Real estate, alternative real assets and other diversions

Latest Article

22 Bishopsgate: a rags-to-riches tale

How Lipton Rogers turned around the fortunes of an abandoned stump in the City of London With a net floor area of 1.4m sq. ft, when 22 Bishopsgate is completed it will be the largest single office building in Europe, and one that delivers dozens of world, European or London ‘firsts’ for major multi-let offices. But it could have turned out completely differently, had it not been for the Great Recession, which led to an earlier scheme being abandoned mid-construction and Lipton Rogers... Read More >

Recent Articles:

A tale of two bosses
With British Land and Landsec both reputedly ripe for new leadership, how do the legacies of chiefs Chris Grigg and Rob Noel compare? And what’s next? Ignore gallery chatter that Landsec will either bloom or wilt when 55-year-old chief Read More >
Populism vs prosperity?
Populism is in the ascendancy in today’s political environment. Loosely defined as any ideology that separates ‘the people’ from a ‘corrupt elite’, populism has existed in various forms over the last century. While it’s often Read More >
Commercial real estate lending is a disastrous black hole – and now we have the proof
New research shows that lending at the end of a cycle always leads to disaster. The industry just can't seem to help itself The CRE property lending industry seems to be magnetically attracted to accelerating its lending activity towards the Read More >
An incoherent proposal
Most large funds hate development risk – but there are real success stories out there. You just have to avoid the more spurious schemes… Monday morning’s first call is from an old market chum asking if I’ll meet his latest client. He Read More >
Land for Hope and Glory Peter Bill's entry to the 2018 Richard Koch Breakthrough Prize looks at how any government could use what he calls the Land Bounty to diffuse the housing crisis
SUMMARY  ‘There is always an easy solution to every problem – neat, plausible, and wrong.’ HL Menken Act one: Amend Compulsory Purchase Order law to allow authorities to buy land at existing use value on sites zoned for homes to Read More >
Land Purchase Act The winning entry from the 2018 Richard Koch Breakthrough Prize
Summary Free market ideals should not be limited to esoteric debates about what could be achieved in theory. Indeed, competition, decentralisation, accountability and choice can solve the biggest challenges of our time. The cost and Read More >
BACK TO BASICS ON SAFE SPACES Women’s rights and urban safety
In October, on International Day of the Girl, women’s and children’s charities took to the media and social media channels to highlight the ongoing challenges that girls face across the world. Among these were Plan International, whom Read More >
Stepping Over The Boundary Mediating residential boundary disputes
A couple of weeks ago I found myself deep in the Cotswolds. Two middle-aged neighbouring couples on a very pleasant estate of modernish detached houses had fallen out over the exact position of the legal boundary. There were the usual allegations Read More >
Chess pieces on a chessboard Mediation vs settlement in property disputes A look into power imbalances between borrowers and the bank
Why mediate? Won’t a settlement meeting be just as effective? A recent case got me thinking... At the end of last year, I mediated a case between a bank and a married couple who were property developers. It was a sadly all too familiar story Read More >
The pest that demonstrates Africa’s need for GM crops South Africa's modified crops produced more than double Nigeria's output on half the land
Fall armyworm infestations in large portions of southern and sub-Saharan Africa are threatening the food supply of over 200 million people. While indigenous to North and south America, in January 2016, the species was discovered for the first Read More >
Roman fresco discovered thanks to nearly 2,000 years of construction Uncovering one of the earliest known Roman wall paintings in Britain
An ornate fresco that once adorned the residence of a wealthy Roman citizen was discovered by our archaeologists at 21 Lime Street, in London in 2016. They uncovered the fresco six metres below street level, whilst undertaking fieldwork for a new Read More >
EARLY DOORS DISPUTE RESOLUTION – THE RIGHT GEAR TO SHIFT INTO? What price collaboration, when a project's smooth running threatens to hit the buffers?  
Collaboration: a central factor in many property construction projects.  But what price collaboration, when a project's smooth running threatens to hit the buffers? Picture the scene It is two months out from the projected practical completion Read More >
Cranes outlined against the sunset The construction industry post Brexit: a snapshot How can the sector overcome the challenges of Brexit?
Recently Chancellor Philip Hammond announced a £31 billion fund to increase capital expenditure in the field of housing, research and development, and economic infrastructure including transport and digital communications. This fund has been Read More >
Hammer lying on wooden board with several bent nails in The case for mediation 'Undisputed doyen of mediation' David Richbell explains how to avoid legal costs escalating beyond reason
I mediated a dispute a few weeks ago between a building owner and a building contractor. The contractor was a medium-sized company which had a reputation for carrying out high quality work. Not the cheapest but they always had satisfied Read More >
Golfer, flag and golf ball in silhouette against sunset The 21st century golf market: some responses for developers How to rejuvenate golf courses with a coherent 21st century model
In our previous two articles (1) (2) we set down the history of golf course development in the British Isles as being in two distinct phases: with a big difference between early 20th century locations of golf and the second wave, a hundred years Read More >
Close up of a computer motherboard A new kind of stock exchange How the International Property Securities Exchange aims to disrupt commercial real estate
Rob Bould, past chairman of the Investment Property Forum and NED of IPSX, which will be the first fully regulated stock exchange globally to specialise in trading the securities of single commercial real estate (CRE) assets, sets out below the Read More >
Golfer concentrating on the 19th hole The opportunity for developers in the golf industry How moving towards mixed-use models can rejuvenate golf clubs
In our first article we set down how golf courses had developed in the British Isles over the last 120 years: they originally developed in suburban locations on ideal land morphed into mini greenbelts as conurbations developed around and beyond Read More >
Shacks in the favelas, in Sao Paulo, Brazil Property rights would stop the favelas from burning Why the legal protection of property rights needs to be considered in Sao Paulo
We all know the first and most basic lesson of economics: incentives matter. This is surely why, as a new investigation by The Guardian has revealed, fires in the favelas of Sao Paulo are happening where land values are greater. It’s true, Read More >
South east UK displayed on map Stamp duty, mobility and the housing crisis How replacing stamp duty with better-designed local taxes could alleviate the crisis of housing availability
The stamp duty — a tax to be paid on the transfer of certain legal documents — has a long history in England. It was first introduced in 1694 to help finance the war against France. Although initially thought as a temporary solution, the tax Read More >
Person taking notes at a business meeting Why choose mediation? Mark Jackson-Stops explains how mediation can result in the best outcome for everyone
This is the first of what we intend to be a regular offering of problem solving scenarios from our panel of mediators. When I first started out as a full time mediator in 1995, my previous career as a Chartered Surveyor stood me in good Read More >
Close-up of golf ball with club during sunset The UK golf market: historic and present day position for residential real estate Is property development an answer to golf's headaches?
The old paradigm of an 18 hole golf course providing sufficient content to sustain an interesting and vigorous club can now be seen as out of time, out of tune and out of favour. Life has quickened, family time is precious and parents Read More >
Person taking notes at a business meeting Putting a price on place The human and financial impact of placemaking
Placemaking has long been the buzzword of the real estate world, but aside from the anecdotal benefits it has often been hard to measure the tangible advantages, that is, until now. Looking at 11 global placemaking initiatives in the UK, Read More >
Tug of war with hands pulling rope in opposite directions Blue or red – now it matters Why the swing towards socialism cannot last
For some 30 years, since the implicit defeat of socialism in the UK, there has been a relatively fine differentiating line between the policies of the Tory blues and the Labour reds, both encircling the capitalist centre ground. When one of the Read More >
Big Ben and Houses of parliament in London, UK Use monetary policy to solve the housing crisis The strategic course that needs to be taken
If there is one thing (apart from Brexit) that politicians in the UK acknowledge the need to do something about, it is housing. The average house price is now almost eight times the average salary, meaning even the smallest starter homes are well Read More >
White Collar Factory The White Collar Factory: a new kind of office building Simon Silver explains the motivation behind the project
From the very early days over 30 years ago, Derwent has had an affinity with industrial buildings that could be converted into generous and characterful office space. The principle was actually very simple; it was about three words, 'Volume And Read More >
New home under construction with sunlight coming through the rafters The politics of residential property investment Now that the political party conference season is over, Ian Fletcher, Director of Policy at the BPF, shares his thoughts on housing policy directions
With the season behind us, now is a good a time to consider what we gleaned from this year’s political party conferences in Bournemouth, Brighton and Manchester, and the implications for residential property investors. Aside from the usual Read More >
Village with fields in the distance How to fix the housing crisis Why restrictions on supply must be eased
The findings of yesterday’s National Audit Office (NAO) report on homelessness in the UK were alarming. The problem has worsened significantly in recent years. The number of rough sleepers stood at more than 4,000 in the autumn of 2016, having Read More >
Rainy window looking out over city buildings Will the global housing boom end in disaster? Ian Stewart, Chief Economist at Deloitte, considers the statistics
UK house prices have recovered from the slump that followed the financial crisis. According to the Office of National Statistics, UK house prices have risen 45 per cent since their trough in March 2009. Over the same period earnings have risen Read More >


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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Fintech, proptech and what it all means

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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 real estate/investment 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 Historian

A look back at previous cycles, events, characters

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The Economist

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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