Confessions of a valuer – chapter 17: Scotland, ducks and water – The Property Chronicle
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Confessions of a valuer – chapter 17: Scotland, ducks and water

The Storyteller

In this very special series of exclusive articles for the Property Chronicle, Australian property legend Norman Harker reflects on his extraordinary 50-year life in real estate. He will pull no punches partly because, as he freely admits, Norman has a limited life expectancy of five years from December 2018 due to a diagnosed terminal blood cancer, which he has cheerfully accepted in preference to (in his words) “kicking the bucket without notice”. We are honoured he has chosen us to publish these brilliant, funny and incisive reflections of a lifetime in property.

Chapter 16 left you bored over why I became a lecherer in valuation in the Department of Land Economy, University of Aberdeen, Scotland – founded 1494 – floundered, 1985. In 1494 The Mayflower was possibly still growing and Australia wasn’t even on the maps.

1494: Aberdeen, The Mayflower still growing, Australia not on maps 

My own family possibly came from the village of Harker, northeast of Carlisle on the border between England and Scotland. One ancestor, a tad bored with raping, looting and pillaging and being raped, looted and pillaged in return, went south and founded the great Harker dynasty.

‘Canny’ is often interpreted as ‘mean’ in English but Canny really means ‘wise investors’

It was a move to an ancestral battleground. However, I soon found the Scots to be warmhearted, friendly and embarrassingly generous. ‘Canny’ is often interpreted as ‘mean’ in English, but canny really means ‘wise investors’. It has nothing to do with their spirit of generosity. Scots Pension Funds have long been among the best performing.

The Storyteller

About Norman Harker

Norman Harker

Norman Harker FRICS FAPI, the Principal of Sydney-based consultant Norman Harker & Associates, is a specialist Excel property consultant, with expertise in developing, validating, and securing the robustness of Excel DCF and CF analyses for analysing transactions, valuations, investment analysis and feasibility studies. He was an elected New South Wales divisional board member of the Australian Property Institute in 2013-2015 and for many years was a senior lecturer at the University of Western Sydney, where he specialised in developing applications for the use of practising valuers; before that he lectured at the University of Aberdeen in Scotland. He began his career at Conrad Ritblat & Co in London, where he rose from trainee valuer to associate partner. He was diagnosed with incurable multiple myeloma in 2018 and given a life expectancy of five years, and also suffers from an incurable and often inappropriate sense of humour.

Articles by Norman Harker

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