North Lincolnshire Today: An Investor’s Perspective

A combination of fortunate land-sea geography and a population of skilled workers draws commerce to the region. Growth is largely organic, but inbound investment helps.

North Lincolnshire is on the cusp of significant forward movement. Its most significant natural resource, the Humber, is increasingly engaged in commerce with a collection of ports plus a £3 billion infusion of Government funding in the Able Marine Energy Park and Green Port Hull.

And yet Lincolnshire is historically a sparsely populated county (510 people per square mile) with beautiful wetlands and other natural features worth preserving. Planners and community leaders are not unaware of this. sustainably, sensitive to habitats and natural ecosystems. Wildlife corridors and biodiversity of this estuary region, along with hedgerows, ditches, swales and lakes, are foremost in the plans set forth by developers and their architects. The results are a strategic preservation of flora and fauna that can co-exist with a growing economy and population.

North Lincolnshire’s growth is the product of planning, but much of that growth was happening organically. In the recession years of 2008-2012, the greater Lincolnshire economic output, as measured by Gross Value Added (GVA), grew by 3.8 per cent. Growth rates were greater in England overall and the East Midlands in particular. But three North Lincolnshire industry sectors – agri-food, manufacturing and tourism – had much higher GVA numbers (11%, 13% and 5%, respectively). The Greater Lincolnshire Local Economic Partnership (LEP) is therefore urging that resources be applied to these three sectors for their historic and on-going strengths relative to the national economy.

Who are the builders of homes, commercial properties and related infrastructure) are the following:

Broad mix of entry-level and skilled employment – Engineers and medical professionals are already here, including the builders of wind turbines, the physicians who staff hospitals and researchers working with businesses through Knowledge Transfer Partnerships at the Lincoln Science and Innovation Park. This skills diversity extends also to housing and commercial activities, with a consumer market that is less susceptible to economic and business cycles.

Knowledge base, innovation-driven – The LEP proposes to create a “growth hub” to provide strategic coordination and create conditions for growth that feed the 41,000 small- to medium-sized businesses in the area. A goal is to help start-ups beat the survival rate of three-years’ existence, which nationally is 58 per cent. But make no mistake, these are firms and industries of greater importance and relevance in the emerging industries such as renewable energy and technology.

Increasing productivity – Historically, the region has ranked below the English average for overall worker productivity. But with a focused effort on one industry in particular, the agri-food sector, the LEP endeavours to apply world-class agricultural science and technologies, as well as process innovation across the supply chain. Further, investment in infrastructure such as the ports and highways and rail hubs will get more products to more markets in less time – yielding a net increase in product volumes and prices at market.

Export infrastructure – Within 24 hours sailing time from the several Humber ports are 800 million people in Scandinavian and continental European countries. But the infrastructure that makes this region truly equipped for handling exports as well as imports are the roads, rails and airports (Humberside as well as Doncaster Robin Hood and Leeds Bradford airports are all in relatively close proximity).

In laying out a strategic plan for economic growth, the Greater Lincolnshire LEP explains that investors should take advantage of “area-based schemes that unblock housing developments.” As with any area planning for growth, this is essential for housing families and attracting skilled workers to an area from elsewhere.

Investments in industry, land and housing all come with unique circumstances and tradeoffs. Speak with an independent financial advisor before committing to any asset category or equity position.

In fact, developers working with strategic land partnerships and other types of investors are building today in the 21st century manner. The LEP believes the core assets of the region (and those that attract managers of UK real asset funds.

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Designs For An Ideal Granny Flat

When you have a garage or outdoor shed in your property that is no longer being used, one option that you can consider for putting this space to good use is to convert it into a granny flat. This miniature house of sorts has become a popular fixture in many Australian homes because it offers a great way to utilise space in a residential property as well as save on rental costs that a person would have to pay if he were to settle into a place elsewhere.

This second dwelling can be fixed up to be attached to the house or separated. Many property owners choose to build it as a separate structure so that it would not disrupt the original house, which could involve high renovation fees.

Not just for grannies

The name “granny flat” is said to have come from the fact that these structures would be used by families to provide a separate living space for their ageing or disabled parents, so that they could maintain some degree of independence while still remaining within the family property where they can have company, assistance or any help that they would need.

But more and more people are becoming creative with their use of the granny flat; others would use the space as a home office or a place to pursue hobbies, like making crafts or building things in a workshop. Still others fix up the place to so that they can rent it out to individuals or couples looking for an affordable place to live.

How do these spaces look?

Granny flat designs, Sydney experts say, can vary greatly from place to place, depending on their intended purpose. Generally, a granny flat has to be smaller than the original house in the property; some of the minimum requirements include maintaining a property size of 450 square metres, and a maximum size of 60 square metres for the actual granny flat.

Some granny flats come with one or two bedrooms, one bathroom, and an open-plan kitchen and living area. Others can have up to three bedrooms and two bathrooms instead of one, plus high ceilings so that the unit can benefit from more space and light. A porch in front can also be incorporated so that its dwellers can have a place to enjoy the sun and the breeze.

Because these secondary units are smaller, it can take only about eight to 12 weeks for them to be built. If you’re eager to get one built on your property, it’s best to get in touch with a company that specialises in building granny flats – you can pick from their prepared designs or work closely with them to have a customised design followed for the unit. Click here to know more.

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Southampton UK: Growth on Land and Sea

The city’s port has long been a source of commerce and prosperity. But the area’s universities and pro-business initiatives are what stimulate growth today.

Inbound investment in the Southampton region of the UK might seem natural, as it is familiar to British and foreign travellers who embark on leisure vacations on one of the many cruise lines that call this city on the Solent their home port.

What happens on terra firma keeps working while others are on holiday. The largest city in the ceremonial county of Hampshire, Southampton and its economy have some key strengths spread over a broad base of different industries.

Those industries include aerospace, the Southampton Airport (1.76 million passengers and 43 European destinations), the Port of Southampton (cargo shipping in addition to passenger excursions), defence, advanced manufacturing, rail and truck transport and logistics.

These are industries that require a high concentration of skilled workers, which the several local universities help provide. They include the University of Southampton, Southampton Solent University, University of Portsmouth and the University of Winchester. The impact of these institutions of learning is that they provide, in general, qualified employees. But it goes beyond that. Several recent examples about how these schools enable economic strength and stimulus are:

• The University of Southampton received £10 million from the UK Research Partnership Investment fund in 2013 to further enhance the school’s position as a leading centre of excellence for engineering. These funds are specifically earmarked for research in marine, aerospace, rail and structural engineering.

• The University also is found to have GVA (gross value added) and job impacts in several regards: £2.0 billion GVA and 26,540 jobs as of 2013.

• The university sponsored ground-breaking research that contributes to the £100 million photonics cluster of companies in the region.

• The maritime sector of the local economy anticipates a £8 billion growth in the eight years leading up to 2020, thanks in part to the University of Southampton’s collaboration with the National Oceanography Centre.

Apart from the contributions of the academic and research sector, businesses in and around Southampton show a strong relationship with future growth. Also, a Solent Enterprise Zone has a £27 million infrastructure package that is in the process of crating 800 jobs. Extant companies are already quite recognisable: IBM, Astrium, B&Q, Boeing, BAE Systems, Carnival UK, EADS, Lloyds Register Group, Lockheed Martin, QinetiQ, Skandia and Zurich.

So while investors are naturally aware of the opportunities in the maritime and educational sectors, both of those actually feed adjacent and supplier industries as well. With job growth, new homes are needed, so land development and homebuilding are favoured in the local economy. An independent financial advisor can help guide individuals on investment products and where land or other development-related equities might fit into an asset-growth oriented strategy.

For the most part, land investment funds do not have much to do with cruise ships and the sea. Those who make alternative investments in land should know that more than 110 hectares of land are designated for development as strategic employment sites.

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The Pros And Cons of Lower Floor Living Vs Upper Floor Living

No matter which floor you choose to live in, each floor comes with its own set of advantages and disadvantages, some more concerning than others. Read on to find out the positives and negatives of living in lower level floors vs living in higher level floors.

Lower Floors

The Benefits:

Convenient While Moving

This is one of the major perks of living in a lower floor. Imagine carrying a heavy couch through a flight of stairs. It gets tiring, right? A lower floor apartment is entirely different and is close to the entrances and exits of the building.

Stays Cool In The Summer

This is a major advantage of living in lower floors. Even during the extremely hot days, these apartments rarely feel the heat and stay cool. Not just that, lower floor inhabitants have the easiest access to the outside garden and other forms of recreation.

The Drawbacks:

Security Concerns

You need to keep this aspect in mind while choosing an apartment. Living in a lower floor can leave your house susceptible to thefts and unexpected intrusions.

Lack Of Privacy

You wouldn’t have the luxury to leave the windows open to take in the bright sunshine on a winter morning. Doing so is a bad idea because, there’s always usually a lot of commotion and noise from the streets that can easily be heard from the lower floors.

Upper Floor

The Benefits:

Ideal for Privacy Seekers

A great benefit of living in upper floor apartments is that it is a lot more secluded and quiet. You won’t have to rush to the peephole every time you hear footsteps passing by your house. Not just that, it also gives you access to interesting views of your surroundings.

Air Conditioners Are Not Required

If you live on a higher floor, you can leave your window open all day and soak in the fresh breeze and sweet air. This will even enable you to save money, electricity, and effort.

The Drawbacks:

Concerns Over Evacuation

No matter how safe a city or country you live in is, there is no guessing when a natural calamity might strike. Living in an upper floor makes it tougher for you to reach safety as soon as you possibly can.

Not Pet Friendly

If you have pets, then it is a bad idea to live on a higher floor. Just one adventurous session on the railings of the balcony would prove disastrous for your pet.

Overall, living in upper floors and lower floors both have their ups and downs. Take your time, do your research and choose the floor that suits you best.

My name is Abishek Kumar. I’m a Senior SEO Executive at CommonFloor.com, India’s first real estate portal with exclusive focus on apartments. I provide tips and how-to’s on property investment, real estate basics, and community living. For more property-related information, visit http://www.commonfloor.com/guide/.

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Is There More Growth in the Real Estate Market?

Cast your minds back to the start of 2014. There we were, twiddling our thumbs, wondering if the real estate market would ever recover from the GFC and return to those golden years of growth in the early 2000s. None of us could have anticipated the growth we experienced in our capital cities in 2014. But where does this leave us for the rest of 2015 and into 2016?

Capital cities

Let’s begin with Sydney. After a stellar year in 2014 that saw the real estate market rise by 13.9%, Sydney is expected to rise again by another 8% this year.

It’s forecasted that Hobart and Canberra are set for more growth over the next year, with Hobart expected to rise from 2.1% to 4%, and Canberra to scale from 0.9% to 2%.

After seeing great rises in 2014, Melbourne and Brisbane are expected to plateau over the next year at 4% and 6% respectively.

The real surprise

The surprise package that has everyone excited is the upsurge of Darwin. After experiencing a loss in growth in 2014, Darwin went from -2.5% to being expected to grow by as much as 2%. After a really good decade of growth, Darwin has dropped off the top of the list in the past 2 years, and against what some experts had predicted, has re-established itself as one of Australia’s best places to invest in housing.

Real estate market auction clearance rates

Last month, we witnessed an ‘auction frenzy’, as one weekend saw an unbelievable 79% of auctioned properties sold nationally. That is the second highest level in data going back almost seven years. Buyers are seeing no end to these price rises, with the median price for a Sydney house now in excess of $900,000, with Melbourne approaching a median house price of $700,000.

What does all this mean for you?

2014 capped off a year that saw capital city homeowners add an average of 7.9% in value to their properties, and experts are again forecasting more growth.

Prices in our capital cities have more or less doubled in the last 10-12 years, and in particular parts of those metropolitan areas it has gone through the roof. What we all need to figure out for ourselves is not ‘when should I buy or sell’, but rather ‘where’.

Some say that, if you’ve considered selling, there’s never been a better time. And with the national real estate market set for more growth in the up-coming years, cities such as Hobart, Canberra and Darwin have emerged with great opportunities for buyers and sellers alike.

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