Design

A new survey has suggested that some bricklayers are now being paid £1,000 a week as the construction industry builds on strong demand.
According to Manpower's research, prospects in the industry are at their strongest level since 2007 with a shortage of suitably skilled workers blamed on the recession.
Apparently, the profession became less attractive for newcomers during the downturn, which was compounded by an ageing workforce, bricklayers deserting the sector in search of better pay and developments being placed on ice.

In a second boost for the property market this week, interest rates have been kept at their record low.
The Bank of England's Monetary Policy Committee has held them at 0.5% for another month, continuing a run which goes back to March 2009.
It is another lift for the market after the Chancellor George Osborne announced a shake-up of stamp duty in his Autumn Statement earlier in the week.
Many commentators think that interest rates won't now rise until later next year, probably after the general election in May.

A long overdue shake-up of stamp duty has been announced in the Chancellor's Autumn Statement today.
George Osborne said that the tax will be cut for 98% of homebuyers when he made the annual statement to the House of Commons.
It is a major boost for homebuyers, househunters and the property market - and is due to come into effect from midnight tonight.
The current system - with amounts owed jumping at each threshold level - will be replaced by a graduated rate, or sliding scale.

Bargain hunters have been hitting the streets today on 'black Friday'.
It's an American import, apparently, named for the Friday after Thanksgiving when shops finally go into the black after being in the red for most of the year.
In effect, for many people it's the starting shot for festive shopping as many retailers - on the high street and online - heavily discount goods.
There have been queues across the country as shoppers compete for the best offers.

More good news for Portsmouth as details have been released of two America's Cup regattas coming to the city in 2015 and 2016.
Olympic sailing hero Sir Ben Ainslie's British America’s Cup team will be among the teams racing in the Solent in the prestigious events.
The regattas are part of the America's Cup World Series being held worldwide in the lead up to the competition's grand final.

How many emails do you have in your inbox?
We are receiving more and more enquiries about our wide range of services as we become busier and busier.
Increasing numbers of clients now contact us electronically although many still phone, write or even drop into our offices at the Fairway Business Centre in Portsmouth.
We're also finding greater numbers of people contacting us via this website, through our Twitter account, on LinkedIn and on Facebook.

We are continuing to see demand for our services as the property market remains strong.
According to new figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), there was a slight rise in the average house price nationally by 0.5% from August to September.
The ONS figures are based on mortgage-financed purchases of homes. It places the average home cost at £272,000.
The figures still demonstrate that the market remains healthy - and is forecast to remain so by many experts. They expect an interest rate rise to be unlikely until after the general election in May.

New figures out today show that the construction industry continued to grow in the third part of this year.
Output grew by 0.8% in the three months to the end of September compared with the second quarter of the year.
The figures from the Office for National Statistics also showed that construction output grew by 2.9% compared with the year before - the sixth consecutive quarter of year on year growth.
A sunny September boosted output after an indifferent August, according to the figures.

It's all systems go after the team from Veness Chartered Surveyors moved into our offices in Portsmouth this week.
We officially acquired the well-established and highly-respected practice on October 1 after announcing the deal at our 25th anniversary extravaganza at the Spinnaker Tower in early September.
We've been steadily moving the integration process forward the over the past month. Now the final piece of the jigsaw is in place with Veness relocating from their Cosham offices to our headquarters at the Fairway Business Centre.

What are you up to this weekend?
Trick or treating? Halloween parties? Fireworks displays?
There's plenty going on. We're had another busy month in October after our acquisition of Veness Chartered Surveyors.
We've been steadily integrating the experienced and talented Veness team into McAndrew Martin whilst ensuring that it is business as usual on a day to day basis.
Our exciting new venture with Veness will mean that we can deliver even higher customer service, expert advice and property related help.

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