Too often, simple, seductive measures have been promoted that offer the Government the illusion of action, but without any real prospect of solving the problems in the housing market. There has been no shortage of bad ideas: mortgage interest relief, Section 23 tax allowances, and 100pc loan-to-value mortgages. At best, these initiatives can be described as a naive attempt to make housing more affordable, bridging the gap between incomes and the current level of property prices. However, history has taught us any initiative that gives home buyers or builders more money will always be inflationary, with little long-lasting impact on housing supply. So it was disappointing to see Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, speaking at the MacGill Summer School in Glenties, adding to the chorus of voices criticising the Central Bank's lending rules. According to reports, he said "one aspect of the mortgage rules that is very tough is the fact that you are expected to show you are saving at the same time … [Read more...] about No easy answers for the housing market as supply crunch looms
Home buyer education course
The paradox of Jeremy Corbyn is that while he has a reputation as a rabid socialist—in many ways well-earned — he is capable of sometimes coming up with a policy which could not be better designed to please the well-off. One example was his flagship policy in his 2017 manifesto of abolishing student tuition fees – of no benefit to non-graduates and of little interest to low-earning graduates who would never have to repay their debts anyway, but of enormous help to those who have used their university education to secure high-paying employment. Labour’s proposed leasehold reforms, detailed in a document this week, are another example. True, there are plenty of modest earners who live in leasehold properties who would appreciate reform of the system to prevent them being ripped-off by unscrupulous freeholders, but the greater beneficiaries will be those who live in – or own as investment properties – high-priced flats in London. We have had numerous … [Read more...] about Labour’s leasehold plans won’t help modest earners
Building work has begun on 75 new homes in a village on the main road between Ashbourne and Derby. Developer Avant Homes has commenced construction on a residential development site in Brailsford. Its Cotton Yard scheme is just off the A52 main road that runs through the village. Two-, three-, four- and five-bedroom homes will be built in 10 different house types. Debby Pavitt, Avant's sales and marketing director, said: "We’re hugely excited to see works progressing at Cotton Yard and we’re expecting the first homes to be ready in the autumn. "The development is in an ideal location for those looking for easy connections to Ashbourne, Derby and Sheffield, whilst providing countryside living at its finest. “There will be a wide range of homes available and I’m looking forward to announcing the opening of the show homes in due course so prospective buyers can come and see the Avant difference for themselves.” As part of the planning for the development, … [Read more...] about Scores of new homes being built off the A52 near Derby
The finalists for the 2019 Humber Renewables Awards have been revealed. A total of eight awards – plus the prestigious Humber Renewables Champion – are up for grabs this year, with green businesses large and small all in the running. Judges faced a gruelling task scrutinising the entries, in what was a highly competitive year to match the Humber’s burgeoning renewables industry. Mark O’Reilly, head judge and chairman and chief executive of Team Humber Marine Alliance, said: “It is a great opportunity to stop and celebrate achievement. “We do that with Offshore Wind Connections and the Humber Renewables Award provides further opportunity. It is great to take stock and see just what has been achieved. “It is a new venue, by the water, and the entries are as strong as any this year, large and small. "We have seen over the years the projects are bigger and better than they were, and we can almost take it for granted that we have people working on a … [Read more...] about Humber Renewables Awards: All the finalists for 2019
“Why am I one of the only girls in my school studying A level maths?”I’m rarely stumped by questions from students, but this one — from a 17-year-old student who attended a recent talk I gave at London’s Royal Institution — really made me think.In the UK, all students have to study maths until the age of 16, with boys and girls achieving broadly similar GCSE results. However, the numbers who go on to study maths at A level reveal a striking gender split. Female students accounted for 39.3 per cent of A level maths entries in 2018. For further maths, this dropped even further to 28.3 per cent. While maths is the number one A level subject choice for boys, for girls it is fourth behind English, psychology and biology. What lies behind these numbers? As a maths teacher — and lover of puzzles — I have attempted to find out the answer, and explain how attitudes towards maths and numeracy have a direct bearing on our career aspirations and … [Read more...] about Women and maths — what’s not adding up?