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Brexit voting cities leading UK property market confidence

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Brexit voting cities leading UK property market confidence

Key pro-Leave areas like Hull, Bradford and Stoke-on-Trent are showing the most confidence in property market, according to stats from comparison site NetAnAgent.com

The current weakness in the UK property market has been blamed on the uncertainty surrounding the current tabled Brexit deal.

A report by the British Property Federation in February, trade association for UK residential and commercial real estate companies, found that 73% of members felt that Brexit negotiations would pose the greatest threat this year. However, it seems that how you cast your vote plays a big part in how you feel about putting your property on the market.

Stats released today suggest some of the most ardent Leave voting areas of the UK are still very confident when it comes to putting their properties on the market. Data from agent comparison website NetAnAgent.com looked at how many website enquiries (those who register their details on the platform) are going to valuation with estate agents, which helps to show the level of confidence sellers across the nation are currently feeling and how likely they are to put their property on the market.

Hull, which was returned a leave result of 65%, is actually showing 28% above the national average of properties going to valuation through the NetAnAgent site showing the confidence residents feel in getting their place on the market. Similarly Bradford (54% leave) is 20% up on the average and Stoke on Trent (69% leave) 4% more likely to go to valuation.

At the other end of the scale Bristol, Remain stronghold who voted 62% to stay in the EU is at the bottom of our confidence index 44% less likely to list than the national average. Similarly Manchester (60% remain) is down 12% and Brighton (69% remain) down 4% on the national listing index average.

Although London can often seen as something of a property microcosm figures on the capital’s market shows it is holding up well around average with homeowners 4% more likely to go to valuation.

NetAnAgent CEO, Alex Thorpe, said:

“It interesting to see that the way different areas voted in the EU referendum does seem to have had an impact on how they view the state of the UK property market with a good number of ‘Leave’ areas showing greater levels of confidence than those who voted Remain. It suggests that Remainers are more pessimistic about the prospect of putting there house on the market, measured by how many of them are going to valuation through the NetAnAgent site, a key early indicator of confidence in the market.

 Senstive and sentiment driven

NetAnAgent figures also show how online agents may have helped to influence the cost of selling your home with fees from traditional agents down an average of 15% percent across the UK compared to the same period in 2016 with some areas seeing a drop of up to 40%. For example: NetAnAgent data shows that in Leeds the average agent fee has dropped from 1.45% in 2016 to 1.18% in 2018, a proportional decrease of 18.6% meaning sellers would now pay £2439.65 in fees compared to £2997.88 in 2016*. Across the UK this means that sellers can now expect to save on £307 on their house sale through a traditional local agent.

Conversely online fees would appeared to have increased on average 27% in the past two years from £587.25 to £804.75 as they seek to improve service level and offer more to the vendors.

NetAnAgent CEO, Alex Thorpe, commented:

“We have certainly seem something of a closing of the gap of agents’ fees over the last few year as traditional agents have lowered their fees to compete with the online and hybrid models now in the market. Interestingly ever there are pockets across the country where agents selling more exclusive properties have actually raised their fees to reflect the drop in transactions. They are subject to less pressure from the hybrid agents so have retained some flexibility with regard to fees.”

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Sunak to use budget to expand apprenticeships in England

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Sunak to use budget to expand apprenticeships in England 1

LONDON (Reuters) – British finance minister Rishi Sunak will announce more funding for apprenticeships in England when he unveils his budget next week, the government said on Friday.

Employers taking part in the Apprenticeship Initiative Scheme will from April 1 receive 3,000 pounds ($4,179) for each apprentice hired, regardless of age – an increase on current grants of between 1,500 and 2,000 pounds depending on age.

The scheme will extended by six months until the end of September, the finance ministry said.

Sunak will also announce an extra 126 million pounds for traineeships for up to 43,000 placements.

Sunak’s March 3 budget will likely include a new round of spending to prop up the economy during what he hopes will be the last phase of lockdown, but he will also probably signal tax rises ahead to plug the huge hole in the public finances.

Sunak is also expected to announce a “flexi-job” apprenticeship scheme, whereby apprentices can join an agency and work for multiple employers in one sector, the finance ministry said.

“We know there’s more to do and it’s vital this continues throughout the next stage of our recovery, which is why I’m boosting support for these programmes, helping jobseekers and employers alike,” Sunak said in a statement.

(Reporting by Andy Bruce, editing by David Milliken)

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UK seeks G7 consensus on digital competition after Facebook blackout

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UK seeks G7 consensus on digital competition after Facebook blackout 2

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain is seeking to build a consensus among G7 nations on how to stop large technology companies exploiting their dominance, warning that there can be no repeat of Facebook’s one-week media blackout in Australia.

Facebook’s row with the Australian government over payment for local news, although now resolved, has increased international focus on the power wielded by tech corporations.

“We will hold these companies to account and bridge the gap between what they say they do and what happens in practice,” Britain’s digital minister Oliver Dowden said on Friday.

“We will prevent these firms from exploiting their dominance to the detriment of people and the businesses that rely on them.”

Dowden said recent events had strengthened his view that digital markets did not currently function properly.

He spoke after a meeting with Facebook’s Vice-President for Global Affairs, Nick Clegg, a former British deputy prime minister.

“I put these concerns to Facebook and set out our interest in levelling the playing field to enable proper commercial relationships to be formed. We must avoid such nuclear options being taken again,” Dowden said in a statement.

Facebook said in a statement that the call had been constructive, and that it had already struck commercial deals with most major publishers in Britain.

“Nick strongly agreed with the Secretary of State’s (Dowden’s) assertion that the government’s general preference is for companies to enter freely into proper commercial relationships with each other,” a Facebook spokesman said.

Britain will host a meeting of G7 leaders in June.

It is seeking to build consensus there for coordinated action toward “promoting competitive, innovative digital markets while protecting the free speech and journalism that underpin our democracy and precious liberties,” Dowden said.

The G7 comprises the United States, Japan, Britain, Germany, France, Italy and Canada, but Australia has also been invited.

Britain is working on a new competition regime aimed at giving consumers more control over their data, and introducing legislation that could regulate social media platforms to prevent the spread of illegal or extremist content and bullying.

(Reporting by William James; Editing by Gareth Jones and John Stonestreet)

 

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Britain to offer fast-track visas to bolster fintechs after Brexit

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Britain to offer fast-track visas to bolster fintechs after Brexit 3

By Huw Jones

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain said on Friday it would offer a fast-track visa scheme for jobs at high-growth companies after a government-backed review warned that financial technology firms will struggle with Brexit and tougher competition for global talent.

Finance minister Rishi Sunak said that now Britain has left the European Union, it wants to make sure its immigration system helps businesses attract the best hires.

“This new fast-track scale-up stream will make it easier for fintech firms to recruit innovators and job creators, who will help them grow,” Sunak said in a statement.

Over 40% of fintech staff in Britain come from overseas, and the new visa scheme, open to migrants with job offers at high-growth firms that are scaling up, will start in March 2022.

Brexit cut fintechs’ access to the EU single market and made it far harder to employ staff from the bloc, leaving Britain less attractive for the industry.

The review published on Friday and headed by Ron Kalifa, former CEO of payments fintech Worldpay, set out a “strategy and delivery model” that also includes a new 1 billion pound ($1.39 billion) start-up fund.

“It’s about underpinning financial services and our place in the world, and bringing innovation into mainstream banking,” Kalifa told Reuters.

Britain has a 10% share of the global fintech market, generating 11 billion pounds ($15.6 billion) in revenue.

The review said Brexit, heavy investment in fintech by Australia, Canada and Singapore, and the need to be nimbler as COVID-19 accelerates digitalisation of finance, all mean the sector’s future in Britain is not assured.

It also recommends more flexible listing rules for fintechs to catch up with New York.

“We recognise the need to make the UK attractive a more attractive location for IPOs,” said Britain’s financial services minister John Glen, adding that a separate review on listings rules would be published shortly.

“Those findings, along with Ron’s report today, should provide an excellent evidence base for further reform.”

SCALING UP

Britain pioneered “sandboxes” to allow fintechs to test products on real consumers under supervision, and the review says regulators should move to the next stage and set up “scale-boxes” to help fintechs navigate red tape to grow.

“It’s a question of knowing who to call when there’s a problem,” said Kay Swinburne, vice chair of financial services at consultants KPMG and a contributor to the review.

A UK fintech wanting to serve EU clients would have to open a hub in the bloc, an expensive undertaking for a start-up.

“Leaving the EU and access to the single market going away is a big deal, so the UK has to do something significant to make fintechs stay here,” Swinburne said.

The review seeks to join the dots on fintech policy across government departments and regulators, and marshal private sector efforts under a new Centre for Finance, Innovation and Technology (CFIT).

“There is no framework but bits of individual policies, and nowhere does it come together,” said Rachel Kent, a lawyer at Hogan Lovells and contributor to the review.

($1 = 0.7064 pounds)

(Reporting by Huw Jones; editing by Jane Merriman and John Stonestreet)

 

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