Real estate, alternative real assets and other diversions


Latest Article

How to sell the free market to millennials

The millennial generation are ever so different, apparently.  As they grow up, we’re told, an intergenerational shift is underway. Those under the age of 35 not only think differently to the rest of us, claimed Matthew d’Ancona recently, they are deeply concerned about climate change.   It’s not just that they value identity over individualism.  The young are, apparently, much more anti free market capitalism than those that came before. What’s more, with every... Read More >

Recent Articles:

Stable families and home ownership are the key to reducing poverty
The Centre for Social Justice recently released an in-depth survey of people across Britain that found family breakdown was one of the most significant determinants of poor life outcomes. When someone experiences trauma in childhood, linked Read More >
Cash flow
‘Cash is king and the cash flow statement is arguably the most important of a company’s three main financial statements. We explain the relationship between profit and cash and how cash management is vital to keep companies in business.’ Read More >
Waste to energy
‘China’s decision to stop importing waste materials from Europe for recycling has brought the problem of dealing with refuse into sharp focus. Waste-to-energy technology offers the potential for not only disposing of rubbish but using it to Read More >
Why central bankers don’t understand inflation
For the last decade, central banks in developed countries have been pursuing policies designed to raise inflation. Quantitative easing, cheap funding for banks, tinkering with yield curves, low and negative interest rates – all aim to raise Read More >
Yield curve a US recession signal? Maybe not this time
Recent declines in US government bond yields have led to a flood of articles discussing the likelihood of a US recession over the next 12-18 months. This is understandable, first given the relatively strong correlation between yield curve Read More >
What could Brexit Britain learn from Venice?
Today is Venice’s birthday. According to legend, the city was founded exactly 1,598 years ago today. A small, independent trading state beyond the reach of any overbearing European power, it flourished for many centuries. Young Venice not Read More >
The crowdfunded contraption cleaning up the world’s oceans
It’s estimated that as many as 12 million metric tonnes of plastic waste enter the oceans every year.The consequences are grave: such volumes of litter are destroying life, both animal and plant.  As a business that’s Read More >
Keeping up with the Taxes: Investing Efficiently in Changing Times
While the UK’s impending exit from the European Union may have dampened demand in UK property, particularly in the City, the same is not uniformly true elsewhere, and this year is nevertheless set to be strong if European investors are Read More >
Forget the romantic images, rural life in the past was a battle for survival
In my last two pieces for CapX, I sketched out the miserable existence of our ancestors in the pre-industrial era. My focus was on life in the city, a task made easier by the fact that urban folk, thanks to higher literacy rates, have left us Read More >
2018 CAPITAL MARKETS OVERVIEW AND 2019 OUTLOOK
Introduction Amidst a backdrop of political and economic uncertainty, 2018 was a turbulent year for UK capital markets. BDO’s six-monthly analysis of the UK’s key markets (click here to view the AIM insights and the Main Market Read More >
In defence of outsourcing
The outsourcing firm Capita doesn’t seem to have done very well in its Army recruitment contract, according to a scathing report from MPs. This is actually one of the advantages of outsourcing to a private sector organisation, being Read More >
3 Things I learnt about the UK Housing Market this week.
Housebuilders Make Money This week saw three of the biggest housebuilders in the UK deliver increases in the number of homes they built and the profits they made. Bovis sold 3,759 homes; Taylor Wimpey 15,275 homes and Persimmon 16,449 homes Read More >
Mediation – achieving the impossible!
There is much to commend mediation as a process – speed, costs savings, privacy.  But there are two other important benefits.  The first, is the opportunity to design a process that encourages constructive dialogue in Read More >
Chopping down the Magic Money Tree: The pitfalls of Modern Monetary Theory
Austerity, welfare, pensions – all our fiscal dilemmas could be easily solved by printing money. This is the conclusion of a fashionable strand of macroeconomics called Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) — but does it stand up to scrutiny? At Read More >
The Multibillion-Dollar Retail Logistics Challenge: Handling Online Returns
This past holiday season, as with many other times of the year, the difference between making or losing money online came down to one thing for many retailers: How effectively and efficiently they handle returns of merchandise. Returns are as Read More >
How overseas investment impacts developers and the UK Property Market
Summary: Will overseas investment into UK property continue at the same rate as recent years as we career towards the Brexit deadline? Our REalyst analyses the future of overseas investment into UK properties and weighs up the Read More >
The V in Volatility
The equity rally is likely just the start of a volatile adjustment to a new fundamental reality. “Investors who sit out now could miss a chunk of this year’s returns.” Those were the last words that I wrote in one of our CIO Weekly Read More >
Supermarket Income REIT – Visible income and growth potential
Supermarket Income REIT (SUPR) reported strong H119 earnings growth on the back of its growing portfolio, contracted RPI-linked rental uplifts, and well-controlled costs. The Q219 DPS was increased by 3.2%, in line with RPI. Rental growth also Read More >
London, UK: Strengthening ties between capital and country
As the political, financial and cultural centre of the United Kingdom, is London too dominant? This report explores how London's relationship with the UK has changed and sets out new thinking on how the capital can better connect with its nation Read More >
The German real estate market
The availability of German real estate has fallen, illustrated by a 5.3% year-on-year decline in 2017 residential permits. Since then, there has been little to no movement, with the German Federal Statistical Office reporting a 0.5% increase in Read More >
Ghana’s Housing Deficit: An Opportunity for Foreign Direct Investment Ghana is top of the list of the fastest growing economies in Africa
Ghana’s strong economic growth forecast Ghana is considered one of Africa’s leading lights due to its wealth of natural resources, democratic political system and dynamic economy. Successive peaceful political transitions over decades have Read More >
Price to earnings ratio
“With all the caveats, P/E is likely to remain near the top of the list of commonly used valuation measures for a wide range of, though not all sectors. It embraces complex considerations within a simple formula. It has an intuitive validity Read More >
China now appears ready to use execution as a weapon of diplomacy Personal safety is now as much a concern for visitors to China as data security
The recent decision by a Chinese court to sentence Canadian Robert Schellenberg to death has led many international observers to claim that the decision is a political one, part of Beijing’s ongoing diplomatic pressure campaign against Canada Read More >
The Iranians crossing the Channel make me proud to be British The coverage of the intrepid Iranian travellers contains an undertone of disparagement
If only we could see it, the Iranians attempting to cross the Channel in small boats are paying us a compliment. They have decided they would rather try to make a new life here than in France or Germany or Sweden. They are risking life and limb, Read More >
Ten reasons to be optimistic in 2019 The world is waking up to our ocean plastic crisis
Even the optimists among us would have to admit 2018 was a challenging year. The fractured world that became the focus of the World Economic Forum’s 2018 Annual Meeting a year ago came under further pressure from populist rhetoric and rising Read More >
In defence of Britain’s railways The story of Britain's railways since privatisation is one of steady improvement
In the week of the annual rail fare rise, this year at the higher rate of measured inflation, writing in defence of Britain’s railways is a brave — or perhaps even foolhardy — endeavour. It’s certainly true that recent news hasn’t Read More >
Four Trends Shaping the 2018 Holiday Retail Season How to keep those tills ringing in the run up to Christmas
Retailers will seek to cap a strong year this holiday season by doubling down on strategies to draw online shoppers into stores, reward their loyalty in new ways and ensure that toys are available at every turn. Retailers worldwide are riding Read More >
Railways – The First Big Business Railway companies were from the start giants in terms of capital employed and numbers of employees.
Railways were big businesses long before the creation of the Big Four after World War I (London, Midland & Scottish, London & North Eastern, Great Western and Southern). Compared with firms in other industries the railway companies were Read More >
Ding Dong: Why the bells of Hong Kong’s small house policy should knell farewell An assessment of land rights in Hong Kong: exploring the implications of the small house policy
The rush of investments into real estate in Hong Kong throughout the past century has led to extensive urbanisation. In December 1972, following an era of rapid new-town development in the previously neglected New Territories, the government Read More >
A tale of two flats Two elderly tenants in dispute nominally with their respective management companies
Two long leasehold flats in two different blocks in London. Two elderly tenants in dispute nominally with their respective management companies, but in reality with their neighbours, who would bear the cost of any dispute through increased Read More >
It’s not too late to scrap HS2 – A response from Alex Green There is absolutely no hint that HS2 will not also be built on time and to budget
Alex Green, a retired railway operating executive who spent much of his 35 year career with British Rail on the West Coast main line, has responded to the article It's not too late to scrap HS2 by Madeline Grant.  Well - what gloom and Read More >
It’s not too late to scrap HS2 HS2 is a classic case of the sunk costs fallacy
It’s no secret that ambitious public infrastructure projects often end up running monumentally over budget. Recent transport history is littered with such examples, like the Jubilee Line Extension in the late 90s, which exceeded initial Read More >
A bad deal on financial services will hurt the EU just as much as the City London is the world's pre-eminent financial hub. Brexit won't change that
The publication last month of the Government’s White Paper on the future relationship between the UK and the EU grabbed headlines for the immediate political fallout. But the document, a product of the heated discussions held by ministers at Read More >
An illiquid housing market is holding Britain back A bigger private rented sector would be good for the employment rate
It’s amazing the capacity some policy wonks have to identify a problem and then come up with a completely wrongheaded solution. So it is with the latest report from the Housing and Finance Institute. The authors insist that rather than cutting Read More >
My time as a Deliveroo rider was liberating — not exploitative Polling shows that only 12 per cent of gig economy workers are unhappy with their job
I never meant to ride for Deliveroo. When I moved to London last July to work as an economic researcher in a new startup firm, I thought that was my career up and running. But life can take strange turns: by October I was out of a job and looking Read More >
What can the government do to help female entrepreneurs? A third of female entrepreneurs think their gender has been a hindrance to scaling up
When there is an obvious problem that needs fixing – and even when there isn’t – politicians relish rolling up their sleeves and getting involved. Sometimes it works: gold-plating EU requirements for maternity and parental leave, for Read More >
From palace to parlour, the story of ice cream is the story of capitalism Ice cream is a great example of the startling progress humans have made
Britain’s blistering heatwave has created a record-breaking demand for the treat that, over the course of the last century, has become a summer favourite the world over: ice cream. Sales have increased 100 per cent year on year, and London is Read More >
Establishing Large Conservation Areas in Pakistan Biodiverse ecosystems will be undervalued and overexploited with respect to their “true worth"
Pakistan’s valuable ecosystems are vulnerable to unsustainable use and destruction. Like many developing countries, Pakistan is exposed to “the catastrophic convergence of postcolonial militarisation and ethnic fragmentation,” and may soon Read More >
What Does the Government’s Living Wage Mean for UK Retail? The consequences of the new living wage
The July 2015 Budget, the first truly Conservative Budget for 18 years, gave British retailers quite a shock. The Chancellor of the Exchequer announced that from April 2016 all employees aged over 25 years would need to be paid what he termed a Read More >
It’s time to put Paul the Octopus on the barbecue Just because an unlikely event happens, that doesn't make a forecast "wrong"
Bashing forecasts and forecasting seems to be in vogue lately. Not only have recent years seen a number of political upsets, but the current World Cup has seen similarly notable surprises (and not just England winning a penalty shootout). But Read More >
How innovation drives financial inclusion As the developing world makes strides towards financial inclusion, the West is going in the other direction
At a time when the world’s two largest economies are engaged in a destructive quest to limit trade between people, any evidence of the benefits impact of globalisation cannot come soon enough. Recently, we got just such an illustration in the Read More >
Is beauty the answer to the housing crisis? Architecture favoured by architects often falls flat with the public
Last Thursday in Queen’s Square, Bloomsbury a small party was held to celebrate some of the finest architectural designs of the past year. All were by respected specialists in the field and each had been submitted to the Royal Academy for their Read More >
Mind the gap: UK Infrastructure, investment and inequality How should the railways be funded?
Recently published data for Inequality Briefing found that the UK has nine in ten of the poorest regions in Northern Europe, as well as the richest region in Europe, Inner London. In the 1970s, despite its economic problems the UK was spending Read More >
Consumers – not the state – should decide Uber’s fate Market mechanisms are a better way to determine the future of a company than state intervention
There is a widening divide in the United Kingdom between those who embrace economic freedom and the so-called “gig economy”, and those who are deeply cynical about it. The Labour Party is led by Marxists, and the Conservative Party has Read More >
Is capitalism in need of a radical transformation? How do we know if we're being underpaid for our data?
Building a new railway in Britain is a herculean task. When Crossrail eventually starts operating at the end of this year, it will have been 75 years since the first proposals were made, and it will have cost the taxpayer tens of billions of Read More >
Want to help young people, Theresa? Abolish Stamp Duty Stamp Duty hurts young buyers, renters and older people who want to downsize
So, you want to heal the generational divide? Thinktankers and policymakers have been out in force over the past few weeks throwing ideas around about how to shift some of the burden from the shoulders of my generation – the student loan Read More >
Ageing populations are a threat to entrepreneurship People in their late-20s through to their early-40s are best placed to start a successful business
Entrepreneurship is widely acknowledged as the basis for innovation, technological advancement and economic progress — and therefore a driving force for improved living standards. Yet there’s little discussion, let alone action, in the United Read More >
CBRE’s Head of Retail Research discusses shopping centre and e-commerce trends The significance of omnichannel convergence, massive mobile data and vacant big boxes within retail
No single event attracts more retail real estate aficionados than the International Council of Shopping Centre’s RECon convention, which drew roughly 37,000 people to Las Vegas May 20-23 to discuss deals and the latest retail trends. It Read More >
Israel is a lesson in what makes nations thrive The economic and political achievements of the Jewish State are undeniable
This week I joined in the celebration of the 70th anniversary of the founding of Israel at an event at magnificent Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium in Washington, D.C. In attendance were many of America’s movers and shakers, including US Vice Read More >
Beware nonsense claims about the customs union and Ireland Those claiming a customs union will solve the Irish border issue are either ignorant or disingenuous
If there is one issue that defines the muddle that the UK and its political classes have got into over Brexit, it is the customs union. An unnecessary saga is ongoing partly because it is misunderstood, often because those seeking economic Read More >
What having a baby has taught me about GDP Traditional GDP measurement cannot capture the value of the sharing economy
Like many dads-to-be, I’ve been thinking about GDP a lot recently. The arrival of a new human means acquiring all sorts of stuff. I quietly grimaced on finding out we should expect to spend about £1,000 on new baby clobber, a figure presumably Read More >
Fifty years on, The Population Bomb is as wrong as ever Despite all the evidence, scaremongering about overpopulation still persists
This year marks 50 years since Stanford University biology professor Paul R. Ehrlich published The Population Bomb. This highly influential book went through a number of editions, sold millions of copies and was translated into many languages. Read More >
Millennials need systemic reform, not patronising handouts Giving £10,000 to 25-year-olds would undermine the founding principle of the welfare state
The Intergenerational Commission has published its final report and, according to the findings, young people have a pretty raw deal. Young workers are forced to “shoulder huge risks” bearing the brunt of “insecure work”: their chances of Read More >
Income equality is no measure of human progress Most people accept inequality, as long as the underlying system is seen as meritocratic
Following the Great Recession of 2008, income inequality became a focal concern of those who feel that market economy has let them down. In 2011, “We are the 99 per cent” became a unifying slogan of the Occupy Wall Street movement. In 2013, Read More >
The Internet of Things: The Disruptor Shaping our Built Environment The IoT is allowing us to silently teach our cities about ourselves.
A quantum leap in the development of technology has been seen over recent years. The convergence of rapid technological advancements and urban planning is driving an evolution of human behaviour, and encouraging us to reconsider the way that we Read More >
You can’t argue against socialism’s 100 per cent record of failure No one may set out to curb democracy and human rights, but every socialist country has done so
Socialism is extremely in vogue. Opinion pieces which tell us to stop obsessing over socialism’s past failures, and start to get excited about its future potential, have almost become a genre in its own right. For example, Bhaskhar Sunkara, Read More >
It’s not too late to save Generation Rent The most important question on housing is how to radically boost supply in a way that is politically acceptable
The Resolution Foundation’s depressing claim that one-third of millennials face renting their whole life has made headlines today. But the think tank’s report also contained the encouraging — and unsurprising — revelation that countries Read More >
The price of not knowing the value of Bitcoin The Bitcoin boom-and-bust could well lead to regulatory overkill
Some time ago, I confessed to CapX readers my unease about pricing cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin. I wasn’t alone in my hesitation: New York University finance professor Aswath Damodaran has voiced scepticism that assets with no cash Read More >
Does the increase in European warehouse completions have the potential to cause oversupply? CBRE research forecasts rental rates for European warehouses
New warehouse supply has reacted robustly to the current strength of demand in Europe. As a result, completions have recently reached nearly double the levels at the height of the last cycle. We address here whether there is a risk that future Read More >
E-commerce is helping rather than hindering brick and mortar retailers CBRE research shows how traditional retailers are evolving to keep up with e-commerce shopping habits
It’s tempting, even popular these days to claim that e-commerce is wiping out traditional retailing. It’s also wrong. The demonstrable reality is that online and in-store retail can coexist quite nicely, even beneficially with e-commerce. Read More >
Rainy window looking out over city buildings Deloitte Regional Crane Surveys A Regional Renaissance
Following the publication of our regional Crane Surveys at the end of January, we were pleased to report on unparalleled scale and volume of development as a result of significant investor confidence in the UK regional cities demonstrating strong Read More >
New home under construction with sunlight coming through the rafters The positive impact of E-commerce for warehouses How the digital age of business has increased need for warehouses and distribution centres in the US and beyond
The market for warehouses and distribution centers in the U.S. and elsewhere is on an incredible, multiyear run. Don’t expect that to abate any time soon. The primary reason that this market has so much momentum remaining: E-commerce has Read More >
Future-proof healthcare An analysis of MedicX Fund, a specialist investor in primary care infrastructure in the UK and Republic of Ireland
MedicX Fund is a specialist REIT. Like its peers, Primary Health Properties and Assura, it invests in primary healthcare property, focusing on modern, purpose-built primary healthcare assets. The key features of this specialist market are long Read More >
Close up of metal cogs Ever-increasing Circles An analysis of Circle Property, an AIM-quoted property investment company
Circle is an internally managed property investment company, registered in Jersey. It was initially founded as a limited partnership in 2002, became a Jersey Property Unit Trust (JPUT) in 2006, and has been quoted on AIM since February 2016. Its Read More >
Stock trading monitor Celebrations to continue at the Palace An analysis of the property investment company
Edison Investment Research is a leading independent investment research firm. We aim, in these articles for The Property Chronicle, to bring to a wider audience the sort of analysis normally only available to big investing institutions. Each Read More >
Jimi Hendrix performing in 1967 Are you EXPERIANced? What the latest Experian report on construction output tells us
Animals’ bassist Chas Chandler saw the potential in an unknown black American guitar player called Jimmy Hendrix, when others didn’t. Quickly, Chandler assumed the role of his first ever manager and brought the virtuoso to London in 1966. Read More >
House made of tools over white background Housebuilders’ share prices have broken new ground An exploration in the Peak District of the listed housebuilders
The Peak District became the UK’s first national park on 17 April 1951; albeit the National Trust owns a 12% minority. Geographically, it forms the southern end of the Pennines and much of the area is uplands above 300 metres (984 feet) with a Read More >
New home under construction with sunlight coming through the rafters Have we found the listed PRS vehicle we were looking for? The latest from the listed real estate sector, with Mark Cartlich
Other than the results from the big names in the sector, the theme of the past few weeks seems to have been fundraising, especially in the alternative space. This has been an encouraging trend and shows there is life beyond the prime office and Read More >
Film still from 'Master and Commander' showing a naval captain in front of his ship ‘Master and Commander’: Urban & Civic plc and Nigel Hugill Our Analyst Tony Williams explores the high seas of property investment and how life imitates art
The movie of the same name - and subtitled ‘the Far Side of the World’ - is a 2003-made epic which is set in the Napoleonic Wars and stars Russell Crowe. It received wide critical acclaim on release and, at the 76th Academy Awards, was Read More >
Abstract view of candlestick charts Do foreign investors know something we don’t? Our capital markets analyst gives his thoughts on the latest trends in mergers and acquisitions
Image (c) iStockphoto Do foreign investors know something we don’t? Since the Brexit vote last June we have seen a number of assets snapped up by foreign investors, driven in part by the weakness of sterling since the referendum. In the Read More >

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Investor's Notebook

Smart people from around the world share their thoughts

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The Macro View

Recent financial news and how it connects across all asset classes

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Technology

Fintech, proptech and what it all means

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Uncorked

A sideways look at the world of wine

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The Architect

Some of the profession's best minds

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The Auctioneer

What's going on in the auction world

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Residential Investor

Making money from residential property investment

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The Professor

Analysis and opinion from the academic sphere

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Face to Face

In-depth interviews with leading figures in the property world

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The Headhunter

Recruitment and career moves

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The Analyst

Investment themes and trends

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The History Man

A look back at previous cycles, events, characters

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Money, rates and prices

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Political Insider

The inside scoop on Washington, Westminster and Whitehall

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The Agent

Reflections on estate agency, today and in past times

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Alternative assets

Investing in tangible assets

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