Indian variant, UK’s concern for corona variant = BBC | Reuters

On May 7, the British BBC said the British authorities could designate a new coronavirus variant called “B.1.617.2”, which was first found in India, as a “VOC”. I reported. Taken on the 6th in Kolkata, India (2021 Reuters / Rupak De Chowdhuri)

[London, 7th Reuters]-British BBC designates the first new coronavirus mutant strain called “B.1.617.2” found in India as “VOC (VOC)” on the 7th. Reported that there is a possibility.

Experts reportedly recommended that the mutant be designated as a VOC. The number of reports has increased from 202 last week to more than 500.

Jeff Barrett, director of the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, told the BBC Radio that the variant is believed to be more infectious than last year’s virus, given the large number of reports in the UK and abroad. ..

It was found in Kent, southeastern England, and may be as infectious as the mutant that caused the second wave of infection in the United Kingdom.

In addition to this, mutant strains found in South Africa and Brazil, respectively, are currently designated as VOCs.

Barrett said research has shown that the vaccine is also effective against these mutants.


Brexit could reduce Britain’s chances of a trade deal with India

Generally speaking, it is reasonable to say that the bigger you are, the higher your chances of getting a beneficial business deal. To be sure, this appears to be true of the attempts by the United Kingdom and the (much larger) European Union to establish stronger economic ties with the United States and with the emerging global industrial powers of India and China. Britain may find it fairly easy to adapt to deals the European Union has already concluded with countries such as Jordan and Kenya. The discussions with New Zealand also seem to be going well. However, with respect, these deals will not suffice in supplying the British economy with the fuel it needs to grow at a time when it is losing its former advantages in the rest of the European continent. Britain should connect itself with larger and more dynamic power plants. It is stumbling at the moment.

So far, the European Union is far ahead of the UK in the race to reach a deal with China, partly due to political reasons. Given that Joe Biden pursues almost the same protectionist agenda as his predecessor, with his $ 1.9 trillion stimulus package focused heavily on American jobs, it is unlikely that the British or Europeans will make much progress in their bid to win trade deals with the states. United. In fact, India is the “available” prize. In this context, the British are a few months behind the Europeans. By the end of the week, European Union negotiators will be engaged in their work related to the desired deal, while the British side must wait for its turn to start talks until next fall. No wonder, given that the European Union market is almost ten times the size of the British market. Perhaps this will awaken some from their slumber, and lead to correcting dreams of a “global Britain” adventure that they seem to still cling to.

In that regard, Liz Truss, the British Trade Secretary, is of course proud that she has secured more than £ 1 billion in Indian investments, in addition to the potential 6,000 jobs that are already being created (all of which will be available in the next world, according to government allegations). . Nevertheless, two hypothetical but important questions arise: How much of this investment would have been possible had Mrs. Truss and her ministry never been there; And how much of these investments would have been prevented or delayed if the United Kingdom was still a member state of the European Union and went to trade talks with confidence, relying on its negotiating weight? It is possible, at least, that Indian companies would have preferred, as did Japanese companies before them, to base themselves in Britain in the single European Union market, and if this were still the case, they would have invested more.

The truth is that it is absolutely impossible to answer these two questions. However, Britain’s agreement on free trade with Japan, which has an economy larger than that of the United Kingdom, gives some indications, especially that the additional marginal advantage that Britain won was not present in the old agreement between Japan. And the European Union, came rather modest (in any case, the importance of this new advantage has diminished due to the continuing loss of markets and investments as a result of Britain’s exit from the European Union). Honda and Toyoda Gozi shut down their factories [في بريطانيا]At least partially, because of this Brexit, it will cost the country more jobs than the new trade deal creates. And people are already feeling some of these repercussions in the auto industry, food and beverage, agriculture and fishing sectors.

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The closure of these factories, and the jobs that will be lost because of them, will reach the fore in the news, which will cause political troubles, but delaying or converting future investment does not result in problems and difficulties of this kind. Consequently, the other damage that “Brexit” did to the economy would take longer to deal with, and until it became “invisible” in the sense of a lack of attention to factories and offices that were not built and jobs that were not being created, which would have flowed into the UK as a relatively liberal part. From the thriving European single market. For example, Sweden is a larger market for the United Kingdom, and it will take a long time before growth in the dynamic economies of the East can compensate for the loss in the European Union markets that follows. [الخسارة] Higher prices and more bureaucracy.

The Indian adventure also raises other questions about the post-Brexit era. British trade missions to India had faltered in the past because the British, especially Theresa May, had shown that they viewed in a hostile and unsympathetic view the Indian requests to facilitate the arrival of their youth to Britain with the intention of studying and working. The phobia surrounding the issue of immigration has reached such an extent that easing the strictness of the visa rules is considered impossible, and it is worth noting that this matter has a limited direct relationship with the freedom of movement of workers in Europe. Now that the UK is of course pursuing its immigration policy on the basis of the points system, all that could change. On the other hand, the implementation phase of the new system has not witnessed a rapid increase in the number of entry visas granted to Indian students and professionals so far, and if it did, the right wing of the Conservative Party would clearly express its discomfort with this development.

There is an encouraging noise in the Westminster Parliament about the two parties exchanging their best and smartest things, and that is beneficial for both sides. On the other hand, there is very little available about the size of this exchange. Given the potential for the arrival of the business and professional classes in Hong Kong, some in the pro-Brexit community may wonder if this is really the low-immigration Brexit for which they voted.

As a result, trade with India is closely linked to a more free movement of people between the United Kingdom and that country, just as trade with the European Union is associated with freedom of movement with its countries. And if the British had already “regained control” from Brussels on their borders, they had taken it just to deliver it directly to Delhi, it seemed to some.

As a reminder, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is a nationalist leader like any other in the world, and no matter how passionate he is for cricket and tea, he will put India’s interests first. Also, just as well knows that Truss and Johnson desperately needs a major trade deal with a “big” country. And given that the United States and China are currently not ready to conclude a deal of this kind, the trade agreement with India represents the only realistic option available to them. [جونسون وتروس]. It can be expected that Modi’s negotiators will be determined to get what they want from Little Britain, even more than Michel Barnier was. [مفوض الاتحاد الأوروبي الذي ترأس فريق العمل للتفاوض مع بريطانيا بشأن تنفيذ بريكست].


Falling dollar, disappointing US indicators and falling US bond yields = NY Forex | Reuters

The dollar has fallen against a basket of major currencies in the New York foreign exchange market. Taken on February 8 (2021 Reuters / Dado Ruvic / Illustration / File Photo)

[New York 3rd Reuters]–The dollar has fallen against a basket of major currencies in the New York foreign exchange market. Disappointing US indicators and falling US bond yields have put pressure on the dollar. Since Japan, China, and the United Kingdom were holidays, it became a thin business.

The Manufacturing Index for April, released by the American Supply Management Association (ISM) on the 3rd, was 60.7, slowing from 64.7 in March, the highest level since December 1983.

In late trading, the dollar index fell 0.3% to 90.696.

The dollar index traded on April 30 last weekend, recording significant growth since late February, but Scotiabank’s chief currency strategist Shawn Osborne reflects a broader resumption of the dollar’s rise. Pointed out that it may not be. “To support the dollar’s recovery, it needs to be much higher this week, but the start isn’t good,” he said.

Federal Reserve Chairman Powell said yesterday that the US economy is improving, but “it’s not out of the pinch yet.”

Euro rises against the dollar. IHS Markit’s April revision of the Eurozone Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) hit a record high to support the euro. The European Central Bank’s (ECB) Deputy Governor Degindos said that if vaccination with the new coronavirus progresses and the economy accelerates, the ECB will be able to start phasing out emergency mitigation measures. It was.

This week, the US employment data for April released on the 7th and the whereabouts of the policy-making meetings of Australia, the United Kingdom and the Norges Bank are drawing attention.

Ether, a crypto asset (cryptocurrency), broke above $ 3,000 and hit a high of $ 3203.18.


Johnson leads Britain toward cautious easing of travel restrictions

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced on Monday, May 3, that Britain is on its way to easing restrictions imposed on foreign travel due to the outbreak of the Corona virus. “There will be some opening for travel on May 17th, but it remains important to be as careful as we can,” Johnson said.
While the travel restrictions will not be lifted completely, the British Prime Minister stated, “We want to go through some openness on May 17th, but I don’t think people in this country want to see an influx of disease anywhere. I definitely don’t want that. We have to be very strong and we have to be as careful as possible. “
Speaking of the upcoming June 21 deadline set by the British government to end social distancing, Johnson said, “We feel we will be able to move forward with the easing of restrictions.”

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“Excess unit meter”

Johnson also mentioned that Britain is on its way to abandoning the rule of social distancing known as “plus one meter”, which requires people to stay at least one meter from each other, near the end of next month, according to a road map drawn up by the British government to end restrictions The closure is phased, after widespread vaccination campaigns helped quell the spread of infection.
In response to a question about the way forward in implementing this, Johnson said during a campaign visit in the north of England, “I think we have a good chance of being able to do without (the rule) one meter plus.” This rule has come under heavy criticism, particularly from the restaurant and hospitality sectors.
In the midst of a campaign to win one seat in Parliament and local government, Johnson also faced questions about the costs of renovating his apartment and the expenses of caring for his young child.

Europe eases travel restrictions

On Monday, the European Commission proposed that travelers who have received full doses of COVID-19 vaccines approved by the European Union be allowed to enter the bloc’s countries.

The Commission stated, “It proposes to allow entry into the European Union not only for people coming from countries where the epidemiological situation is good, but also for those who received the last recommended dose of vaccines approved by the European Union.”

On Sunday, the second of May, international aid continues to arrive in India, which is facing a massive outbreak of the Corona virus, and a new record number of deaths has been recorded within 24 hours, and India comes alongside Brazil in the first front line with the “Covid-19” epidemic. It counted nearly 400,000 new infections over the last 24 hours.

The country also counted 3,689 additional deaths, on Sunday, in the highest recorded daily toll, which brings the total number to 215,000 deaths, and the promised international aid continues to arrive from more than 40 countries, and New Delhi received a French cargo plane carrying 28 tons of medical equipment, including eight generators. Oxygen Qadir provides each of them with the needs of an Indian hospital of 250 beds, according to the French authorities.

“Last year India helped us in French hospitals, when the need for medicines was enormous, the French people remember,” said the French ambassador to India, Emmanuel Lenin.

On Friday, a US military plane landed in New Delhi carrying medical equipment, followed by a German plane, Saturday, and Britain announced, for its part, that it would send 1,000 additional respirators to this country of 1.3 billion people.

On Saturday, India opened the field of vaccination to its entire adult population, which is about 600 million people, but several states, including Maharashtra and New Delhi, which are among the most affected states, warned of a shortage of vaccines.

In an effort to relieve pressure on health services, the Indian authorities decided to extend the closure for a week in New Delhi, which has 20 million people, and the end of the closure was expected on Monday, and the overcrowded hospitals in the city lacked beds, medicines and oxygen, and there are patients who spend at the doors of hospitals without any treatment.

Like other countries, Nigeria announced the restriction of entry to its territory for travelers from India, as well as from Brazil and Turkey, which were severely affected by the outbreak of the epidemic, and other countries in South Asia sounded the alarm, as was Nepal, where “the number of infections recorded a leap beyond the capacity of the health system. According to what the Minister of Health said, and this country counted, on Sunday, 7,137 new infections, in a record number, and the government imposed full or partial closure measures in about half of the states.

As for the rest of the world, the epidemic crisis also weighs in Latin America, starting with Brazil, which has not yet started vaccination campaigns, and the Brazilian Ministry of Health data showed that 1,202 deaths from the Coronavirus and 28,935 new infections were recorded, Sunday, and the country recorded 407,639 deaths and 14.7 million infections in Overall, the virus deaths in Brazil are second in the world, after the United States.

On Sunday, the Mexican Ministry of Health recorded 1093 new confirmed cases of Coronavirus and 65 deaths, which brought the total number of infections in the country to two million and 348873, and deaths to 217,233.

And the cases of Coronavirus in Argentina have reached three million since the outbreak of the pandemic, despite the strict measures taken by the government to limit the spread of infection, while medics said that hospitals have become full, and the Ministry of Health said, on Sunday, that it had recorded 11,394. A new infection, which raises the cases to a new level, exceeded three million. The ministry also recorded 156 new deaths, bringing the total deaths to 64,252.

A few days ago, the government of President Alberto Fernandez unveiled new measures that included the imposition of more stringent restrictions after the country was exposed to a second wave of infection and the overcrowding of intensive care units with patients and the setting of daily records of injuries and deaths.


Response to Russia’s “propaganda”, studying mechanism at G7 = British Foreign Minister | Reuters

Britain’s Foreign Minister Raab said on the 2nd that Russia would consider a mechanism to quickly respond to “propaganda” and disinformation in seven major countries (G7). April representative photo taken in Brussels, Belgium (2021 Reuters)

[London, 2nd Reuters]–British Foreign Minister Rab said on the 2nd that Russia would consider a mechanism to quickly respond to “propaganda” and disinformation in seven major countries (G7).

We interviewed Reuters ahead of the G7 Foreign Ministers’ meeting in London this week.

Mr. Rab said he would try to unite the G7 with a mechanism to quickly refute Russia’s disinformation. It “cooperates not only as an individual country (as the G7) when lies, propaganda, and false news are disseminated, and refutes not only for the British but also for Russia, China, and people around the world. It will be possible to provide the truth. “

When asked if the United Kingdom would like to participate in a framework called “quad” that includes Australia and India in addition to Japan and the United States, there is no concrete proposal at this time, and we are considering ways to strengthen our involvement in the Indo-Pacific. He said he was doing it.


Response to Russia’s “propaganda”, studying mechanism at G7 = British Foreign Minister | Reuters

Britain’s Foreign Minister Raab said on the 2nd that Russia would consider a mechanism to quickly respond to “propaganda” and disinformation in seven major countries (G7). April representative photo taken in Brussels, Belgium (2021 Reuters)

[London, 2nd Reuters]–British Foreign Minister Rab said on the 2nd that Russia would consider a mechanism to quickly respond to “propaganda” and disinformation in seven major countries (G7).

We interviewed Reuters ahead of the G7 Foreign Ministers’ meeting in London this week.

Mr. Rab said he would try to unite the G7 with a mechanism to quickly refute Russia’s disinformation. It “cooperates not only as an individual country (as the G7) when lies, propaganda, and false news are disseminated, and refutes not only for the British but also for Russia, China, and people around the world. It will be possible to provide the truth. “

When asked if the United Kingdom would like to participate in a framework called “quad” that includes Australia and India in addition to Japan and the United States, there is no concrete proposal at this time, and we are considering ways to strengthen our involvement in the Indo-Pacific. He said he was doing it.


Europe ratified Britain’s exit from it, but the story continues

Finally, the trade deal between the European Union and the United Kingdom has become official, as it has been approved by the European Parliament. Boris Johnson also claimed that it was the “last step” in the long journey of the Brexit process.

Unfortunately, this description is far from the truth, and some kind of negotiation is likely to continue between the UK and the European Union for some time.

To clarify, this is not something that the observer now speculates will happen in the future. There are discussions currently taking place between the two parties. Indeed, the European Union and Britain are currently engulfed in intense technical discussions about aspects of the Brexit deal related to Northern Ireland (called the “Protocol”) and how it should be implemented.

Although these aspects were acknowledged in their quite clear form on paper as part of the withdrawal agreement from the European Union, the UK now wants to be more “realistic” about how to interpret the agreement, amid general dissatisfaction on the part of the unitary (Protestant) community in Northern Ireland about the plan.

While the European Union believes that the United Kingdom should implement what was stated in the text of the agreement, it makes clear that it is open to work with the aim of reaching a solution acceptable to both parties.

Meanwhile, Britain is unilaterally trying to twist the deal so that it becomes more like the one it wanted to do. It unilaterally extended grace periods that would protect Northern Ireland supermarkets and their suppliers for a longer period of time, from the worst consequences of Brexit.

In its response, the European Union has approached this issue in various ways. First, it began to engage in technical discussions with the British side and expressed its desire for a solution to the dispute with the United Kingdom. The fact that the UK has acted without the consent of the European Union is an insult to the European Union, which is a body based on respect for the rules, and is no less dangerous than the repercussions of what the UK is doing on the ground.

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However, the European Union has also initiated the so-called “infringement procedure.” [جزاء خطوة مخالفة]Against the United Kingdom because of its implementation of steps that rise to his liking [الاتحاد] To a violation of international law.

The implementation of this measure reached the point of issuing an “official notification letter” last March. The Union may go further in the event that a solution to the Northern Ireland issue cannot be reached through technical talks.

Meanwhile, the European Commission states that it may ask the United Kingdom to pay a “lump sum or pay a fine” under the terms of the agreement, given that Britain has violated the protocol, and this effectively means paying a fine.

It is possible, according to what anyone watching is likely to say, that the UK could sleep on this demand and simply refuse to pay the fine. In this case, the next step for the European Union would be to take the UK to arbitration. This could happen as part of a complex process previously approved in the agreement, including the formation of a joint arbitration committee.

By extension, the jury will also have powers to impose a fine. The crucial thing on this point is that if the UK refuses to pay the fine by then, Brussels will in return be allowed to violate some aspects of the agreement, or to freeze some of the obligations stipulated in the exit agreement. [بريطاني من الاتحاد الأوروبي] Or “imposing tariffs on goods imported from the United Kingdom”.

If this happens, it will not be an unprecedented event. Earlier, the Commission took similar action against Donald Trump, the former US president, and imposed billions in tariffs on iconic US goods such as Bourbon whiskey, blue jeans, and Harley Davidson motorcycles as well.

And when it comes to the UK, pursuing the ongoing process of the trade deal that has just been approved depends on the two sides ’commitment to the terms of the trade deal as well as the Brexit agreement.

Ultimately, neither side wants to freeze the trade deal [التي أبرمت بين أوروبا وبريطانيا عن العلاقة بينهما بعد بريكست]Perhaps this is very remote and will not happen in the foreseeable future. In the future, there is the possibility that that will remain [تجميد الصفقة] Possible conclusion pending the parties agree on a solution.


Britain will host a vaccination summit in 2022 to prepare for the next epidemics

Britain said on Friday, April 30th that it will host a summit in 2022 to raise funds for vaccine research and development to support an international coalition seeking to accelerate the production of vaccines for diseases in the future.

Britain is using its presidency of the Group of Seven countries to highlight the need to prepare for future epidemics in light of the devastating consequences of the Corona virus crisis.

Developing new vaccines

Britain pointed out that the summit, with the “Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations” next year, will support the coalition’s goal of reducing the time to develop new vaccines to 100 days in future epidemics. Health Minister Matt Hancock said, “We look forward to working with the Alliance for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations to accelerate vaccine development. And to provide a global solution to ensure we are better prepared for future epidemics. “

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The summit aims to increase investment from the international community although there is no immediate news on the governments or organizations that will be invited to attend.

Strengthening global health security

The “Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations” was established in 2017 in partnership between public, private, charitable groups and civil society, and it played a prominent role in financing the early development of a group of candidate vaccines against “Covid-19”.

Britain stressed that global health will be on the agenda of the G7 foreign ministers meeting in May, and that it will urge international partners to work to strengthen global health security.


India: Government, under pressure, intensifies vaccination campaign against COVID-19 | Coronavirus | DW

In early 2021, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi declared victory over the coronavirus pandemic. Three months later, the coronavirus is spreading uncontrollably and India’s unstable healthcare system is cracking. The Government is now facing a crisis in public health, but also in responsibility.

India currently reports records of infections, with more than 300,000 infections daily during the last week. During the first wave of infections, the total was around 100,000.

The central government has been accused of failing to strengthen health systems after the 2020 surge. Hospitals across the country are turning patients away, and people have to fend for themselves to get medical oxygen.

Some ask for help on social media platforms to find hospital beds for their loved ones. Even health centers like Moolchand Hospital in Delhi have had to ask for help on Twitter because they were running out of oxygen. The country receives help from abroad, even from rival Pakistan.

The situation of infections and deaths from coronavirus worsens in India.

India Expands Vaccine Suitability Strategy

Indian Health Minister Harsh Vardhan said there is no need for a “crisis of confidence” and maintained that there is no shortage of diagnostic capacity and vaccines.

According to the “accelerated phase 3 strategy”, anyone over the age of 18 can be inoculated. People can register through an application from now on.

The Health Minister noted that the government was doing everything possible to remove restrictions on the supply of vaccines. Vardhan explained that he was trying to “spread a lot of misinformation” about the phase 3 vaccination campaign by opponents of the ruling party, the People’s Party of India (BJP), who seek to “politicize” the pandemic.

A woman with respiratory problems receives oxygen at a hospital in New Delhi.

A woman with respiratory problems receives oxygen at a hospital in New Delhi.

Are more vaccines needed?

India’s policy of exporting vaccine doses, carried out before the new wave caused so much damage in the country, has drawn massive criticism.

On April 16, India reported that it would increase production of Covaxin, the vaccine developed domestically by Bharat Biotech.

According to the Serum Institute of India, the world’s largest vaccine manufacturer and producer of AstraZeneca doses, production is being delayed by a shortage of raw materials supplied by the United States.

India recently allowed the importation of foreign-made vaccines such as Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson for emergency use.

It is not clear exactly how many doses of vaccines are currently available in India. On Wednesday (04.28.2021), The Times of India, citing health officials, he reported that there are 10 million doses available, and another 8 million in the coming days.

Funeral piles to incinerate the deceased by COVID-19 in New Delhi, India.

Funeral piles to incinerate the deceased by COVID-19 in New Delhi, India.

More oxygen on the way?

While local health authorities await vaccine doses, government officials have announced plans to make more medical oxygen available, ease import restrictions and facilitate the provision of special trains to transport oxygen to cities such as Mumbai and Delhi.

Indian Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla said this Thursday (04.29.2021) that 40 countries have pledged their support.

“We are talking about about 550 oxygen generating plants that will come from different sources around the world,” Shringla said at a news conference.

As the Government of India rushes to procure more medical equipment and vaccines while deflecting criticism, the virus continues to spread.

(Updated to 04.28.2021)



High house prices in Britain 20 thousand pounds within a year

Average house prices in the UK rose by 20,000 pounds ($ 28,000) in the 12 months ending February, marking the fastest annual growth rate since October 2014.

The Office for National Statistics reported that house prices jumped 8.6 percent to 250,000 pounds. Separate figures from the Royal Imports and Customs showed that twice as many home sales occurred in March 2021 compared to the same month a year earlier.

An estimated 190,980 sales were achieved, an increase of 94,380 in March 2020. The number was the highest in any month since the authority began collecting data in 2005.

These numbers will add to concerns that the UK housing market is experiencing a bubble that has been inflated by lower mortgage rates and government policies that have further boosted property prices.

And in last month’s budget, (Finance Minister) Richie Sunak announced an extension of the stamp duty exemption period in England and Northern Ireland, reducing the cost of buying a home by 15,000 pounds.

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A similar exemption expired in Scotland on March 31. In Wales, the estate tax waiver was extended to June 30th. The rise in property prices in the Four Nations of the United Kingdom eliminated the stamp tax savings.

The “help with purchase” program, which provides further public support to the housing market, has also been reinstated. Under this program, buyers with low deposits can take out government-backed loans of 20 percent of the home’s value, or 40 percent in London.

Banks began offering “aid in buying” deals this week after the program opened to orders in December.

Average house prices rose during the year in England to 268,000 pounds (an increase of 8.7 percent), Wales to 180,000 pounds (8.4 percent), Scotland to 162,000 pounds (8.0 percent), and Northern Ireland to 148,000 pounds (5.3. percent).

The Northwest region was the English region with the highest annual growth in average home prices (11.9 percent), while London recorded the lowest (4.6 percent).

The average home price in London remained the most expensive of any region in the UK, at an average of 496,000 pounds in February.

The booming market, experts said, was partly driven by buyers looking for more space during the pandemic.

“It appears that available real estate is being bought quickly, which has added upward pressure on prices,” said Nitsch Patel, strategic economist at the Yorkshire Building Society.

Buying behavior continues to be dominated by the quest for space, with detached house prices increasing by 9.1 percent in the year ending in February 2021, in contrast to apartments and two-story apartments, which witnessed a 6.7 percent price increase over the same period.

“With the stamp duty exemption continuing in its current form until the end of June, and with the job market somewhat flexible, we do not expect the housing market dynamics to change anytime soon. As a result, we expect price momentum to continue for a few more months.

“However, the job support program ends in September, and prices are rising at a faster rate compared to salaries, which means that affordability will become a problem for some buyers, so it is likely that at this stage we will see housing market activity begin to decline.” .