Property hunters swap London for the south coast as demand soars after market reopens

The situation for the agents selling property is bleak: agency Foxtons’ sales commissions between March 23 and May 15 were 61pc down year-on-year, while those for lettings dropped by 40pc.

The new surge in demand that has emerged since lockdown is unlikely to maintain momentum. Richard Donnell, of Zoopla, said: “The Covid crisis and 50 day lockdown have created an unexpected one-off boost to housing demand.”

People have been spending more time at home and have had time to re-evaluate what they want, he added. But he does not expect the growth to continue. “The scale of the rebound …

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South Korea harnesses tech prowess in coronavirus fight

SEOUL — If any country in the world was prepared to deal with the consequences of a socially distanced world, it was probably South Korea.

A big part of that preparedness comes down to having one of the world’s most advanced internet infrastructures. Last year it became one of the first countries to switch on fifth-generation mobile services, and its household internet penetration rate was top among OECD members in 2018, at 99.5%.

So when the coronavirus pandemic hit, many aspects of South Korean society — from education to business — shifted online with relative ease.

But even in digital-savvy

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Vietnam city fines Bayer chief for South China Sea ‘nine-dash’ map

HO CHI MINH CITY — The CEO of Bayer Vietnam faces up to 70 million dong ($3,000) in fines for disseminating a map of the South China Sea that included the so-called nine-dash line, which China uses to demarcate its claims on the waters.

The Ho Chi Minh City government summoned Bayer’s local chief Lynette Moey Yu Lin on Friday to inform her that she will be fined for violating Vietnam’s regulation banning the spread of illegal information and images regarding Vietnam’s sovereignty through a personal email.

According to Ho Chi Minh City’s Department of Information Technology and Communications, Lin

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South Korea drops bill addressing wartime labor dispute with Japan

SEOUL — South Korean lawmakers on Wednesday quietly abandoned proposed legislation intended to resolve the wartime labor dispute that has erupted with Japan.

The two bills submitted to the National Assembly would have established a joint fund to compensate Koreans forced to work for Japanese companies during World War II. The idea received a degree of support from the Japanese side as well.

But neither bill was put up for debate. Members of the National Assembly met Wednesday for the final session of their term without discussing the legislation. Based on constitutional and procedural precepts, the bills will expire when

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