EasyHotel targets growth with £50m placing - analysts react

Property Week News Feed - Thu, 02/22/2018 - 09:21
Budget hotel developer easyHotel is seeking to raise £50m from a share placing to fund the growth of its UK chain.
Categories: Property

EasyHotel targets growth with £50m placing

Property Week News Feed - Thu, 02/22/2018 - 09:21
Budget hotel developer easyHotel is seeking to raise £50m from a share placing to fund the growth of its UK chain.
Categories: Property

2017 Mercedes-Benz GLC300 4Matic Long-Term Update 3: Running Costs and …

Motortrend News Feed - Thu, 02/22/2018 - 09:00

I’ve come to know our long-term 2017 Mercedes-Benz GLC300 4Matic pretty well over the past six months. The GLC’s stay with us thus far has been largely uneventful, but the 11,000 or so miles traveled from behind the wheel have given me a certain appreciation for some of our GLC300’s features and a distaste for others.

My favorite thing about the GLC is how comfortable it is while still remaining engaging to drive. Many luxury cars amp up comfort by ironing out all sense of feedback and feel from the road, but not the GLC. It remains quiet and buttoned down, yet is still fun to drive with good steering feel and feedback as well as a relatively responsive powertrain.

I’ve also really come to appreciate how spacious it is. The backseat is large enough for two adults—or, as is more often the case, my two dogs—and with the rear seats folded flat, the Mercedes has 56.5 cubic feet of cargo space available to swallow up even the biggest Home Depot or Ikea run.

The GLC isn’t perfect, though. If I’m nitpicking, ever since I noticed that the steering wheel is mounted slightly off-center toward the right of the cabin, it’s annoyed me. Likely a concession for packaging or crash safety (or both), the offset steering wheel doesn’t hurt anything but my personal sense of symmetry.

A less frivolous complaint would be the GLC’s cost of ownership, but so far so good. The GLC’s first service, which included an oil and filter change, tire rotation and balance, and an inspection, set us back $281.69. We also just recently replaced the windshield, which picked up a nasty rock chip right above the VIN plate. That set us back $950, including labor and installation. Compared to a previous luxury SUV long termer such as the more expensive Land Rover Range Rover Sport TD6 ($845 for the equivalent basic service and $1,830 for a windshield replacement), the GLC300 is a steal, but part of me can’t help but look on enviously at other roughly comparable SUVs such as our recently departed Volvo XC90, which includes its first three services at 10,000 mile intervals for free. Only time will tell whether the GLC’s service costs prove to be a thorn in my side, but I’ll be keeping a close eye on our Merc—and the company credit card—over the last half of our GLC300 4Matic’s loan.

More on our long-term Mercedes-Benz GLC300 here:

The post 2017 Mercedes-Benz GLC300 4Matic Long-Term Update 3: Running Costs and … appeared first on Motor Trend.

Categories: Property

2018 Hyundai Accent Limited First Test: A Ho-Hum or Humdinger?

Motortrend News Feed - Thu, 02/22/2018 - 09:00

Small economy cars do not get much love nowadays, and it’s rare when one gets much hype—tell a friend or family member that you just bought a Fit, Fiesta, or Versa, and see what kind of reaction you get. Today’s subcompact sedans—which include the Nissan Versa, the Ford Fiesta, the Toyota Yaris iA, the Chevrolet Sonic, the Kia Rio, and the Mitsubishi Mirage G4—only take up a small percentage of the shrinking sedan market. The new 2018 Hyundai Accent enters this segment with a fresh redesign, but is it anything special, or is it just another ho-hum subcompact sedan?

The redesigned 2018 Hyundai Accent dropped its hatchback body style and now only comes in sedan form.

The 2018 Accent has been completely overhauled. The sedan now rides on a new platform with new technology. Outside, the new design adopts Hyundai’s latest styling language, contributing to a mini-Elantra look. It’s quite attractive and doesn’t look like a styleless bar of soap or have overly quirky styling like some subcompacts do. Inside, designers gave the Accent an interior you would normally find in a more expensive car; it doesn’t look like the basic rental car interior normally found at this price point. It’s nothing gleaming, but it’s a nice surprise for an entry-level car. Technology and features weren’t overlooked. A rearview camera and a 5.0-inch center touchscreen are now standard in the base SE trim, the midlevel SEL trim now gets a larger 7.0-inch center touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and the top Limited trim receives heated front seats, automatic emergency braking, and a hands-free smart trunk that pops open when you stand behind the car for a few seconds with the key fob in your pocket.

Designers also gave the Accent more interior room, so much so that the EPA considers the Accent a compact car and not a subcompact for its size class, which is determined by passenger and cargo volume. Rivals such as the Ford Fiesta sedan and Toyota Yaris iA sedans are labeled subcompacts due to their smaller interior size. Other rivals, such as the very aged Nisan Versa sedan, the uncompetitive Mitsubishi Mirage G4, and the Chevrolet Sonic sedan, are also considered compact cars. Trunk cargo space is good for a small car; it measures in at 13.7 cubic feet, putting it above the Fiesta and Yaris iA sedans, but below the Sonic and Versa sedans.

During Motor Trend testing, the Accent accelerated to 60 mph in 9.3 seconds, on par with most subcompact sedans, and stopped from 60 mph in 119 feet, better than most rivals. Our road test team did not have any issues when launching or emergency braking the sedan. Where the Accent shows some separation from the rest of the small cars is on the figure-eight handling course with its time of 27.6 seconds and 0.60 average g. Nothing fast, but that makes it quicker than competitors in its segment and gives it one of the highest average g numbers, showing that the Accent handles well. Road test editor Chris Walton agreed after he flogged it around the figure eight. “For a compact economy car, this Accent is quite good on the figure eight,” he said. “The steering is talkative around the skidpad where it finds gentle but terminal understeer. The brakes are responsive, and there’s just enough power to keep it entertaining. I had to manually shift down to second for the skidpad, and it obeyed each time and made the downshift, unlike some others. The car is pleasant, entertaining in a surprising way.”

Out on the road, the 2018 Accent continues to be an enjoyable little sedan. Acceleration is adequate for around town, and braking feel and power is good. If you find yourself on a twisty road, don’t be afraid to push the subcompact a little, as it provides good grip and less body roll than you’d expect. But it’s still an economy car, so no Fast and Furious maneuvers, please. One of my personal complaints about most subcompacts is interior noise and ride comfort; sound deadening is usually kept to a minimum, and the combination of a short wheelbase, light weight, and lower-end suspension components usually makes for a rough ride. In other words, most subcompacts are loud and drive like they are flapping around everywhere. Considering its price point and segment, the Accent does a good job muffling out a lot of outside noise and ironed out road imperfections like a larger, more expensive car while driving on the firmer-riding 17-inch wheels versus the softer 15-inchers found on the two lower trims.

Like most economy cars, the Accent is fuel efficient with its 130-hp, 119 lb-ft 1.6-liter I-4 engine, which delivers an EPA-rated 28/38 mpg city/highway with the optional six-speed automatic transmission (not a CVT like many have in its segment). However, it’s not the most fuel efficient. The less powerful Versa, Yaris iA, and Honda Fit provide better fuel economy. The 2018 Accent offers the usual list of safety features you’d find in a small, entry-level car but adds one important one: automatic emergency braking, a feature not normally found at this price point. Forward Collision-avoidance Assist, as the automaker likes to call it, will warn the driver of a possible frontal collision before the system automatically applies the brakes if the driver fails to do so. Unfortunately, it’s only available in the top Limited trim, but at least it’s offered. This is one safety feature that should be available across all automakers’ lineups and not just the more expensive vehicles. At the time of this writing, the 2018 Accent has yet to be crash tested by the NHTSA or the IIHS.

Our 2018 Hyundai Accent Limited tester came standard with 17-inch alloy wheels, a power moonroof, foglights, LED daytime running lights, LED taillights, heated front seats, automatic headlights and climate control, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, a proximity key with a quick-entry system, push-start ignition, a six-way manually adjustable driver’s seat, hill-start assist, and a 7.0-inch infotainment touchscreen with SiriusXM satellite radio, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto. The only option was the $125 carpeted floormats. All of this for $19,905. That doesn’t sound bad at all until you look up the price for a base model of a more refined and larger compact sedan like the Honda Civic, though a Civic LX base model would lack the Accent Limited’s larger alloy wheels, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, moonroof, and active safety tech (available as an option on the LX).

The Accent’s hands-free smart trunk (standard on the Limited trim) works well. You simply stand behind the Accent when its locked with the key fob in your pocket, and the trunk automatically opens without making any kind of gestures in seconds. No need to swing or kick your leg when you’re holding bags like in many other applications.

If you are finding it hard to believe that a little Hyundai can be this good and offer so much, don’t. My fellow editors had great things to say about its Kia twin, the Rio, which shares the same platform and powertrain, at our 2018 Car of the Year testing. We were so impressed with the Rio that it became a finalist. “It might seem surprising to see a budget subcompact hatchback reach the finals in our Car of the Year competition,” we said. “But every one of our judges walked away from the Kia Rio impressed with how much car you get for well less than $20,000. After all, it’s a lot harder to build a great car for $20,000 than for $50,000. Angus MacKenzie might have summed it up best: ‘The Kia Rio is a worthy finalist. Not car of the year, but it’s a great value and a well-rounded small car.’” If the 2018 Accent competed, similar statements would have likely been said.

I do, however, have a couple of quibbles with the Accent, the first being the imprecise steering, an issue that still seems to haunt many Hyundai/Kia vehicles to this day. When driving on the highway or on normal roads, I found myself doing constant small steering corrections more often than I normally do. The imprecise steering seemed to make the sedan wander around in its lane more than I’ve felt in other vehicles over the same roads. Additionally, the interior does have plenty of hard plastics that can be easily marked everywhere, including all of the door panel armrests.

The 2018 Hyundai Accent is not ho-hum, but it’s not a humdinger, either. It’s a good-looking and competent small car that I can recommend—pending the crash test results. I’m sure others might find other complaints besides mine, but like senior production editor Zach Gale said, “Almost everything can be countered with, ‘But it’s a $19,905 car.’” With all the Accent has to offer, this sub-$20,000 car should make buyers who don’t need the space of a hatchback or crossover happy.

2018 Hyundai Accent (Limited) BASE PRICE $19,780 PRICE AS TESTED $19,905 VEHICLE LAYOUT Front-engine, FWD, 5-pass, 4-door sedan ENGINE 1.6L/130-hp/119-lb-ft DOHC 16-valve I-4 TRANSMISSION 6-speed automatic CURB WEIGHT (F/R DIST) 2,665 lb (61/39%) WHEELBASE 101.6 in LENGTH x WIDTH x HEIGHT 172.6 x 68.1 x 57.1 in 0-60 MPH 9.3 sec QUARTER MILE 17.0 sec @ 83.2 mph BRAKING, 60-0 MPH 119 ft LATERAL ACCELERATION 0.83 g (avg) MT FIGURE EIGHT 27.6 sec @ 0.60 g (avg) REAL MPG, CITY/HWY/COMB 25.4/39.8/30.4 mpg EPA CITY/HWY/COMB FUEL ECON 28/38/32 mpg ENERGY CONS, CITY/HWY 120/89 kW-hrs/100 miles CO2 EMISSIONS, COMB 0.61 lb/mile

The post 2018 Hyundai Accent Limited First Test: A Ho-Hum or Humdinger? appeared first on Motor Trend.

Categories: Property

Intu claims results ‘confound pre-Brexit gloom’

Property Week News Feed - Thu, 02/22/2018 - 09:00
Shopping centre landlord Intu Properties has reported a small rise in NAV in annual results that it claimed “confounded the external gloom and negativity in pre-Brexit UK about retail”.
Categories: Property

L&G’s Inspired Villages buys Kent site with GDV of £50m

Property Week News Feed - Thu, 02/22/2018 - 07:00
Legal & General’s retirement scheme operator Inspired Villages has bought a site in Leeds Village, Kent, with a GDV in excess of £50m to build 115 luxury cottages and apartments.
Categories: Property

Unite refocuses on London thanks to falling land values

Property Week News Feed - Thu, 02/22/2018 - 06:34
Developer is seeing more deal opportunities in the capital in the wake of land price slumps of up to 30%.
Categories: Property

Rosette bags Oldham Tesco Extra for £50m

Property Week News Feed - Thu, 02/22/2018 - 06:21
Rosette Merchant Bank has snapped up a Tesco Extra store in Oldham, Greater Manchester, for more than £50m.
Categories: Property

JV markets portfolio on Vesta platform

Property Week News Feed - Thu, 02/22/2018 - 06:13
Mill Group and Bovis Homes put £50m Oak Portfolio of rental homes up for sale.
Categories: Property

Monster Energy founder bags second Stockley Park office

Property Week News Feed - Thu, 02/22/2018 - 06:04
South African billionaire Rodney Sacks pays £30m for building next to Lucozade HQ, which he already owns.
Categories: Property

BMW Will Send 30 Special Edition M4 Convertibles to the U.S.

Motortrend News Feed - Thu, 02/22/2018 - 01:45

Back in 2014, BMW celebrated the 30th anniversary of the original M5 with a limited run of 300 special editions called the “30 Jahre M5” (jahre being the German word for “years”). Then, in 2016, BMW celebrated the M3’s 30th birthday with 500 copies of a special 30 Jahre M3. This year, because two-door M3s are now called M4s, BMW decided to celebrate the M3 convertible’s 30th anniversary with a 300-unit run of the BMW M4 Convertible Edition 30 Jahre.

Of the 300 anniversary-edition M4 convertibles, BMW says only 30 will come to the States. Among those, 20 will be painted Macao Blue, and another 10 will be Mandarin II yellow. U.S. pricing has yet to be announced, but considering the 30th-anniversary M3s cost nearly $20,000 more than a base M3, don’t be surprised if BMW M4 Convertible Edition 30 Jahre prices top $90,000. And that’s before dealer markup.

For your money, you’ll get a lot more than a base M4, though. All anniversary-edition M4s include the $4,250 Competition Package that adds 19 hp, sharper steering, an adaptive suspension, and sportier software settings. Instead of wheels typically included in the Competition Package, the anniversary edition gets 20-inch matte gray alloys. The grille, side vents, and the lettering all get BMW’s Individual High Gloss Shadow Line treatment.

Inside, BMW will offer different color combinations depending on the exterior paint color. Macao Blue cars will get either a blue-on-black or silver-on-black theme, while Mandarin II yellow cars will only be available with yellow-accented black interiors. The cars will also get “30 Jahre Edition” badging on the doorsills, the passenger dash, and each headrest. In addition to the badging, the passenger dash will also show which of the 300 cars you’re driving.

Source: BMW

The post BMW Will Send 30 Special Edition M4 Convertibles to the U.S. appeared first on Motor Trend.

Categories: Property

2019 Volvo V60: Five Things You Need to Know

Motortrend News Feed - Wed, 02/21/2018 - 23:45

We generally like the current V60, especially in Polestar form. Even with a dated infotainment system and confusing center console, it pairs wagon practicality with some of the most comfortable seats on the market. But after Volvo showed off the larger, all-new V90, the smaller V60 suddenly felt like yesterday’s news. That was, until today when Volvo revealed the redesigned V60 in all its wagon glory. If the promise of a wagon that shares the V90’s good looks at a more affordable price has piqued your interest, then here are five facts about the 2019 Volvo V60 that you need to know.

It shares a platform with the XC90

The original XC90 impressed us enough to win our Sport/Utility of the Year award back in 2003, but the 2016 redesign was such a huge leap forward, it didn’t even feel like it had been built by the same company. A large part of that improvement can be attributed to Volvo’s new Scalable Product Architecture. But the SPA platform was designed to underpin more than a large SUV. It’s flexible enough to be used on a midsize crossover like the XC60, a midsize luxury sedan like the S90, and now a smaller wagon like the V60. Because of that, you can expect the V60 to have a lot in common with the larger, more-expensive vehicles in Volvo’s lineup.

U.S. customers get two engine choices

When the 2019 Volvo V60 goes on sale, European customers will have two gasoline engines, two diesel engines, and two plug-in hybrid powertrains to choose from. But if you’re already imagining the fantastic fuel economy you’ll get in your new diesel-powered Volvo wagon, don’t get too excited. Customers in the U.S. will only have two options: the front-wheel-drive T5 with 250 hp and the all-wheel-drive T6 with 316 hp. Like with the S90, there’s a good chance the T8 plug-in hybrid will eventually make it to the U.S., but if you’re waiting for a diesel, don’t hold your breath.

Safety features abound

For the last several decades, Volvo has worked hard to cement its image as one of the safest automakers in the world. To make sure the V60 continues that tradition, Volvo gave it the same driver-assist features found in the S90 and XC60. That includes an automatic emergency braking system that Volvo claims can recognize pedestrians, bicyclists, and even large animals. The V60 also gets an advanced version of adaptive cruise control that can handle some of the steering in clear conditions on well-marked roads. At speeds of up to 80 mph, the system can also brake to minimize or avoid accidents.

Plaid seats will be an option

Customers who want to sit on good old-fashioned leather will have plenty of options to choose from, including a couple different types of Nappa leather upholstery. Anyone looking for a Swedish station wagon with a little extra flair, however, should get excited about the plaid seats in these press photos. The V60 looks great no matter how it’s equipped, but it looks extra cool when the interior is decorated with plaid.

It’s part of the Care program

For customers who like the idea of getting a new car every few years, Volvo created Care. Officially called Care by Volvo, it’s an update on traditional leasing that lets members swap their old car for a new one every 24 months. Unlike a traditional lease, Care also includes all maintenance, registration, taxes, and insurance. If members need a different vehicle for a short trip or special occasion, they’ll also be able to get a temporary loan. So theoretically, if your out-of-town friends come for a visit, you could swap your V60 for an XC90 while they’re in town. Once they leave, you get your V60 back.

Source: Volvo

The post 2019 Volvo V60: Five Things You Need to Know appeared first on Motor Trend.

Categories: Property

Volvo XC40 Getting Inscription Model, All-Electric Variant

Motortrend News Feed - Wed, 02/21/2018 - 22:45

Volvo’s latest crossover, the compact XC40, just hit the market but the automaker continues to roll out updates. This time, Volvo has announced a new luxurious Inscription trim for the U.S. and a turbocharged three-cylinder engine for Europe that will later be part of the upcoming electrified Twin Engine plug-in powertrain. An all-electric XC40 is also in the works.

Inscription is the current top trim level for the larger XC60, and the upscale treatment will soon trickle down to the XC40. The Inscription will come in exclusive exterior colors and feature unique details like chrome trim surrounding the grille mesh and side windows. Expect to see 18-, 19-, and 20-inch wheel options. The interior adds an impressive-looking crystal gear shift knob and the Driftwood inlays that were first used on the XC60. Pricing for the new model will be announced closer to the XC40 Inscription’s launch.

The XC40 is currently offered in the base Momentum trim that features 18-inch alloy wheels, a power liftgate, a 12.3-inch digital driver’s display, and a 9.0-inch center infotainment touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The sportier R-Design trim comes equipped with 19-inch wheels, a navigation system, a hands-free power liftgate, and many unique R-Design exterior and interior parts.

Across the pond, Volvo has introduced its first-ever three-cylinder engine, a new 1.5-liter turbo-three that will initially be offered with a six-speed manual. Although we aren’t getting the 1.5-liter turbo-three engine in North America, we will likely get the upcoming electrified Twin Engine plug-in model that pairs the new turbo-three with an electric motor. Like the XC60 and XC90 plug-in models, the XC40 should have an all-electric driving range and plenty of power.

Volvo also restated its plans to produce an all-electric XC40. Though there are no concrete details about the XC40 EV yet, if Volvo’s performance brand Polestar has any part in it, we expect it to be impressive.

Source: Volvo

The post Volvo XC40 Getting Inscription Model, All-Electric Variant appeared first on Motor Trend.

Categories: Property

Meet the Ferrari 488 Pista and its 711-HP V-8

Motortrend News Feed - Wed, 02/21/2018 - 19:45

Last April, we heard a rumor that Ferrari was working on a hardcore version of the 488 GTB that would make more than 700 hp. Since then, a number of leaks all-but confirmed that this car was coming before Ferrari released its first teaser. We’re not sure whether yesterday’s leak forced Ferrari to move up the official announcement, but you can now officially meet the 488 Pista.

Ferrari calls the 488 Pista the successor to the 458 Speciale, and if you look closely, you can see the resemblance. Since the 488 GTB is more or less a heavily updated 458 Italia, that would make sense. But from the intakes to the vents, almost every performance-focused design cue that the two cars share is even more exaggerated on the 488 Pista.

The 488 Pista also makes more power than the 458 Speciale—a lot more power. While 597 hp and 398 lb-ft of torque was nothing to sneeze at, especially in the lightweight track-focused version of an already quick supercar, the 488 Pista makes 711 hp and 568 lb-ft of torque, 51 hp and 8 lb-ft more than the regular 488 GTB. Incidentally, the 488 Pista’s engine is now the most powerful V-8 that Ferrari has ever produced.


The 488 Pista is also nearly 200 pounds lighter than the 488 GTB, giving it a dry weight of only 2,822 pounds. With more power and less weight, Ferrari says the Pista will hit 62 mph in 2.85 seconds and 124 mph in 7.6. Top speed, meanwhile, is 211 mph. For comparison, Ferrari’s official acceleration figures for the 488 GTB are 3.0 seconds and 8.3 seconds, respectively.

Ferrari hasn’t said how much quicker the 488 Pista will be on a track, but considering how much work has gone into improving handling and aerodynamics, expect it to be more of a street-legal race car than a more powerful 488 GTB. It gets a Formula 1-inspired S-Duct up front, front diffusers borrowed from the 488 GTE race car, and a rear spoiler that all work together to increase downforce by 20 percent. The 488 Pista also uses Ferrari’s Side-Slip Angle Control system that manages the electronically controlled limited-slip differential, traction control, stability control, the magnetic suspension, and brake pressure.


At least for now, Ferrari hasn’t said anything about price, but that may be announced at the Geneva Motor Show next month. Then again, we have a feeling the Pista sold out long before it was ever officially revealed, making price about as relevant as fuel economy.

Source: Ferrari

The post Meet the Ferrari 488 Pista and its 711-HP V-8 appeared first on Motor Trend.

Categories: Property

CERT plans flexi-office space for Manchester's Hilton House

Property Week News Feed - Wed, 02/21/2018 - 19:13
CERT Property, the Manchester-based development and investment company, has submitted a planning application to redevelop Hilton House, a 35,000 sq ft office building in Manchester’s Northern Quarter.
Categories: Property

Civitas seeks to reassure investors over tenant's financial difficulties

Property Week News Feed - Wed, 02/21/2018 - 19:09
Civitas Social Housing has moved to reassure investors after one of its largest tenants, First Priority Housing Association, fell into financial difficulties.
Categories: Property

New senior asset manager for Warehouse REIT

Property Week News Feed - Wed, 02/21/2018 - 18:58
AIM-listed specialist investor Warehouse REIT has appointed Gary Lees as senior asset manager for its external firm Tilstone Partners.
Categories: Property

Apleona to manage Turkish malls

Property Week News Feed - Wed, 02/21/2018 - 17:26
Apleona is taking on the property and centre management and letting of the retail space in three Turkish shopping and outlet centres.
Categories: Property

Shares in Capco fall on Earls Court writedown and housing minister comments

Property Week News Feed - Wed, 02/21/2018 - 17:24
Shares in Capital & Counties fell by as much at 3.5% on Wednesday after the group revealed another writedown on Earls Court and comments from housing minister Dominic Raab about the troubled project.
Categories: Property

Schroder European REIT invests in Dutch data centre

Property Week News Feed - Wed, 02/21/2018 - 17:09
Schroder European Real Estate Investment Trust (SERE) has completed the acquisition of a data centre in Apeldoorn in the Netherlands.
Categories: Property