Investor’s Notebook – The Property Chronicle
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Updated draft legislation has clarified many issues but there are still areas of uncertainty.  As explained in our article in June 2021, the Government’s policy objective for Residential Property Developer Tax (RPDT) is to collect additional tax from residential property developers to fund the cost of remediating cladding issues which has been/will be borne by the Government. HM Treasury has been clear throughout the consultation process that it sees RPDT as ‘time limited’, with the... Read More >

Recent Articles:


In this very special series of exclusive articles for The Property Chronicle, Australian property legend Norman Harker reflects on his extraordinary 50-year life in real estate. He will pull no punches, partly because, as he freely admits, Read More >

Top players on why joining the Premier League from abroad is so tough. The new football season has seen the return of fans and the return of big money transfers. Ahead of the transfer window closing at the end of August, big names Read More >

How fans create electric atmospheres. Since the arrival of Covid-19, empty seats and eerie silences at sports and entertainment venues have highlighted how much fans contribute to live events. Everywhere from the Olympics to Read More >

Why the retail real estate world should take note. In The Sun Also Rises, Ernest Hemingway famously writes, “‘How did you go bankrupt?’ ‘Two ways. Gradually, then suddenly.’” The quote expertly captures the idea that humans in Read More >

Originally published March 2021. Free hugs? I know it sounds incredible, but there was a time when they were available in public spaces! As we all plan our post-lockdown freedom, inevitably we question ‘What will our workplace look like?’ Read More >

Originally published June 2021. In this very special series of exclusive articles for The Property Chronicle, Australian property legend Norman Harker reflects on his extraordinary 50-year life in real estate. He will pull no punches partly Read More >

Originally published March 2021. I’m sure you have your mind on higher things than the soapier side of the royal family, but I love it. I have a collection of commemorative china, my mum’s knitting me a copy of one of Princess Diana’s Read More >

Even though air travel is in doubt, he might yet pull it off. Harvard Business School strategy guru, Professor Michael Porter, famously described the airline industry as “one of the least profitable industries known to Read More >

How the star-making formula show lost its shine. The UK channel ITV has announced that it has no plans to continue The X Factor. In its 17 years on the air, the show produced some enormous pop stars, including boy band One Direction and girl Read More >

This writer became peripherally involved in a property scam worth millions. One early spring day in 2016, I was interviewed by the Serious Fraud Office. Fear not: as an informant. You enter the place though what feels like the tradesmen’s Read More >

What are some of the most important dates in American history? July 4, 1776 seems obvious enough. Legislation making Juneteenth a federal holiday has shined the spotlight on June 19, 1865. Black Tuesday (October 29, 1929), the bombing of Pearl Read More >

Originally published December 2020. “I haven’t been to my office now for several months.” “When I go to my office it’s only for a meeting.” “My office is my dining table.” Are the offices so many of us worked in for decades Read More >

Originally published August 2019. Why we need to encourage innovation and holistic solutions to the challenges facing real estate.  “Silo busters unite!” is becoming a slogan here at the Real Estate Institute. We contest that Read More >

The requirement for transparency in real asset reporting has ramped up significantly in the past year. Governments, investors and occupiers are asking for more data to help determine a building’s ESG performance. Crucially, this data impacts Read More >

Originally published September 2020. Dear development financier, Are you really, truly, aware of the risks you will be taking over the next few years with your residential loan book? You are supposed to say yes. I am supposed to say no Read More >

Covid-19 is not over yet. New variants; second, third and fourth waves; and the logistical challenges of vaccinating 7.8b people around the world means that ‘post-COVID’ is likely a way off.  As some United States’ cities begin to Read More >

Following the crash of 2008/2009 the S&P 500 went on a record-breaking run, gaining around 400% over 11 years before peaking in early 2020. It then suffered a record-breaking crash thanks to Covid-19, but that was short-lived and the Read More >

In this very special series of exclusive articles for The Property Chronicle, Australian property legend Norman Harker reflects on his extraordinary 50-year life in real estate. He will pull no punches partly because, as he freely admits, Norman Read More >

In this very special series of exclusive articles for the Property Chronicle, Australian property legend Norman Harker reflects on his extraordinary 50-year life in real estate. He will pull no punches partly because, as he freely admits, Norman Read More >

In this very special series of exclusive articles for the Property Chronicle, Australian property legend Norman Harker reflects on his extraordinary 50-year life in real estate. He will pull no punches partly because, as he freely admits, Norman Read More >

While French springtime brings familiar rituals like Easter bells and poissons d’avril, the south coast of France offers property professionals their own familiar spring ritual. Every year, in the second week of March, tens of thousands of Read More >

In this very special series of exclusive articles for the Property Chronicle, Australian property legend Norman Harker reflects on his extraordinary 50-year life in real estate. He will pull no punches partly because, as he freely admits, Norman Read More >

The Property Chronicle is delighted to be a supporter of  the Royal Marsden Cancer Charity’s Oak Cancer Centre Appeal. To help them raise awareness and money we thought you would enjoy it if we asked Mike Slade, chairman of the appeal, a Read More >

Has adapting to a distributed workforce really been such a big change for organisations? Martin Schwarzburg finds out, with a recruiter’s viewpoint provided by Tim Green. With the pictures of camouflaged men storming the US Capitol fresh on Read More >

In this very special series of exclusive articles for the Property Chronicle, Australian property legend Norman Harker reflects on his extraordinary 50-year life in real estate. He will pull no punches partly because, as he freely admits, Norman Read More >

As investors, how will humans behave following the effects of covid-19? On the one hand, there is the line of thought that humans have short memories and once we are through this pandemic we will very quickly bounce back to what may be Read More >

In this very special series of exclusive articles for the Property Chronicle, Australian property legend Norman Harker reflects on his extraordinary 50-year life in real estate. He will pull no punches partly because, as he freely admits, Norman Read More >

In this very special series of exclusive articles for the Property Chronicle, Australian property legend Norman Harker reflects on his extraordinary 50-year life in real estate. He will pull no punches partly because, as he freely admits, Norman Read More >

In this very special series of exclusive articles for the Property Chronicle, Australian property legend Norman Harker reflects on his extraordinary 50-year life in real estate. He will pull no punches partly because, as he freely admits, Norman Read More >

In the fourth chapter of his professional memoirs, a Francophile continues his tales of Parisian real estate – and tells how comedy cabaret led to his big career break. In my years at Hampton’s in Paris between 1983 and 1987 the markets Read More >

In this very special series of exclusive articles for the Property Chronicle, Australian property legend Norman Harker reflects on his extraordinary 50-year life in real estate. He will pull no punches partly because, as he freely admits, Norman Read More >

In this very special series of exclusive articles for the Property Chronicle, Australian property legend Norman Harker reflects on his extraordinary 50-year life in real estate. He will pull no punches partly because, as he freely admits, Norman Read More >

In this very special series of exclusive articles for the Property Chronicle, Australian property legend Norman Harker reflects on his extraordinary 50-year life in real estate. He will pull no punches partly because, as he freely admits, Norman Read More >

Along with air miles and an agenda, a passport was probably the least useful accessory of 2020. For those of us as familiar with business lounges as we were with sun loungers, this has been an unusual year. But the signs, for passports at least, Read More >

In this very special series of exclusive articles for the Property Chronicle, Australian property legend Norman Harker reflects on his extraordinary 50-year life in real estate. He will pull no punches partly because, as he freely admits, Norman Read More >

Why be stuck at home when you can Zoom aboard with a far better backdrop, go for a dip at lunchtime – and be just as productive? So, how has working from home been for you? Having a good idea of the Property Chronicle readership I imagine Read More >

Holland’s much earlier exit from lockdown makes it somewhere the UK can look to for a hint of our own future. I have done it many times before, but this time flying across the North Sea felt like crossing Checkpoint Charlie: from a dark, Read More >

Thinking, behaving and succeeding as a team when we can’t spend time together doesn’t have to be a problem. The coming of autumn normally heralds a period of change: we see leaves turn shades of gold and red, we start to wear coats again Read More >

There is no denying that the last six months have been extraordinary. Businesses of all sizes across the globe have been navigating their way through uncharted territory, while employees have had to reimagine their work days, finding new ways to Read More >

What do investors want right now? Which are their preferred opportunities, and what do you need to know about them? This series sums up what one European investment adviser has gathering in his virtual wanderings. For over 20 years, my role Read More >

In this very special series of exclusive articles for the Property Chronicle, Australian property legend Norman Harker will reflect on his extraordinary 50-year life in real estate. He will pull no punches partly because, as he freely admits, Read More >

This article was originally published on 8 August 2018. Fitting in as a fifty-something in a country so diametrically different from one’s own is no easy thing. Apart from the obvious; you know, driving on the wrong side of the road, cars Read More >

City centres and suburbs have been subject to both centripetal and centrifugal forces in modern times. During the first four decades after World War II, rapidly growing middle-class incomes in the Western world translated into expanding city Read More >

ARTICLE ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED 23RD FEBRUARY 2018 I have, for the last 18 years, had the pleasure of running First Property Group plc, a small listed property company with a market value of £52 million, which I founded and which invests in the Read More >

Everyone loves an underdog. Most certainly so when it’s wrapped up with extraordinary financial returns, scary new technologies like Bitcoin, and an establishment villain that everyone despises.  In Bitcoin Billionaires: A True Story Read More >

ARTICLE ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED 17TH SEPTEMBER 2018 The online retail business is 11% of the total world wide retail sales and 16% of the UK’s. In both cases it seems to be growing at about 1% per annum but with signs of a slowdown in the more Read More >

From the beginning of this virus, political elites have used the language of war. The invisible enemy would be contained, suppressed, and beaten into submission. Then….it would go away.  The tactics would be travel bans, shutdowns, Read More >

The coronavirus economic shock has already caused UK house prices to wobble – and they may yet tumble if the narrative worsens. As the virus changes society and the way we live, it will inevitably change the factors that drive the demand and Read More >

THE IMPACT of the coronavirus crisis on London is becoming clear to see. Yesterday the Evening Standard laid bare the scale of the economic devastation to the British capital.  Let’s take the headline numbers: “50,000 West End Read More >

ARTICLE ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED SEPTEMBER 2018 In my last article I set out my company’s broad approach to investing in commercial property and in Poland in particular. I thought it might be interesting for anyone considering investing in Poland Read More >

If food waste were a country, it would be the third-largest emitter of greenhouse gases (8% of annual global greenhouse gases come from food waste).1  One-third of all food produced globally is wasted, representing a total value of about Read More >

Social distancing has turned our lives upside down and at short notice businesses adapted to remote working, moving office life into the home. Some are beginning to speculate that this could spell the end of offices, but many people are still Read More >

Even for the most absentminded amongst us (myself included), life offers unforgettable moments. Some are historically and globally impactful: Neil Armstrong’s ‘giant leap’, the collapse of Lehman Brothers, or the COVID-19 pandemic we Read More >

Last month WeWork surveyed the heads of real estate from 69 global corporations asking how they envisioned the world of work in this new COVID-19 age. Three themes emerged: +  Acceleration of how flex space might be Read More >

With a desire to both quantify and limit various aspects of private real estate funds’ risk, funds’ documentation is written so that risk is unbundled and limited.  Examples of this would be using “up to 60% leverage”, “up to Read More >

ARTICLE ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED 25TH SEPTEMBER 2017 Shipping carries over 90% of world trade. Until anti-gravity transport is invented nothing will replace it. This island race has salt water and shipping in our veins and history. As befits our Read More >

ARTICLE ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED 22ND SEPTEMBER 2017 I started my real estate career in the early 1980s, so over 30 years ago! I have been involved in many areas of UK real estate during that period, both cosseted in booms and fighting for survival Read More >

One of the first things that we learn in life is the alphabet.  Through it, we form words and are able to communicate with one another using a common language.  In investing, it would be useful if one of the first things that Read More >

Real estate is the embodiment of the tangible. Its substance gives us a sense of security and durability, and this applies to both private residential and commercial real estate. Yet the real estate industry is ultimately based on services – Read More >

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED 13th MAY 2019 Established talent is being hoovered up – where are all the start-ups vying for their place?  Small real estate investment managers are becoming a critically endangered species across Europe as Read More >

Originally published February 2018.  The UAE's appetite for attracting the great and the good (and sometimes the bad and the ugly) remains impressive. This week, Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates, hosted the first Milken Read More >

Poland’s commercial real estate sector has just recorded what some reporters are calling it's "best-ever" first-quarter, which is quite something to achieve over the precise period in which the world was waking up to the horrors of Read More >

Having recently completed proptech investments in Unissu and Dashflow, I was interested to read Andy Saull’s article, “Proptech disruption won’t hit any time soon”, in the last issue of Property Chronicle. It introduced me to the Read More >

Since the financial crisis in 2008, interest rates have been low and borrowing costs for commercial property similarly low.  With such low rates, relatively high yields and seemingly ever-increasing values, many have chosen to use Read More >

What do investors want right now? What are their preferred opportunities, and what do you need to know about them? This series sums up what one investment adviser has gathered from roadshows, conferences and meetings across Europe. Heard in Read More >

Awards are show business, mining a deep human need or peer approval. Formed and shaped for profit by producers. Staged and fronted by directors nurturing sector nabobs. Marketed and sold with ‘your rivals are on board’ whispers to sponsors. Read More >

The new decade that was ushered in by the usual dazzling Burj Khalifa fireworks provoked some reflection on my part, for it was 10 years ago this year that I made the move to the Gulf.  Back then it was a leap into the unknown, where Read More >

A famous quotation, probably erroneously dedicated to the financier J. P. Morgan, is that, when asked for an outlook on the stock market, he replied, “it will fluctuate”.  The real estate market tends to fluctuate too, between two Read More >

To stop small clubs going under requires not extra cash but an independent body charged with developing the game as a whole After death throes worthy of a B-movie murder scene and with a parliamentary committee picking over the bones and Read More >

What do investors want right now? Which are their preferred opportunities, and what do you need to know about them? This new series sums up what one investment adviser has gathered from roadshows, conferences and meetings across Europe Heard Read More >

Investment pouring in from the south hasn’t yet brought down northern England’s higher yields.  It has been widely reported for several years now that rental yields are typically higher in the north of England than they are in the Read More >

Watch share prices, brace for a bang. “If something is true, no amount of wishful thinking will change it. - Richard Dawkins  Real estate currently beats any but the riskiest investment classes – doesn’t it? Provided interest rates Read More >

The new PM shares his 19th-century predecessor’s charm, but on statesmanship skills it’s another matter  Our new prime minister is said to be an admirer of Winston Churchill, but a better model for Boris Johnson would be Lord Read More >

Should letting agents be worried about the impact of new legislation? The Tenant Fees Act 2019 or, as it’s more often referred to, the tenant fee ban, is a piece of legislation that came into effect on 1 June 2019 and basically prohibits Read More >

It is exactly 20 years ago that Prologis stormed into Europe and transformed the landscape of property funds, announcing it had raised $1.07bn of equity for its first European fund. This was a game-changer for the European markets, and not just Read More >

With the PSOE coming out on top, Spanish prospects are only looking up Pedro Sanchez’ gamble to call a snap election has paid off. His PSOE (the Spanish Socialist Workers’ Party) has become the biggest party in parliament, with its share Read More >

How forging a new path in the property market can reap big rewards I have several guidelines to which I have mostly adhered when investing. Amongst others, this includes targeting high yielding properties: properties with sustainable income Read More >

Back in 2007, left behind by the likes of the US, the UK and (shock horror!) France, the German government moved with its customary celerity to create its own REIT sector. A year before, and two years after Emmanuel Valavanis and I had set up Read More >

In the following monthly series of articles Oliver Ash tells the story of his initial steps in the field of real estate, how this took him overseas to a new life in Paris, how he navigated the financial crises of 1991 and 2009, how real estate Read More >

With the bull market scaling new heights and global growth re-accelerating, I explained last month why this situation is likely to continue (see Why The Bulls Are Back In Charge). But I noted at the end of that paper that, as Read More >

Waves of political and economic uncertainty have become something of a norm for markets in recent years. Against a backdrop of significant events – from US-China trade tension to Brexit - investors are taking extra caution with their asset Read More >

How to earn double-digit returns from Polish property As readers of my articles might recall we have, for many years, been earning double-digit returns from our property investments in Poland. There are many factors which have contributed to Read More >