MetLife confirms exit from UK bulk annuity market with sale to Rothesay

first_imgHowever, as conditions turned in subsequent years, the de-risking market moved towards hedging, over the transfer of risk.This period witnessed the withdrawal of several insurers, such as Aviva and Lucida, which either left the market or significantly reduced focus on bulk annuity business.Rumours over MetLife Assurance’s withdrawal from the UK market surfaced in the early part of 2013, after it was discovered Citigroup had been appointed to potentially run its auction.MetLife wrote around £55m of business in 2013, accounting for around 1% of the market, according to consultancy LCP.This level, in itself, was a significant reduction on the 5% market share, while only £256m of business was seen in 2012, despite 2013 being a £5.5bn record year for transactions.The purchase by Rothesay Life boosts its position in the market, as it steps up competition with market leader Pension Insurance Corporation (PIC).Rothesay Life wrote £1.3bn of new bulk annuity business in the first three quarters of 2013, taking up one-quarter of the market.However, in the same period, PIC wrote £2.7bn, as it absorbed just short of half of all bulk annuity business seen from UK pensions schemes.The move for MetLife follows Rothesay Life’s recent influx of new capital, after parent company Goldman Sachs announced its intention to sell part of the wholly owned subsidiary.A collective of investors, including the Singapore sovereign wealth fund and asset manager Blackstone, purchased 64% of the insurer.Addy Loudiadis, chief executive at Rothesay Life, said the acquisition of MetLife Assurance would turn Rothesay into the largest dedicated provider of bulk annuity assets, in terms of assets under management.With the transfer of MetLife’s 20,000 policies from the UK and Ireland, and £3bn in assets, Rothesay now has more than £10bn in AUM. Rothesay Life, a UK pensions insurance provider, has expanded its bulk annuity book with the purchase of rival MetLife Assurance, a subsidiary of the US insurance group.The deal, still subject to regulatory approval, will see the transfer of around £3bn (€3.7bn) in assets between the insurers, as MetLife Assurance exits the UK and Irish markets.The UK bulk annuity market, which sees insurers purchase the annuity policies of members in defined benefit (DB) schemes in return for assets and premiums, has changed a great deal since inception in the middle of the last decade.Insurers, such as MetLife, entered the market around 2007, picking up vast amounts of business during a booming 2008, as economic conditions favoured these policies.last_img read more

UK timberland fund aimed at global pension funds

first_img“Timber prices are expected to increase globally due to rising demand in the developing world, and to constrained supply as illegal logging becomes better policed.“Meanwhile, UK timberland is an ethical investment, as all FIM-managed forests are certified as 100% sustainable.”The new fund will offer a combination of long-term capital growth and income, with an annual distribution of 1-2% of capital invested.Crosbie Dawson said the fund would select high-yield assets well located for timber markets, with good infrastructure and unconstrained access.Assets will also be selected on their potential for ‘higher and better use’ (HBU), particularly in relation to wind farms.The fund will own the timberland – i.e. the trees plus the land on which they grow.FIM will acquire commercial plantations within the UK, which consist primarily of Sitka spruce – the fastest-growing conifer in the UK – and with the largest number of end-uses.Plantations will be located mainly in Scotland and Wales, the wettest parts of the UK, where the trees grow the quickest.Trees are harvested when they are between 30 and 50 years old, giving the owner flexibility in the timing of harvesting and the ability to secure the optimum timber price.No UK corporation tax is payable on the sale of the timber, and there is no capital gains tax on the increase in value of the timber.FIM, which has more than £500m under management, also runs two funds for retail investors – FIM Forest Fund I and FIM Sustainable Timber and Energy – with £63m and £99m, respectively, under management.The company also manages several funds investing in onshore wind farms.Crosbie Dawson said that although a substantial portion of the fund’s assets would be invested in Scotland, it was unlikely to be affected by a potential vote in favour of Scottish independence.“The regulator – Forestry Commission Scotland – is already an independent entity, so there should be no regulatory changes,” he said.“The tax treatment might change, but the forestry sector is an economic success story in Scotland, employing 40,000 people in rural areas, so we are of the opinion politicians will not want to implement any policies that might have a negative effect.” FIM Services, the UK-based forestry and renewable energy investment manager, has launched its first institutional fund, the FIM UK Timberland Fund, with an initial target of £100m (€125m) to be raised from a number of cornerstone investors, including pension funds worldwide.The fund is intended to give institutions the chance to invest in high-quality, well-located commercial plantations, taking advantage of current opportunities FIM has in the pipeline.Anthony Crosbie Dawson, forestry portfolio manager at FIM, said timberland was an attractive asset for pension funds to consider because it had no correlation with equities, and served as a hedge against inflation.“Furthermore,” he added, “forestry gives strong returns underpinned by biological growth.last_img read more

Dutch regulator lowers ultimate forward rate to ‘more realistic’ level

first_imgThe Dutch regulator (DNB) has adjusted the ultimate forward rate (UFR) – used by local pension funds as a discount rate for liabilities since 2012 – from 4.2% to the more “realistic” level of 3.3%. The regulator said the move was unlikely to cause any further pension rights discounts.It conceded, however, that coverage ratios were set to drop “slightly” and that roughly a dozen schemes would have to submit recovery plans. The regulator also acknowledged that the drop in the UFR could lead to contribution increases but said this would depend on the way schemes had set up their premiums, as well as on current contribution levels.  With the adjustment, DNB follows the recommendations of a committee of Dutch experts commissioned by Jetta Klijnsma, state secretary for Social Affairs.Although the UFR committee published its findings in October 2013, the regulator called for its implementation to be postponed, pending the conclusion of Solvency II rules for insurers.It said the new UFR would better reflect market-rate developments and therefore ensure a more balanced approach for older and younger participants.“A too high discount rate,” it said, “would mean too generous pension benefits and too low contributions – and their effects being transferred to the future.”The UFR was meant to cushion pension funds and their participants against overly stringent measures as a response to financial market shocks.The initial discount rate was based fully on market rates.last_img read more

Dutch federation launches campaign to restore confidence in pensions

first_imgThe Dutch Pensions Federation is to actively seek the media’s attention to improve the sector’s image among the general public.In its 2015 annual report, it said its specially designed media plan would help restore pension-fund participants’ confidence and garner support for a collective pensions system.The industry group said it wanted to focus initially on a new pensions system and responsible investment.Bram van Els, a spokesman for the federation, said: “New themes still must be determined and will partly depend on topical matters. “I could imagine we would also underline the issue of rights cuts, if pension funds’ current financial position fails to improve soon.”According to Van Els, the federation wants to account for schemes’ activities and clear up misunderstandings that have contributed to insufficient confidence in the sector.“We recognise people are disappointed because of modest results, as they had always believed their future pensions were safe,” he said. “They need, however, to get used to the fact their pensions are not guaranteed.”Van Els said the industry group wanted to convey its message in particular through large national newspapers and television.“Social media such as Twitter are less suited, as the subjects are often too complicated for a brief explanation,” he said.In its annual report, the federation also made clear that it expected to have completed an update of the uniform pensions statement (UPO) no later than August.The new statement will be more concise and include information that is comparable and capable of being added to UPOs issued by previous employers.The application of icons used in the ‘Pensions 1-2-3’ – a layered account of companies’ specific pension arrangements – is meant to improve the clarity of the new UPO.The new statement, which shows accrued rights for old age, surviving relatives and work-disability pensions, must be used as of 1 January 2017.The new UPO, however, is no longer required to show the expected pensions level at retirement, as this information is to be shown with the national tracking system, the Pensions Register.The Pensions Federation represents approximately 220 pension funds with combined assets of €1.2trn, 5.3m workers, 3m pensioners and 9.1m deferred members.last_img read more

Dutch pharmacists’ scheme to reduce accrual and raise contributions

first_imgIn the opinion of BPOA, which is responsible for the pharmacists’ pension arrangements, a combination of a contribution rise and accrual reduction was the most balanced approach in respect to all groups of participants.Its proposal provided for an accrual reduction from 1.3% to 1.2% of the pensionable salary. This means an annual drop in accrual from €479 to €442.At the same time, BPOA said it wanted to increase the contribution from 22.7% to 26.8%. It said it had also factored in that tax-facilitated accrual must now be based on an official retirement age of 68 rather than 67.SPOA and BPOA said younger participants would be the most affected by the proposed adjustments, with a 25-year old losing 6% at retirement if his state pension (AOW) was also taken into account.In this situation, a 45-year old worker could expect to receive 98% of his or her pension, relative to the current situation.The pension fund and its occupational association said that merely decreasing annual pensions accrual would have required a reduction from 1.3% to 1%.On the other hand, solely raising the contribution would have meant an increase from 22.7% to approximately 30%.In 2015, BPOA announced that it was looking into the option of a merger with PMA, the €2.8bn sector scheme for pharmacy staff, for benefits of scale.However, the organisation failed to reach an agreement with PMA earlier this year, and said it would continue independently.Since 2011, the pharmacists’ scheme had to carry out four successive rights cuts of 5%, 7%, 6.8% and 4.6%. At August-end, its funding stood at 98.5%. The Dutch pension fund for pharmacists (SPOA) plans to reduce its annual pensions accrual and increase contributions.The decision was supported by the occupational association BPOA, and was aimed at maintaining the scheme’s current pension arrangements.According to the scheme, the current premium level of 22.7% of the pensionable salary was insufficient to finance the agreed annual accrual of 1.3%.Low interest rates had required a contribution increase to maintain the accrual, SPOA said. Failing to adjust the pension plan would disproportionally benefit current active participants.last_img read more

Committee warns ‘complacent’ large schemes over climate change [updated]

first_imgEditor’s note: The Environmental Audit Committee has since updated its report, removing Lloyds from its list of “less engaged” schemes. The latest update is here.Mandatory reporting on environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) issues by UK pension funds could be a step closer following a parliamentary report that was critical of some schemes’ investment approaches to climate change risk.The UK parliament’s Environmental Audit Committee (EAC) revealed this week that six of the UK’s 25 largest pension funds, which collectively oversee £550bn (€629bn) of assets, had not “formally considered climate change as a strategic risk”.Mary Creagh, chair of the EAC, said that “a minority of funds appear worryingly complacent”. “Pension funds should at least assess the exposure of their assets to the physical, transition and liability risks from climate change that will materialise during savers’ lifetimes,” she added.Some commentators seized upon the parliamentary report as a further step towards the imposition of mandatory ESG reporting.“It is inevitable that governments are going to focus on the sustainability of finance within financial institutions and… pension funds are going to be in the sights of the regulator,” said Stuart O’Brien, partner at law firm Sacker & Partners.“The most likely formal step will be a requirement for trustees to have an ESG policy and report against that,” he told IPE.He separately questioned the politicians’ description of some schemes as “less-engaged”. The committee published the individual pension funds’ letters to it, in which they set out their approach to climate change.“When digging a little deeper, I wonder whether this categorisation is really fair,” said O’Brien in a statement. ”Some are likely to have extremely mature investment strategies which probably have only a tiny allocation to equities. These schemes may justifiably be approaching climate change risk in a different way.” The EAC’s report comes after the European Commission this week rolled out the latest set of legislative proposals for sustainable finance, including rules governing the disclosure of investments’ impact on climate change – sparking further questions about whether the UK might follow suit.“If that comes about that would be a real game changer,” said Rachel Haworth, senior policy officer at ShareAction, the London-based responsible investment campaign organisation. “Pension trustees should be thinking ahead to that and getting their thoughts in order.”For Caroline Escott, defined benefit and investment policy lead at the Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association, climate change was not just an ethical issue for pension fund governance bodies but “a major threat to financial stability”.“It is therefore imperative that boards and committees consider the potential impact that climate change will have on their investment portfolios,” she said.Schemes push back against analysisOf the 25 funds, the committee ranked 11 as “more engaged” – or already taking steps to counter climate change risk – and the remaining eight were deemed “engaged” or “making some progress”.The six seen as “less engaged” include some of the most established names in the UK pension sector, including the £25bn BP Pension Fund (BPPF), the £20bn Lloyds Bank Pension Scheme and the £14bn Aviva Staff Pension Scheme.A spokesperson for Aviva said that the “vast majority” of its pension fund was a defined benefits scheme “primarily invested in gilts and therefore has negligible climate risk”.“The [scheme] is managed by an independent board of trustees and they are actively exploring what more they can do to manage climate exposure,” the spokesperson added.Lloyds Banking Group Pensions Trustees (LBGPT) was blunter in its assessment of the work undertaken by the EAC.A spokesperson said the scheme was “surprised by the analysis”, adding that it was “not the case” that it did not consider climate change as a strategic risk.“The trustee considers climate change risks, and more generally environmental, social and [corporate] governance risks, at multiple levels in the investment decision-making process,” the spokesperson said.The Lloyds scheme has called on the EAC to publish its full response to the initial request, “rather than the covering letter, which is currently all that is available on its website”, the spokesperson added.The EAC wrote to pension funds in February to assess the extent to which climate change risk formed part of their investment decision-making processes.In BPPF’s response to the committee’s initial enquiry, Sir Ian Prosser, chairman of the BP Pension Trustees, said the fund took its role as a responsible investor “very seriously and, as part of this, [considered] a wide range of risks”.However, in response to a direct question about moves taken relating to climate change risk, Prosser said the fund had “not taken specific actions but we continue to monitor this”.Any governmental or regulatory implementation of recommendations on climate-risk reporting should adopt a “voluntary approach”, he added.BPPF had not responded to a request for further comment at the time of publication.Earlier this year pensions minister Guy Opperman wrote to the EAC outlining plans to introduce a requirement for pension funds to have explicit climate change policies.Trustees of UK pension schemes are currently required to include within their statements of investment principles details as to the extent, if any, that “social, environmental or ethical considerations” are taken into account in the selection, retention and realisation of investments.last_img read more

Brisbane fashion blogger sells Sunny Coast beach house

first_imgThis house at 46 Yorlambu Pde, Maroochydore, has sold.The pair also own a three-bedroom Queenslander style home in the inner Brisbane suburb of Paddington, which they paid $1.1 million for in 2015.Nikki founded her Styling You business in 2008 in the form of a blog, designed to help everyday women with fashion and style choices.The blog attracts more than 100,000 visitors every month and over 250,000 page views. NEW TOWER TO SOAR OVER BURLEIGH This house at 46 Yorlambu Pde, Maroochydore, has sold. This house at 46 Yorlambu Pde, Maroochydore, has sold. Nikki Parkinson working from her former home in Maroochydore. Picture: Glenn Barnes.SOCIAL media influencer, fashion blogger and stylist Nikki Parkinson has sold the Sunshine Coast beach house where she started her business for $550,000.The former journalist, who has nearly 56,000 Instagram followers, currently lives in Brisbane and has been renting out the three-bedroom home at 46 Yorlambu Pde, Maroochydore. GET THE LATEST REAL ESTATE NEWS DIRECT TO YOUR INBOX HERE Nikki Parkinson with her husband, Kester Hubbard.The home on a 607 sqm block was advertised through Century 21 Grant Smith Property as an opportunity to live in, renovate or rebuild.It is within walking distance of Maroochydore and Alexandra Headland beaches. 67 HECTARES SELL FOR $2.90 SQM Nikki Parkinson working from her former home in Maroochydore. Picture: Glenn Barnes. The kitchen in the house at 46 Yorlambu Pde, Maroochydore.It was last listed for rent for $475 a week.More from newsParks and wildlife the new lust-haves post coronavirus17 hours agoNoosa’s best beachfront penthouse is about to hit the market17 hours agoRecords show she bought the property with her husband in 2007 for $470,000. BRISBANE ONE BEDDER SELLS FOR $2.6M last_img read more

Family home in Gold Coast’s northern suburbs offers plenty of room to grow

first_img2136 Beaufort Way, Hope Island. 2136 Beaufort Way, Hope Island.FAMILIES on the hunt for a home with plenty of space need look no further.This Hope Island house has seven bedrooms as well as a separate teenage retreat, media room and study.Situated on a large 982sq m waterfront block in the secure and sought-after Gracemere Estate, it has plenty of living space both inside and out. 2136 Beaufort Way, Hope Island.More from news02:37International architect Desmond Brooks selling luxury beach villa15 hours ago02:37Gold Coast property: Sovereign Islands mega mansion hits market with $16m price tag2 days agoIts layout and size were the reason Panayota Thomas bought it four years ago.“It was great for my family,” she said.The media room at the heart of the house was her favourite spot to spend time.“It’s just like a real cinema,” she said.The house has an open kitchen, dining and lounge room that flows onto an alfresco area overlooking the canal.A separate wing on the left-hand side of the house has four bedrooms, one of which has an ensuite, a shared bathroom and teenage retreat. 2136 Beaufort Way, Hope Island. 2136 Beaufort Way, Hope Island.The media room and office are at the centre of the home.Upstairs, there are two bedrooms, a kitchenette, living room and covered balcony.The main bedroom has an ensuite and walk-in wardrobe.It also has two separate lawn areas and a pontoon.last_img read more

House of the week: Hamptons mansion hits the mark

first_imgThe living and dining areas open up to the pool and gazebo via bi-fold doors.The second level features five ensuited bedrooms while the top level is dedicated to a master bedroom, gym and steam room, separate kitchen, bar and lounge area overlooking the rooftop heated pool/ spa. “The middle level is designed for the children and the top level is for entertaining and the master bedroom,” Mr Brewster said. 45 Knightsbridge Pde West, Sovereign Islands- from the street. Make a splash in the pool. One of the bedrooms – no expense was spared in the design.“We’ve got four children so we wanted space for them,” Mr Brewster said.“We had the block for a few years and had always planned to build on it — we were thrilled with how it turned out.”Towering over four levels, the property stands out on the street with laser cut aluminium screens paired with a gatehouse. 45 Knightsbridge Pde West, Sovereign Islands is on the market through an expressions of interest campaign.THIS breathtaking new Hamptons-inspired mansion on the Sovereign Islands has to be seen to be believed.No expense was spared in the residence which was designed to take advantage of the stunning Broadwater, Hinterland and park views. Vendors Gary and Tina Brewster bought the 742sq m block of land in 2011 before building their dream home in 2017 — it was completed in early 2018. Mr Brewster, a builder, designed and built the home while his wife was responsible for the interior. ON THE MARKET Address: 45 Knightsbridge Pde West, Sovereign IslandsAgent: Ivy Wu and Issac Kim, Amir Mian Prestige Property Agents — Paradise PointFeatures: Fireplace, lift, Miele appliances in kitchen, media room, pontoonArea: 742sq mExpressions of interest: Closing Sep 30, 2018Inspections: By appointment A family room that overlooks the front entry light display. 45 Knightsbridge Pde West, Sovereign Islands.“The rooftop area is our favourite — you can hang out up there and it’s very private.”Other features include a 10-car basement garage, lift, pontoon and the latest Cbus home automation system.The family are selling to embark on a tree change to an acreage property.Sovereign Islands is a gated community connected to the mainland by a single bridge and guarded by 24-hour security. The kitchen is next-level at this Sovereign Islands property.center_img Relax while you take in the view. A white colour palette paired with modern finishes and an array of entertaining areas provides a warm and inviting space.The ground level includes the lounge, living and dining areas as well a media room and office. The kitchen comes with a raft of features including an integrated fridge/freezer, Miele appliances including coffee machine, two ovens, conventional oven, gas cooktop and butler’s pantry. A 13m entry foyer with a dazzling display of custom-built lights sets the scene as soon as you step inside.“One of the main features is the light feature in the entry,” Mr Brewster said.“We’ve pushed the boundaries on a few houses before — I’ve done a big water feature with massive sheets of glasses in other entries but I wanted to do something different and I didn’t just want a chandelier. “The house is basically based around that light feature which is made up of 18 lights.“It lights up the entire house. I haven’t seen anything like it before.”More from news02:37International architect Desmond Brooks selling luxury beach villa15 hours ago02:37Gold Coast property: Sovereign Islands mega mansion hits market with $16m price tag2 days ago One of the bedrooms. From the Broadwater. The extravagant light feature in the entry. There is plenty of space for the entire family.last_img read more

Gold Coast mega mansion includes a raft of impressive extras

first_img10 Shearwater Esplanade, Runaway Bay. 10 Shearwater Esplanade, Runaway Bay. 10 Shearwater Esplanade, Runaway Bay. Fancy a game of basketball? For the more active residents, there is a pool bordering the waterfront.The entire top floor is dedicated to the master retreat, while the main living and dining area opens to a huge terrace. The ground floor is home to sumptuous living and entertaining areas, taking in the squash court, a wet bar, and a kitchen.The main living and dining areas open on to a huge terrace on the sparkling waterfront. Here, stone creates a smart outdoor venue alongside the 12.5m pool.Vendor Michael Kuhne said it took two-and-a-half years to build his family home — he engaged three architects to complete the build and interior design.Amir Mian and Georgia Baines of Amir Mian Prestige Property Agents are taking the property to auction on January 23 at Palazzo Versace. 10 Shearwater Esplanade, Runaway Bay. More from news02:37International architect Desmond Brooks selling luxury beach villa13 hours ago02:37Gold Coast property: Sovereign Islands mega mansion hits market with $16m price tag2 days agoEntertain in style.The Runaway Bay mansion is flanked by deep water at the front and rear of the 2045sq m property and spans four luxurious levels.All levels can be accessed by a glass lift, which opens to an internal grotto with a 7m high waterfall in rocklike feature walls.The house has everything the busy entertainer could want, including a 12-seat surround-sound cinema, a wet bar and 600sq m of balcony and alfresco living. 10 Shearwater Esplanade, Runaway Bay.IT’S luxurious, stylish and viewing this home is an unforgettable experience.Welcome to one of the Gold Coast’s most impressive mansions – it’s even got a full-sized squash court that doubles as a basketball court. 10 Shearwater Esplanade, Runaway Bay.last_img read more

Mission Beach artist cottage, once owned by WWII veteran, for sale

first_imgInside the open plan home.“The hut has hosted many a party and Dad had his sunset red wine on the deck overlooking Dunk for almost 40 years. “Over the years cyclones have hit the Mission Beach area and the hut has always withstood the onslaught.”While the house has hosted many friends and family over the decades, one family comes back without fail year after year.“After Cyclone Winifred locals were encouraged to establish cassowary feeding stations,” Guy said. “Dad did this in front of the hut and a male cassowary started visiting. After the feeding stations were closed, the young male brought his first clutch of chicks to visit. “This became a daily visit, with little active feeding but with the cassowaries taking a liking to the bananas and other tropics fruit Dad had growing in his thriving tropical garden. “Over the years cassowary dad has passed on the visit to one of his sons who now brings his chicks for an almost daily visit. 9 Mitchell St, South Mission BeachBUYERS have just over a month to put in an offer on this quaint cottage by the beach.Built by Eric Chester, a World War Two veteran-turned-artist, in the 1970s, the home is full of charm, bare wood and views of the Coral Sea.The garden also regularly attract cassowary dads and their chicks for a feed.Unfortunately, Mr Chester has moved into a nursing home and his son Guy has taken charge of selling the property. Views from the deck.More from newsCairns home ticks popular internet search terms2 days agoTen auction results from ‘active’ weekend in Cairns2 days ago“Dad was introduced to Geoff Grainger, a local builder who understood his vision for a simple hut on the headland overlooking Dunk and the Family Islands. Using local timbers from the Tully Sawmill, Geoff, with Dad as his labourer, built a sturdy simple hut,” recalled Guy.“A potters wheel and kiln were soon established under the veranda and the potting began again. Pots sold as soon as they were made, through the well known Bingil Bay Gallery and through Bruce Arthurs Gallery on Dunk Island. Dad regularly took his little dinghy out to Bedarra to share red wine and stories with Noel Wood. The fireplace at 9 Mitchell St, South Mission BeachAfter living in Sydney and mastering the craft of pottery, Mr Chester took his family for a holiday to Bedarra Island in the 1960s met painter Noel Wood. A decade later, Mr Chester returned to Far North Queensland intending to visit Mr Wood but instead stumbled across the perfect land for a potter’s studio. The bedroom and living area.“No-one knows whether this is second or third generation of cassowary dad, but only days before Dad moved to his nursing home, the cassowary father and his chicks came for a visit, a farewell for Dad from his mates as he left his beloved hut.”Tropical Property Mission Beach Tania Steele is marketing the home and has called for offers by July 15.“It has one of the most stunning views I’ve seen off South Mission Beach,” Ms Steele said.“A-frame in design and timber throughout, the home is open plan with the living area sharing the bedroom and a separate bathroom sharing the laundry.”last_img read more

Where to find the best value for money when it comes to land

first_img Off-grid escapes for preppers Work underway at Hayfield estate at Ripley. Picture: Peter Wallis.This is where home buyers wanting more bang for their buck should head, with new research uncovering where to secure the most affordable land in southeast Queensland.New research has revealed Ipswich as the best valued dirt in southeast Queensland.Property services group Oliver Hume ranked each of the region’s local government areas (LGAs) based on the average price of a square metre of land sold during the three months to the end of June. Estates for first home buyers: Brisbane home values on the rise SEQ LGAs & Average Value Rate ($/sq m) The relative value of Ipswich land has seen prices experience solid growth with average lot prices increasing 12 per cent over the last five years and 3 per cent over the last two years.Ipswich buyers are paying an average of $507/sq m, nearly half the price of land within the boundaries of Brisbane City Council. Logan ($523/sq m) was the second most affordable area, followed by Moreton Bay ($629/sq m), Gold Coast $709/s qm) and Redlands ($741/sq m). North Brisbane – Griffin, Upper Caboolture (River Parks) Logan – Logan Reserve (Middleton Park), Park Ridge Ipswich – Ripley (Hayfield) / Bellbird Park Gold Coast – Ormeau (The Avenue, Elevate) / Pimpama (Source: Colliers International) 1 Ipswich $507 2 Logan $523 3 Moreton Bay $629 4 Gold Coast $709 5 Redland $741 6 Brisbane $970 South East Queensland average $575 Video Player is loading.Play VideoPlayNext playlist itemMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 0:29Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -0:29 Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedCaptionscaptions settings, opens captions settings dialogcaptions off, selectedQuality Levels720p720pHD540p540p360p360p270p270pAutoA, selectedAudio Tracken (Main), selectedFullscreenThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window.This is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.Close Modal DialogThis is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.PlayMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 0:00Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -0:00 Playback Rate1xFullscreenWays to get into the property market for less00:29center_img Oliver Hume’s Julian Coppini said the southeast Queensland market was placed to out-perform the rest of the country over the next couple of years.He said the expected increase in demand for new land following changes to lending standards and lower interest rates had begun to materialise.“We are coming out of quite a difficult period due the constraints placed on lending and the uncertainty of the federal election,” he said.Research by Colliers International indicates North Brisbane, Logan, Ipswich and the Gold Coast as in-demand areas for first homebuyers. (Source: Oliver Hume Research) More from newsNoosa unit prices hit new record high as region booms: REIQ12 hours agoParks and wildlife the new lust-haves post coronavirus12 hours ago“Corey and I are looking to start a family in the next few years, so we wanted to ensure we had a reasonably large house, as well as a backyard big enough to put in a cubby, sandpit, trampoline and maybe even a pool”.Mr Ebert said the land, which they paid $265,000 for, would be perfect for their husky cross malamute, Ellie.The young Carbrook couple spent almost eight months researching their first home purchase, and realised they could either sacrifice their ‘future-proofing’ approach by purchasing a little closer to town, or move slightly further out and grow their family comfortably.The plan to build a four-bedroom, four-bathroom home on the site. About 60 per cent of buyers to date within Hayfield’s Ripley development have been first home buyers with land currently starting from $207,000 for a 438sq m lot, and house and land packages selling from $403,000 for the same lot size. Most buyers come from within the 10-15km radius of the estate.Clinton Trezise from Colliers International who is marketing Hayfield said first home buyers are attracted to the estate value for money received when compared to other estates in the area. “Buyers are attracted to Hayfield not just due to its affordability but the fact that it is set among tree lined streets, laneway, parklands and native bushland. As a bonus, every purchaser gets free front garden landscaping designed by an award-winning landscape designer,” he said. FOLLOW US ON FACEBOOK Corey Ebert and Stephanie Hostland looking over the estate where they have purchased their house block. Picture: Peter Wallis.Oliver Hume national head of research George Bougias said Ipswich’s value proposition was built on having the second largest median lot size and the lowest median price.“If pure bang for your buck is your priority, Ipswich is the place to buy right now,” he said. “There has been a massive investment in infrastructure, there is an increasing number of jobs and the range of options for first and second home buyers are exceptional.”Official land valuations for Ipswich that were released in March (used for determining council rates) saw valuations increase by up to 8.8 per cent in 2018.Stephanie Hostland, 26, and Corey Ebert, 24, recently bought a block of land for under $300,000 at Hayfield, Ripley.“It has enabled us to secure a really spacious home site, particularly compared to other options that tended to be smaller and much less affordable,” Ms Hostland said. (Where land, house & land is in demand) MORE: Australia’s coolest backyardlast_img read more

Demand sky high for luxury Brisbane units despite COVID

first_img BRISBANE’S MOST IN DEMAND APARTMENT PROJECTS Demand is sky high for luxury Brisbane apartments. Image: AAP/Darren England.CASHED-UP locals looking to live the high life in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis are paying big money for luxury apartments in Brisbane’s inner-city suburbs.Tens of millions of dollars have changed hands in recent weeks for units in new residential developments in New Farm, Newstead, Teneriffe and Kangaroo Point, with investment in major infrastructure projects luring buyers.New research provided exclusively to the Sunday Mail reveals there has been an 85 per cent month-on-month increase in searches for apartment projects in Brisbane via property portal The Queen’s Wharf development is under construction in Brisbane’s CBD. Picture: Richard Walker.The top five most visited projects in the past three months include Queen’s Wharf Residences in the CBD and Brisbane 1 in South Brisbane, where one of the two remaining penthouses is still up for grabs for just over $2 million.While sales have slowed in most apartment projects amid the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic, high-end units are selling like hotcakes.Almost all of the 128 apartments in Cavcorp’s 17-level Le Bain development in Newstead were settled during the height of COVID-19 restrictions, with the project’s eight penthouses totalling more than $21 million. The rooftop of Cavcorp’s Le Bain residential development in Newstead. Image supplied.Cavcorp managing director Damien Cavallucci said the settlement of 95 per cent of apartments in the project in the midst of a global health pandemic was an achievement.Mr Cavallucci said buyers were a mix of downsizers, first-home buyers, upsizers and local and international investors.“Le Bain’s unique features captured strong interest from current residents of Cavcorp’s earlier buildings, which resulted in an incredible phenomenon of renters turning into buyers,” Mr Cavallucci said.“Over 10 per cent of the presales at Le Bain originated from interest and inquiry from existing rental tenants in Cavcorp buildings.” The lap pool and magnesium spas on the rooftop of Le Bain in Newstead. Image supplied.In neighbouring Teneriffe, inner-city professionals have bought 60 per cent of the apartments in Visie Properties’ new submarine-inspired development, Obsidian.The collection of 13, three and four-bedroom apartments and penthouses range in price from $1.3 million to $2.5 million.The penthouses offer terraces, lofts, individual wine cellars, five-metre high ceilings and four car parks.“Coincidently three of the eight units purchased have gone to dentists,” Gap Development Sales director Grant Plummer said.“The development has struck a chord with city professionals due to its location just three kilometres down river from the CBD, artistic design and spacious living.” Designed by award-winning architects Hayes Anderson Lynch, Obsidian is a submarine-inspired apartment development in Teneriffe. Photo supplied. Inside one of the apartments in Obsidian in Teneriffe. Photo supplied.In Kangaroo Point, Simon Caulfield of Place Kangaroo Point is in negotations to sell a full-floor apartment in the new ‘Thornton’ development for $6 million.The project at 11 Thornton Street by JGL Properties will see thirteen full-floor, north-facing residences built on the peninsula.During COVID-19 restrictions, Mr Caulfield said his agency had sold nearly $15 million worth of apartments, including the $4.3 million sale of 701/21 Pixley St, Kangaroo Point and the $3.2 million sale of 1E/39 Castlebar Street in the same suburb. This apartmetn at 701/21 Pixley St, Kangaroo Point, has sold for $4.3m.In New Farm, a penthouse-style whole floor apartment in Tom Dooley’s Aquila complex has sold for $4.8 million to a local buyer.The 418 sqm residence in Moray Street attracted five written offers, including one from a Hong Kong expat.Selling agent Sarah Hackett of Place Bulimba said the apartment sold for $300,000 above the asking price. Mrs Hackett said buyers who could afford to upgrade were doing so, and wanted the assurance their investment would stand the test of time.She said the downsizer market was taking advantage of the growing number of boutique developments being constructed through Brisbane’s inner city. More from newsParks and wildlife the new lust-haves post coronavirus8 hours agoNoosa’s best beachfront penthouse is about to hit the market8 hours agoThis unit in the Aquila development at 3/81 Moray St , New Farm, has sold.Mrs Hackett has also sold three, four-bedroom apartments in the Seymour Group’s riverfront apartment project, The Oxlade. The apartments all sold to local buyers, totalling more than $10 million. Inside the unit in the Aquila development at 3/81 Moray St, New Farm.Over the next six years, inner Brisbane residential projects are set to benefit from the $2.1 billion redevelopment of Eagle Street Pier, the completion of the Brisbane Live entertainment precinct and Cross-River Rail.The state government has announced it will fast-track the planned Kangaroo Point pedestrian bridge to bring forward investment and drive employment.The $190 million bridge, set to link Brisbane’s eastern suburbs with the CBD, is one of five announced last year.At Breakfast Creek, a pedestrian and cycle bridge connecting Kingsford Smith Drive Riverwalk will also move ahead.Two further pedestrian bridges in West End — one from Toowong to West End and the other from St Lucia to West End — are also being considered.Work on the Kangaroo Point and Breakfast Creek green bridges is scheduled start next year and be finished in 2023 — two years ahead of the initial 2025 date. 1. Brisbane 1 South Brisbane 2. Queen’s Wharf Residences3. Halo4. Montague Markets & Residences5. Atlas South Brisbane(Source: read more

Shell takes delivery of LNG-powered barge

first_imgImage courtesy of ShellEnergy giant Shell has taken delivery of a dual-fuel inland barge that will mainly run on liquefied natural gas (LNG).The 110 meter long LNG-powered barge named RPG Stuttgart is the first out of fifteen vessels Shell Trading Rotterdam chartered from Antwerp-based Plouvier Transport and its Swiss unit Intertrans Tankschiffahrt.Built by the Dutch shipyard VEKA, the barge will transport mineral oil products in the Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Antwerp region and along the Rine.The inland barge will bunker fuel at the third jetty at the Dutch Gate LNG terminal in the port of Rotterdam.The vessels’ main engine, provided by Finland’s Wärtsilä, will run on 95- 98% LNG fuel with a small proportion of diesel used for ignition.Cryonorm supplied the onboard LNG fuel system including control system and LNG bunker skid under the consortium agreement with Wärtsilä.last_img read more

VBMS Orders Tekmar CPS Units for East Anglia ONE Cables

first_imgCable protection specialist Tekmar Energy has been awarded a contract by VBMS to supply its 7th generation of TekLink Cable Protection Systems (CPSs), bellmouths and cover disks for ScottishPower Renewables’ East Anglia ONE offshore wind farm.In January 2017, VBMS won a contract of around EUR 100 million for the supply, installation and burial, as well as termination and testing of 102 66kV inter-array cables.VBMS has awarded contracts on the project to both Tekmar and JDR Cables, both based in the North East of England, who will supply the CPSs and 66 kV inter-array power cables, respectively.The 714MW East Anglia ONE, located 43km off the Suffolk Coast in the southern North Sea, will consist of 102 Siemens 7MW wind turbines.East Anglia ONE marks the second UK round 3 project Tekmar has protected the cables on after the Rampion offshore wind farm project which is currently in installation.James Ritchie, CEO at Tekmar said: “Not only is East Anglia the second UK round 3 project we have worked on, it’s also the second 66kV cable project we have worked on which puts Tekmar at the forefront of cable protection on these new and innovative large scale projects of the future.”The three companies also worked together on the Sandbank and Dudgeon Offshore wind farm projects in the UK.last_img read more

Drewry: Freight Rates Entering Calmer Waters

first_imgCarriers’ lack of success implementing spot market freight rate increases in September is less worrying than it appears, according to shipping consultancy Drewry.As lines managed to tame some of the volatility, Drewry’s World Container Index has shed around USD 190 over the past six weeks, just over the sum it had previously added in a single week at the start of August.On the surface the characteristics of this year’s spot market are no different to previous years. Weekly price cuts are common and, just as in the past, the tendency has been that the weekly erosion is punctuated by the life-giving properties of a general rate increase (GRI) at the start of a given month.The difference this year is that the GRI inflation has been lower – averaging USD 120/40ft versus USD 160/40ft in 2016 – but the weekly decreases have been much shallower.Carriers have experienced fewer highs but less alarming lows this year. The end result of this greater calm is that freight rates along some of the main East-West headhaul trades are up by as much as 50% year-to-date.While carriers have become accustomed to weekly decreases they have always needed the monthly GRIs to give life to sagging rates and prevent a prolonged tailspin.“Missing out in September is obviously not what they wanted, especially after having also failed to get any traction in June, but it is important to add some context before we rush to pronounce the market’s collapse,” Drewry said, adding that it is not uncommon for GRIs to come and go without success, only for the pattern to re-establish itself very quickly.In any case, the importance of GRIs and their successful adoption is over-stated. In reality GRIs have always been a rather crude device to raise rates (usually only temporarily) without much basis in real supply-demand economics. Their size and success rate has in the past more often depended on how well carriers pleaded poverty when rates sunk to non-compensatory levels.With freight rates expected to remain profitable, GRIs will become less important and more modest in size, more proportionate to the prevailing supply-demand dynamics.“Using this criteria a measure of industry health, carriers are undeniably winning right now. Freight rates have been profitable for most of the year and are significantly higher on average than last year, supported by solid supply and demand dynamics,” Drewry said.last_img read more