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Property market looks to the future following EU referendum

31 March 2017

Although others expressed uncertainty over the immediate future of the prime market, a report on Friday from Douglas & Gordon and D&G Asset Management suggested property values in London’s ‘emerging prime’ areas were 20 per cent cheaper in dollar terms than they were two years ago, following the fall in the value of the pound.

James Evans, CEO of Douglas & Gordon, said, “For two years, the UK residential property market has faced higher bands of stamp duty, a reduction of mortgage interest relief for 40 per cent buy-to-let taxpayers and an additional three per cent stamp duty levied on buyers...

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42 Questions About Brexit That Need Answering

30 March 2017

The starter’s pistol has fired. British Prime Minister Theresa May has officially triggered “Article 50” of the Lisbon Treaty, initiating a two-year process of negotiations to bring the United Kingdom out of the European Union.

When 52% of the British electorate voted to leave the E.U. in June 2016, few realized just what a fiendishly complicated process it would be. After four decades of European integration, the bloc has buried its tendrils deep within every facet of British life — from its economy to its legal system. The process of Brexit begins in the shadow of great uncertainties for the United...

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Tenants Protected From ‘Dodgy’ Letting Agents Who Go Bust, Ministers Announce

29 March 2017

Tenants are to be legally protected from “dodgy” letting agents who take rents and then go bust, ministers have announced.

In a major victory for housing campaigners, the Government confirmed that it will amend its own Housing and Planning Act to prevent people from losing thousands of pounds when agents go bust.

The compulsory “Client Money Protection” plan, which was urged by charities such as Shelter and recommended by a Labour and Liberal Democrat review, will now become law for all letting agents in England.

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Landlords as well as tenants have urged ministers to act as the scheme will protect both parties...

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Qatar announces £5bn UK investment

28 March 2017

One of the largest investors in the UK has committed £5bn of new money to invest in transport, property and digital technology. The Middle Eastern state of Qatar said that it was optimistic about the future of the British economy. It made it clear that the UK leaving the European Union had little bearing on its decision.

Qatar has already invested £40bn in the UK - it owns Harrods and a 95% stake in the Shard in London. It also has a stake in Canary Wharf in the capital’s Docklands, as well as an interest in the Milford Haven liquefied natural gas terminal in...

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State pension age could be raised to 70, says report

24 March 2017

Two separate reports for the government have raised the possibility that millions of people may have to work longer to qualify for a state pension. An analysis for the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has suggested that workers under the age of 30 may not get a pension until the age of 70.

A second report, by John Cridland, proposes that those under the age of 45 may have to work a year longer, to 68. The government is due to make a decision on both reports by May. Ministers are under pressure to address the expected rise in the cost of pensions,...

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Relocation and automation – answers to immigration curbs?

23 March 2017

UK companies in every business sector will be competing for an ever-reducing pool of overseas workers following Brexit, according to a report from global consultants Mercer. The manufacturing, hotel and catering, and transport sectors – whose workforces currently comprise between a fifth and a third of workers not born in the UK – will be hardest hit, says Mercer’s latest Workforce Monitor. But it also points out that 18 per cent of staff in financial services were not British born. Relocation abroad

Mercer says the upshot will be that some firms will relocate operations abroad or be forced to turn to increased automation. The...

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Repatriating with family – the big step home

23 March 2017

The repatriation is completed

Sara has been documenting her repatriation to the UK from Canada. Moving back home with her husband and their three children – Janie aged 14, Felix aged 10 and Noah, 8 and the dog hasn’t proved easy. But she’s back and has kindly shared her experience for us. Read part 1 and part 2.

We did it!! We left Canada and arrived back in the UK on 3rd January all in one piece – well, just about. There were some crazy moments and there have been some settling in dramas (not all of which are resolved yet) but...

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UK house prices continue on upward trend

22 March 2017

Official figures on Tuesday showed continued “strong growth” in UK house prices, with average values up 6.2 per cent in the year to January.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has reported that the average home cost £218,000 in January, an increase of £13,000 on a year earlier. First-time buyers were paying an average of £183,295, 5.8 per cent more than a year earlier. Price increases for homes in England, where demand continues to outstrip supply, were primarily responsible for the rise in values, with the national average 6.5 per cent higher than a year earlier. It brought the average home price...

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UNITED KINGDOM | April 6 Changes Confirmed and Brexit Date Set

22 March 2017

As international business returned to the office Monday morning, it discovered that the United Kingdom continued to move forward with both the April 6 scheduled changes to the highly-utilized Tier 2 immigration route and the country’s controversial “Brexit” from the European Union (EU). Pro-Link GLOBAL brings you up-to-date with the latest on both fronts below. What’s Changed?

Official Home Office Statement of Changes Confirms April 6 Implementation

As we anticipated during Pro-Link GLOBAL’s in-depth webinar last week on the upcoming Tier 2 changes scheduled for final implementation on April 6, the Home Office has now issued their official Statement of Changes. (If you...

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UK employers fear EU talent pool is being drained

20 March 2017

The UK’s finance, healthcare and construction industries fear that the “talent drawbridge” that enables them to hire staff from the continent will be pulled up once Brexit is complete.

According to a survey by employment group Manpower, some employers are engaged in a rush to try and recruit more EU workers. Generally, though, hiring confidence in the jobs market is waning because of concerns over Brexit, particularly in London and Scotland – the two areas of the country where the ‘remain’ vote was strongest in the EU referendum. Mark Cahill, managing director of ManpowerGroup UK, said, “With huge uncertainty surrounding sectors like...

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UK visa rules likely to hit ‘squeezed middle’ immigrants

17 March 2017

Companies face post-Brexit struggle to recruit EU workers in technical roles

But organisations seeking European workers for jobs in between — typically sub-graduate roles earning £16,000 to £30,000 a year in sectors such as manufacturing — are likely to be left without an obvious visa route.

Examples of the roles that are likely to be most affected include butchers, many of whom are recruited from eastern Europe, as well as artisan bakers, laboratory assistants and a large variety of engineering jobs including installation engineers, lift repair personnel, gas maintenance workers, and welding technicians. Construction site managers, warehouse operatives and installation technicians would...

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BNP Paribas in talks to buy UK estate agents Strutt & Parker

16 March 2017

BNP Paribas is in talks to acquire Strutt & Parker, the UK estate agents, in what would be a vote of confidence in the British property market by France’s biggest bank.

The talks have been going on for several months and may not lead to a deal, according to people familiar with the matter. BNP Paribas and Strutt & Parker both declined to comment. Strutt & Parker, which made £18.2m of pre-tax profit on £108m of revenue in the year to April 2016, has been rumoured to be for sale for some time as it struggles with a sharp slowdown in prime...

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UK government wins approval for Article 50 legislation

14 March 2017

The British government has won final approval from parliament for legislation giving Prime Minister Theresa May the power to trigger the country’s exit from the European Union.

British Brexit minister David Davis welcomed parliament’s approval on Monday.

“Parliament has today backed the government in its determination to get on with the job of leaving the EU … We are now on the threshold of the most important negotiation for our country in a generation,” Davis said in a statement.

“So we will trigger Article 50 by the end of this month as planned and deliver an outcome that works in the interests of...

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UNITED KINGDOM | Immigration Skills Charge… Other Major Tier 2 Changes Coming April 6

14 March 2017

With the implementation date now quickly approaching, Pro-Link GLOBAL reminds companies employing foreign nationals in the United Kingdom that significant changes to the Tier 2 visa stream are set to take effect April 6. For more details, see our previous Global Briefs of November 8 and April 5. Stemming from a report published by the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) in early 2016, these changes represent the third and final round of the committee’s recommended changes to the UK’s largest skilled, employment-based immigration scheme. The two previous rounds of these changes were implemented in April and November of last year.

The Tier...

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Britons could retain EU rights after Brexit

13 March 2017

Britons should be entitled to apply individually to retain various benefits of EU membership, including the freedom of movement, after the UK has left the bloc, the European Parliament’s chief negotiator has said. Guy Verhofstadt told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, “All British citizens today have also EU citizenship. That means a number of things: the possibility to participate in the European elections, the freedom of travel without problem inside the union. We need to have an arrangement in which this arrangement can continue for those citizens who, on an individual basis, are requesting it. “That Britain goes out of the European...

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Prices in UK residential market continue upward trend, 5.1% above a year ago

08 March 2017

House price growth in the UK increased by 0.1% in February and by 1.7% to an average of £219,949, according to the latest index data to be published.

Year on year they are 5.1% higher but this annual rate of growth has slowed from 5.7% in the previous month and is now the lowest since July 2013 and almost halved in the last 11 months, the figures from lender the Halifax shows.

Prices set to keep moving upward as long as the current demand and lack of supply continues, said Martin Ellis, Halifax housing economist. He pointed out that housing demand is...

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