London has overtaken New York as the top destination for the Norwegian wealth fund’s unlisted real estate investments, a report showed.
The $1 trillion fund is focusing on investing in ten locations, which it considers to be global cities that are expected to grow in terms of numbers, employment and trade.
London, New York and Paris accounted for 22.8 percent, 21.5 percent and 19.1 percent of the fund’s unlisted property investments in 2017.
In 2016, New York was first, followed by London and Paris, accounting for 19.2 percent, 17 percent and 13.1 percent, of these investments respectively.
The fund’s unlisted real estate investments corresponded to 2.6 percent of overal assets at end-2017. Its target is to invest up to 7 percent of its value in such properties over time.
The fund is a co-owner of London’s Regent Street and properties on the Champs-Elysees in Paris and Hudson Square in New York. It funnels the revenues from Norway’s oil and gas production, investing in stocks, bonds and real estate.
The fund made its first unlisted real estate investment in Asia, in Tokyo in December, and has eyed investing in Singapore, although it has yet to make a purchase in the city-state.
The fund invested 15 billion Norwegian crowns ($1.94 billion) in unlisted real estate in 2017, taking its total holdings to 219 billion crowns.
Source: https://uk.reuters.com / Reuters Staff
Estate agent Savills will embark on further international expansion after shrugging off concerns in the UK property market to grow revenues and profits last year.
Jeremy Helsby, the outgoing chief executive, said the company's focus for this year would be its expansion in Europe, where it has recently grown operations in the Czech Republic and the Netherlands. But also said Savills would be looking at opportunities in new markets including South America, the Middle East and India.
But the global real estate firm gave a cautious warning that while it had made a “solid start” to 2018, it anticipated a “tempering” of the recent strong transaction volumes in some markets this year amid geopolitical risks and rising interest rates.
In the year to Dec 31, strong growth in the UK and Asia, including Hong Kong, China, Australia and Japan, boosted Savills' pre-tax profits to £112.4m, up from £99.8m in 2016.
The company, which earns nearly two-thirds of its revenue outside the UK, said global turnover was £1.6bn in 2017, an 11pc increase on the year before.
Despite "challenging conditions" in the domestic residential and commercial markets, revenue in the UK rose 8pc to £626m.
It called out the resilience of its UK business, which delivered the second strongest revenue growth in 2017 behind Asia, which achieved income growth of 16pc, following heavy investment in Hong Kong and China.
Analysts at financial services firm UBS said fears that commercial transactions in the UK would slump following the EU referendum vote in 2016 seem not to have played out, with the market performing "better than expected", as occupiers and investors took a more "realistic" view on Brexit risks.
However, analysts agree that property markets in 2018 are expected to be more subdued. In December, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors said house price growth would "grind to a halt" this year amid a toxic cocktail of low levels of sales and homes on the market, as well as cautious buyers.
Halifax said it predicts UK house price growth to remain low this year, between 0pc and 3pc.
Savills shares were up 0.3pc on Thursday morning, to 979p.
Analysts at Peel Hunt said: "The shares look fairly priced given the outlook, so current holders should be relaxed. Potential investors need to wait for a better buying opportunity".
Source: https://www.telegraph.co.uk / Sophie Christie
Much is said about millennials not having much interest in homeownership. In reality, nothing could be further from the truth. According to new data from Apartment List. 80% of millennials do have the desire to buy their own homes. However, it’s economic factors that are delaying the process, sometimes by as long as two decades. This assumes a 20% down payment. Still, even if this is reduced by half, only 33% of millennials would be able to save that amount in five years or less.
For the millennials that are able to get out on the market and look for a home, the process will look much different for them than it looked for their parents or grandparents. One reason for this is the relatively new introduction of virtual reality (VR) technology.
Well-heeled millennials will demand a high quality VR experience
Real estate commissions are a 52 billion dollar industry. The ability to use VR to showcase homes, something that Sotheby’s is already doing, has major potential to cause disruption. Given that 95% of buyers use the internet to look for homes, and 51% buy homes that they have found using the internet, adding VR to the mix seems like a natural next step.
One of the reasons that Sotheby's is already engaged in using VR as a means to show homes is that many luxury home sales are done without the buyer ever having stepped foot onto the property. This is often because these transactions are done on a global scale where in person showings simply are not feasible. Not only will millennials involved in these transactions expect this service to be made available to them, they will likely demand an increasingly higher quality experience.
Home sales done via Facebook may soon involve VR
There is speculation that the driving factor behind Facebook's decision to buy Oculus Rift was its potential for use in the platform’s marketplace. Considering that Facebook is heavily invested in the growth of person to person sales, the idea that a real estate transaction could take place sans realtor could drive more people to consider undertaking this process with no middleman between the buyer and seller. This can have a serious impact on the amount of time it takes to buy a house.
Home and apartment rentals will also be impacted
One of the consequences of millennials’ inability to purchase homes as early as previous generations is a major uptick in the single family and apartment rental industry. While single and attached home rentals are growing at an even faster pace, apartment rentals are being changed by the use of virtual reality.
Rather than taking the time to show properties individually, rental managers can simply schedule live VR sessions where they can show properties and answer questions. Using MARK.SPACE, a blockchain-powered 3D and VR open source platform for creation and integration of spaces and objects, they can also record showings and make those available to potential renters to view online.
There will be fewer tire kickers at showings
As more potential buyers are able to use virtual reality to tour potential homes online, fewer will come to open houses or one on one viewings with real estate agents. Buyers benefit from this because they can tour homes using VR and eliminate all from consideration that aren’t appealing based on what they observe. This means less travel and expense looking at homes. Sellers and agents benefit because they can sell a home faster and not waste time trying to market homes to tire kickers or those who simply won’t find those homes worthy of consideration.
Millennials will embrace the use of VR before others
About 71% of millennials express very positive feelings regarding virtual reality. This isn’t surprising as they tend to be early and enthusiastic adopters of technology. While members of older generations may need some convincing that VR adds value to the real estate process, millennials will be eager to take advantage of it. As a result of this, they may start to gain an advantage simply by being able to enjoy a more streamlined process when searching for homes they can afford. Because use of VR can mean less work for real estate agents, millennials may find themselves being courted by listing agents.
VR will also impact real estate development
For years, product designers have used 3D modeling to give investors the best idea possible of what a final product might look like. VR technology means that real estate developers can do the same thing. Potential buyers and investors will be able to see a home or building as it will look when it’s completed.
More millennials are interested in homeownership than many people think. Unfortunately, economic factors are delaying the process, sometimes by decades. However, when millennials are ready to purchase a home, or even look for a rental, they will likely find that virtual reality is an important part of the process. If they embrace this, they can enjoy a home buying process that is much simpler and more convenient.
Source: https://www.forbes.com / Andrew Arnold
Manhattan real estate sales and prices took a fall in the fourth quarter, and they're likely to slide even further this year after the new tax rules take effect.
Total sales volume fell 12 percent compared with the fourth quarter of last year — the lowest quarterly level in six years, according to a report from Douglas Elliman Real Estate and Miller Samuel, the appraisal firm. The average sales price in Manhattan fell below $2 million for the first time in nearly two years.
Brokers say the declines were simply the result of uncertainty around the Republican tax plan, as buyers held off until the details of the new law became clear. They say many of those buyers have since rushed in and will help show a rebound.
Yet the luxury market in Manhattan is suffering from an expanding glut of high-end and highly priced apartments. And analysts say that while sales may rebound slightly in the first quarter of 2018, the tax law — which limits the deductibility of state and local taxes — will continue to add pressure to New York City housing prices, especially at the top.
"There will be an impact on prices and sales," said Jonathan Miller, president and CEO of Miller Samuel. "But it may take up to a year and a half to two years to see the full impact."
The high end of the Manhattan market is showing the biggest cracks. Inventory of luxury apartments — those in the top 10 percent by price — grew by 15 percent. There is now a 17-month supply of luxury apartments in Manhattan, up from 10 months a year ago.
And with giant new condo towers sprouting up in every corner of the city, those numbers are likely to grow.
Miller said that resales — as opposed to new development — are holding up strong, with median sales prices up by 2 percent over last year. But prices for new developments fell 17 percent over last year and the number of sales are down 20 percent.
The number of new developments is expected to continue to rise this year and next, which will add to inventory, Miller said. While demand for "low-end" apartments priced at $1 million to $2 million remains strong, sales of apartments of more than $5 million will get tougher. In part, that's because the rich have more discretion on when and where to buy homes — and with the costs of owning a home in New York going up with the tax plan, apartments aimed at the rich will see the biggest price hits.
Miller said that while buyers have already adjusted, sellers may take more time to catch up.
"The sellers were already recalibrating after 2015," he said. "Now they will have to readjust again."
Source: https://www.cnbc.com / Robert Frank
House prices in parts of London that were once at the epicentre of the UK property boom have fallen as much as 15% over the past year in fresh evidence of the impact of the EU referendum.
Figures from Your Move, one of the UK’s biggest estate agency chains, reveal that the average home in Wandsworth – which includes much of Clapham, Balham and Putney – fell by more than £100,000 in value over the last 12 months.
But property prices have surged in the north-west of England, with Blackburn recording the highest growth rates in the UK.
Homes in the London borough of Wandsworth were fetching an average of £805,000 in January 2017 but this has now fallen to £685,000.
Other London boroughs are also showing steep price falls. In Southwark, south London, the average price has dropped from £666,000 to £585,000 in 12 months, while prices have pegged back in Islington, north London, from £750,000 to £684,000.
Wandsworth and Southwark are home to huge speculative property developments facing on to the River Thames – including the Battersea Power Station development – but the market for £1m-plus one-bed properties has shrivelled in recent years.
Your Move said that across the capital average prices were down 2.6% over the year, and have now fallen for the last three months in a row. “This is the steepest annual rate of decline in London prices since August 2009, during the last housing slump, which was itself associated with the banking credit crisis of 2008-09,” it said.
The north-west of England has now replaced the capital as the fastest-growing property market in the UK. Top of the league for price growth is Blackburn, which recorded average prices ahead by 16.4% over the last 12 months.
Warrington is also seeing double-digit growth, with prices up 10.3%. “The north-west’s major conurbations are also performing strongly; Greater Manchester prices are up 4.3%; in Merseyside prices have increased by 8%,” said Your Move.
Nationally, prices grew by 0.5% on the month, but annualised rate of change has fallen to just 0.6%.
“While there have been monthly increases in house prices for the last two months, the annual rate of growth has slowed in England and Wales. Although its beginnings were in London, this has now spread to the south-east and north-east too. All three have seen prices fall on an annual basis,” said Your Move.
Last week figures from Halifax also highlighted how the UK property market is slowing. It said the annual rate of house price growth has fallen to 1.8%, its lowest level for almost five years.
With the most recent official data showing earnings growth averaging 2.5%, that means that unusually, wages are currently outpacing house prices.
Oculus Go, the standalone VR headset, is now available to developers eager to start developing apps for its release date in early 2018.
The new headset by makers Oculus, aims to be an affordable solution at an estimated cost of $199 for first time users of VR who do not want fork out on compatible high spec computers for the Oculus Rift or HTC Vive. The Gear VR needs a Samsung phone to operate, so this rules out loyal iPhone users.
By having a standalone VR headset, Oculus aims to garner more mass users of VR headsets at a reasonable entry price, but more importantly at high quality.
You can find out more information on the Oculus Go here.
Designed by the world-renowned Architects, Foster and Partners, 250 City Road creates a new landmark for London at the heart of one of the most vibrant areas of the Capital. At 42 storeys high, this impressive tower provides breath-taking views and a host of world class services on your doorstep.
Designed by the world-renowned Architects, Foster and Partners, 250 City Road creates a new landmark for London. Situated in a prime location between Angel and Old Street, 250 City Road is within walking distance of the City of London's financial district, Tech City and the vibrant bars, restaurants and nightlife of Shoreditch. With the delights of Upper Street, Old Street and Silicon Roundabout less than a ten minute walk away, this is the perfect destination to work and play. The scheme will play host to cafes, restaurants, retail outlets, creative workspaces for new start-ups and a 4* nhow hotel with the addition of 2 acres of beautiful wi-fi enabled green spaces making this a vibrant new area. With stunning views in every direction, 250 City Road rises above its surroundings to bring the Capital to your door.
Berkeley Homes are working with expert interior designers to create elegant, light filled apartments complimented by the finest materials. In every apartment, the distinctive winter garden provides an instant connection with the world outside.. Floor-to-ceiling windows allow natural light to flood the apartment creating bright and expansive living and dining areas. Large double bedrooms are beautifully designed with fitted wardrobes providing ample storage space while elegant bathrooms showcase timeless four piece suites. Start the day with impressive views out over the city and beyond in an apartment that offers everything for fast, flexible living. After a busy day, return to find the space to relax in comfortable surroundings as the city buzzes beneath you.
250 City Road is home to a state-of-the-art gym and rooftop fitness terrace with views towards the City and canal basin. Residents can wind down after a hard day in the luxurious swimming pool and spa or work away from the office in the residents' lounge, a 24 hour concierge service is on-hand to provide assistance.
Outside space takes on a whole new dimension at 250 City Road. A central plaza surrounds the beautiful wi-fi enabled parkland potted with mature trees, water features and wildflower beds. Bustling cafes and restaurants open out onto the public walkway that rings the ecologically diverse scenery. Art installations will draw the eye and capture the attention of those passing by. Places to relax and recharge seem to spring up within this undulating landscape encouraging people to step away from the street and enjoy all that the parkland has to offer.
As one of the most exciting and accessible locations in London, the delights of the capital are within touching distance at 250 City Road. Combining breathtaking architecture and peaceful green gardens, this is a new urban quarter unlike any other.
Connecting Tech City with the cultural attractions of Islington and the City beyond, 250 City Road is the first of its kind - a new community of intelligent residences that offers all the energy of city life with the tranquillity of green spaces.
From established names to pop-up gastronomy, café culture to simple street food, everything is close at hand. Simply step outside your door and a world of culinary delights awaits.
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One Tower Bridge is a prestigious development offering a five-star living experience by the banks of the Thames. It offers uninterrupted views of one of the world's most iconic landmarks, unrivalled residents' facilities and the highest of specifications. In addition to the incredible apartments, a plethora of exciting new retail and commercial signings, including The Bridge Theatre and The Ivy Restaurant, will make One Tower Bridge the most sought after destinations in London.
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