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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 residential property management is broken and the regulation of managing agents long overdue. Not just from a financial point of view but also operationally, for running safe and compliant buildings. Leaseholders are typically disenfranchised, sometimes dismayed and often confused, while there are repeated reports of... Read More >

Recent Articles:

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 have 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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