House bought through fate, set to find another family

first_imgKris Thomsen outside her home which is going to auction on March 17. Picture: AAP image, John Gass.It must have been fate that led Kris Thomsen and her husband to their home at 7 Brook St, Kalinga, 21 years ago.The couple was renting in the area and loved living so close to Kalinga Park and Kedron Brook.When they needed to vacate the rental property they were keen to secure something else in the area and were given the keys to look at another rental, which they thought was 7 Brook St, Kalinga.Turned out it wasn’t, but after they couldn’t get into the house they noticed a for sale sign out the front.7 Brook St, Kalinga. Picture:“We saw a sign out the front that it was for sale, and we loved it,’’ Ms Thomsen said. “It must have been fate, because we weren’t looking to buy.’’The house itself started out on Junction Rd, Clayfield, and was moved to the Brook St site in the nineties.More from newsNew apartments released at idyllic retirement community Samford Grove Presented by Parks and wildlife the new lust-haves post coronavirus20 hours agoIt was highset with three bedrooms, but over their years of ownership Ms Thomsen said they had renovated and built in underneath to make it a four-bedroom home. She said the street had had many comings and goings over the years, with other homes delivered there and removed, but now it was very settled and a “calm environment’’.Her favourite part of the home, known as Willow Brook, is the kitchen which was updated three years ago.7 Brook St, Kalinga. Picture:“I spent a lot of time in the kitchen and it really works for me, it has a huge amount of storage,’’ Ms Thomsen said.The 1910 home still retains many of its traditional features including leadlight doors and windows and timber floors.The home has airconditioning throughout and ceiling fans.There is also a claw foot bath tub.Ms Thomsen said she would miss the house and being so close to facilities and the quick access to the city through public transport.It will be auctioned today at noon through Lisa Cowan of Ray White – New Farm.last_img read more

Water views make luxury Gold Coast home special

first_img10 Moray Crt, Benowa Waters. 10 Moray Crt, Benowa Waters.Mr Thorn decided to move from Perth after visiting the Gold Coast and enjoying the laid-back coastal lifestyle.“When I retired, I decided this is the place to be,” he said.He said it was the perfect family home.The couple have breathed new life into the five-bedroom, four bathroom property over the years, expanding it and giving it a more elegant style.“I’ve spent about $650,000 to make it really nice,” Mr Thorn said.Flawless marble, granite and porcelain finishes are featured throughout while wide windows frame the water views. It also has a home theatre, sunroom and two wet bars. 10 Moray Crt, Benowa Waters.A wraparound alfresco entertainment area with timber deck overlooks the canal and pool, which leads down to a terrace and then a lawn area with water access from a pontoon.Mr Thorn said while they loved the home, it was time to downsize because they were “empty nesting”. 10 Moray Crt, Benowa Waters.LIVING on the waterfront is a dream for many people, but imagine it almost surrounding your home.This Benowa Waters property is perfectly positioned to make the most of 180 degree canal views.It was one of the reasons David and Suporn Thorn bought the Mediterranean inspired home at 10 Moray Court almost 20 years ago. 10 Moray Crt, Benowa Waters.center_img 10 Moray Crt, Benowa Waters. 10 Moray Crt, Benowa Waters.More from news02:37International architect Desmond Brooks selling luxury beach villa18 hours ago02:37Gold Coast property: Sovereign Islands mega mansion hits market with $16m price tag2 days ago 10 Moray Crt, Benowa Waters.last_img read more

Inner-Brisbane chuch could be converted into units

first_imgThe former church is still in great condition.The council approved the application earlier this year. Although a devoloper could snap up the land and convert it into units, Mr Mirosch said there could be interest from community groups keep the building as is.“It is in very good order,” he said. More from newsParks and wildlife the new lust-haves post coronavirus19 hours agoNoosa’s best beachfront penthouse is about to hit the market19 hours agoBrisbane City Council has granted approval for a conversion of the building.The church sits on a 572 sqm block and was used as a place of worship for 61 years.The current owner bought the decommisioned church late last year for just over $700,000 before lodging an application with council to convert the building to convert the building into five single bedroom units. REBIRTH: An old church in Wilston could be converted into units.AN OLD church in an inner Brisbane suburb could be born again as apartments. The post-war church building at 8 Kedron Brook Road in Wilston is set to go under the hammer this month after the owners got council approval to convert the building into units.Agent Richard Mirosch from LJ Hooker Stafford said it was a good location for a unit development.“It is a very good location, it is only 400 metres to Wilston Train Station and just 4 and a half kilometres to the CBD,” Mr Mirosch said.“It is close to cafes and restaurants.”He was unsure of exactly when the last service for the church was held, but suspected that changing demographics in the area could have led to declining parishioners. center_img The building could also be used by community groups.The site will go to auction on Saturday, May 26 at 11am on-site.last_img read more

Gold Coast home fetches $2.6 million days before it was due to go under the hammer

first_imgThe water views can be enjoyed from almost every room in the house. Perfect for entertaining, especially during the warmer months. More from news02:37International architect Desmond Brooks selling luxury beach villa17 hours ago02:37Gold Coast property: Sovereign Islands mega mansion hits market with $16m price tag2 days agoThe main living areas are open plan.She said they didn’t want to risk missing out on the five-bedroom, five-bathroom home, where they wanted to retire, so made an offer on the spot.“They had a look in the morning then had a second look in the afternoon and made an offer,” Mrs Schmidt said.“We had a couple of interested parties (and) I’d say we probably had 20 groups though.”It sold within the third week of its auction campaign but has been on the market since October last year.Mrs Schmidt said prospective buyers liked the size of the 863sq m property as well as its waterfront position. Imagine watching sunsets from here.A SOVEREIGN Islands home has fetched $2.6 million days before it was scheduled to go under the hammer.An interstate couple bought the waterfront property at 40 The Sovereign Mile.Marketing agent Jeanette Schmidt, of Professionals Vertullo Real Estate, said they flew up from NSW to see it about a week before it was due to go to auction last Saturday. The perfect view. A bedroom fit for royalty. The indoor living area flows seamlessly outside. The kitchen is large and versatile.“The house is actually very deceiving in that it doesn’t look as big (as it is) from the outside,” Mrs Schmidt said.The home has multiple living areas, including a media room and upstairs children’s retreat, as well as a gym, outdoor entertainment area, pool and private courtyard.“There’s somewhere for everyone,” Mrs Schmidt said.There were several million-dollar sales on the Gold Coast last week.A hilltop home at Sanctuary Cove sold for $1.345 million on Friday while a Rainbow Bay apartment sold for $1.22 million and an Isle of Capri home sold for $1.201 million. The home has multiple living areas.last_img read more

Two in race for high-speed concession

first_imgINTRO: Next month is due to see the selection of a preferred bidder for a build-operate-transfer concession to build Taiwan’s long-planned Taipei – Kaohsiung high speed line. The government hopes to have the 340 km route open by 2003BYLINE: Dr Ching-Lung LiaoDirector General, Bureau of Taiwan High Speed RailWITH A population of 21·3 million crammed into a land area of less than 36000 km2, the island of Taiwan has long been an economic powerhouse of the Far East region. Around 95% of the population lives in the western coastal plains, which stretch from Taipei in the north to Kaohsiung in the south. The coastal belt is served by Taiwan Railway Administration’s main line, electrified in the early 1980s, but steadily growing traffic and overcrowding on the parallel motorway are signals that something better is needed.For the past decade, planning has been under way for a 340 km high-speed line linking the 10 principal cities in western Taiwan. Studies suggest that ridership will be around 200000 passengers/day at opening in 2003, rising to 292000 per day by 2010. The government has now made a substantive decision to build the line, and a preferred consortium to carry out the work is due to be selected next month. The line has been designed as a purely passenger route, with conventional steel wheel on rail technology. The guideway will be aligned for a maximum of 350 km/h. To reduce land severance, over 75% will be built on viaduct, with the remainder a mix of bored tunnel, cut-and-cover, and embankment.Trains will be able to run at headways down to 4min during the 2h peak periods morning and evening. Each train must have a minimum capacity of 800 seats, and a basic service offering no less than 300000 seats per day is required. Running time for the 340 km Taipei – Kaohsiung journey is envisaged as 90min for express services with a single 3min intermediate stop at Taichung. Regular trains will take 120min, including 2min stops at four selected intermediate stations.The total project cost is approximately US$17bn, of which 44% will be allocated to civil works, 19% to the ’core system’ (rolling stock, signalling, catenary and power supply), 16% to land acquisition, 4% to trackwork, and 3% to stations (Fig 1).Following the global trend of privatising state-owned enterprises and transferring investment projects into the private sector to relieve financial burdens on government, the high speed line has been chosen as the first transport infrastructure project in Taiwan to be implemented using the Build-Operate-Transfer model. To make the scheme commercially viable, the government will be responsible for acquiring land, and will assign property development rights around the stations to the concessionaire. Three-part BOT concessionIn fact, the government will grant three parallel rights to the concessionaire. The first is the right to finance, build and operate the high-speed line itself, running from the northern depot site at Hsichih, northeast of Taipei, to Kaohsiung, including stations, depots, maintenance bases, and related facilities. This concession will run for 35 years from contract signing, providing periods for construction and operation.A second concession gives the promoter the right to conduct ancillary businesses as approved by the government. In principle, this will run for the same period as the main concession, but is negotiable. The third right is for the concessionaire to develop property at the stations and maintenance bases, including interchange facilities, car parks, retail plazas, green areas, and other real estate development. The government will adjust the development rights to reflect the scope of work and level of investment proposed by the winning bidder, but the concession period will not be longer than 50 years from the takeover of the land.Following the decision to go ahead with the project, the former Provisional Engineering Office of High Speed Rail was renamed the Bureau of Taiwan High Speed Rail, and authorised to start land acquisition for the route.BOTHSR’s major task at present is to evaluate bids for the BOT concession and select the best applicant. The evaluation process has been divided into two phases, with the first task being to identify prequalified applicants. Two private groups, China Development Corp and Taiwan High Speed Rail Consortium, submitted proposals based on Japanese shinkansen and European TGV and ICE technology respectively. Both organisations passed the Phase 1 review and were formally prequalified on February 22 1997.During Phase 2, intensive meetings were held between BOTHSR and the two groups, to discuss and clarify various investment terms and the rights and liabilities between the government and the private investors. This period finished at the end of June, after which BOTHSR issued on July 15 a set of ’Supplementary Documents of Instructions to Application’. These are the basis for the two groups to draft their investment proposals, and for subsequent contractual negotiations between BOTHSR and the preferred bidder. Final investment proposals were due to be submitted by the end of August, and the selection of the preferred bidder will be made by the Ministry of Transportation & Communications by November 30 1997.Partnership agreementThe partnership between the government and the BOT concessionaire will be based on a complex investment arrangement, government will be directly responsible for about 28% of the total project cost, the BOT concessionaire for at least 40% of the total, and the remainder will be funded by the government but implemented by the concessionaire.The government will be responsible for handling and funding directly all land acquisition (approximately 1200 ha for the new line and 93ha for station area developments). It will manage the civil works for the underground section between Nankang and Panchiao in the Taipei metropolitan area, excluding trackwork and E&M facilities. The government will also be responsible for administration and supervision.Other than these three areas, the BOT concessionaire is free to include all other works within the scope of its investment proposals. Anything not included in the proposal will be treated as ’remainder’ works – which is primarily expected to cover civil works for construction of the guideway; this will be funded by the government but managed by the concessionaire.The actual works to be included in the BOT investment will be finalised as part of the bidding negotiation and selection process, but the following items shall be included as a minimum:last_img read more

Active real estate managers outperform, study shows

first_imgHe said the average outperformance of 1.9% per year “was not accompanied by increased risk or less diversification”.The research carried out by Cremers and Lizieri, professor of real estate finance at Cambridge University in the UK, looked at 256 funds in IPD’s UK database over the 10 years to the end of 2011.The research compared property holdings by aggregating fund weights by segment and geography in order to compare them to a benchmark. This enabled the researchers to see whether a fund had a higher or lower share of assets managed actively.It then used this adapted active-share measure for property at the segment level in the UK and tested whether higher active-share managers tended to outperform lower active-share managers.Funds in the highest active-share group had 31 properties on average — the lowest number of holdings among all groups — and had an average size of around £200m (€239m).Russell Chaplin, CIO for property at Aberdeen Asset Management, noted that such funds could have been forced to be active because they were too small to enter markets such as prime Central London offices or large shopping centres.He said managers of these types of property portfolios could not track an index and so had to take a bottom-up approach to stock selection to deliver long-term value. “This research is a vindication of that approach and extends principles which have a firm basis in the equity markets to the property sector,” he said.Chaplin added: “This research shows you don’t need to be that big to be able to outperform.”The research also shows that benchmarks are there for measurement purposes and not as construction tools, according to Chaplin.He said it was always tempting for managers to monitor how they were performing relative to an index even if they were not tracking it, which could lead them to change allocations.“This shows you shouldn’t worry about those positions benchmark-related,” he said.“Each manager needs to have the courage of their convictions in the assets they’re selecting and stick with those assets.” Real estate funds are more likely to outperform and generate returns that are less volatile if their sector weightings deviate from the index, according to new research.The study by Aberdeen Asset Management, advised by professors Martijn Cremers and Colin Lizieri, found that funds with the “highest segment active share” — or those with the highest proportion of assets allocated independently of the index — generated an alpha of 1.9% on average per year.The research applied principles to the UK property sector that had previously only been used for equities, to see whether active managers generated outperformance.Cremers, professor of finance at the Mendoza College of Business at the University of Notre Dame in the US, said: “Our study confirms that active management in property has benefitted investors.”last_img read more

Five largest Dutch schemes report stable funding in Q1

first_imgThe scheme’s stakes in property, private equity and commodities produced 4.3%, 2.9% and 1.2% respectively. Infrastructure and hedge funds delivered 3% and 1.4%, according to ABP, with its loss in emerging market equities (-0.7%) the only negative.The civil service scheme saw its funding improve by 0.2% to 106.1%, which included the effect of reversing an earlier rights cut of 0.5%.PFZW made a quarterly return of 3.3%, including 1.6 percentage points from interest and currency hedging. The scheme said its funding remained stable at 109%.The healthcare scheme reported yields of 0.5%, 2.3% and 1.1% across its equity, private equity and property holdings.With a result of 4.5%, government bonds were its best performing asset class.PFZW said its index-linked bonds and credit portfolios generated 1.9% and 2.5% respectively, adding that a 1.1% yield on commodities was largely due to a price rise in the crude oil benchmark.The €50bn metal scheme PMT returned 3.6% over the three months, chiefly thanks to a 5.7% result on its 59% fixed income portfolio, following the decrease of interest rates.Its holdings of equity, property and alternatives produced profits of 0.4%, 1.4% and 0.3%, it said.PMT saw its coverage ratio rise by 0.5 percentage point to 104.9%. However, as it had a funding shortfall of 0.4 percentage point at year-end, it must apply an equal rights cut on 1 May.The metal fund further announced that its 2013 return only stood at 1%, attributing the result mainly to the effect of the increase of interest rates on its large fixed income portfolio.During last quarter, the funding of PME, another metal scheme, rose by 0.7 percentage point to 105%, following a 3.1% result, including 1.1 percentage points due to its interest cover.PME’s assets increased by €2.1bn to €34.4bn, including €1.2bn of assets from the pension fund of copier manufacturer Océ, which merged with PME recently.The metal fund made clear that it profited from the value increase of long-term government bonds, and added that credit and emerging markets bonds also returned more than 2%.PME’s holdings of equity and property generated 0.6%, 0.5%, whereas its alternative investments delivered a 2.5% loss.BpfBOUW, the €40bn pension fund for the building sector, did not reveal its quarterly returns. It said that its coverage rose by 2.8 percentage points to 114.2%. The coverage ratio of the five largest pension funds in the Netherlands – with combined assets of €577bn – has remained stable during the first quarter, as a drop in the discount rate for liabilities largely nullified positive returns on investments.The €309bn civil service scheme ABP and the €143bn healthcare fund PFZW reported results of 3.1% and 3.3% respectively, however, this included positive results on their hedge of interest and currency risks.Investment results were positive for almost all asset classes across the funds.ABP’s holdings in government bonds, credit and emerging markets bonds generated returns of 4%, 2.5% and 1.9% respectively, with equity and inflation-linked bonds both yielding 1.5%.last_img read more

Mandate roundup: EC, Tajikistan, Aberystwyth University, L&G, SEI

first_imgThe European Commission is supporting the central Asian country of Tajikistan in the creation and implementation of a notionally defined pension system.The Commission is tendering for support from organisations or individuals in the EU to support the country in drafting secondary legislation and normative acts and develop the organisational, administrative and IT structures required.The mandate will be supported by a grant from the European Commission and initially run for three years, although this may be extended at Tajikistan or the Commission’s discretion.It envisages narrowing down applications from eligible participants to 4-8 candidates that would be required to submit detailed tenders. Invitations to tender are likely to be made by June 2015, with commencement of the support to Tajikistan in November.In other news, Aberystwyth University has selected Legal & General Investment Management (LGIM) as its insurance-based defined contribution (DC) provider. Aberystwyth required a group personal pension (GPP) after it closed its defined benefit (DB) Aberystwyth University Pension and Assurance Scheme, moving employees to DC.LGIM will now take over the 729 members of the pension scheme and any new employees ineligible to join the University Superannuation Scheme (USS), the multi-employer offering for academic staff.LGIM will initially hold the contract for 10 years after beating four rival providers to the tender.Finally, the SEI Master Trust has obtained an independent quality assurance after submitting to the framework devised by The Pensions Regulator (TPR) the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW).PwC conducted an audit of the DC master trust’s governance and administration before providing the award.The framework was voluntary and devised by TPR and ICAEW to improve quality in trust-based multi-employer DC schemes and help employers select schemes for auto-enrolment.SEI becomes the third master trust to submit to the voluntary framework after The People’s Pension and NOW: Pensions.last_img read more

OECD calls for vigilance on ‘search for yield’, lenience on solvency

first_imgInternational regulators must monitor pension funds in their ‘search for yield’ as they try to secure benefit promises by investing in increasingly risky assets, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has warned.The Paris-based think tank published a paper looking at whether pension funds and insurance companies would be able to maintain promises made in higher-interest-rate times, given the current low-yield environment.In a stark warning, it said regulators should be more lenient on forcing solvency requirements in times of market stress while ensuring pension funds were not taking excessive investment risks that could lead to insolvency.It said there was a serious concern for the financial longevity of pension funds should they become embroiled in an “excessive search for yield” to cover promises made when interest rates were higher. In its Business and Finance Outlook 2015 report, the OECD said pension funds, by increasing the risk profiles, could be “seriously compromising their solvency situation” if a financial shock such as a liquidity freeze took place.Its data showed that, while the overall investment in alternatives had increased, this could be down to overall larger portfolios, with the exception of the UK.The OECD’s UK data showed pension funds clearly engaging in the search for yield, with an upward trend in private equity and structured products.Given the prolonged effect of low interest rates on pension funds, the OECD highlighted duration-matching assets, renegotiating promises, increasing contributions and easing regulation as solutions to alleviate concerns.It echoed calls for regulatory requirements to fund solvency shortfalls to be counter-cyclical, meaning additional funding should be made when pension fund liabilities are not being exacerbated by falling rates.The OECD’s call for leniency in solvency, and focus on investment risk, goes against the rhetoric seen from Europe’s government and regulators.Solvency requirements were discussed under the previous European Commission, while work on a risk-focused solvency framework – which may require additional funding in riskier times – is being worked on by the European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (EIOPA).The OECD said: “The outlook is troubling for pension funds, as solvency positions will deteriorate unless they actively adopt risk-management strategies.“However, the lack of good quality, very long-term financial assets in sufficient quantities poses serious problems to these risk-management strategies.”It said pension funds should look to close the duration gap between assets and liabilities, while policymakers should avoid excessive pressure on pension funds to correct solvency in times of weak markets.“The regulatory framework and policymakers have an important role to play in [ensuring pension funds do not take excessive risk] and need to remain vigilant to prevent excessive ‘search for yield’,” it added.However, Charles Cowling, director at UK consultancy JLT, sounded a note of caution on the OECD’s proposals.He said: “If [regulators] responded to concerns from the OECD on the poor level of funding of pension schemes and increased pressure on employers to take less risk and fund their pension schemes better, this could force some of the weaker employers into bankruptcy and put downward pressure on equity prices and make matters worse – as deficits widen as a result.”last_img read more

Swiss government weighs further changes to pension system

first_imgThe Swiss government is weighing amendments to the supervisory structure of the second-pillar pension system, as well as strengthening governance at first-pillar scheme AHV. It commissioned the Interior Ministry to draw up a reform plan in which the responsibilities of implementing organisations, as well as the first-pillar supervisor, are stated more precisely and, where necessary, “disentangled”. Further, accounting, reporting and administration costs are to be brought up to date by applying unified and defined standards.The changes will also be applied to smaller first-pillar funds such as the EO, the fund for maternity leave and military service, and the fund for so-called Ergänzungsleistungen, or people who have too little money in their retirement. The government said the supervisory structure for the second pillar, implemented in 2012, had “proven itself” but could be “optimised in certain areas”.Three years ago, the federal supervisory authority Oberaufsichtskommission (OAK) was created.At the same time, the mostly cantonal supervisory authorities were merged to form larger regional bodies.With the next step of the reform, the Swiss government wants to further strengthen the independence of these regional authorities from cantonal bodies.This means representatives from cantonal governments will no longer sit on the boards of these authorities.A further reform proposal for Pensionskassen is to state the responsibilities of pensions advisers and auditors more precisely and differentiate them more clearly.The government gave the Interior Ministry until the end of 2016 to come up with a draft reform.“The aim is to achieve a risk and impact-oriented supervision for the whole social system,” the government said.last_img read more