Architecture

We're involved in one of out more unusual building projects - to convert disused public toilets into new offices.
The project at the former conveniences at Drayton is for local lettings agency Brewers the Lettings Agency.
Brewers aims to move to the two-storey development in Lower Drayton Lane - to be named The Old Loos - from its offices in Cosham High Street when the scheme is finished in May 2015.
James Bengree , who is based at our headquarters on the Fairway Business Centre in Portsmouth, designed the new offices.

More good news on the economy as the unemployment rate fell again in Portsmouth and across the country.
The number of people without work has fallen by 63,000 to 1.96 million across the country to a jobless rate of 6% - matching its lowest level in six years.
According to the Portsmouth News, the number of people claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance in Portsmouth fell by 96 in the last month.
In October, 2,815 people claimed the out-of-work benefit in the city, compared to 2,719 in November.

We're pleased to have had another busy week as we approach Christmas in our record-breaking, 25th anniversary year.
Demand is still continuing from our many clients for our property related services, including our surveys for homebuyers.
Many househunters will be out and about this weekend, especially after the Chancellor's overhaul of stamp duty last week.
There's also plenty to do out and about for those wanting to soak up the festive atmosphere; whether you're Christmas shopping, attending seasonal events or socialising with family and friends.

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.

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