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February 6, 2017

Bidding starts for £500m Dorset highways deal

Dorset County Council is advertising a five-year highways contract worth up to £500m. The Dorset highways works term service contract will provide ‘top up’ services for the council’s in-house highways works service. The procurement documents set out a partnership arrangement by which work is divided between the contractor and the

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Prime housing markets impacted by EU uncertainty

Pre referendum uncertainty triggered further small price falls in the prime housing markets of London in the second quarter of 2016 and slowed growth in regional markets dependent on London buyers, according to the latest research from international real estate adviser, Savills.  A marginal -0.2 per cent fall in the

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IEA warns of reliance on Middle East oil

The world risks becoming ever more reliant on Middle Eastern oil as lower prices derail efforts by governments to curb demand, the west’s leading energy body has warned. The head of the International Energy Agency told the Financial Times that Middle Eastern producers, such as Saudi Arabia and Iraq, now

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Construction apprenticeships reach six-year high

Construction apprenticeships across Great Britain are up 12% in the past year, reaching levels not seen since before the 2008 financial crisis. New statistics from the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) for National Apprenticeship Week (14-18 March 2016) reveal that 22,496 young people started construction apprenticeships in the year ending

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The Premier Construction Group adds new director to its board

The construction division of The Premier Group, a national specialist in high-spec construction and maintenance work, has welcomed a new director to its board. Simon Case, who has worked at the company for over 16 years, has joined the board through being promoted to business development director. Case started at

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How to Sell your Home ‘DIY Style’

Until relatively recently there was really only one way to sell your home – via a high street estate agent. A convoluted and sometimes frustrating system that also can be costly, in hindsight it was perhaps no surprise that online agents and latterly private sellers would have such easy pickings in

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Latest Issue

BDC 318 : Jul 2024

February 6, 2017

Bidding starts for £500m Dorset highways deal

Dorset County Council is advertising a five-year highways contract worth up to £500m. The Dorset highways works term service contract will provide ‘top up’ services for the council’s in-house highways works service. The procurement documents set out a partnership arrangement by which work is divided between the contractor and the council’s own highways team. The estimated value of the contract is in the range from £100m to £500m during the five-year term. This is based on the minimum of forecast budget to be allocated by the council and potential grant funding that could be secured. In previous years the allocated budget spent on this type of contract has only been between £10m and £15m but the spending has been increased by grant funding gained from central government schemes and the Dorset local enterprise partnership (DLEP). The procurement documents are at: www.supplyingthesouthwest.org.uk     This article was published on 3 Oct 2016 (last updated on 3 Oct 2016). Source link

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Prime housing markets impacted by EU uncertainty

Pre referendum uncertainty triggered further small price falls in the prime housing markets of London in the second quarter of 2016 and slowed growth in regional markets dependent on London buyers, according to the latest research from international real estate adviser, Savills.  A marginal -0.2 per cent fall in the three month period prior to the referendum left average prime London values down -0.7 per cent year on year, and -1.4 per cent below their pre December 2014 level, when stamp duty rates on high value homes were increased. Falls were most pronounced in prime central London, where prices fell -1.4 per cent in the quarter. This left values in London’s most exclusive markets on average -3.9 per cent down year on year and -8.0 per cent below their Q3 2014 peak.   Weakened sentiment and a slowing of the London market also impacted the prime regional markets, resulting in small quarterly price falls (-0.4 per cent) in the suburbs.   Property in the inner and outer commuter zones around London saw marginally positive price growth in the quarter limited to just 0.2 per cent and 0.9 per cent respectively, as the market slowed in response to a lack of urgency amongst buyers. Table showing Prime London growth “There have been conflicting signals in the market in the period post referendum, which suggests the impact of a vote to leave the EU will only become clear over coming months as the market finds its level,” says Lucian Cook, head of UK residential research at Savills. “Falls in sterling  have prompted some international buyers to re-enter the market, while there has also been a fair share of speculative bids from those hoping to secure a bargain.  Against this context, sellers have generally taken a pragmatic approach around pricing without having to slash their expectations. “Prime regional markets are at a different stage in their cycle, having been slower to recover peak 2007 values, and therefore appear to have been less affected by pre referendum uncertainty.” * NOTE, results collected in the week pre referendum Source link

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IEA warns of reliance on Middle East oil

The world risks becoming ever more reliant on Middle Eastern oil as lower prices derail efforts by governments to curb demand, the west’s leading energy body has warned. The head of the International Energy Agency told the Financial Times that Middle Eastern producers, such as Saudi Arabia and Iraq, now have the biggest share of world oil markets since the Arab fuel embargo of the 1970s. Demand for their crude has surged amid a collapse in oil prices over the past two years that has cut output from higher-cost producers such as the US, Canada and Brazil. Fatih Birol, IEA executive director, said policymakers risk becoming complacent as rhetoric surrounding a rise in North American energy supplies has overshadowed the world’s growing reliance on Middle Eastern crude. “The Middle East is the first source of imports,” said Mr Birol. “The higher the demand growth the more we [consumer countries] will need to import.” Middle Eastern producers now make up 34 per cent of global output, pumping 31m barrels a day, according to IEA data. This is the highest proportion since 1975 when it hit 36 per cent. In 1985, when North Sea production accelerated, their share fell to as little as 19 per cent. Fast-growing supplies from US shale fields triggered the oil price plunge in mid-2014. Unlike in the 1980s, however, Opec producers — led by Saudi Arabia and its Gulf allies — decided to maintain output to defend market share for the 13-member group, rather than cutting output to bolster prices. Demand has since surged as prices more than halved following years of trading above $100 a barrel. Mr Birol said efforts to improve energy efficiency and reduce emissions were being thwarted as motorists returned to buying fuel-guzzling cars. Lower oil prices are proving to be bad news for efficiency improvements In the US, more than two-and-a-half times as many sports utility vehicles were being bought compared with standard cars, Mr Birol said. Even more concerning for policymakers is China, where more than four times as many SUVs were bought, suggesting the country’s rapidly growing car culture has adopted America’s taste for larger more fuel-hungry cars. “Lower oil prices are proving to be bad news for efficiency improvements,” said Mr Birol. China has been the centre of oil demand growth for the past decade, becoming the second-largest oil consumer — behind the US — and surpassing it as the world’s biggest importer last year. Hundreds of billions of dollars in energy investments have been cut since 2014 as oil companies have embarked on the biggest cost-saving measures in 30 years, Mr Birol said. That is cutting supplies outside Opec, with US and other countries’ production expected to decline this year. Higher output from Iraq, Saudi Arabia and Iran has filled the gap. Related article Opec supplies are forecast to increase ‘modestly’ “The Middle East is reminding us that they are the largest source of low-cost oil,” said Mr Birol. He said the region was expected to meet three-quarters of demand growth over the next two decades. Higher US output had prompted some lawmakers to suggest the country can reduce its engagement in the Middle East. But Mr Birol warned politicians to keep in mind the importance of the region when creating economic and foreign policy. US oil imports are rising for the first time in year as demand has grown faster than supplies. Mr Birol said policymakers needed to impose stricter fuel efficiency targets to reduce demand, arguing it was not feasible in a world market to completely sever reliance on Middle Eastern oil. “US oil production will increase, but it is still an oil importer and will be for some time,” Mr Birol said. “Some have the view the rise of tight [shale] oil will sideline the Middle East. This view, I would never subscribe to.” Source link

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Construction apprenticeships reach six-year high

Construction apprenticeships across Great Britain are up 12% in the past year, reaching levels not seen since before the 2008 financial crisis. New statistics from the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) for National Apprenticeship Week (14-18 March 2016) reveal that 22,496 young people started construction apprenticeships in the year ending 31st March 2015. This is up from 19,973 in 2013/14. Construction apprenticeships hit a low of 17,500 in 2012 but opportunities for young people are increasing now that the industry is broadly growing. Separate CITB research released today shows that employers find apprentices perform well in the workplace. A survey of 1,500 construction employers across the UK showed that four in five (78%) of employers rated their apprentices’ work as good or very good, compared with 73% for graduates and 59% for further education leavers. CITB head of policy & research Gillian Econopouly said: “Construction apprenticeships are growing, which demonstrates industry’s commitment to train the next generation. But with CITB research predicting 230,000 new construction jobs by 2020, we need even more young people to start apprenticeships, and to help more firms take them on.”     This article was published on 14 Mar 2016 (last updated on 14 Mar 2016). Source link

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SIGMA CAPITAL EXPANDS PRIVATE RENTAL PORTFOLIO WITH LAUNCH OF HOUSING NEW RENTAL BRAND

Residential and urban regeneration housing specialist, Sigma Capital has marked the next step in its private rented sector (“PRS”) portfolio, with the launch of a new PRS brand, Simple Life. Simple Life aims to bring over 10,000 new purpose-built rental homes, consisting of a mix of two, three and four-bedroom houses and apartments, to the North West, Yorkshire, the Midlands and North London. The new homes will be built exclusively for Sigma by house building partners, Countryside and Keepmoat, with the lettings managed by SDL Bigwood. Simple Life has been created to enable tenants to enjoy a better rental experience and to enjoy the freedom and flexibility of renting. Renters of Simple Life properties can expect all the little details to be taken care of, with each new home thoughtfully designed and built to a high standard. Bright, light and spacious, Simple Life homes will be professionally managed in popular communities across the UK. In December, Sigma completed the first development of homes, Woodbine Road, under the Simple Life brand. Located on former Mackets Primary School site in Halewood, the development consists of 50 new homes, which are all now fully let. Two further developments, Coral Mill and Durban Mill, are currently under construction in Rochdale and Oldham, with both expected to be available from February 2017. Coral Mill, nestled at the foot of the South Pennines in Newhey, Rochdale, features a mixture of 24 high quality two-bedroom apartments and 45 three and four-bedroom family homes, available to rent from £750 pcm. The Durban Mill housing development is situated in the thriving town of Hollinwood, Oldham, and features 80 two, three and four-bedroom modern homes from £615pcm. We are delighted to be launching the Simple Life brand. Graham Barnet, Chief Executive of Sigma, said: “We are delighted to be launching the Simple Life brand.  It represents a major milestone for our PRS portfolio and will help to consolidate Sigma’s position as a leader in the private rental housing sector in the UK.  We are aiming to deliver over 10,000 high quality, professionally managed homes to the rental market and this new brand will help to differentiate our offering in the rental marketplace.” Paul Staley, PRS Director at SDL Bigwood, said: “We are very pleased to be working in partnership with Sigma on this new project.  Simple Life is an exciting new brand which will be associated with high quality housing and a rental experience which aims to exceed the norm.  We have already seen a high level of interest in our first three sites and expect the new homes to be met with strong demand as they come on stream.”

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The Premier Construction Group adds new director to its board

The construction division of The Premier Group, a national specialist in high-spec construction and maintenance work, has welcomed a new director to its board. Simon Case, who has worked at the company for over 16 years, has joined the board through being promoted to business development director. Case started at the construction division of The Premier Group as the company buyer, moving his way into various roles during his time at the company, including estimator, surveyor, contracts manager, senior contracts manager and business development manager. He has been committed to the development of the business through retaining its customers and increasing its service offering within its client base. Simon Case commented: I feel very honoured by the recognition from the board of directors for what I have brought and continue to bring to the group. “I feel very honoured by the recognition from the board of directors for what I have brought and continue to bring to the group. A company is built around its employees, the work produced, safety and its customers – without these there would be no business. We have a great team that looks after these and my role is to continue to look after the customers. “I hope to bring a structured approach to the board with controlled and continued development of the company. I intend to feedback thoughts, trends and advice to the board and play a key part in the group’s future.” Steve Evans, managing director of the construction division of The Premier Group, said: “I have been working with Simon since I was general manager and the business was very small. He has been my right hand man ever since. His dedication to the business, its employees and our customers cannot be questioned and it is recognition of this dedication and his hard work that he has been invited to become a director.” The Premier Group is a leading UK independent fuel engineering company that operates as three main divisions: construction, installation and servicing. The company works with many major national brands, completing projects for Esso, Shell, BP, MRH, Rontec, Asda and Tesco.

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How to Sell your Home ‘DIY Style’

Until relatively recently there was really only one way to sell your home – via a high street estate agent. A convoluted and sometimes frustrating system that also can be costly, in hindsight it was perhaps no surprise that online agents and latterly private sellers would have such easy pickings in the past decade and the present. In 2015 the government relaxed the rules on selling homes over the internet to give sellers more flexibility in the amount of work they can put in, enabling them to save money but also exert more control over the process. Several of the laws governing the housing market concerning street trading dated back to the 19th Century, and it was time for change. The laws allowed private sale websites to take on people wishing to sell their homes. So many of the jobs that formerly fell to an estate agent, and therefore hit your wallet, can now be done easily online – these include staging the photographs of the property, arranging visits and showing buyers around the property, and other aspects of the sale for which you need no formal qualifications. Ideally, the more work you put in, the swifter and easier the sale will be, at a fraction of the cost of a local agent that could take an average of 1.5% commission. The change in the law means that private listing sites don’t even have to visit the property.  At the time the changes were proposed seller David Dexter told the BBC: “I think that an estate agent is a service that I can do. And I think it’s a really great opportunity to get the house out to as many people as possible. And essentially, to save a lot of money.” The private sales websites are probably necessary to get the home listed, on several hundred sites including giants such as Rightmove and Zoopla. A listing might cost around £500, or you might have to go down the route of an online estate agent depending on which sites you wish your property to appear. You might even wish to forgo the listing completely and market it yourself on social media, although this could be limited by your reach and the number of followers you possess. So for listings, private or online agents are probably the way to go. The main drawback of such sites is that you might pay the fee upfront but not sell the home; something that doesn’t happen with high street agents. You could conceivably create floor plans, or a video of the property and its surroundings, but first impressions count and a sloppy effort could be detrimental to your chances. You might also have to negotiate prices yourself, and even decide on a valuation – quite a task if you have no experience in this field. If you’re selling through a private firm there’s a lot more work you’ll have to put in, and if speed is important for the sale this could be a tough task (a company such as We Buy Any Home could help). Ultimately the decision is yours and relies on a large range of considerations that only you can make. No matter how you decide to proceed, the decision is not set in stone and you can always revert to another method.  

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