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RICS say the housing market is on the up

March 8th, 2010 Comments off

affordablehousingThe UK housing market is improving more quickly than that of most other European countries, the latest European Housing Review from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (Rics) suggested.

According to the report, which was launched 2nd March in Brussels, Britain was one of only a few countries that saw signs of recovery in the property sector last year – along with Norway, Finland and Sweden.

Norway experienced the biggest rise in prices on the continent in 2009 – by 12 per cent.

Simon Rubinsohn, RICS chief economist, commented: “A combination of extraordinarily low interest rates and a raft of government measures have helped to put a floor under residential property markets in most European countries.”

However, he explained that many countries’ housing markets are still “continuing to labour”.

RICS was formed in 1868 and today boasts more than 100,000 qualified members and 50,000 students and trainees around the world.

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RICS Awards – 2009 winners revealed

October 28th, 2009 Comments off

St Paul's Cathedral Tercentenary Project

St Paul's Cathedral Tercentenary Project

The St Paul’s Cathedral Tercentenary Project was today given the accolade of Project of the Year 2009 at the RICS Awards Grand Final.

Grand Designs’ Kevin McCloud hosted the event at the Honourable Artillery Company in London, in which property projects from across the globe competed to be crowned winner in the categories of Regeneration, Building Conservation, Community Benefit and Sustainability, before the Project of the Year Award was presented to the scheme considered to have excelled in any (or all) of these groups.

Winning projects, originating from as far as Australia, were announced before London’s St Paul’s Cathedral took the top honour.  Simon Pott, Chairman of Judges, commented

“This is a remarkable project that has rejuvenated a truly timeless building for the local area and wider community. The care and attention taken in its restoration, in both its exterior and interior has given it a completely new lease of life.”

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RICS supports action plan to transform skills across housing and regeneration sectors

October 22nd, 2009 Comments off

rics-lionRICS has joined forces with over 2o organisations to launch a pioneering action plan that will overhaul place-making skills and improve the delivery of homes and communities.

This is unprecedented in scale and ambition, the ground-breaking action plan – Delivering Better Skills for Better Places – will accelerate the development of a flexible, knowledgeable and highly skilled workforce and ensure that there are enough people with the technical, specialist and transferable skills to deliver sustainable communities.

The aims of the action plan are to:

  • Attract new entrants and retain existing people in the core professions
  • Develop generic skills in areas like low carbon, climate change, empowerment, community cohesion, risk sharing, negotiation, process re-modelling, place leadership and partnership working
  • Ensure technical and specialist skills like planning, urban design and skills for changing economic markets are updated in line with new processes, standards, legislation and economic conditions.

Collectively, the partners will develop a framework to promote joint learning, encourage greater partnership working, share knowledge and expertise, support continuing professional development, attract more people to take up a career in the sector and create flexible career progression paths.

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Most Construction Companies resistant to e-tendering

May 29th, 2009 Comments off

Around three-quarters of construction companies still post or email tenders to their clients, despite the fact that e-tendering can reduce their costs and streamline the overall tendering process, according to a report by the building cost information service of the RICS.

The BCIS e-tendering survey report released today showed the percentage of tender documents sent solely in electronic format has nearly doubled since 2006, and increased from 8 per cent around two years ago to 15 per cent now.

However, the percentage of electronic documents being delivered by physical means, such as on a disk, increased from 2 per cent to 46 per cent while the percentage sent by email decreased from 64 per cent to 46 per cent.

The greatest barriers to switching to a web-based system seems to be the perceived costs associated with web based e-tendering and the assumption that clients are not interested.

“It seems clear from these results that a main concern is still the presumed costs of adopting this system,” said Joe Martin, executive director of BCIS. “The eTendering service that the RICS provides to its members was designed specifically to address these cost concerns by eliminating any set-up costs and offering the service on a pay-per-tender basis. The hope was that this would open it up to more people and in particular smaller firms. However there is clearly still an ongoing challenge to bring home the benefits to more practitioners.”

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