We’re really excited,” said Krueger. “We’ve heard good things about PfoHo and they have a lot of House pride.”Outside of Annenberg Hall, Devon Williams ’11 of Mather House was caught sitting down for a rare breather, a “Mather Haus” banner rippling behind him. Decked out in red shirt, red jeans, and ’80s sunglasses, he’d probably been awake all night, readying himself for pouncing into the freshman dorms to deliver the news “that they’ve just won the housing lottery,” he said.Joined by his rhyming-named roommate Nevin Britto ’11, the pair described just what exactly it felt like to be a part of Housing Day: “It is the most fun I’ve ever had at 7 a.m.,” said Williams. “Everyone in the House treats 7 a.m. as if it were midnight.”There’s the ecstasy of Housing Day, and then there’s the agony.Maura Church ’14 and Danielle Ithier ’14 were less than enthused to learn they’d be moving to Cabot House, even when the Cabot welcoming crew arrived with Swedish Fish and free sunglasses.“It was number 12 on my list,” revealed Church.“But it’ll be a good year,” chimed Ithier.Yolanda Borquaye ’14 and Renee Motley ’14 were also assigned to Cabot.“I really like the historical factor of houses like Eliot or Kirkland,” said Borquaye. “But I’m looking forward to making history in Cabot!”Shelbi Olson ’14 and Jessica Perillo ’14, two softball players, were bummed about their PfoHo assignment because it’s far from where the team practices.Olson and Perillo said they misheard what the PfoHo greeting party was chanting that morning — thinking they were saying the name of another House. “Then they ran in screaming and we were sad,” said Olson.“They told us that they cried last year, too,” said Perillo.But most students are eventually won over by their House and its offerings. And next year they’ll be the ones touting their House’s awesomeness to bleary-eyed freshmen.Sophomore Corinne Wee ’13 of Quincy House did just that.“It was so fun to deliver the letters and see everyone so excited,” she said. “Last year I was so excited to receive my assignment, but it was nice to be on the other side, jumping up and down!”Hip, hip, hooray![audio:https://news.harvard.edu/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/housing0538.mp3]“The foundation of the Harvard College experience is the idea that living together means learning together,” said Dean of the College Evelynn M. Hammonds. “The Houses are vibrant intellectual communities where students encounter new ideas, explore creative and cultural activities, and form relationships that last a lifetime. I congratulate the newest members of our undergraduate Houses.” Charge! Mather House residents flock wildly in the Yard. Skull candy Sweatbands might’ve gone out of style decades ago, but these Adams House dwellers don’t care. Moose crew The Dunster House moose leads its crew in a high-energy cheer. Housing fair Students swarm inside Annenberg Hall to meet their new Housemates. Making a House a home Sound the bazooka A group of students in Grays Hall appeal to the masses down below. Acceptance bunny Lavinia Mitroi ’12 sorts through acceptance letters for Leverett House in University Hall as Graham Frankel ’12 (left) of Pforzheimer House takes a photo of the goings-on.last_img read more


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first_img After getting a spellbinding look at the modern-day Potter family, it’s time to meet Harry’s best friends. Check out this portrait of the Granger-Weasley family from the London-bound Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. Even in adulthood, it looks like Ron (played by Paul Thornley) is rocking his signature sweater and scarf ensemble. In the center is Noma Dumezweni as Hermione (whose skin tone was never specified —take it from J.K. Rowling herself), and joining them is Cherrelle Skeete as their daughter Rose. Performances of the two-part saga begin on June 7 at the West End’s Palace Theatre, and for Hermione’s sake, make sure you give Hogwarts, A History a reread before then. Paul Thornley as Ron Weasley, Noma Dumezweni as Hermione Granger and Cherrelle Skeete as Rose Granger-WeasleyPhoto: Charlie Gray View Commentslast_img read more


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first_imgReturning to the Mountain Hurts Like Hell Years before, I had sprinted this final stretch to the summit and bolted back down the mountain, eager to chase down competitors. This time, I paused for a few panoramic minutes to soak it all in: mountain melting into sky, ragged clouds, the bare quiet. There I was—standing atop that summit again—a shadow of my former self. I tried to remember what it felt like to be young, fast, and free. But all I could feel was the wind, weathering me and the 500-million-year-old mountain beneath my feet. I was afraid to go back. Years ago, I had spent my darkest, loneliest hours training and testing my limits on Mount Mitchell—the highest peak in the East. And for five straight years, I had run—and won—the Mount Mitchell Challenge—a 40-mile winter race to the top of Mount Mitchell. Some years, knee-deep snow and thick sheets of ice coated the traails. One year, torrential rain flooded the course.  Even in the worst weather, though, I knew that I had not fully faced the mountain. I had always ascended Mitchell from the west, where the climb is gradual. But there is another, meaner path to the top of Mount Mitchell from the opposite direction: the Black Mountain Crest Trail. It starts east of Mount Mitchell and climbs 3,000 feet in the first four miles. Then it roller-coasters steeply across five summits over 6,000 feet and ends atop Mitchell. The entire trail is only 12 miles, but it’s earned the moniker of Toughest Trail in Appalachia.  Sam was planning an out-and-back on the Black Mountain Crest Trail—around 25 miles. It was less than a marathon. I had run much longer distances. But the truth was: the trail scared the shit out of me. So did returning to Mitchell. I was afraid to see how age had diminished that younger version of myself. I had a choice: I could keep those shiny memories polished, or I could risk tarnishing them with an old-man DNF.  It had been over a decade since I had raced up Mount Mitchell. I was no longer the young, child-free, debt-free twentysomething who won the race five times. I was now a middle-aged dad with a wife, a mortgage, and a partially torn Achilles tendon. I had not returned to the summit of Mitchell since my last race in 2008. I had left everything out there on the trails that day and never looked back. I wanted the mountain to remember me at my best. Sam and I began the rugged 12-mile return trip. I felt a bit lighter—but maybe that was because I had guzzled most of the water in my pack. I relaxed into the run and savored the time with Sam. Most of all, I cherished the mountain—and all the peaks and valleys it had given me. I would have to make the most of the moments I had left up here, running across the sky. And it was time to start sharing them with my two boys, who might someday climb this mountain and ascend to even greater heights.  We began a steep ascent that instantly sucked all the oxygen out of my body. My lungs burned, my head fogged, and lactic acid scorched my legs. Clearly, I wasn’t the same runner from years ago. I was already thinking about turning back.  But earlier this year my friend Sam dared me to run the Black Mountain Crest Trail with him. Sam is the most talented all-around outdoor adventurer I know: he wins mountain bike races, paddles the region’s rowdiest whitewater creeks, climbs iconic routes, and runs the region’s toughest trails. How could I say no to a guy like him?  Sam glided up the trail, chattering away. I sputtered one-word responses and tried to hide my gasps for air as we climbed to the shoulder of Celo Knob. From there, vistas revealed the five jagged peaks we would climb on our way to the distant summit of Mitchell. Still, it felt good to be there. I was okay with not being young anymore. Even in my forties, I could still push my limits and dig deep. The contest had always been within. I scanned the other side of the mountain and spotted the path I had once raced down. Those races never really mattered to anyone but me, I realized. And the only thing that endured was the resolve to keep going, no matter what. Those memories were long gone, and it was time to make new ones.   Following a tough summit push, the author takes in stunning surrounding views. Photo courtesy of Will Harlan The boulder-strewn trail contorted and jackknifed along the razor-sharp ridgeline. At times, the trail was so steep that climbing ropes were needed to scramble up sheer rock faces. We slogged to the summits of 6,000-foot peaks—Winter Star Mountain, Potato Hill, Balsam Cone, Big Tom, and Mount Craig—and then stumbled steeply down them. On the descents, Sam deftly picked his lines through granite teeth and ankle-twisting rock gardens, and I wobbled along behind him. For most of the way, we were cloaked in the darkness of spruce forest—until finally we spilled out into the sunlight of Mount Mitchell’s parking lot.   I had plenty of excuses not to go: injury, work, kids. I almost bailed that morning on the way to meet Sam. But I couldn’t let him down, or myself. I arrived at the trailhead, where Sam was waiting. “It doesn’t get any better than this,” he said, and bounded up the trail. Parched and punished, Sam and I silently soldiered through the final miles. It would take everything we had to make it back to the trailhead before sunset. There were no crowds waiting for us at the finish. And that was just fine with me. Breathless once more in the shadow of Mitchell, I had stopped chasing the kid I once was, and I had started becoming the man I didn’t think I could be.last_img read more


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first_imgThe Mayor of the City of Hvar has made a decision on the appearance of umbrellas and deck chairs for performing economic activities in the maritime domain of the City of Hvar.Thus, according to the decision, there will be no more plastic deckchairs on Hvar, but all deckchairs must be wooden, while all umbrellas must be made of natural materials, white or dirty white fabric without highlighting the inscriptions of sponsors and advertisements. The inscriptions of the companies can be extremely prominent on the lower part of the umbrellas.The decision is in force from 01.01, and the supervision will be carried out by the municipal wardens of the City of Hvar.What should be normal is big news in Croatia. So is the decision of the city of Hvar to finally bring order to the standardized layout of parasols and deck chairs. Unfortunately, this is a rare positive example in our tourist destinations, and the first step should be established when we talk about the strategic development of tourist destinations. Of course how we have to take care of the cleanliness of the city, visual appearance, parking, landscaping, beaches, promenades, to have showers on the beaches and enough trash cans, signage, etc.… this is the first prerequisite for tourism development.When we do not care about performance, quality and no one cares about development, then I have a mess and problems such as “reservation” of beaches with towels, drinking young people, nudity… Tourism is extremely dynamic, complex, heterogeneous, multidisciplinary and vertical and horizontal binds various industries. That is why it is complex and must not be developed by inertia or accident, but only strategically and sustainably.Related news:last_img read more


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first_imgAttachment: PUBLIC INVITATION FOR SUBMISSION OF BIDS FOR LEASE OF REAL ESTATE No: 1/2019-S RELATED NEWS: Pursuant to the Decision of the Minister of State Property of March 15, 2019, the Ministry of State Property published a Public Invitation for the lease of State-owned real estate. Also, the Ministry of State Property recently published a public call for bids for the establishment of building rights on land plots (concessions) owned by the Republic of Croatia in Lastovo for the construction of tourist and catering buildings and for the award of concessions on maritime property in Lastovo for construction and economic use of the beach and special purpose port – nautical tourism port – mooring and concessions on the maritime domain for the purpose of construction and economic use of special purpose port – nautical tourism port of Kremen. These are former resorts for catering and tourism purposes in Gradac, a place near Makarska, the island of Ugljan, Dubrovnik, Hvar, etc.… and the lease agreement is concluded for a period of 30 years. More attached: PUBLIC INVITATION FOR CONCESSION ON LASTOV. A 5-STAR HOTEL AND VILLAS WITH A TOTAL OF 500 BEDS AND TWO NAUTICAL TOURS WITH 400 BERTHS WILL BE BUILT According to the public invitation, it is about building 5-star hotels and villas, a total of 500 beds in Jurjeva Luka and awarding a concession on the maritime domain for the construction and economic use of the beach and 2 nautical tourism ports, with 400 berths on the island of Lastovo. COLLIERS INTERNATIONAL: TOURISM IS STILL THE MOST ACTIVE INVESTMENT SECTOR The Croatian hotel market is stagnating in the development of the offer, shows the global report of Horwath HTLlast_img read more


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first_imgIf those had been “ordinary” politicians – social democrats or earnest liberals – they would have been run out of office by disappointed supporters who voted for efficient and effective government.But Chávez remained in power for 14 years before dying in office;his successor is still there.In Austria, the resurgent Freedom Party has just joined a new government coalition.Orban has been Hungary’s prime minister for nearly eight years, and Law and Justice’s support seems to be holding steady in Poland.Some of these stories are really about authoritarianism:Many populist leaders are actually anti-pluralist leaders, and they change the rules of their democracies to make it more difficult for their opponents to win.But another factor is at work as well. Categories: Editorial, OpinionThe charges range widely, from relatively trivial abuses of privilege to completely unprecedented breaches of ethical laws and norms.The president and his son-in-law may be using American foreign policy to enrich themselves.Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt has broken rules to fly first-class. Foreign delegations routinely book rooms at Trump’s Washington hotel to please and enrich the president.Corruption and nepotism have both reached new levels in this White House, as everyone who knew Donald Trump predicted, and as many who voted for him will ignore.Every time one of these stories breaks, there is a routine response:Is this what working-class Americans really wanted when they voted for an “anti-elitist”?Is this what the Midwest meant when it cheered calls to “drain the swamp”?But if history and precedent are any guide, then these abuses of power won’t matter to them at all.Our hemisphere contains ample precedents. But the spectacular corruption of so-called anti-elitist elites has another effect in the longer term:It makes people cynical about politics altogether.I recently asked one of Orban’s opponents why the endless revelations of crooked contracts don’t create an overwhelming majority for the opposition. Because voters now think everyone is corrupt,” he told me. “They’ve got used to it.”As the nepotism and the cronyism of this White House begin to sink in, Americans may not turn against Trump.They may turn against politics, or even democracy, altogether.Anne Applebaum writes a weekly foreign affairs column for The Washington Post. Unlike social democrats or earnest liberals, these politicians were never trying to appeal to the good sense of voters, they were never selling efficiency and effectiveness, and their voters don’t expect it from them.In a recent speech, Orban declared that Western Europe had caused the “decline of Christian culture,” and he described Hungary as “the last bastion of Christianity.”If you are emotionally moved by that declaration, why should you care if his son-in-law is getting rich?The political scientist Jan-Werner Muller has also written that corruption and cronyism aren’t a problem for this kind of leader “as long as they look like measures pursued for the sake of a moral, hardworking ‘us’ and not for the immoral or even foreign ‘them.’ “These same instincts might shield Trump from the wrath of some his voters.If you really believe that American civilization is in decline and only the Trump administration can halt it, then you won’t care that Jared Kushner is massaging America’s Middle Eastern policy to suit his business interests.If the “Forgotten Man” of Middle America believes Trump is battling invisible Islamist extremists (or overly visible television talk-show hosts), then they might not care that the Chinese government granted Ivanka Trump some valuable trademarks on the day President Xi Jinping met her father. Latin American history is strewn with “men of the people” who rode anti-elitist sentiments to power and then used that power to enrich themselves and their friends.The former Venezuelan dictator-president Hugo Chávez won office on an “anti-corruption” ticket and then proceeded to rob the state on a massive scale, using government contracts to keep friendly business executives on board, turning the civil service and the state oil company into machines for rewarding supporters, even buying a luxurious plane from the ruling family of Qatar for his own use.Europe contains similar stories.During its previous turn in power, Austria’s “populist” Freedom Party proved far more corrupt than the mainstream politicians it had denounced while out of office.After his death,it emerged that the party’s leader, Joerg Haider – more famous for his nods and winks to Austria’s Nazi legacy – was doing shady deals from Libya to the Balkans and beyond.Viktor Orban, the “populist” Hungarian prime minister who won in 2010 by denouncing the corruption of his opponents, has since directed European Union funding to business executives who support his party (among them a childhood friend), and helped to enrich numerous relatives, above all his son-in-law. (Sound familiar?)Poland’s ruling Law and Justice party also ran an anti-elitist election campaign in 2015 and has spent two years populating the civil service with friends, cousins, nephews and uncles of politicians. More from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationEDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?EDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesEDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristslast_img read more


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