The Conservative Party Conference has dominated the news this week. Buoyed by their election victory, Cameron, Osborne et al took to the stage to spell out their vision for the UK. The property industry was certainly a target area, whether it be planning reforms to increase home ownership, the extension of Right to Buy, the decision to allow councils in England to keep business rates raised in their areas or the decision to pool Local Authority Pension Funds to encourage them to invest in major infrastructure projects. Whilst the reaction has been unsurprisingly mixed, social media hasn’t seemed too bothered about their various policies, but rather has been focusing on the ‘stance’. Twitter's reaction shows that you can be heralded by some as the mastermind behind the UK economic recovery, but to many others all they really want to know is why Mr Osborne stood on stage like he was pretending to take a Christiano Ronaldo style free-kick or a Time Warp dancer in the Rocky Horror Picture Show.
It is always difficult for The Weekly to pass up the opportunity to comment on a new world cities publication. Along with a debut sighting of their new corporate logo, Cushman & Wakefield’s Winning in Growth Cities report released this week reaffirms the popularity of global property investment, which increased 30% (in euro terms) in the year to June 2015 and now stands at its highest level since 2008. New York again tops the market for overall property investment, increasing its market share to 8%, whilst London was second again (but top for foreign buyers), with Tokyo, Los Angeles and San Francisco making up the rest of the top 5 — all unchanged on last year. So what’s really changed, C&W logo aside? Other than global investment volumes significantly increasing, not a great deal it appears. Gateway cities still remain in exceptionally high demand. So will anything change over the next 12 months? Probably not. Strong demand for stable, income-producing property will persist, with C&W forecasting that global volumes will rise 17% over the year to mid-2016, reaching a new record high of US$1.1 tn.
It is likely that the current BBC Series of Who Do You Think You Are?, coupled with England’s catastrophic exit from the Rugby World Cup has prompted a few more people to scramble around their lofts this week to do a bit of ‘geneology’. How many English rugby fans have been hoping to discover that their grandfather was in fact born in Dunedin so that they can now feel justified about buying the shirt, learning the Haka and supporting The All Blacks for the rest of the tournament? Whilst signing up to websites such as www.ancestry.com is a popular past-time, DIY DNA tests have also never been so popular. Sales of these tests for everything from genetic ancestry to the risk of developing life-threatening diseases or attempting to catch out a cheating partner are booming. While a decade ago such a test would have cost you £300, and the results would have taken at least a week, you can now pick one up for less than £100 and get the result the same day. So if you are that desperate to trace a family link to one of the eight quarter final teams by the start of next weekend, perhaps one of these DIY tests is your best option?
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