Real estate, alternative real assets and other diversions


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The Green Line: How Corporate America stole its own future

US Companies are paying shareholders more than they can afford Dividends and buybacks have exceeded free cash flow levels since 2013 Source: Capital Group. Universe is made up of 2,902 non-financial US-based companies that represent more than 98% of the US public equity market. As at 31 December 2018. Imagine a household budget where the money flowing out exceeds the money coming in by 10-15% each year. Just like drinking too much, this might be fun in the short term, but it usually... Read More >

Recent Articles:

French Disconnection – Part 3
Colleagues So I got the job at Hampton’s in Paris. The golf connection seemed to have done the trick. At twenty-five I was going to jump head first into a new life across the Channel in the City of Light. I could scarcely believe it and in Read More >
Global real estate is set to badly overheat – but not quite yet
Temperatures could hit 70ºC in 250m years’ time. Oh, and all the continents will be squished into one The world is in a state of alarm – and rightly so – at how much damage will be caused by rising temperatures of even a few degrees as Read More >
LIVERPOOL BAY: EPISODE 3
After property tycoon Charles Rudd and his CEO, Nick O’Keeffe, are lost in a sailing accident in Liverpool Bay, Will Rohm has travelled north to sign-off the resulting big-money life insurance claims. Following a meeting with Company Read More >
It’s a funny story: a comic collector tells all
Pricing vintage comics isn’t just about scarcity and quality – the characters are the key to value “Comic books to me are fairy tales for grown-ups.” So said renowned comic publisher Stan Lee in a 2014 interview. And while there Read More >
The German stock market is up 26% in 2019 despite zero economic growth!
November 2019 is the thirtieth anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall that led to the collapse of the Soviet occupied, neo-Stalinist DDR and the eventual reunification of Germany forty-five years after the nightmarish end of the Third Reich. Read More >
Big-engine bargains
As ecological fears drive big changes in motor cars, now could be your best – and perhaps last – chance to invest in an unethical fire-breather I don’t suppose for one moment that luxury and sports cars will become extinct, but for how Read More >
Why and how statistics matter to investors
This is the first in a series of articles covering some of the predominant issues regarding financial and economic statistics. This post seeks to introduce why and how statistics matter for investors.  The Why is simple: Read More >
Digging up a right royal history
Archaeologists have been thrilled at some unique finds in a sixth-century princely burial site near Southend-on-Sea In 2003 archaeologists from the Museum of London Archaeology excavated a small plot of land in Prittlewell, Essex, for Read More >
How Much of a Threat is Build to Let to the SME Landlord?
At face value, high quality purpose-built units – complete with gyms, communal areas and concierge services – would appear to offer what the rental market has long demanded. Whilst still in its relative infancy, build to let and co-living Read More >
Ten artists to invest in this year
From blue-chips like Damien Hirst to rising stars like Sterling Ruby, these are the names whose values are on the rise The global art market reached $67.4bn in 2018 and has grown exponentially in the last two decades. Investors see increasing Read More >
Goldman Sachs’s $1.6 – 2.3 trillion valuation range for the Saudi Aramco IPO is insane!
I literally laughed when I heard that Goldman Sachs put a valuation range of $1.6 to $2.3 trillion on the Saudi Aramco IPO. One, a valuation range of $700 million only means the Goldie analyst bankers (deal promoters?) are clueless about what Read More >
Can Boris Johnson live up to Lord Palmerston?
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 >
Was that the bond market tantrum of 2019?
Sometimes economics and financial markets provoke a wry smile. This morning has already provided an example of that as Germany’s statistics office tells us Germany exported 4.6% more in September than a year ago, so booming. Yes the same Read More >
Buy the Saudi Aramco IPO at a 7.4% forward dividend yield!
Saudi Aramco is the biggest, most profitable company in history ($110 billion revenues in 2018, $40 billion more than Apple). It has been the economic engine of the Arab world’s preeminent superpower since Chevron geologists struck the mother Read More >
The Restaurant Group: Weak profitability, long leases and high debts
The Restaurant Group (which I’ll shorten to TRG) joined the model portfolio in early 2016, shortly after the company published some very upbeat 2015 results. Revenues were up 8% while earnings and dividends per share were up 13%, continuing Read More >
A wine of elegance but not fashion
Hermitage is the supreme expression of the Syrah grape, but little recognised – making it a bargain among the Rhônes There’s a regular tale of customer woe, familiar to all wine merchants, that goes something along the lines of: “I Read More >
Who can beat Trump?
Insofar as age has been an issue in the race for the Democratic presidential nomination, the focus has been the advancing years of two of the frontrunners. Seventy-six-year-old Joe Biden’s circuitous soliloquies and memory lapses leave many Read More >
The Pains and Benefits of Transforming to a More Productive Society
Introduction The world can be viewed through the lens of economics and real estate markets in that whatever we do requires space, and whenever processes change it has both positive and negative impacts.  You show me a more Read More >
How Will Alsop put architecture in its place
While his buildings were strikingly modern and fun, he was keen to connect them to their context and the past One of the most colourful members of the architectural community died last year at the relatively young age of 70. Will Alsop was a Read More >
There’s more to low pay than just the minimum wage
The governmental art of calling for an independent study is making sure you’ll get the answer you want before it begins. Much of that depends, of course, on appointing the right person to carry out the research. The ‘independence’ part Read More >
UK farming can flourish outside Europe
Unleashing innovation is the key to a new, improved British agricultural policy  As discussions on the future of UK agriculture continue, many have given voice to their dreams – and indeed their nightmares. The vision of the Department Read More >
An interview with Benn Zemek
Benn Zemek is the Chief Financial Officer of the Battersea Power Station project. Benn joined the project in early 2013, shortly after acquisition by the Malaysian consortium (SP Setia, Sime Darby Property and EPF). He has since played a key Read More >
Feeding an empty planet
Global population will soon start to fall, making much farmland redundant  The world is heading for demographic change more quickly than many foresee, bringing challenges of a kind not faced since the fall of the Roman Empire. We will Read More >
What the tenant fee ban really means for agents
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’s all about MEES, MEES, MEES: the new rules on energy efficiency will change property forever
UK legislation enforcing minimum emissions standards for existing buildings can no longer be ignored  “A change in the weather is sufficient to recreate the world and ourselves,” or so said Marcel Proust 99 years ago. I wish he had Read More >
What are the economic consequences of Brexit?
After all the uncertainty in the UK we will have some sort of progress in that we will have an election putting the voters at least briefly in charge. Whether that will solve things is open to debate but let us take a look at what the economic Read More >
It’s about time offices went green
The commercial property sector has slacked on sustainability, but smart monitoring offers cost savings which could change that For everyone except Donald Trump – who seems to have buried his head under a rock for the past 50 years – Read More >
Have we already found the solution to climate change?
Glory be, the International Energy Agency has declared that climate change is nearly solved – and it won’t require us all returning to medieval lifestyles or overthrowing globalised industrial capitalism, as Greta and Extinction Rebellion Read More >
Rebalancing Britain: Don’t count on new towns to regenerate the regions
‘Rebalancing Britain’ is a major collaboration between CapX and the Joseph Rowntree Foundation focusing on how the Government should tackle the longstanding imbalances in the British economy. The project focuses not only on the Read More >
Because you’re worth it
What do high-net-worth individuals look for in a financial services provider? It’s fair to say that now is an exciting, if challenging, time for the UK financial services sector. The market is moving at a rapid pace as new technologies and Read More >
Consilia Capital Real Assets Funds Report Q3 2019
The report is divided into the following sections:A summary of  Fund performanc A summary of  Fund performance  The table below shows the average Q3 2019, YTD 2019, 3 and 5 year returns for the mandates in our database. As can be Read More >
Make way for Generation Z
They’ll soon be two-fifths of consumers, so financial advisers must learn to see the world their way In today’s world things change fast, and it can be hard to keep up with new trends and the opportunities they bring, especially in the Read More >
Don’t let emissions rules drive your property out of the market
The new CRREM tool reduces the risk of properties being ‘stranded’ by non-compliance with changing regulations Climate change represents an enormous challenge for real estate, requiring adjustments at numerous levels. The property Read More >
Where next for UK house prices?
Today has brought a flurry of information on the state of play in the UK housing market as we wait to see how the slow sown in house price growth is developing. We start by noting that according to the official series things may have changed a Read More >
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 Read More >
Politicians could use a lesson in neuroscience
“Daddy, Daddy.  Can we clean your car?”My then three and five-year-olds came bouncing up full of enthusiasm. “How much?” I asked. “£1”.   Their opening offer. 50p.   My counter offer. “Deal”. And Read More >
The answer to lobbying is laissez-faire
The actual first rule of Fight Club is to get your retaliation in first. It is this which explains the two linked stories today. Why are tech companies employing the likes of Nick Clegg and David Cameron? One is simply awaiting the Read More >
The UK has opened the fiscal taps and started a fiscal stimulus
The credit crunch era has seen some extraordinary changes in the establishment view of monetary policy. The latest is this from the Peterson Institute from earlier this month. On October 1, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s government raised the Read More >
Dead and Bury’d
So after death throes worthy of a B movie murder scene and with a Parliamentary Committee picking over the bones and extracting embarrassing platitudes from EFL and FA executives, it looks like Bury FC are finally gone – kicked into hell by a Read More >
The housing crisis is a symptom of our dysfunctional government
Britain’s housing crisis is unique in the Western world: in the 1970s, the average buyer needed under three gross annual salaries for a house. Now they need over seven. In my recent book Raising the Roof, co-authored with Jacob Read More >
Big Moves in the Estate Agency Market
A planned new regulatory system aims to raise standards in a rapidly changing marketplace Is competency finally going to be as important as competition in the UK residential estate agency market?  When in 1979 the Estate Agents Act Read More >
Restrictive Covenants Need Not Rob Developers of Profit
A recent legal case proves such restrictions on land are not necessarily an obstacle to development Restrictive covenants on land can rob it of development value, burdening a potential site with limits on use and effectively handing control Read More >
The Blue Banana of Sensible Expansion
Bavarian logistics property company VIB Vermoegen is using an admirable combination of trusted partnering and smart geographical thinking I want to talk here about a blue banana, but so as not to confuse you, let me explain first that this is Read More >
Why inflation is bad for so many people
Today I wish to address what is one of the major economic swizzles of our time. That is the drip drip feed by the establishment and a largely supine media that inflation is good for us, and in particular an inflation rate of 2% per annum is a Read More >
Extinction Rebellion are wrong – capping growth won’t solve climate change
It is not only Extinction Rebellion who say the UK should no longer try to get our growth rate up. The Green Party and many others are inclined to agree. But there are very strong reasons for believing that this is not the right approach – Read More >
Why UK buyers are sitting tight
Political risk factors have put the UK property market on pause, especially in London – but there are rewards to be had Political risk factors have put the UK property market on pause, especially in London – but there are rewards to be Read More >
What I’ve been drinking this month…
So, I have recently indulged in a return to the vodka bottle. Now there's a line I never thought I'd write in my advancing middle-age.Now, whenever it comes to a choice of a pre-prandial (if I'm not aiming for either beer, a glass of fizz, or Read More >
The world is changing fast – and Brexit Britain must adapt quickly
Do you know much about Dar es Salaam?  Perhaps you might only be vaguely aware of this remote coastal city in Tanzania.  But by the time your grandchildren are your age, more people will live there than in all of France. Population Read More >
Big data and the future of property
How technological advances will reshape the real estate sector Without new data systems to monitor and respond to market forces, property companies will fall behind the curve as new technologies are adopted. Real estate has always been a Read More >
A life in real estate, part II: French disconnection
In the second of 12 episodes, Oliver Ash recalls how Parisian geography got him all hot and bothered on the way to a job interview Sometime around the middle of 1983, I picked up a copy of Chartered Surveyor Weekly and opened it at random Read More >
Beware of long-term value drivers
Property investors have an unfortunate habit of not looking very far ahead The real estate sector has a propensity to underestimate change, perhaps because change has historically been at a rather glacial rate within the industry. In my 30 Read More >
LIVERPOOL BAY: EPISODE 2
When two businessmen are drowned in a sailing accident in Liverpool Bay, Insurance Investigator William Rohm is sent north to sign-off the claims. It should be routine. But as one of the dead men is multi-millionaire Charles Rudd, a property Read More >
How Brexit was the making of Amsterdam
Short on London, long on Europe was the traders’ cry after the referendum – but things didn’t quite work out as expected Three years on from the referendum, we still cannot fully apprehend the effect of Brexit on the European real Read More >
September wine market comment – is it time to hit the bottle?
At the risk of sounding like a stuck record, the market mood is sombre. It does, however, remain reasonably steady amidst a turbulent sea of macro factors. Hong Kong is an important market for wine and the ongoing protests are a concern. The Read More >
How European property found a home
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 >
Capitalist innovation will do more for the planet than any protest
Even if your commute has been undisturbed by their antics, most of us will have heard about recent antics of Extinction Rebellion (XR). Indeed, since Monday of this week, several thousand “uncooperative crusties” – as the Prime Minister Read More >
Should we care that it takes 1,000 litres of water to make a chocolate bar?
According to a recent article, the latest thing to worry about is the water content of food. That’s not to say the water in the food itself, but how much was used in production. It’s a superficially appealing complaint, but one that Read More >
Lessons from the fall of a superstar fund manager
I’m sure you will know that well-known fund manager Neil Woodford has recently fallen very much out of favour with investors. Reputedly in the wake of withdrawals by some big investors said to be worried by poor performance, he even suspended Read More >
What next for WeWork?
In September, parent company WeCo pulled its IPO and announced that Adam Neumann would step down as CEO, as the conflict of interest between Adam Neumann’s funding requirements and Softbank’s valuation concerns came to an end. Here, we look Read More >
Does the bond market know something others don’t?
More likely those yield falls are just an anticipation that policy-makers will cave in and cut interest rates US political adviser James Carville is reputed to have said: “I used to think that, if there was reincarnation, I wanted to come Read More >
Undermining private sector innovation puts lives at risk
For the first time ever, September’s UN General Assembly Meeting included a high-level meeting on universal health coverage (UHC), a broad initiative to promote policies that lead to better health outcomes. The unprecedented advances in Read More >
Trains and Gains: The Impact of Public Transport on Property Rents – September 2019
Today is my little boy’s sixth birthday. And as I sit here waiting for him to get home from school, ready for the joy and the chaos of his party, I can’t help but smile at his presents and the ever-so predictable train set. He absolutely Read More >
Brexit: what are the chances?
Exploring the outcome probabilities of the UK’s split from the EU Febrile. That’s the word most commonly deployed to describe the state of British politics since the EU referendum of 2016. I recall being on College Green – that patch of Read More >
Investment Management Review – October 2019
There’s a childhood game, whose name changes each generation – currently called Jenga. It starts as a wall of wooden bricks, and successive players remove individual pieces until the loser takes one out, and down falls the edifice. Its drama Read More >
Why is the collection of data seen as a successful outcome?
My personal collecting habits go back to the early iteration of Panini football sticker albums. Before the days of internet and easy access to ‘missing’ stickers, the endless frustration of yet another Glen Hoddle or my fifth Peter Shilton Read More >
Making sense of negative interest rates
Of course they’re inherently illogical, but let’s unpack what they mean in practice for the wider investment market How many economists does it take to screw in a lightbulb? Twenty-three: one to screw it in, and 22 to hold everything else Read More >
Junk Bonds are Going to Kill Us All
A few years ago I was on Bloomberg one morning and said something like, stocks looked overly expensive and should be due a correction if it wasn’t for the support they were getting from company buybacks and the low relative yields on bonds. Read More >
The writing on the wall
Alexander Chartres of Ruffer tells Property Chronicle how past crises inform the wealth manager’s outlook as the world economy approaches a turning point On the wall of Ruffer’s office in a modern glass block on London’s Victoria Street Read More >
How Brexit Britain Can Become a Global Trade Hub for Services
The 21st century global economy is characterised by a number of trends, including the growth of cross-border trade in services, among others such as e-commerce. For Britain, focusing on services plays to its strengths as a largely services-based Read More >
My clash with BBC Newsnight’s Emily Maitlis
Saying I favour a no-deal Brexit in order to buy property cheaply after a resulting crash was wrong – and illogical Newsnight is a programme I have watched for years, with a great deal of respect for the quality of its journalism. I was Read More >
Blain’s Morning Porridge
It’s going to be relatively short comment today – I just spent the last 1 ½ hours standing all the way from Southampton to the City.  SouthWest Rail decided to reduce the busiest Up train of the day to 5 carriages.  I suppose Read More >
The demise of retail is reshaping the REIT sector
REITs are becoming what they always should have been: low-leveraged balance sheets and long-term income streams with a sustainable, growing dividend Three features stand out for me in the quoted property sector this year. First, the Read More >
The diary of an alternative assets dealer
Suddenly the alternative assets world has become much more difficult. Three fund management companies, GAM, Woodford and H20, have scared the little cotton socks off investment committees, prompting an outbreak of extreme caution. These three Read More >
There’s finance, and there’s reality
Global financial markets seem increasingly disconnected from real world events – keep your eyes on the macro trends I’ve spent 35 years in finance, and much of the market activity I’m watching just doesn’t make sense any more. Am I Read More >
Labour’s 4-day week plan won’t work
John McDonnell has promised that a Labour government would reduce the average full-time working week to 32 hours within a decade, with no loss of pay. This would allow many people to work four days a week, rather than five or more, and enjoy a Read More >
Can UK property rise above a no-deal Brexit?
How seriously should we take warnings that prices could fall by a third or more? It goes without saying that we are in a period of extreme uncertainty. The main cause, of course, is Brexit, and the question of whether Britain can achieve an Read More >
What rural Britain needs from Brexit
Against a backdrop of Westminster turmoil, the British economy has proven itself to be more robust than many predicted. But with many expecting a global economic downturn, it’s difficult to quantify the impact the current uncertainty is having Read More >
An interview with Caroline Rouse
Tim Green speaks to Caroline Rouse, chief financial officer at Noé Group Caroline Rouse has more than 25 years experience as a finance director within the commercial and residential property sectors and is CFO at the Noé Group, a Read More >
Liverpool Bay: Episode 1
Episode one of our new crime thriller serial, set in the world of property Will Rohm was hoping his drive north would be fast and uneventful and that this case would be trouble-free too. It was a big-money life insurance claim but if he could Read More >
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 >
Prop. Notes: Our Proprietor ruminates on Enoch Powell vs Roy Jenkins vs Tony Benn, negative interest rates and the crassness of BA
Back in sticky, sweaty July, discussion over lunch turned to techniques for getting back to sleep at 4am. I confessed that my trick is to watch old political footage on YouTube, including conferences and US Presidential speeches.  Worse Read More >
Mad for growth
Investors chasing growth stocks creates both danger and opportunities PE premium for UK growth stocks over UK value Stock market manias always start with some grounding in solid fact, before investors get carried away and drive up Read More >
What to buy in wine this quarter
With Bordeaux and Burgundy offering lacklustre returns, the trading focus has moved to Piedmont, Champagne and the Rhone Valley The second quarter of 2019 was largely tranquil for the fine wine market, with trade bobbing along nicely but no Read More >
Global capital flows into real estate: transparency is a key to inward investment
Cross-border transactions now account for a third of property deals, and the most transparent markets hold the most appeal Investment in many mature real estate markets is booming and this has been the case for about ten years now. At the Read More >
PCL property performing well despite twists and turns of Brexit
On 28 August, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced he––with the Queen’s approval––was going to suspend Parliament between 10 September and 14 October. The decision has been seen by many as an attempt to move the UK one step Read More >
Blain’s Morning Porridge
Why did the Fed Ease? Last night’s Fed decision was anything but unanimous with 10 of the 17 members dissenting – views ranging from no cut to a larger ease.  Powell described a “solid outlook” for the US economy but warned of Read More >
Who owns the sky?
It’s not such a crazy question. For the last hundred years or so – as long as aircraft have been an important part of economies – governments have claimed ownership of the airspace above our heads. Individuals or corporations may own land Read More >
Brunel Building Launch – Wednesday 18th September 2019
On Wednesday 19th September, The Property Chronicle attended the launch of the much anticipated Brunel Building, the latest building designed by Derwent London. The Brunel Building is an architectural landmark for Paddington, providing a Read More >
Media and the British Railway Mania of the 1840s
A Prediction Not yet the railway mania flags, All are agog for speculation;But such a multitude of stagsMay terminate in a stag-nation.  The Times (London, England), Tuesday September 2, 1845 The railway mania was a time of Read More >
Why Iran is risking war with Saudi Arabia and America
Although the Iranian-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen claimed responsibility for last week’s attack on Saudi Arabia’s Abqaiq oil processing plant, the audacious operation looks like the handiwork of the Islamic Republic of Iran. It is Read More >
The case for withholding Royal Assent
Last Monday, the Government capitulated to the Opposition’s attempt to bind its hands on Brexit via Hilary Benn’s bill (now the European Union (Withdrawal) (No.2) Act 2019) mandating it to seek and agree an extension of Article 50. Having Read More >
“Promises Made! Promises Kept?” Links between Trump’s Economic Policy and County Level Unemployment Rates
In the 34 months since November of 2016 the U.S. unemployment rate has declined -1.2% through August 2019. Across the counties that President Trump campaigned in, the average decline has been roughly -1% (through July 2019).  In Read More >
Working out WeWork
As We Co, the parent of flexible office provider WeWork, prepares to now IPO later this year after postponing its September launch, many in the property industry are still struggling to define WeWork: is it a competitor, a client or just a Read More >
After U.S. Flop, Real Estate Brokerage Purplebricks Faces Mounting Headwinds In The U.K.
Tech-driven real estate brokerage Purplebricks released its 2019 results last week. After a failed U.S. expansion, the core U.K. business is still growing and remains profitable, but is facing headwinds in a soft property market. The results Read More >
GOING OUT OF STYLE INTO FACTOR INVESTING
We all know the classic four categories on the risk-return graph, Core, Core+, Value-Add and Opportunistic. These investment strategies are widely used, but are also arbitrary as investors define Core, Core+, Value-Add and Opportunistic Read More >
Residential property management is broken
Proper regulation is needed, while far-reaching leasehold reform must accompany changes to the building safety regime Residential property management is broken and the regulation of managing agents long overdue. Not just from a financial Read More >
White Collar Factory: the best of old and new
Derwent London, the company I have worked for over the last 34 years, have built a variety of office buildings over that period.  So, on this occasion, I’ve decided to choose one of them and add it to my list of favourite buildings. I Read More >
Stroll your troubles away
A good walk is a tonic, but it must meet certain criteria – and here’s one that ticks all the boxes There’s plenty of evidence linking walking with wellbeing. It’s partly about giving the lungs a good workout and unleashing those Read More >
RESPONSE TO THE TRUTH IS OUT ABOUT THE REAL COST OF HS2
Alex Green responds to John O'Connell's HS2 article. Dear Read More >
Blain’s Morning Porridge
“Sophisticated investors buy negative yielding bonds – are you not a sophisticated investor?” What madness will today bring?  From up in the Shard’s Eyrie in the Walkie Talkie Building we can see Marquees and Tents going up on Read More >
IS BREXIT A BLESSING IN DISGUISE FOR THE UK’S REAL ESTATE MARKET?
By Richard Barkham, Global Chief Economist; Neil Blake, Global Head of Forecasting; Wei Luo, Associate Director, CBRE. The UK’s long-term average share of global real estate investment is about 13%.  Until early 2016, the level of UK Read More >
Why I became a sterling bull last week for a 1.30 cable target
The political drama in Westminster last week was pure Sophocles, as nemesis gutted Boris Johnson’s hubris. Boris Johnson’s agenda for a “do or die” hard Brexit was killed by two humiliating defeats in the House of Commons parliamentary Read More >
Where will a general election be won and lost?
The House of Commons has again opted against providing the two-thirds support needed to hold an early general election. However, it will be hard to avoid one for much longer. And although the outcome remains far from clear at this stage, it’s Read More >
Access-ibility
Since the 1950s, accessibility using some form of time/distance measure has been considered a determinant of land use in American city and transportation planning theory and practice. But, due to the functionalist orientation of education and Read More >
Four heartbeats of global finance in September 2019
Wall Street folklore contends that four data points reflect the interrelationship between the price of money, interest rates, the price of currency (US Dollar Index), the price of gold and price of crude oil, the four heartbeats of global Read More >
The truth is out about the real cost of HS2
So now we know for sure. Thanks to Grant Shapps, Westminster’s biggest open secret is finally out there. HS2 is actually going to cost considerably more than we were told four years ago. For us at the TaxPayers’ Alliance, this is a Read More >
Illiberal and economically illiterate – Germany’s new housing policy
With the support of the Atlas Network, CapX is publishing a new series of essays on the theme of Illiberalism in Europe, looking at the different threats to liberal economies and societies across the continent, from populism to Read More >
Feed the world – with GM crops
Last week South Australia announced it would be lifting its ban on the growth of genetically modified organisms (GMO). Starting December 1st, 2019 farmers in this state will have the ability to choose what types of crops they want to grow. The Read More >
Don’t forget the role capitalism played in winning World War II
Today marks 80 years since the UK and France declared war on Nazi Germany following the invasion of Poland. Much is rightly said about the heroism of our armed forces, and the doughty attitude of civilians.  Perhaps less heralded is the way Read More >
Why a points-based immigration system is a bad idea
Unskilled immigration is a problem, we are told. People argue about how to restrict unskilled immigration, and by how much: lots of people favour points-based immigration systems so we can restrict unskilled immigration while continuing to Read More >
John McDonnell’s housing policy is little more than theft
John McDonnell’s latest bright idea is that private sector tenants should have the right to buy the homes for below the market price. As perfect an example of McDonnell’s incapacity to think through an economic problem would be difficult to Read More >
Post-Brexit priorities for low-income voters in deprived areas across the UK
What do low-income voters in deprived areas want post-Brexit? How can political parties unlock opportunities for people on low incomes?  Three years after the EU Referendum in 2016, our political system is experiencing a crisis of Read More >
The influence of Foxtons on London Estate Agency
40 odd years ago, Jon Hunt hit upon the idea of shaking up the Estate Agency business, creating an organisation that was very much out of his mould.  I don't know him per se but by all accounts he is a dominant individual with an acute Read More >
China’s patronage economy is the real root of the Hong Kong protests
The conventional explanation for the protests that have gripped Hong Kong in recent weeks is that they have been triggered by opposition to the government’s extradition bill, but the true causes run much deeper. Planning consultants Read More >
Can Modular Homes Solve the UK Housing Crisis?
With shorter construction times and cheaper manufacturing costs, are prefabricated homes set to become a trend that developers and investors alike should pay attention? The REalyst investigates whether modular homes are indeed becoming valuable Read More >
Rebalancing Britain: Blackpool has had some dark days – but its future could be bright
Earlier this year CapX launched a major new project with the Joseph Rowntree Foundation focusing on how the Government should tackle the longstanding imbalances in the British economy. ‘Rebalancing Britain’ focuses not only on the Read More >
Berlin rent freeze draft likely to be watered down, Vonovia around 15% discount to YE NAV
Whilst many of us were baking in in the sunshine on bank holiday Monday, the Berlin Senate cooked up its freeze for residential rents in Germany’s capital. That rocked the sector on Monday, neutered by a dead cat bounce yesterday, and steady Read More >
Is ‘local housing for local people’ a good strategy?
“So many of the parishes in our district are merrily approving more houses around their village,” an official from Oxfordshire fumed to me last month, “and that’s against Council policy!” I had to pinch myself: living in London, it’s Read More >
Still going strong: Singapore REITs
A continuing upward trend makes this a good defensive asset class amid global uncertainty Early this summer the FTSE ST Real Estate Investment Trusts index broke through the 875 level after 10 years of resistance, with a Read More >
Phoenix from the Flames
As the global economy slips into the deep pit of despair, many market commentators are crying out for global central banks to wake-up and save the day. While many are intensely commenting on policymakers in Washington and the Global Trade Read More >
How to value football club businesses
(Oliver is joint-owner of Maidstone Utd FC, Director of Brive Rugby Club in French Top 14 and recent Board Member of The National League.) Right now there is a heated debate on social media about the ill-health of many football clubs in the Read More >
The CAP doesn’t fit – why the EU’s farm subsidies are ripe for reform
With the support of the Atlas Network, CapX is publishing a new series of essays on the theme of Illiberalism in Europe, looking at the different threats to liberal economies and societies across the continent, from populism to protectionism and Read More >
Saudi Aramco’s IPO valuation and the global crude oil market
Saudi Arabia plans to accelerate the IPO timetable for Saudi Aramco, the kingdom’s flagship state owned oil and gas monopoly that happens to be the world’s most profitable company. Saudi Aramco will be the world’s largest IPO ever if it Read More >
Regulation is Coming
Last week saw the long- trailed publication of the Regulation of Property Agents Working Group report, introducing a raft of proposals to regulate sales, letting and leasehold managing agents in what has until now been essentially a collection Read More >
Can Corbyn get lucky?
Successful political parties are coalitions of interests.  The Labour Party was founded as the Labour Representation Committee in 1900 to bring the socialist movement together under one banner to fight parliamentary Read More >
Sajid Javid is right – tinkering with stamp duty will not solve the housing crisis
Newspaper headlines over the weekend had suggested that the new Chancellor, Sajid Javid, was planning to switch the liability for stamp duty from house buyers to sellers. Thankfully, Javid has now quashed this story in no Read More >
Land of the long smug retirement
When winter bites, there are few better places to escape to than New Zealand. I’m just not too sure about the names of the sports teams. ‘Tall Blacks’ and ‘White Caps’ anyone? A degree of smugness accompanies those who leave these Read More >
Abolition of Section 21: Tipping the balance?
In April of this year, Government made clear its intention to consult on the abolition of Section 21 of the Housing Act 1988, more commonly known as ‘no fault evictions’. Its stated objectives; to ensure that tenants have the security they Read More >
A different form of sporting heritage: the language of sport
How sporting terms enter the mainstream In 1976, a Canberra cricketer who had moved there from Western Australia complained about the quality of the local pitches, which were not like those in his native Perth where “the ball bounced truly Read More >
How Does WeWork Make Money
How did WeWork get such a high valuation if its making such big losses?  After some debate in the office and lots of commentary from various talking heads about the subject, I sat down and read the company’s S-1 filing and kept reading Read More >
Rise of the second-hand book market
How going online has restored the value of second-hand books As a book dealer, I would like to respond to an article published on the BBC website on 28 December 2018, ‘The booming trade in second-hand books’. The business reporter, Lucy Read More >
To understand Boris and Brexit, look to Edmund Burke
They are proud of Edmund Burke in Bristol. His statue stands on Colston Avenue, fist aloft, the inscription declaring “I wish to be a Member of Parliament to have my share of doing good and resisting evil”. Burke is celebrated to this day Read More >
The wine market is slow – but stirring
Burgundy continues its slide, but Bordeaux might be coming into its own. In the same way the media in March was completely dominated by Brexit, so was the wine market. Instead of squabbling and jostling for position, however, the main players Read More >
Hong Kong is going to cost China
Over the last few weeks of protests in Hong Kong, culminating in the violence in the Legco building last week, most people have rightly concluded that: at best, the end of the ‘one country two systems’  m.o. will be Read More >
How fake news is hindering farming
Pesticides and GM crops: the facts We live in a world of instant communication and 24-hour news, where the power of social media alone means any story can be transmitted at the press of a button. Such technology is both exciting and fantastic Read More >
Peter Zumthor: A controversial figure
Uncompromising in his vision, architect Peter Zumthor faces his toughest challenge to date Not long after his celebrated thermal baths were completed, Peter Zumthor, a reclusive Swiss architect, gave a rare lecture at the Royal Institute of Read More >
Peeping Toms at the Tate Modern
Those who live in glass houses may not have enjoyed a recent verdict. But legal protection for privacy has not been weakened – quite the reverse. You will probably have read in the newspapers about the flat owners in the all-glass Neo Read More >
A Japanese zoning system is no solution to England’s housing crisis
The Centre for Cities recently suggested England should end its housing crisis by ‘turning Japanese’ and copying their planning system. One can see the attraction. Japan uses a system of zoning where the government sets out in Read More >
Buying Banksy
Challenging the opinion that only the wealthiest can buy Banksy art Banksy’s art hit the headlines in October 2018 when a piece of artwork self-destructed in the midst of an auction. Since then, demand for the anonymous artist’s work has Read More >
Why Industrial Agriculture is Crucial to Fighting Climate Change
What poor countries really need more of is supermarkets. That’s the conclusion to draw from the latest leaked report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Of course, it’s not what the usual environmentalist suspects are Read More >
Architectural character on the big screen
Architectural character on the big screen As revealed in the last edition of The Property Chronicle, it’s pretty clear that in Hollywood movies of the past, architects have traditionally been cast as the Good Guys: creative, socially Read More >
Thatcher or Trump – the big choice awaiting the Right
Just days in to the Johnson Premiership and there should be little doubt where we are heading. Dominic Cummings may revel in his contempt for Westminster Village groupthink, but this time the Prime Minister’s special adviser might have to Read More >
The strange business of modern farming
Farms are peculiar assets. Returns are undeniable – but inaccessible. And subsidies, it seems, only make things worse. Farms are capital-intensive businesses, with land, buildings, fixed equipment, working capital for labour, livestock, Read More >
Another downturn is looming – and UK banks are nowhere near ready
The Bank of England’s latest round of bank stress tests in November 2018 painted a reassuring picture of bank resilience. The message was that the UK banking system is now so strong that it can come through another crisis that is more severe Read More >
Real estate and sustainability – the moral imperative
Why the industry must be an active force in driving change “Sustainable investment is about the responsibility and potential the real estate industry holds to reach climate and environmental sustainability targets. In a rapidly urbanising Read More >
All change in the countryside
Farming in the UK is changing faster than anyone realises. There will be winners – and losers… The UK farming industry is facing a period of radical change that most farmers are underestimating both in extent and speed. There will be Read More >
Green infrastructure means business
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 few, if any, of the major problems that Read More >
An interview with Jim Harding
Jim Harding is Finance Director and Company Secretary at Eskmuir Properties Ltd, a private UK property investment business. Eskmuir is also asset manager and fund manager of The Diversified Property Fund for Charities which it established in Read More >
Hong Kong may be destined to become another Shanghai
Having spent the first part of July in Shanghai and Hong Kong the differences between these Chinese mega cities are stark. Shanghai with 23 million people dwarfs Hong Kong’s population of 7.5 million. It is also less crowded and Read More >
Blain’s Morning Porridge
Weebles Wobble but they don’t fall down..”  In the headlines this morning Blain’s Financial Porridge Podcaston Website (Subscribe to Audioboom podcast or go via Spotify or iTunes (Other channels Read More >
How the debt markets have changed since 2014
A five-year review of the real estate debt demand Twenty-nineteen marks five years since Laxfield Capital, a commercial property lending company, released their first report on the demand for debt in the UK property market. Such a report, Read More >
Blockchain leaves the blocks
But first, the industry must digitise News broke in March 2019 of the first successful global blockchain real estate transaction. It included participants from established organisations, such as Ashurst, Baker McKenzie, Barclays, Clifford Read More >
More borrowing, lower taxes? A plan for Rishi Sunak at the Treasury
As the new Chief Secretary to the Treasury (CST), Rishi Sunak has one of the toughest jobs in government. The CST’s main responsibility is the control of public expenditure – even more challenging than usual given the political Read More >
Life on Mars: a guide to the next real estate frontier
With the recent interest in Mars’ mineral resources, how far are we really from realising interplanetary living? I’ll admit, I did listen to the Bowie classic to get some inspiration for this article. Although the lyrics seemed to be Read More >
Robert Jenrick – the quiet radical now in charge of housing
Robert Jenrick, the new Secretary of State for Housing, wrote a striking call in 2017 to boost home ownership by building homes on government land and selling them at cost to the under-40s of that area. In the South East, that could mean a 75% Read More >
Life after Downing Street: What Prime Ministers do next
As she exits the political stage pursued by a blond bear, Theresa May’s mind will inevitably turn to the question of ‘what next’? As for the immediate future, she might follow John Major’s example. Hours after losing the top job in Read More >
When the skies fall silent
Despite the best possible conditions, hundreds of species of bird are dying out before our very eyes. It may be too late for some – but action can still save others. It is possible that part of my life’s work in conservation on the Read More >
Boris Johnson must get behind Britain’s internet economy
No one wants the internet to be a source of harm. Our industry has always carried with it the optimism with which the internet was born. The ability of a single individual to speak to the whole world, to be connected with the all the learning Read More >
Reflecting on the magical sporting drama – 2019 Cricket World Cup
Never in my life. Will I again witness such moments of utterly magical sporting drama. If a scriptwriter had penned the conclusion to the 2019 Cricket World Cup, they would have been laughed out of court. And told to pull themselves together. Read More >
Why are we modern?
“In general, life is better than it ever has been,” P. J. O’Rourke wrote in All the Trouble in the World. “If you think that, in the past, there was some golden age of pleasure and plenty to which you would, if you were able, Read More >
Anti-HS2 hysteria misses the point
The hidden benefits of Britain’s new railway are vast. The only problem is they’re hidden In recent months there has been no shortage of ill-thought through articles in the British press urging the cancellation of High Speed 2, a Read More >
Anatomy of the next crude oil price crash!
Brent crude oil plunged almost 4% from $67 to $63.50 a barrel after both President Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo signaled progress in reducing geopolitical tensions with Iran in the Gulf. Iran Foreign Minister Javed Zarif's Read More >
Boris – what Real Estate Investors can expect
Boris Johnson will survive the first hundred days of his Premiership if he delivers a Brexit divorce deal. There will soon follow opportunities for other events - a Budget, a Queen’s Speech, a General Election – to set out detailed plans Read More >
The big four – REIT dangers to watch out for
Common difficulties and how to avoid them Real estate investment trusts (REITs) are a favourite asset class for income seeking investors looking for regular dividends. However, there are a number of difficulties regularly experienced by Read More >
A bold plan to renew home ownership in Britain
Britain’s housing crisis is uniquely severe. We build houses more slowly than anyone else, we have seen a fastest house price rise than any developed country, and our homes are the most expensive houses compared to the average salary. Quite Read More >
European markets: an update on Spain post-2019 election
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 >
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 >
McDonnell’s startling sterling claims
One of the many problems with John McDonnell is that he doesn’t understand how markets work. His latest outlandish claim is that Jeremy Corbyn becoming Prime Minister will increase the value of the pound. And this really, really, Read More >
The millennial shift in US homebuying
Homeownership in the U.S. is still being held back by two key demographic and lifestyle trends. The millennial generation has delayed marrying and delayed starting families, both traditional trigger points for moving out of multifamily rental Read More >
Universities are destroying the value of their own degrees
Is there anything else British universities can do to prove the worthlessness of a degree? It appears not, as this week it was revealed that grades have been artificially inflated across the country’s academic institutions, with almost Read More >
50 years on, who really still believes people the moon landings were faked?
Fifty years ago today, Neil Armstrong, Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin and Michael Collins took off from Cape Canaveral in a Saturn V rocket as tall as a football pitch is long. Five days later they stepped out onto the surface of the moon, the first Read More >
Bickle’s captivating Irish jig at Glenveagh
Justin Bickle, formerly a Managing Director in Oaktree’s European Principal Group, tells Property Chronicle how turning around English National Ballet gave him the confidence to set up one of Ireland’s biggest housebuilders. Justin Bickle Read More >
What should the next US ambassador do?
In all of the sound and fury and sordid events that led to the resignation of the British ambassador to the US, Kim Darroch, there has been little attention paid to the question of what is the function of the UK ambassador in the US, or indeed, Read More >
Are we drifting into recession?
Figure 1 shows the CBRE ‘real time’ G7 economy tracker, made up of the best and most timely monthly economic data.   The main developed economies (U.S.A., Canada, Japan, Germany, France, Italy, U.K.) known as the G7 have slowed 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 >
Thinking outside the box
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 >
What to look out for if Boris Johnson becomes Prime Minister
Unless there’s an extraordinary upset in the Tory leadership election, Boris Johnson will become Prime Minister next week.  What kind of government are we going to get? Could this be the start of something extraordinarily significant, Read More >
Time to short the S&P 500 and NASDAQ Composite Indices?
The S&P 500 index trades at 2990 as I write. The risk-reward calculus on the broad index no longer flashes a buy signal to me. The economic data around the world has deteriorated at an accelerating pace, as the decline in global PMI’s, 9% Read More >
The Bitcoin madness will end in tears – once again!
The crypto-bulls have regained their mojo now that Bitcoin is at $11600, though $2000 below its most recent peak. While financial history tells me parabolic moves always end in tears, the current euphoria does not surprise me. Facebook’s Libra Read More >
Business must do more to shape the politics of immigration after May
Whichever candidate takes the keys to Number 10 later this month, the change of Conservative leader and Prime Minister looks set to mark the end of the net migration target. As politics move on, those looking to advocate for a fresh approach 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 >
Will the Euro/dollar cross rate continue to fall in July?
Nonfarm payrolls rose to 224,000 in June, the highest since January, thus popping the bond market consensus that the Federal Reserve would turn ultra-dovish at the July FOMC. Average hourly earnings are up 3.1% on an annual basis, another nail Read More >
Algorithms are the future of shopping – but at what cost?
The internet has opened a huge window onto the range of products and services available to consumers, and revolutionised the way we purchase them.  In the UK alone, E-commerce sales have rocketed up fifty-six per cent from £375.1 billion Read More >
The summer of discontent
Widespread disaffection, income-inequality, Brexit and Donald Trump – will it get better? I sense that summer 2019 in London is going to be a disruptive hell. Climate change protests in April were both extraordinarily polite and Read More >
Ruffer Investment Review – July
When the Governor of the Bank of England speaks, it is always worth listening to, and he is on to something when he writes about market liquidity; he is surely right to flag the dangers of the narrow exit doors in a crowded investment room. We Read More >
Why less council housing can help tackle unemployment
In some quarters the proposed solution to Britain’s housing problems is lots and lots more social – ie below market rate – housing. For the more extreme, this should mean local councils building, owning and renting out the dwellings. As Read More >
Work worries: get walking
When I stepped out of the lift and onto the trading floor at Hoare Govett in Heron House 35 years ago, I am certain that employee wellbeing was not at the top of the senior partner’s agenda.  Whilst the stresses and strains of the Read More >
The Hong Kong property bubble is about to pop!
Governor Chris Patten and the Prince of Wales watched forlornly as the Union Jack slid down its flagpole for the last time as Hong Kong morphed from Her Majesty’s Crown Colony to a Special Administrative Region (SAR) of the People’s Republic Read More >
Silver linings in the property market
A ray of hope for the central London property market The prime central London market has been a tough place over the last year, with a continuing decline in both flats and houses. Against the trend of the past four years, flats in 2018 Read More >
Rental Demographics are Changing in the Suburbs
We’ve sized up the opportunity in the suburbs and analysed the resurgence of the commuter town.  In this article, the REalyst weighs in on the facts and figures, looking at how suburban demographics are shaping the rental market on Read More >
Political instability in the UK – Response to Andrew Hawkins
How Brexit and the minority government pose a problem for international investors   Three factors continue to cause political instability in the UK. The first and most important is that Britain is being run by a minority Read More >
Is there really a ‘problem’ with robots taking our jobs?
That the robots are coming for all our jobs is entirely true. That this is a problem is less clear – after all, we’ve been trying to kill off jobs since we first started automating anything at all by replacing fingernails with knapped flint. Read More >
How cities can save the planet
Take a quick stroll through a bustling city like London or New York, and you can’t help but feel that such places are the antithesis of environmental sustainability. Yet counterintuitively, large metropolises like these might just be some of Read More >
Blain’s Morning Porridge
“I know of no country in which there is so little independence of mind and real freedom of discussion as in America.” In the headlines this morning Subscribe to podcast Happy birthday America! This morning’s intro-quote is over Read More >
Entropy or evolution: the UK’s changing political landscape
To be sure, UK politics are in flux. A vocal huddle of mostly Remain protesters, and occasionally Leavers, have occupied a spot opposite the Houses of Parliament for the past two years. Voters have voiced at the ballot box their anger at the Read More >
Purplebricks posts £52m loss, 55% revenue rise and confirms US withdrawal
Purplebricks has revealed its annual results for the year ending April 30 2019.  The hybrid agency has posted an operating loss of £52.3 million, up from £27.8 million in 2018. It does, however, report a UK operating profit of £5.3 Read More >
Don’t let discredited doom-mongers undermine Brexit
Unless Britain joined the European Exchange Rate Mechanism, they once said, it would face economic instability. So we duly joined the ERM. But instead of stability, pegging our currency to those of our neighbours meant we endured an economic Read More >
Thatcher – my part in her downfall…
Listening to the Today programme a voice from my past comes over the airwaves. Lord, Kenneth of old, Baker was explaining how the toppling of Theresa compared to the Tory original sin of Mrs Thatcher’s removal in November Read More >
Time for an intervention in UK politics
As the current political impasse continues, the situation bears a resemblance to the events of 1931. As King George V once did, will the Queen advise? On 24 August 1931, King George V called for a meeting at Buckingham Palace. There attended Read More >
Market Share: High Street estate agents crush online firms
New figures released show High Street estate agents taking an increasingly large market share as online operators continue to crumble. According to the fortnightly update from The Advisory, a consultancy that monitors housing market Read More >
Is the 2018 Bordeaux a classic?
The wine world’s spin doctors are up to their usual hype. But last year’s weather has made for a fascinating vintage. It’s that time of year again, when the latest claret vintage roars into view. There is the usual trumpeting, words Read More >
Experiencing the architectural highs and lows of South America
Much as I believe in Samuel Johnson’s maxim, that a man bored of London is bored of life, I still find an escape from London invigorating. It offers clarity as well as new insights. Accordingly I recently escaped with a few friends for an Read More >
What next for bonds, gold and the dollar?
US equities markets went ballistic after the Federal Reserve confirmed Wall Street consensus that it will cut the overnight borrowing rate by 50 basis points if the economy weakens. This did not surprise me. The current Fed Funds target rate is Read More >
Net-zero Britain should stop subsidising fossil fuels abroad
The UK made headlines this week, becoming the first major economy to commit to reduce its climate harming emissions to net zero by 2050. Although well received by business and the national farmers union, some critics have raised concerns about Read More >
The experiments of youth: unpacking the complexities of China’s real estate market
With so many factors to consider, the division between doomsayers and optimists has never been so large There seems to have always been two starkly different perspectives about China's real estate market. For years, doomsayers have warned of Read More >
Increasing number of large-scale landlords as buy to let amateurs quit
A new survey by one of the sector’s most respected lenders, Paragon, suggests large scale landlords are now a bigger force in the buy to let sector following the exit of some small amateur landlords. Paragon’s survey is small - just 200 Read More >
Purplebricks isn’t dead – it’s dangerous
Rumours of the agency’s demise are premature. And even if such disruptors fail, the fortunes they are spending on marketing could change customers’ expectations forever. If you believe everything you read in the media, you could be Read More >
Blain’s Morning Porridge
“France has no friends, only interests…” In the headlines this morning. When the Fed Chairman has to say he’s “insulated from short-term political pressures”, then you know his ears are bleeding from a full up-to 11 Trump rant. Read More >
How trade can help rebalance the post-Brexit economy
It is no secret that the United Kingdom’s economy is imbalanced. London and the South East are head and shoulders above the country’s other regions with respect to economic indicators like gross value added per capita and median real Read More >
Let’s talk about homegrown sparkling wine
The Property Chronicle speaks to Jim Nolan, CEO and founder of Black Dog Hill Operating since 2007, Black Dog Hill is a family-run vineyard in Ditchling, Sussex. The Nolan family didn’t have to travel far to find one of the world’s Read More >
Are we doing better than we think?
It is commonplace to say that the pace of technological change is speeding up. From Twitter to online shopping our everyday lives are, apparently, being transformed. One of the central puzzles of modern economics is that this change is not Read More >
The end of the UK interest rate cycle
Plus, reassessing the relationship between UK interest rates and REITs The perceived wisdom has always been that reducing, and indeed low, UK interest rates are good for real estate in general. Equally, UK real estate investment trusts Read More >
Migration perils and unrequited love
The chiffchaff, willow warbler and wood warbler are not easily distinguished from one another, except, as discovered by the curate of Selbourne, Gilbert White, at the end of the 18thcentury, by their respective songs. To the casual birder Read More >
The Art of Communal Living in Property Development
With 10,000 BTR homes already in London and a further 9,500 under construction, it is no surprise that the rental market is decidedly focused on communal living. As such, property developers need to play the long game: no longer solely Read More >
Reading the small print on subletting
Plus, is the AirBnB boom coming to an end? I write this camping beneath the canvas cover of a tent – a novel experience for me. I should add, though, the healthy caveat that I am glamping. Essentially, a luxurious form of camping. Camping Read More >
Can REITs keep up with the current demands of UK shopping centres?
In the face of declining retail property values and highly leveraged companies, a new structure might be needed Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) have been a huge success globally, providing an income-producing, liquid, tax-efficient Read More >
Jumping through hoops
Why high-net-worth individuals are struggling to secure mortgages   It might seem counterintuitive to some, but high-net-worth (HNW) individuals often face difficulties when securing mortgages. In February 2019, Butterfield Read More >
Emoov and Countrywide merge: it could have happened…
Emoov and Countrywide: what a pair, observers might say. They present a tale of two failures - although, in the case of Countrywide, it’s still theoretically possible that victory could be snatched from the actively-snapping jaws of Read More >
Saudi Arabia and the calculus of petro power
It is impossible to analyze the real time dynamics of the global oil market without a grasp of the myriad domestic/regional economic, diplomatic and national security dilemmas that govern the formulation of Saudi Arabia’s oil pricing strategy. Read More >
Hollywood’s apocalypse obsession ignores the reality of human progress
On his immensely popular HBO show last Friday, the host of Real Time with Bill Maher observed, “Not every movie set in the future has to be a super clean utopia or a smouldering post apocalypse.” “Isn’t there something in Read More >
Did government covertly restrict mortgage availability?
Post war British economic policy and house-building Macroeconomic policy frameworks followed by governments have definite impacts on all sectors of the economy including the housing sector. Post Second World War the British government was Read More >
The Pakistani rupee has now tanked to my 160 strategic target against the US dollar
I had forecast a collapse in the Pakistani rupee to a 160 – 180 range against the US dollar and a plunge in the Karachi stock market index to 32000 after PMLN Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was sacked by the Supreme Court at the behest of the Read More >
The multifaceted problem of wealth transfer
Politics, emigration and the modern family are only a few of the challenges of wealth and succession planning today There is no lack of data on the vast, and growing, amounts of wealth set to be passed from generation to generation in the Read More >
Could Purplebricks go bust? Apparently not, says analyst
An analyst on shares website Motley Fool says Purplebricks is not only in surprisingly strong financial health, but is actually outperforming some longer established bricks-and-mortar agencies. The Motley Fool analyst in question, Karl Read More >
The Green Line: A 21st century fairy tale
The percentage of unprofitable companies listing on public markets has never been higher. Percentage of US IPOs which are loss-making This is the year of the tech unicorn IPO. So far we have had Uber, Lyft, Beyond Meat and Pinterest; Read More >
The changing face of retail
With so much negativity around CVAs, are they the only answer?  Increased footfall, falling unemployment and rising wages meant that the stars should have aligned for the UK’s high street retailers in the first quarter of 2019. Yet Read More >
An interview with Richard James
Tim Green speaks to Richard James, Chief Financial Officer of Savills Investment Management Richard James is the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of Savills Investment Management (Savills IM), the wholly owned but independent investment Read More >
What would happen if a large object hit the Earth?
So that we don’t take Real Estate, economics and investing too seriously and to keep our daily lives in perspective, here is our very own Property Chronicle NASA Astrophysicist and his column 'Nothing Really Matters'. An asteroid for Read More >
The Property Chronicle Summer Issue
Watch the video trailer for the latest edition of our magazine. The new issue is out now and includes a selection of brilliant articles from our expert contributors. Subscribe now! The latest issue of the magazine includes: World’s Read More >
Europe is sharply divided on the role of the ECB
The search for ECB President Mario Draghi’s successor has revealed deep-seated divisions in the Eurozone over the fundamental responsibilities of the bank. Draghi’s presidency was marked by a willingness to be a lender of last resort to Read More >
Is Sainsbury’s worth its heavily discounted share price?
Poor old Sainsbury’s. Its share price is currently lower than at any time over the last 25 years and appears to be in free-fall. But how can this be? Surely Sainsbury’s is a defensive dividend payer with a long record of unbroken dividend Read More >
Quoted German propcos – a brief history
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 >
The Dramatic Slowdown in Germany Threatens Another Euro Crisis
‘If membership of the Eurozone had been confined to the original ‘Deutschemark Block’ - Germany, France, Holland, Belgium and Luxembourg which met the Euro’s initial convergence criteria - the Euro could have been a success. However Read More >
What next for the Uber, Beyond Meat and Luckin IPO deals?
Thanks to the orchestrated bullishness of a dozen Wall Street sell side analysts and the mother of all short covering rallies, Uber has managed to claw back its losses from 38 to its IPO offer price of $45 though the latest management disaster Read More >
A defining moment for infrastructure
More people. More cities. More buildings. More infrastructure. Infrastructure is turning out to be an asset class that, while appearing mostly immeuble, is fundamentally different from real estate requiring, among many things, strong and Read More >
Real Estate Market Cycle Monitor: First Quarter 2019 Analysis
The Physical Market Cycle Analysis of 5 Property Types in 54 Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs). The economic expansion has been solid with 1Q GDP growth at 3.1%, which also drove continued job and wage growth so far in 2019. Trade Read More >
A sense of the sublime
Unusual, yet awe-inspiring, the Ronchamp chapel has to been seen to be believed I must confess that I am slightly privileged by the fact that, working constantly with architects, I am occasionally offered trips to see buildings of interest, Read More >
Getting started – A life in Real Estate
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, how he navigated the financial crises of 1991 and 2009, how real estate operations Read More >
How Britain’s housing market has created a mobility crisis
The dynamics of the UK’s housing crisis are well-documented: millions prevented from getting on the housing ladder, sky-high rents for often woefully inadequate accommodation and, underpinning it all, a planning system seemingly designed to Read More >
A US-UK trade deal could be just the tonic the NHS needs
President Trump’s visit has been the excuse for another burst of scaremongering about what a US-UK trade deal might mean for the NHS. You might expect dire warnings about ‘profits before people’ or ‘the Americanisation of healthcare’ Read More >
Blain’s Morning Porridge
“Every unresolved problem eventually creates something worse to solve it…” In the headlines this morning... I switched on the TV this morning and watched Naga sitting on the Brek-drek couch in Normandy, then a cut-away to a Piper at Read More >
China’s Winning the War that the U.S. is Ignoring
Have you been to The Bahamas? I was just in beautiful Nassau. And there’s no description for those waters other than 'exquisite.' In fact, it's hard to take your eyes off of the stunning array of blues and greens, while you breathe in Read More >
A projected trading range for Citigroup shares in 2019
Citigroup, the third largest US money center bank, owns subsidiaries in Latin America whose pedigrees go back almost a century. For instance, Banamex, Citi’s subsidiary in Mexico, is the second largest corporate/retail bank south of the Rio Read More >
Adam Smith and the trouble with peer-to-peer lending
One cynical – but useful – view of modern technology is that it allows us to play through the scams and mistakes of the last few millennia at warp speed. Bitcoin and associated cryptos have gone through every fraud that anyone’s been able Read More >
Washington Monthly Diary
Thoughts for the month ahead: Yipes! President Trump shocked the markets on May 10th by doubling down on tariffs against all Chinese imports. Last Friday, he again shocked everyone by threatening 5% tariffs, starting June 10th, Read More >
The earth has its problems, but a lack of resources is not one of them
“Is it OK to still have children?” That’s a question that bothers the environmental consciousness of Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Comedian Bill Maher thinks that he has the answer. “The great under-discussed factor in Read More >
The Euros 2019
No you have not missed a footie championship. The heading refers to the EU Parliamentary Elections last week, in which I stood and following which have been returned to Brussels as an MEP, for the Brexit Party, representing London.  I Read More >
Goldilocks And The Ten Bears
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 >
Nigel Farage is the one figure in British politics who has learnt from his mistakes
Success in politics, as with so many things, is often about learning from past mistakes. What is surprising, perhaps, is how few in politics – full as they are of their own sense of certainty – are able to do this. Following last week’s Read More >
The real problem with tech companies that go public
If investor confidence was affected by the stock market slides of ‘Red October’, it seemed to have returned with the arrival of spring 2019 and a highly anticipated series of IPOs. Following Lyft’s going public in March, around $5.1 Read More >
UK commercial property could stay the course through waves of uncertainty
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 >
2 Preferred Possibilities That Might Be Worth a Look
As you might very well know, real estate investment trusts, also known as REITs, are legally required to pay out no less than 90% of their taxable income. That’s how they’re structured to operate in the U.S., and they’re not allowed to Read More >
The Resurgence of Commuter Towns
The number of people leaving the capital hit a 10-year high in 2017, with 292,000 people deciding that they had enough of the Big Smoke. With much talk of London affordability and sizing-up opportunities in the suburbs, are we seeing a Read More >
Taking Weyerhaeuser to the Woodshed
By Brad Thomas and Michael Boyd Sometimes, you’ve got to switch it up to keep your portfolio properly diversified. That’s why this isn’t the first time we’ve sung the praises of buying into alternative asset classes. When people Read More >
It’s time to let Europe go supersonic
When France built its high-speed rail network, it revolutionised the way we looked at train travel. What takes 4-5 hours by long-distance bus from Brussels to Paris can now be completed in just over an hour with a Thalys train. Dumping slow Read More >
A one-size-fits-all Europe is doomed to failure
Fifteen years ago this month, on May 1, 2004, the European Union welcomed eight new member states. The “Eastern Enlargement” saw Eastern European and Baltic countries join the EU. Since then, other countries further to the east like Romania Read More >
Heads you win… tails you win?
UK long dated index-linked bond price Image Source: Ruffer LLP and Bloomberg (UK 2055 index-linked bond) We live in extraordinary times, and looking at recent political developments, both here and abroad, there is a risk that they Read More >
The Beyond Meat IPO is up 260% in two weeks!
Despite the global fame of its brand ambassadors Leonardo DiCaprio and Snoop Dog, Alternative faux meat specialist Beyond Meat (symbol BYND) electrified Wall Street with its white-hot IPO. The recent panic in financial markets and rising Read More >
Betting on Retail
A version of this article first appeared in the May 2019 edition of the Forbes Real Estate Investor. Every May for the past 20 years, I’ve made a pilgrimage up to Las Vegas. I call it a pilgrimage because it’s a long flight with Read More >
Case Study Houses
There is often a great desire for the keen student of architecture to see buildings in the flesh rather than as idealized photographic images which are so accessible in books and, especially now, on the internet.  So how do you see the Read More >
If life is getting worse then why are we so happy?
Last year I was asked to give a presentation on the challenges facing Western policymakers. We ranged widely across a depressing set of subjects, from stagnating incomes to inequality, public sector austerity, job insecurity and the rise of Read More >
The fall of Philip Green and the power of disruption
Few tears will be shed for the disappearance of a considerable portion of Sir Philip Green’s fortune.  According to The Sunday Times rich list, his Arcadia empire now has no net value. For many, this will be seen as a timely Read More >
How a million new homes could make the green belt greener
When Chief Secretary to the Treasury Liz Truss made the bold call for one million homes to be built on the green belt, some were quick to point out that such a policy wouldn’t necessarily receive a warm welcome from voters. Will Tanner, Read More >
The polls point towards a dramatic realignment. Are they right?
For a year or more after the 2017 election, your columnist’s most frequently asked question from politicians, journalists and many others, was why the polls have remained so stable, in spite of all the political turbulence. That has completely Read More >
Are farmers’ glasses half full or half empty?
As we look forward over the coming year, British agriculture is having to manage uncertainty – much like any other sector. Britain’s departure from the EU is not the only issue. Farms are also having to take on board the full implications of Read More >
The death of the small European investment manager
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 property investors and international fund Read More >
What explains the wealth explosion?
Most of the people alive now are incredibly fortunate compared to almost all of their ancestors. According to the World Bank, less than 10 per cent of the world’s population is now living in absolute poverty, at the edge of bare subsistence. Read More >
Control, Alt, Data: do we really understand the technology and data that will soon control our investment decisions?
Data is all the buzz around real estate, but how do we categorise it, what data do we need, what are the concerns and why should I care about the content of the local water supply before I consider whether to purchase a real estate Read More >
Derry needs a Marshall Plan
‘In the early morning the shirt factory horn called women from Creggan, the Moor, and the Bog.’ The lyrics of Phil Coulter’s popular song, ‘The Town I Iove so well,’ evoke a time when Derry, under fire in the early days of Northern Read More >
The Parisian skyscraper that’s a bit like Forrest Gump
European commercial property has changed a lot in the last 30 years, and this building had a front-row seat for it all A recent ride up in the lift of Cœur Défense in Paris shouldn’t have been notable. But, for me, it was exciting – Read More >
Uber’s IPO demonstrates the genius of capitalism
On Friday, Uber will aim to raise as much as $9 billion on the New York Stock Exchange in an IPO that could give the ride-hailing company a market valuation of nearly $90 billion. What is expected to be the biggest US IPO of the year so far has Read More >
Seasonality: Is There a Pattern in Property Development?
Summary:  Last summer saw 44,740 ‘new builds’ constructed in the UK - a 12% increase to the previous quarter. But, does this indicate a seasonal pattern in the property market? The REalyst digs deeper into the data to determine the Read More >
The 2018 stock market correction and the art of being patient
For most investors 2018 was a year to forget and from peak to trough, the FTSE All-Share index lost about 16% of its starting value. For many this was too much to take and several subscribers informed me of their decision to exit the stock Read More >
Global Investing
The Uber IPO is absurdly overvalued on NASDAQ  Uber Technologies goes public in the most controversial and global tech IPO since Facebook seven years ago. Uber bulls claim that the ride sharing colossus is another embryonic Amazon, a Read More >
Emissions targets are the wrong way to solve climate change
The Committee On Climate Change is the panel of experts that is supposed to give impartial advice, based on the very best science, to the politicians. The problem is that they don’t appear to understand the underlying science being discussed. Read More >
Does an ageing population really mean tax hikes are inevitable?
How will we cope with the costs of an ageing population? Yesterday, in an article for The Daily Telegraph, David Willetts made the case that this will soon become the issue in British politics. His piece was prompted by a new report from Read More >
Wanted: A leader for Britain’s shale revolution
The shale revolution in the United States has been of huge significance. Not only is that nation meeting its own energy needs but it has started exporting both oil and gas. It is astonishing to consider that only a decade ago few had heard of Read More >
Things just got a lot more difficult for commercial landlords
A recent Supreme Court case in the UK could have a serious impact on some long-term investors’ plans Not every legal case is relevant to property investors, but be assured this column is devoted to showcasing only those recent decisions Read More >
The Brexit odds have changed – but perhaps not by as much as we might be led to believe
Much has happened since my last Brexit forecast but I reckon that odds on the core Brexit outcomes might have remained remarkably stable. The ‘No Deal’ option has evaporated for the time being while according to hints in the weekend's press, Read More >
Exactly how many stars are in the Milky Way?
So that we don’t take Real Estate, economics and investing too seriously and to keep our daily lives in perspective, here is our very own Property Chronicle NASA Astrophysicist and his column 'Nothing Really Matters'. Based on tons of Read More >
Washington Monthly Diary
Thought for the month ahead:  While many Americans focus on who the Democrats might nominate for president next year, President Trump and China's President Xi hope to conclude a trade deal.  The markets are counting on it Read More >
Why we cannot afford to ignore the care crisis
One of the great success stories of the modern world has been the sustained increases in life expectancy we have seen in recent decades, and which are projected to continue for the foreseeable future. The fact we are living longer, healthier Read More >
Investing in Polish Commercial Property 4
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 >
What would Labour’s plan to scrap ‘slum housing’ actually achieve?
Labour’s latest housing wheeze is a plan to scrap a scheme that allows office and industrial buildings to be converted into homes without planning permission. This will apparently put an end to “slum housing and rabbit hutch flats” and Read More >
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 Read More >
Stores are still unbeatable advertisements
Some managers of physical stores are getting paid for online sales too – and landlords want a slice of the action While in Downtown Los Angeles a few weeks ago, I saw a large sign – like an oasis in the desert – for Dunkin’ Donuts Read More >
Hollywood’s love affair with the architect
And why other property professionals get lumped with the bad guy roles “I don’t build in order to have clients, I have clients in order to build!” raves Howard Roark, the architect hero of the 1949 film, The Fountainhead, based on Read More >
Consilia Capital Real Assets Monitor – Quarterly Performance Review
The report is divided into the following sections: 1)       A summary of  Fund  performance  The table below shows the average March 2019, Q1 2019 and 5 year returns for the mandates in our Read More >
The false choice between capitalism and saving the planet
The choice, apparently, is simple: capitalism or the planet. In a television clip that quickly went viral last week, Guardian columnist George Monbiot said that the way to prevent climate breakdown was to “change the system”: We have Read More >
Learn from my mistakes and avoid these three value traps
Most investors found 2018 to be a bumpy ride and I was no exception. The market price of my portfolio declined by more than 10% during the year, which was mildly annoying. But that’s not really what I’m talking about. When I talk about Read More >
The Flames of Notre Dame and the Prowl of the Tiger
My heart goes out to the people of France. The image of the burning cross taken from the air above the enflamed cathedral of Notre Dame is shattering. Its ruination, though, is causing immediate redemption. People all over France are pledging Read More >
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 >
Rightmove’s shares could be good value if you don’t care about dividends
Rightmove is an incredible business. In the 11 years since it listed on the stock exchange its: Revenues have gone up by more than 370%, going from £57 million to £268 millionEarnings have gone up by more than 1100%, going from 1.4p per Read More >
Plans to crack down on ‘no-fault’ evictions are a recipe for disaster
The Government has decided, for reasons unknown, to effectively abolish the assured shorthold tenancy, leaving the assured tenancy as the only viable form of renting. That sounds pretty trivial, but it is not far off a return to the situation Read More >
SINGAPORE REITS #10
Technical Analysis of FTSE ST REIT Index (FSTAS8670) The FTSE ST Real Estate Investment Trusts (FTSE ST REITs Index) continued its bullish rally, raising from 832.03 to 842.91 (+1.31%) as compared to my last post on Singapore REIT Read More >
Berlin embraces the folly of hard-left housing policies
In Berlin, support is growing for a referendum on mass property expropriation. In a move reminiscent of East Germany’s communist past, the referendum’s supporters aim to seize property from all private landlords who own more than 3,000 Read More >
April 2019
‘Timing is everything’ runs the investment cliché – actually it’s not: being right is better. In any event, spare a thought for the writer of this investment review who has been told that it must be in final form by 27 March. Of all Read More >
Should the Bank of England be responsible for controlling house prices?
Labour is said to be considering whether the Bank of England should be mandated to limit house price growth. According to The Guardian, this would be done not via interest rates but via mortgage regulation as overseen by the financial policy Read More >
The ‘New Build’ Premium Conundrum
While homeowners will pay a premium for their new build properties, a lower percentage of tenants will not. But does the data agree? In this month’s Market Mover, Gav delves deeper into the inconsistencies we’ve found in the ‘new build’ Read More >
Desert Diary 6
How the peaceful Gulf state became one of the dominant economies in the world in under half a century Here in the United Arab Emirates 2018 was the Year of Zayed, 12 months of commemoration to celebrate a century since the birth of the Read More >
What next in emerging markets and South African equities
While China is up a stellar 30% since New Year’s Day 2019 and the post Bolsonaro rally in Brazil has been a license to print money in the Bovespa, the broader emerging markets have been a sucker’s bet in the past decade relative to the Read More >
What does a political crisis do to a party’s polling performance?
As the Brexit crisis continues, many have expressed astonishment that the Labour Party has not (yet) been able to build up a substantial lead in voting intention polls. Their surprise is understandable – the government’s handling of Brexit Read More >
Cheaper food is good news for everyone
Last week, I wrote about the cost of food in the United States between 1919 and 2019. Using historical data, I showed that, on average, basic food items have become much cheaper relative to the wages of unskilled laborers. I focused on unskilled Read More >
In defence of the Trump tax cuts
They may have other differences, but all the major Democratic presidential candidates agree they want to repeal the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) of 2017. The GOP’s landmark tax reform made major changes to tax deductions, slashed the corporate Read More >
Shelter and Generation Rent? Radical? Don’t make me laugh…
Campaigning groups like Generation Rent and Shelter like to think they are simultaneously edgy and radical; likewise some think tanks believe themselves to be lofty, worldly and above the fray of day-to-day politics. So why, when it comes to Read More >
Don’t rely on the minimum wage in the fight against poverty
The National Minimum Wage is 20 years old today. Despite the controversy surrounding its inception, it is now widely accepted across the political spectrum. As I noted recently, it looks as though Philip Hammond wants to increase it Read More >
Peter Zumthor, the architect monk
Not long after his celebrated thermal baths were completed, Peter Zumthor, the idiosyncratic reclusive Swiss architect, gave a rare lecture in the elegant basement lecture hall at the RIBA.  I had only recently qualified and I was eager to Read More >
Local tax powers would let Britons take back control
With everything going on in Westminster at the moment, it’s easy to forget that Brexit was meant to be about taking back control. Some people dismiss that idea as mere campaign rhetoric, of course. Others see it as little more than jingoism. Read More >
The changing fortunes of the prime London housing market
Source: LonRes What does the chart show? It’s easy to fixate on what’s happening now and block out the – even most recent - past.  And this is never truer than when it comes to the housing market. In prime central London Read More >
A Northern property powerhouse
Lee Jones, founder of The Lettings Room and The Investment Room, in conversation with The Property Chronicle Lee Jones is the owner and director of The Lettings Room and The Investment Room based in Stocksbridge, Sheffield. Specialising in Read More >
Mumford’s mistake
The United States has experienced over 40 years of diminished economic growth. While different data sources and analyses yield different estimates, they all confirm several decades of slow economic growth. Earlier, from the 1890s to 1972, Read More >
The Golden Opportunity in Build-To-Rent Demand
Summary:   With the number of BTR developments expected to increase by 180% in the next 6 years, is this a golden opportunity for developers? The REalyst takes a closer look, using the REalyse platform to find potential BTR Read More >
Women’s property rights and the path to prosperity
The struggle for women’s liberation is often framed in terms of the campaign to secure the vote in the early years of the 20th century. Less heralded is the way women in several Western nations acquired property rights in the middle decades of Read More >
Letter from Washington
President Trump's schedule (EDT): 1:00 PM:  Visits Lake Okeechobee and Herbert Hoover Dike, Canal Point, FL.   2:35 PM:  Arrives back at Mar-a-Lago. "Kudlow Says U.S. Ready to Extend China Talks by Weeks or Months."  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 >
Blain’s Morning Porridge
In the headlines this morning... This is the day the UK isn’t exiting Europe. Surprised? Not really.  Think I’ll try something different this morning - a review of the week touching on some of the key themes we should be thinking Read More >
Robert Mueller and the delusion of America’s partisan media
“I am an innocent man,’ Billy Joel bellowed on his song of that name. “Oh yes, I am.” “Love your music!” Donald Trump tweeted in 2016 after the Bronx piano-tickler had dedicated performances of his 1974 tune ‘The Entertainer’ Read More >
BAE Systems’ dividend yield is high, but is it good value?
BAE Systems is an obvious choice for dividend investors.That's because:  (1) BAE Systems is the UK's largest defence manufacturer which should make it a relatively defensive company (governments may cut defence spending during Read More >
A king among cloud busters
How a whisky magnate’s daughter fought to build a skyscraper that still takes the breath away  I must confess that I am not a huge fan of skyscrapers – or ‘cloud busters’ as they were first described in Chicago in the 1920s. Read More >
Why I am buying sterling, selling euros
I might look very silly by the end of the month but there will not be a no deal Brexit. Neither side can afford this outcome. Sadly my crystal ball doesn’t run to how soft the Brexit will be, but what we do know is that a process of Read More >
Why Centrica no longer meets my investment criteria
In 2012, one of the first companies I invested in as a defensive value investor was Centrica, the company behind British Gas. It seemed like a good idea at the time. Centrica was a leading player in the defensive utilities sector, with a Read More >
Shopping Centre Valuation: The changing face of retail
(How Much Is) That Doggie in the Window? - Bob Merrill (January 1953) As the quote above reminds us, retail is all about enticing shoppers to part with their money to buy the goods on display. Historically, retailers have displayed their Read More >
What’s the point of a social media tax?
It is possible to wonder a little about those who rule us. Occasionally they come up with ideas that leave more than a hint of a suspicion that they don’t have much of a clue. The latest example comes from the All Party Parliamentary Group Read More >
An interview with Sandy Gumm
Tim Green speaks to Sandy Gumm, Chief Operating Officer of Prestbury Investments LLP Sandy Gumm is an Australian-qualified chartered accountant. She is chief operating officer of Prestbury Investments LLP, which is investment adviser to Read More >
The coming smart city revolution
Sensors, data and automation will increasingly define construction projects – as well as cityscapes There are more than 1,000 ongoing smart city projects around the world right now. Sensors, data and automation will increasingly define Read More >
Ignore the Spending Review at your peril – the stakes have never been higher
You could be forgiven for not having noticed, but last week the Chancellor delivered his Spring Statement. This is essentially just a response to the biannual fiscal updates which the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) is mandated to Read More >
The February 2019 Market Report
February was a relatively quiet month for the wine market. The month started with the Chinese New Year celebrations which meant Asia was quiet and it also contained a European half term break. Sentiment towards Brexit turned, meaning GBP 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 >
Letter from Washington
President Trump's schedule (EDT): 11:00 AM:  Meets with national security officials at the Pentagon; and 12:30 p.m.: Has lunch with Secretary of State Pompeo. White House "'Carried Interest' Back in Play as Democrats Eye Tax Read More >
SINGAPORE REITS #9
The FTSE ST Real Estate Investment Trusts (FTSE ST REITs Index) continued its bullish rally, raising from 832.03 to 842.91 (+1.31%) as compared to my last post on Singapore REIT Fundamental Comparison Table on Feb 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 >
If the point of Help to Buy is to help people buy, there are other and better ways
The housing minister describes being stopped in the street by people wanting to thank him for Help to Buy. ‘Several people have stopped me and thanked me for it, because it gives young people access to homes that otherwise they would not Read More >
Divergence in Leeds: Why Are House Prices Behind the Curve?
Last quarter’s reports showed Leeds lagging behind the upward house price curve, while Birmingham and Manchester prices steamed ahead. In this month’s Market Mover, REalyse’s CEO and Statistical Mastermind, Gavriel Merkado, takes a closer Read More >
Letter from Washington
Fed Chair Powell will speak at 10 PM EST tonight on "Monetary Policy Normalization and Review" at Stanford University, CA  Watch it live here. President and Mrs. Trump will depart the White House at 9:20 AM EST this morning for Fort Read More >
Fewer landlords does not mean fewer homes – let’s not design policy as if it does
I keep hearing it said that we should not re-regulate private renting, or if we do then we need to be very careful about it, lest landlords disinvest. This would exacerbate supply issues in places like London, it is claimed. One policy type told Read More >
Rise and Fall: The shift in household growth rates since the 1990s
Daniel Bentley and Alex McCallum, February 2019 Over the past two decades, UK household formation rates have undergone a striking change. After many decades during which the number of households per head of population was rising, since around Read More >
Cheltenham Festival 2019 – George marks your card
Shortly after 1.30pm next Tuesday afternoon, "The Roar" will signal the start of four days of compelling sport. 60,000 voices greeting the start of the Cheltenham Festival as the runners are sent on their way for the meeting's opening contest, Read More >
The houses that sugar built
The early history of the Caribbean (and especially Barbados) is well told in the book Sugar Barons by Matthew Parker. Even by the cruel standards of the time, the descriptions of the treatment of indentured servants and slaves (who were Read More >
March Madness: REIT Bracketology Begins
Excerpts of this article appeared in the March 2019 edition of the Forbes Real Estate Investor. March is one of my favorite months in the year, especially because that’s when the biggest college basketball tournament takes place, and 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 >
Rot and decay are life giving​ processes, and environments without these processes are ultimately doomed
There are two types of invertebrate on our farm that I refer to as “the enemy”. They are the fly and the liver fluke, one an external parasite and the other an internal one, each the bane of the health of our cattle and sheep across the Read More >
How Big Data Could Prevent Miscalculating Revenue Forecasts in the UK Property Market
Purplebricks, the online estate agent, was in the headlines last week for all the wrong reasons: shares nose-dived by 40%, revenue forecasts came in short of £35m and management resigned. But could this all have been avoided with the help of Read More >
Response to ‘What do we mean by #RethinkRealEstate?’ by Yolanda Barnes
I started perusing The Property Chronicle a few months ago when I came across a good piece by John Ratcliffe.  This morning I knew I had to respond to Yolande Barnes' What do we mean by #RethinkRealEstate? She's a professor of real Read More >
Congratulations to Professor Nick French!
Congratulations from us all at The Property Chronicle to our fantastic contributor Nick French, who is getting married this Sunday. We hope you have a wonderful day! Read More >
REITs & Recessions – A Historical Reminder
As readers know, I’ve shown time and again how REITs are a great source of generous, safe, and growing income over time, and a favorite among high-yield investors – a group that includes those with low-risk tolerances such as retirees Read More >
Good News, Bad News and Walls of Worry
The MSCI All Country World Index is up some 250% since the financial crisis. But was there ever a cycle in which investors were more skeptical about the market’s upward momentum, where stock valuations had to climb so many “walls of Read More >
Six Tech trends to watch out for in 2019
1. It’s time to take responsbility Unease about big tech’s impact on society is driving a movement towards responsibility. Fifty-one per cent of Americans think that major technology companies should be regulated more than they currently Read More >
Blain’s Morning Porridge
“Dydd Gwyl Dewi Hapus” In the headlines this morning... A moment of frostiness in the Blain household this morning after I failed to provide my very Welsh “She-Who-Is-Now-Mrs-Blain” with Daffodils for St David’s Day. Cup of tea Read More >
Diary of a Traveling Academic – When property sold for ten cents on the dollar
These last six months have been full of terrific opportunities for this travelling academic to feed her real estate addiction.  First up was a trip home to Madison for the Wisconsin Real Estate Alumni Association. Since I hold three Read More >
Only genuinely free markets will save capitalism from the far left
New anti-market movements are emerging. In Britain and America, a revivalist Left is ascendant, winning not only seats in Parliament and Congress, but hearts and minds in classrooms, on campuses and online. The appeal of the likes of Jeremy Read More >
Spare us the crocodile tears about tiny homes and co-living spaces
A new report from the Social Market Foundation, suggesting building co-living spaces for sale to mitigate the housing crisis, has attracted the usual backlash. Much of the opposition to tiny homes, co-living facilities and the like comes from 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 >
Diary of a Real Estate Professor
What do we mean by #RethinkRealEstate? If you are wondering what your life is about and want to get rather philosophical about it all, there is nothing quite like acquiring a new job title –particularly when you have to make it up yourself. Read More >
The UK Housing Market in 2019 | The Deep Trends (part 3)
PART III: the UK Macro and Micro Factors Following on from Part 2 of The UK Housing Market in 2019: the Deep Trends, where I analysed domestic macro factors in the forecasting the near-term future of house prices here in the UK and for 2019, Read More >
Honda’s Swindon plant is a victim of the electrification revolution
Despite giddy excitement in Westminster regarding the formation of The Independent Group, the most sobering news of the week was the announcement that Honda would be closing its Swindon factory in 2021, taking 7000 jobs with it. The news 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 >
Blain’s Morning Porridge
“She was a Stradivarius of an Airplane!” In the headlines this morning... Some marvellous stuff in the papers this morning and on the screens – slight delay to the porridge this morning is because we watched the USAF RAF flypast from Read More >
No definition, no soul, no purpose – what is the point of the Independent Group?
And then there were eleven. The “Independent Group” of MPs can, for the time being, field a cricket team. They now hold more seats in the House of Commons than the Democratic Unionist Party. They are not so much a third way as the fourth 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 >
Banning short selling stops the market from doing its job
The German authorities have recently banned short selling in a company called Wirecard – this is the wrong decision. It misses the point of what markets are actually about, namely finding the correct price for something. If that happens to Read More >
In maritime investments it pays to cast your network wide
In our last article we looked at how Ship Owners were attracting financial investments through innovating their product offering and slowly catching up with the digital age. This commentary will now focus on the softer skills required in dealing Read More >
The UK Housing Market in 2019 – The Deep Trends (Part 2)
PART II: the UK Macro Factors Following on from Part 1, where I analysed global macro factors in the forecasting the near-term future of house prices here in the UK and for 2019, I will now shift my focus to the meaty questions: what Read More >
The Green Line – February 2019
Once a month we will bring you an interesting chart with a short commentary. Our aim is to illuminate the corners of financial markets. TINA turning? Rising returns on cash may cause investors to withdraw from riskier assets such as 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 >
Blain’s Morning Porridge
Not as glamorous as Brooklyn, as cool as Staten Island, or as private as Manhattan… ”* *In the headlines this morning Bit of jolt to stock market’s yesterday – US Retail Sales crash, Trade War concerns, slowdown in China, 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 >
The UK Housing Market in 2019 – The Deep Trends (Part one)
PART I: The Global Macro Factors Time and again, I am asked: What about the future? What can you tell me about what will happen tomorrow? Next week? Next month? Next year?  In this series, I will be doing just that and forecasting the Read More >
Jeremy Corbyn Provides the Best Chance of Retrieving Margaret Thatcher’s Property-Owning Democracy
When considering the investment risks that would arise from the implementation of an anti-capitalist labour manifesto, we should start by considering both the likelihood of this outcome and the form of Brexit that will provide the economic and 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 >
London must be the UK’s shining star, not a vortex
London is the lodestar of the UK economy - but it has an image problem According to a newly released report, it’s time for London to shed its uncaring image and show the rest of the UK a little love. The Centre for London’s London, Read More >

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Investor's Notebook

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Recent financial news and how it connects across all asset classes

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The Architect

Some of the profession's best minds

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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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