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Net migration to the UK falls to 248,000 in 2016

26 May 2017

Migrants in the UK

Net migration to the UK was estimated to be 248,000 in 2016 - a fall of 84,000 from 2015, figures show.

The Office for National Statistics said the change was driven by “a statistically significant” increase of 40,000 people leaving the country. These were mostly EU citizens - 117,000 emigrated, up 31,000 from 2015. Net migration is the difference between people coming to the UK for more than a year, and the number of people leaving the UK for a year or more.

Reality Check: Migration to the UK

The ONS report for 2016 includes six months of data...

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Reminder to agents - only a week remaining for fees ban consultation

25 May 2017

Only just over a week remains before the end of the formal consultation on the government’s proposal to ban letting fees applied to tenants in England.

If agents want to participate in the formal consultation, they have to submit their online responses by June 2 - only a short time, especially with the extended Bank Holiday weekend between now and the deadline.

All three major political parties have pledged to ban letting agents’ fees on tenants and the Conservatives have explicitly said that if returned to power on June 8 they will follow through the consultation period with, eventually, a ban.

An...

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April sees rise in UK property prices

24 May 2017

The average price of homes coming onto the market has reached a record high, according to the new Rightmove House Price Index. April saw average property prices rise by 1.1 per cent on the previous month, placing the new price at £313,655.

Previously, the highest average property price seen in the UK was in June 2016, with the figure standing at £310,471. According to Rightmove, the latest increase is due to strong buyer demand. This is supported by the fact that April saw the highest number of agreed sales since 2007.

Every region of the UK, except London, saw property prices...

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READY TO BOARD? BOARDING SCHOOL OPTIONS FOR EXPATS

24 May 2017

Europe

The John Hall Summer Course

Imagine spending three weeks in Venice, Italy, experiencing the best of the art world, with tours of the great churches and galleries lead by international art experts; it sounds like a dream trip for most of us. For university students who are interested in the art world, the John Hall Venice Course – available in a summer version for the first time this year – makes this once-in-a-lifetime trip a reality.

Over the three weeks, participants have the opportunity to learn about Italian cinema, modern art and sculpture, Italian cookery, photography, painting classes, and take part in...

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UNITED KINGDOM | Prime Minister May’s Conservatives Pledge to Double the Immigration Skills Charge if Re-Elected

23 May 2017

On Thursday, United Kingdom (UK) Prime Minister Theresa May announced her Conservative Party’s campaign doctrine for the upcoming June 8 general election, and the manifesto contains more bad news for companies in the UK sponsoring foreign national employees. One of the 10 key points of the Conservatives’ platform calls for a doubling of the new Immigration Skills Charge on foreign employees. If re-elected, PM May pledges to increase the levy from the current GBP £1,000 per employee per year of sponsorship to £2,000 per employee per year. This proposal to double the levy comes only six weeks after the Immigration...

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Age is the dividing line between Conservative & Labour support

22 May 2017

What are the betting odds for the UK general election?

Political pollsters have taken a beating recently after failing to predict a Conservative majority in 2015, a Leave vote last summer and a Donald Trump victory in November.

For those who have lost faith in polling, there is another way of predicting electoral outcomes: ask people who are prepared to put their money where their mouth is. Many now believe that political betting markets can better predict elections, relying on the wisdom of a crowd of punters to sort and weigh all the probabilities.

Coral’s latest odds for the election have Mrs May...

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Renting now cheaper than buying in most UK cities

19 May 2017

Zoopla, a leading UK property website, has determined that it’s cheaper to rent than buy in many British cities and towns. Which British locations top the list?

Renting, rather than buying, a home is now cheaper in more than half of Britain’s major cities and towns, according to an analysis by property website Zoopla. Which cities top the list? Based on the monthly cost of a two-bedroom home, the current, comparative cheapness of renting contrasts with the findings of a similar Zoopla survey last autumn, which found that buying was cheaper in 60 per cent of the 50 conurbations surveyed. The survey is...

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News: Rental market activity slows sharply

19 May 2017

There was a significant fall in both the number of new listings and properties let last month, as a lack of supply restricted choice for potential renters.

Following a vast improvement in activity levels throughout the UK rental market in March, compared with the previous month, the latest Agency Express Property Activity Index shows that national figures in April for properties ‘let’ saw a 22.1% month-on-month decline, while new listings ‘to let’ dropped by 19.7%.

The data appears consistent with the Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA Propertymark) latest findings that a growing number of landlords are choosing to exit the private...

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Thousands of foreign spouses to be barred entry to UK as income limit increased

19 May 2017

Thousands more Britons will be barred from bringing their foreign husbands and wives to the UK, under plans in the Conservative manifesto.

The next Tory government would hike the minimum income requirement already attacked as “particularly harsh” by Supreme Court justices.

A further crackdown on immigration would also “toughen the visa requirements for students” – firmly crushing cabinet opposition to including students within the target to reduce incomers.

READ MORE Tories plan ‘Frankenstein’s monster’ for social care, pensioners warn The current threshold to bring in spouses of £18,600, introduced by Theresa May as Home Secretary, has been blamed for inflicting a harsh choice of separation...

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Scottish unemployment falls below UK rate

18 May 2017

Unemployment in Scotland has fallen by 14,000 in the three months to March to reach 120,000, official figures have shown. It takes the jobless rate to 4.4% - below the rate of 4.6% for the whole of the UK.

The labour market statistics also show that employment in Scotland increased by 5,000 and now stands at 2,620,000. In the UK as a whole, the unemployment rate is at its lowest level in 42 years.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said the Scottish employment rate increased by 0.3 percentage points over the quarter to 74%. The rate is below the UK average of 74.8%.

In...

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UK ups renewables profile as US slips from top spot

17 May 2017

EY’s latest Renewable Energy Country Attractiveness Index (RECAI) lists the UK in the top ten of countries where it is best to invest in renewable energy despite lack of clarity on targets and subsidies.

The UK has returned to the top ten in global rankings of countries where it is best to invest in renewable energy, according to EY’s latest Renewable Energy Country Attractiveness Index (RECAI). Cloudy outlook for renewables

But despite the UK jumping four places to tenth position since the previous index was published last October, EY warns the outlook for the industry in Britain “remains cloudy amid a lingering lack...

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The learning proposition for millennials

16 May 2017

Regardless of which side of the argument one falls on, the reality is that at least four generations make up the current workforce. Of these, millennials (born in the early 80s to mid 90s) are increasingly occupying senior roles (1) and are expected to exceed a third of the global workforce by 2020 (2). From an HR/talent perspective, organisations seeking to engage and retain talent and develop future leaders whilst fostering cohesion in the workplace should at least consider the possibility of a generational variable, particularly in relation to millennials as future leaders of organisations and the soon to be...

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Landlords pump £15.9 billion into British economy

15 May 2017

Costs per property climb by a quarter since 2007

Looking at the running costs per individual property, the average landlord now spends £3,632 per year in running costs, before tax or mortgage interest – a third of rental income. This has jumped by a quarter since the start of 2007, an estimated rise of £714, without factoring in increasing taxes.Of this, £1,025 is spent on maintenance, repairs and servicing, with £870 spent on letting agent fees per property. A typical landlord spends £374 per property each year in ground rents and service charges. Insurance typically costs £181, and legal and accountancy...

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Election 2017: Labour to scrap minimum income rule for foreign spouses

12 May 2017

Labour would scrap the controversial income threshold that separates families and stops thousands of British citizens bringing their foreign husbands and wives to the UK.

The leaked draft version of the party’s manifesto says it does not believe that “family life should be protected only for the wealthy” and that it would replace the threshold with “an obligation to survive without recourse to public funds”.

Immigration rules currently require British citizens to earn more than £18,600 before their foreign partner can join them on a spouse visa. Critics say the policy discriminates against working class people on lower incomes.

The income threshold is...

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New shipping requirements for those moving to the UK

11 May 2017

A new shipping provision to improve the process of importing cargo to the UK and provide relief from import duties and charges has recently taken effect; this applies to any private individual who is planning to move from outside the EU to the UK, and make it his or her country of residence.

These individuals (not the shipper) must now personally complete a Transfer of Residence (ToR01) application form before shipping any unaccompanied personal effects. The ToR01 replaces several other forms:

C3 declaration (for bringing personal belongings to UK from outside the European community) C5 (for bringing pets to the UK from outside...

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Top UK Cities for expats in Britain

09 May 2017

LondonLondon

Where: South East England Population: cc. 7.5 million Fun Fact: London’s iconic tower named ‘Big Ben’ doesn’t actually refer to the building. Big Ben is the bell, not the clock tower. And it’s chime is in the key of E. Home of the Houses of Parliament, Buckingham Palace, Big Ben, The Tower of London, Westminster Abbey, The British Museum and Trafalgar Square, England’s Capital is a world centre of art, music, theatre, culture, music and rich history. London is home to approximately 7.5 million people – which makes 12.5 per cent of the entire United Kingdom’s population. More than 1.5...

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Doing business in Britain? Here are basic tips on business etiquette in Britain

08 May 2017

The terms ‘English’ and ‘British’ do not mean the same thing. ‘British’ denotes someone who is from England, Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland. ‘English’ refers to people from England. People from Scotland are ‘Scots’, from Wales ‘Welsh’ and from Northern Ireland ‘Irish’. Be sure not to call someone Welsh, Scots, or Northern Irish ‘English’.

The Class System

Although in the past few decades, people from varied backgrounds have had greater access to higher education, wealth distribution is changing and more upward/downward mobility is occurring, the British class system is still very much intact although in a more subconscious way. The playing field...

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