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World property: Introduction; inclusive capitalism; room sharing; affordable Australia; blanket view; Brexit waves; Russia expands

An introduction to a different look at world property, politics, economics & finance

Fund manager writes about inclusive capitalism
Will room sharing become more common?
Research on delivering affordable housing
Hotspotter on how many in media get Australian residential wrong
What’s Brexit got to do with us? The waves are spreading
Russia expands influence in all directions


This introduction to World property on Wednesdays is about a revised version of my coverage of world property (which had lapsed), economics (highly important to gauge our place in a rapidly changing international scene), politics & finance (where the money’s moving).

2 of today’s items are about events in faraway places with potential consequences for New Zealand. Both happen to be from Asia Times columns, but you can expect a wider spread of sources.

You can read thousands of lines every day about US President Donald Trump, but I’ve found very few of those articles read between the lines.

You can also read thousands of lines every day about what China is doing, what the US wants to do to it. After the shouting, I want you to be able to read, here, what seems to be happening that will bring change internationally, and potentially to New Zealand.

Aside from those major economic earthquake lines, large players in property are creating new plays and entering new markets. Their actions may give you ideas on economic activity, financial positioning & investment directions that aren’t just “over there” but also frequently relate to “down here”.

My previous World property items didn’t attract the audience I thought they deserved, perhaps from presentation rather than content.

The new version will contain a wider mix of items, plus links to stories that I think pierce the fog and will help you understand changes in influence likely to impact on New Zealand in some way.

In property, I think it’s worth understanding some of the new kinds of transaction being carried out in various parts of the world – for example, residential portfolios in Europe, reits (real estate investment trusts) of different sizes frequently offering opportunity in one country to investors in another, the investment moves of Singaporean, Chinese, US & European entities in other economies, the Chinese role in Australian development.

At the moment, the Trump challenges to world order as it was are bringing realignment going far beyond his narrow trade aspiration (‘Play fair, all you other people!’) & aspiration for the US to retain global control. It’s important, from the New Zealand perspective, to see relationship challenges such as 5 Eyes versus Huawei – very hard to sit on both sides of the fence.

Health warning:

These items are in a form that you can flick through quickly. But they also have numerous links to sources, including original research, so you can spend time digesting the content.

In today’s first batch of items:

Fund manager writes about inclusive capitalism

Nigel Wilson, who heads giant international funds manager Legal & General Group Plc, wrote in Forbes magazine last July: “Never has there been so much global capital. Never has money been so cheap and yet so poorly used. Some $US8 trillion is earning 0% or less, alongside massive infrastructure underspend & no growth in real wages: a poor societal outcome.

“Since the global financial crisis, our capitalist system has created extraordinary, but exclusive, wealth & its flip side: cynicism & resentment.  The ‘financialisation’ of business has driven underinvestment, widening the disconnect between Wall St & Main St and giving impetus to the dismal economic doctrine of ‘secular stagnation’…

“This article is going to take a close look at the idea of inclusive capitalism – what it is, how it can be defined, some positive signs of its emergence and will provide actual examples of it, hard at work.”

Dr Wilson is group chief executive of Legal & General, which manages $US1.4 trillion of investments. In 2015-16 he was a member of then-UK prime minister David Cameron’s business advisory group, about which he wrote: “The experience helped inform my thinking on how capitalism can broadly benefit society. The approach advocates for using capital to engender conditions in which people can create their own success. This is essential if we are to create a fairer society that empowers people and enables all boats to rise.”

In a separate piece on the company’s blog in November, Legal & General advanced Dr Wilson’s July argument in Forbes, looking inside the tertiary education system and finding a flaw to be fixed: “Innovation & new businesses go hand in hand, so why do universities in the UK & US struggle to build on students’ ideas? By installing an inclusive capitalism mindset we can boost the economy, nurture talent & build communities.

Nigel Wilson in Forbes, 29 July 2018, Inclusive capitalism: Oxymoron or the perfect balance?
Legal & General blog, 29 November 2018: University challenging: how inclusive capitalism breeds innovation
30 April 2018: Legal & General launches affordable housing arm (GB)
Legal & General

Will room sharing become more common?

2 Sydney academics, Zahra Nasreen & Kristian Ruming, wrote in a guest post in Property Observer in January: “The proportion of households experiencing rental stress is on the rise across Australia’s major cities. High rental prices have been driving an increase in shared housing. The most extreme form of this is ‘shared room’ housing – where residents share a bedroom or partitioned living space (such as lounge room or garage) with a number of unrelated adults.”

Their full research paper can be reached via Taylor & Francis Online. Taylor & Francis is an academic & professional publisher, and a subsidiary of Informa UK Ltd. The group parent, Informa plc, is a business intelligence, academic publishing, knowledge & events group.

Property Observer
Property Observer, 18 January 2019: Tracking the rise of room sharing & overcrowding, and what it means for housing in Australia
T&FOnline, 24 December 2018: Room sharing in Sydney: A complex mix of affordability, overcrowding & profit maximisation
Taylor & Francis

Research on delivering affordable housing

3 other Australian researchers focused on Melbourne in their paper, also available in T&FOnline, on whether the marketplace as it is can deliver quality affordable housing. The paper is by Melbourne University academics Andrew Martel, Carolyn Whitzman & Alexander Sheko.

They wrote in their abstract: “Australian government housing policy relies on the private housing industry contributing to the supply of affordable & social housing in cities. However, the diminishing availability of suitable housing for many households raises the question of whether the private housing industry is interested in, or capable of, catering for this market segment. Engagement would require both inducements & regulation, partnerships with government & non-profit actors, and an alignment of attitudes regarding the need & responsibility for providing dwellings in housing submarkets. This paper explores perceptions & strategies of actors regarding the role for the industry in the context of Melbourne.”

T&FOnline, 24 January 2019: Private developers & the public good: Can a socially constructed market deliver quality affordable housing for Australian cities

Hotspotter on how many in media get Australian residential wrong

Terry Ryder, founder of hotspotting.com.auand an astute observer, wrote a column 18 months ago about Australian property markets that’s just as relevant today: “Much of what appears in mainstream media about residential real estate discusses Australia as a single market. That’s an early clue for consumers that the commentator has shallow knowledge.”

Property Observer, 24 July 2017: As Sydney fades, Perth shows early signs of recovery: Hotspotting’s Terry Ryder

What’s Brexit got to do with us? The waves are spreading

UK researcher Hannah Timmis wrote in Asia Times on Monday: “As the UK heads towards a possible ‘no deal’ Brexit, the uncertainty surrounding the terms of the UK’s imminent departure from the European Union is making waves as far away as South-east Asia.”

Ms Timmis wrote in her work blog at the Centre for Global Development: “New research shows trade-reliant poor Asian nations will be especially hard hit if the UK & EU can’t come to terms on their separation.

“A no-deal Brexit would deprive some developing countries of tariff-free access to the UK market. Under the worst-case scenario, developing countries could suffer a $1.6 billion or 5% decline in their UK exports, with least developed countries among the worst affected. To minimise the damage, the UK government must prioritise legislation that would maintain preferential market access for developing countries.”

Ms Timmis is a research assistant at the Centre for Global Development, supporting Mikaela Gavas’ work on development finance & European development policy. Her previous work includes being a project manager in the Middle East & North Africa, overseeing the delivery of aid programmes. She holds an MSc in development management from the London School of Economics and a BA in philosophy, politics & economics from Oxford University.

Asia Times, 11 February 2019: No-deal Brexit could sink much of Asia
Centre for Global Development, 25 January 2019: Why a no-deal Brexit would be bad for developing countries
German Development Institute briefing paper, February 2019: How Brexit affects least developed countries

Russia expands influence in all directions

In the second Asia Times piece, Alexander Kruglov examines Russia’s changing world roles under President Vladimir Putin: “Russia is going head-to-head with the West as it pursues Eurasian integration and expands its footprint globally.”

Asia Times, 11 February 2019: Gas, guns and pragmatism: Putin’s foreign policy

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World property W12Sept18 – zero emissions, student accommodation portfolio

GPT brings Australian office zero emissions target closer
Singaporean media-based company buys UK student accommodation portfolio

GPT brings Australian office zero emissions target closer

The GPT Wholesale Office Fund (GWOF) has set a target to achieve net zero carbon emissions from its $A7.5 billion office portfolio by the end of 2020.

Image above: Australia Square, Sydney.

That portfolio comprises 18 of the most notable office buildings in Sydney, Melbourne & Brisbane.

The Fifth Estate news website put the GPT decision in context: Other portfolio fund managers have set a range of dates to eliminate emissions, but this is the earliest target.

GPT also manages the $A4.9 billion GPT Wholesale Shopping Centre Fund.

Link: The Fifth Estate, 11 September 2018: The race is on: GPT flags net zero by 2020

Singaporean media-based company buys UK student accommodation portfolio

Unite Group plc, the UK’s leading manager & developer of student accommodation, said on Monday it had unconditionally exchanged contracts to sell 14 buildings to Singapore Press Holdings Ltd for £180.5 million, of which Unite’s share is £84.7 million.

10 of the properties are freehold, the other 4 leasehold.

The price reflects a net initial yield of 6.3% and is marginally below book value. Settlement is scheduled for this month.

The portfolio, comprising 3436 beds, is a combination of properties in Plymouth, Huddersfield, Sheffield, Birmingham, Bristol & London which are wholly owned by either of 2 funds. The sale means Unite will no longer have a presence in Plymouth or Huddersfield, but it said the efficiency & quality of its remaining portfolio had been enhanced.

Unite Students chief executive Richard Smith said the transaction was in line with Unite’s strategy to recycle capital through the disposal of assets with lower than average growth prospects, and reinvest into developments increasingly focusing on high- & mid-ranked universities, which have the best long-term growth prospects.

The group’s pro forma loan:value ratio will fall to 25% following the sale, providing capacity for the group to add further developments or university partnerships to its pipeline, while high & mid-ranked universities will account for 90% of the remaining portfolio.

Unite Students, founded in 1992, was the UK’s first private provider of purpose-built student accommodation.

Singapore Press Holdings chief executive Ng Yat Chung said: “The rising demand for purpose-built student accommodation is driven by an increase in first-year, international & postgraduate students enrolling for higher education in the UK. At the same time, in England, a record 27.9% of the 18-year-old population have been accepted for higher education this year, with enrolment projected to grow by 23% by 2030”.

It will boost our real estate asset management portfolio, establish us as an overseas owner of purpose-built student accommodation in the UK, and allow us to pursue other growth opportunities in this sector.”

Unite Students
Singapore Press Holdings

Attribution: GPT, The Fifth Estate, Unite Students, Singapore Press Holdings

Regular leads: Europe Real Estate, Mingtiandi, Planetizen

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World property M26Feb18 – The next property-linked trade, Fighting the rising tide

Foreigners’ impact on house prices nothing compared to passport trade

In New Zealand, we worry about citizens of other countries buying up property here, lifting prices way beyond the former reality, distorting the market, pushing homes out of the reach of first-homebuyers.

In other parts of the world, the new reality is constant war which cannot be escaped, where victims may never have chosen a side.

Many of us have taken exception to the “citizenship at large” status the NZ Government granted in 2011 to PayPal co-founder & onetime Facebook investor Peter Thiel, a status which doesn’t require the German-born billionaire, US & now NZ citizen to live here, although he stated his intention to become a player in New Zealand’s venture capital sector.

But he’s not alone, internationally, in holding that “at large” status, which is yet another twist to cross-border property investment.

Writer & artist James Bridle, based in Athens, wrote in an article for The Atlantic last week how passports can be bought & sold, their ties to property investment, and some of the pitfalls.

The Atlantic, 21 February 2018: The rise of virtual citizenship

Fighting the rising tide

How do you fight the rising tides, the increasing number of hurricanes, the swamp that envelopes your home?

Along the Louisiana coast of the southern US, that question has been asked for decades. And over those decades the tide has won.

Hurricane Katrina’s swamping of the coastline in 2005 was followed by 3 more big hurricanes over the next 3 years. Places disappeared underwater, but there are other causes too, some related to the oil & gas industry in the Gulf of Mexico. According to this report, “State planners believe another 2000 square miles (5180km²), or even double that, could be overtaken in 50 years as the land sinks, canals widen and sea levels rise because of climate change.” That’s slightly more than the 4900km² of the Auckland region, from Te Hana north of Wellsford down to Pukekohe.

It’s happening there, and concerns about coastal breaches are growing here.

What this story is about is the fight by a small community, Jean Lafitte, to overcome state authorities’ conclusions every time the mayor thinks he has a solution, that the solution will be inadequate because the problem has grown, and the cost has grown even more prohibitive.

The Times-Picayune & The New York Times, 24 February 2018: Our drowning coast: Left to Louisiana’s tides, Jean Lafitte fights for time

Attribution: The Atlantic, Times Picayune, New York Times

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World property F8Dec17 – Hammerson buys Intu, Ping An lifts stake in HSBC

Hammerson buys Intu

UK shopping centre owner Hammerson plc has entered a deal to buy smaller retailer investor Intu Properties plc for £3.4 billion to create a £21 billion business.

The deal is expected to be completed in the fourth quarter next year and will involve £2 billion of portfolio rationalisation.

Europe Real Estate, 7 December 2017: Hammerson merges with Intu to create €23.8bn pan-European REIT
The Guardian, 7 December 2017: Hammerson snaps up shopping mall rival to become UK’s top property firm

Ping An lifts stake in HSBC

Shenzhen-based financial conglomerate Ping An Insurance Co Ltd has lifted its stake in Hong Kong-listed bank HSBC Holdings plc to 5%. US private equity manager The Blackstone Group LP holds 6.74%.

Asia Times, 7 December 2017: Ping An now second largest shareholder of HSBC

Attribution: Europe Real Estate, Hammerson, Guardian, Asia Times

Regular leads: Europe Real Estate, Mingtiandi, Planetizen

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World property W14June17 – Blackstone Europe, Perth slowdown, Frasers lifts Australian portfolio, Nordstrom looks at privatisation

Blackstone raises €7.8 billion for European fund
Zone Q puts hold on Perth apartment project
Frasers Logistics lifts Australian portfolio
Privatising Nordstrom a $US10 billion option

Blackstone raises €7.8 billion for European fund

The Blackstone Group LP said on Thursday its Blackstone Real Estate Partners Europe V fund had raised €7.8 billion, including commitments from the group & affiliates, making it the largest ever dedicated European real estate fund. The US private equity firm’s Blackstone’s head of European real estate, Anthony Myers, said the fund was already over 20% invested or committed.

The group’s real estate arm has $US102 billion invested in $US200 billion of assets.

Zone Q puts hold on Perth apartment project

Chinese developer Zone Q Investments Pty Ltd has put its Nspire 108 apartment project in Perth on hold and returned deposits on the 24 units contracted out of 184 in the proposed central city tower.

Zone Q succeeded with its Pinnacle apartments across the road from Perth Zoo, selling 85 of the 102 units off the plans and completing the development this year. But its 88 Mill Point apartment project, also in South Perth, across the Swan River from the Perth cbd, has been rejected twice by the South Perth City Council, which opened up to tower development in 2011 but reversed its policy after locals protested.

The original $A175 million proposal was for 5 commercial levels & an aged-care centre in a 7-storey podium, and 163 apartments in the 31-storey tower above. After the first rejection, Zone Q cut the 88 Mill Point height by 4 storeys but it was rejected again last November.

Zone Q, a subsidiary of JiaHe JianAn Group, is a sister company to Far East, which launched the 39-terraced home first stage of its 150-home Hobson Quarter development in April.

Far East has also bought a 3406msite next to the Westfield Mall at Albany for over 200 apartments on 18 storeys in 2 buildings, plus retail & parking facilities.

Earlier story:
24 April 2017: Corrected: Shenzhen developer launches first Auckland project at Hobsonville

The West Australian, 7 June 2017: Zone Q puts Beaufort Street apartment project on hold
Business News WA, 22 November 2016: Zone Q’s South Perth apartments rejected again
Zone Q

Frasers Logistics lifts Australian portfolio

Frasers Logistics & Industrial Trust, listed in Singapore a year ago with an initial pure-play Australian industrial portfolio of 54 properties, has agreed to acquire 7 more from Frasers Centrepoint Ltd for $A169.3 million.

3 of the properties are still being developed and all of them, in Sydney, Melbourne & Brisbane, are either fully leased or precommitted.

Its portfolio was valued at $A1.75 billion at 31 March. The trust was set up to invest globally in industrial property.

Link: Frasers Logistics & Industrial Trust

Privatising Nordstrom a $US10 billion option

US fashion specialty retailer Nordstrom Inc, which has 122 full-line stores in the US, Canada & Puerto Rico, 221 Nordstrom Rack stores, 2 Jeffrey boutiques & 2 clearance stores, said on 8 June that 6 members of the Nordstrom family had formed a group to explore pursuing a “going private transaction” involving their acquisition of all outstanding shares, which are listed on the New York Stock Exchange.

It will cost them about $US10 billion to buy out the 70% they don’t control.

MarketWatch, 8 June 2017: Nordstrom bonds clobbered by news the department-store chain may go private
MarketWatch, 28 February 2017: Number of distressed US retailers at highest level since Great Recession (2008-09)

Regular leads: Europe Real Estate, Mingtiandi, Planetizen

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World property W3 May17 – Australia moves to tax vacant foreign-owned homes

Australia moves to tax vacant foreign-owned homes

Australia’s Property Observer website warned yesterday of a possible tax on properties owned by foreign investors who leave them vacant, to come in the Federal Government’s budget next Tuesday.

The website said the levy would be added to the conditions the Foreign Investment Review Board imposes when it approves overseas buyers for Australian property purchases.

The Australian Taxation Office is building a nationwide register of foreign-owned land, and the Property Observer said water usage levels, kept by each state, could be used to determine which properties were sitting vacant.

The Labor Party has also unveiled a proposal for a national vacant residential property tax similar to one the Victorian state government has imposed, which is along the lines of one introduced last year in Vancouver, Canada.

Property Observer, 2 May 2017: Foreigners who leave homes vacant could soon be taxed

Attribution: Property Observer

Regular leads: Europe Real Estate, Mingtiandi, Planetizen

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World property W26Apr17 – GIC buys more student housing, Ascendas revaluation

GIC expands its international student housing portfolio
Ascendas portfolio close to $S10 billion

GIC expands its international student housing portfolio

Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund, GIC, has continued its largescale international investment in student housing, buying 2 blocks in Sydney from Frasers Property Australia & its joint venture partner, Sekisui House, last week for $A400 million.

Florence Chong reported in IPE Real Estate that the sale was at a cap rate of 6-7%, compared to a going rate for student accommodation between 7-8%.

Hong Kong-based real estate news website Mingtiandi said the deal took GIC’s investments in student housing this year to $US2.1 billion. In the last year, the fund had spent over $US3 billion on student housing in the UK, Europe, the US & Australia.

In March, GIC, the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) & the Scion Group agreed to invest $US1.6 billion in US student housing.

Frasers Property Australia, ultimately owned by Thai billionaire Charoen Sirivadhanabhakdi, called tenders late last year for the Sydney assets, which are in Frasers’ Central Park development zone.

GIC’s own website carries news on the long list of student housing deals, but hasn’t posted anything on the Central Park one yet.

In New Zealand, GIC is best known for its investment in a joint venture with Goodman Property Trust that owns commercial buildings on the Viaduct and round to the Wynyard Quarter.

IPE, 20 April 2017: GIC invests $A400 million in Australian student housing
IPE, 16 March 2017: CPPIB, GIC & Scion invest $US1.6 billion in US student housing
Mingtiandi, 24 April 2017: GIC makes third student housing deal of 2017 with $A302 million Sydney buy
Mingtiandi, 12 February 2017: GIC invests in £227 million UK student housing JV
GIC, 10 February 2017: Unite & GIC acquire 3067-bed Aston student village for £227 million

Ascendas portfolio close to $S10 billion

Ascendas Real Estate Investment Trust’s portfolio of 129 properties in Singapore & Australia has been independently valued at $S9.874 billion as at 31 March – $S8.6 billion (86.8%) in Singapore and $S1.3 billion (13.2%) in Australia. The total portfolio was up from $S9.6 billion in March 2016.

The trust increased gross revenue by 9.1% to $S830.6 million, net property income by 14.5% to $S611 million, distributable profit by 18% to $S446.3 million, fourth-quarter distribution/unit by 13% to S3.852c, distributions for the year by 2.5% to S15.743c.

The trust’s manager said Ascendas Reit was faced with some headwinds in Singapore, where the Ministry of Trade & Industry expected the economy to grow by 1-3% this year: “Currently, companies continue to place a strong focus on improving efficiency and remain cautious about expansion. With island-wide vacancy for industrial property at 10.5% as at December 2016, the incoming supply of about 2.4 million m² of industrial space in 2017 will put further pressure on rental rates & occupancy.

The trust’s own occupancy rate improved from 87.6% at the end of the last financial year to 90.2%.

Link: Ascendas-reit

Attribution: GIC, IPE, Mingtiandi, Ascendas

Regular leads: Europe Real Estate, Mingtiandi, Planetizen

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World property F13Jan17 – Laing O’Rourke works out of trouble, Bovis performance drops

Laing O’Rourke chief sees turnaround after big loss
Bovis UK chief quits after profit warning

Laing O’Rourke chief sees turnaround after big loss

Laing O’Rourke plc, the UK’s largest privately owned construction company, which also has a big international presence, made a £246 million loss in the March 2016 year, but chief executive Ray O’Rourke said the group had turned its performance around and was set to return to profit in the March 2017 year.

UK publication Building said this week Laing O’Rourke Construction Ltd, the group’s UK construction business, wrote down 3 projects it had won in 2013 by £26.6 million and that division had made a £141.3m million pretax loss.

Laing O’Rourke has 2 business hubs – a London base for projects in the UK, the Middle East & Canada, and an Australian hub which also handles Hong Kong and its so-far-limited entry into Auckland.

The Building website said Mr O’Rourke had made no mention in his latest client newsletter of earlier plans to sell the £1.5 billion-turnover Australian business.

Building, 9 January 2017: Laing O’Rourke suffers £141 million UK construction loss
Laing O’Rourke

Bovis UK chief quits after profit warning

UK residential construction company Bovis Homes Group PLC’s chief executive, David Ritchie, will leave next month after the company issued an unscheduled profit warning over Christmas.

Mr Ritchie was in charge for 8 years. Finance director Earl Sibley will take over as interim chief executive.

Bovis blamed operational issues when it said on 28 December it expected to legally complete 180 fewer houses than anticipated, down to a range of 3950-4000.

The company said in its December release it had actually built 4200 houses during the year, up 7%, adding: “The average sales price of the homes legally completing in 2016 is expected to increase by around 10% (2015: £231,600), driven by improved mix and increased underlying market pricing.”

Analysts had forecast pretax profit of about £183 million for 2016, but Bovis said that would fall to a range of £160-170 million. The company will report its full annual results on Monday 20 February.

Building, 9 January 2017: Bovis boss quits 12 days after profit warning
Bovis Homes

Attribution: Building, Guardian, Laing O’Rourke, Bovis

Regular leads: Europe Real Estate, Mingtiandi, Planetizen

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World property W19Oct16 – Senator quits after housing company liquidated, spruiker McIntyre banned

Senator quits Parliament after liquidators take over his building company
Spruiker Jamie McIntyre banned for a decade

Senator quits Parliament after liquidators take over his building company

day-sen-bobAustralian senator Bob Day announced his resignation from Parliament on Monday after liquidators took control of his national building business, Home Australia Pty Ltd, with work on 207 new houses stalled.

Mr Day tried unsuccessfully to get elected under the Liberal banner in 2007 and switched to the Family First party, winning Senate election in 2013 and re-election in July this year.

His departure is a problem for Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull – although a replacement Family First senator might follow a similar policy line – because Mr Day was a strong supporter of the Government’s hardline anti-union industrial platform, reintroducing the Australian Building & Construction Commission bill and another bill creating a new union regulator.

He chaired the Bert Kelly Research Centre (opposing protectionism) in Adelaide for 5 years, was a director of the Centre for Independent Studies (a free market supporter) for 3 years, inaugural president of Independent Contractors of Australia for 6 years, and has written & campaigned about housing affordability.

But he’s left his business in turmoil, particularly in New South Wales, where Home Australia subsidiary Huxley Homes had 56 houses under construction.

Mr Day said in a statement to the ABC it had been a privilege to be a senator, “but would be untenable to stay in parliament”. Although he’s 64, he added: “I will start again and repay all debts.”

Mr Day said to Home Australia staff in an email yesterday: “While 4 members of the group all posted a profit in 2015-16, problems & losses associated with Huxley Homes … has seriously undermined the group’s balance sheet & ability to continue trading.”

But it wasn’t an overnight collapse. The ABC said that, as Mr Day was entering Parliament in 2013, an independent auditor found Home Australia’s liabilities exceeded its assets by nearly $A31 million.

Mr Day tried to rescue the company last year by selling a 75% stake to a Philippine investment firm Goshen Capital Resources and said the funds should have been transferred last week. But, he told staff in his email: “As evidence of its ability to complete the deal, Goshen’s CEO Mr Anselmo Nolasco, produced documentation purportedly from HSBC. After several high level enquiries over recent days it became clear the document was fraudulent.”

The West Australian newspaper also quoted Mr Day from that email: “I built my first house in Adelaide in 1979. By 1990 Homestead [his original company] was SA’s largest homebuilder and has been profitable every year since, for which I am very proud. But I made 2 big mistakes – 1. Buying Huxley Homes and 2. Going into politics without putting in place a proper management structure for the business.”

Earlier story:
17 October 2016: World property M17Oct16 – Senator fights to save his housing business

The Guardian, 17 October 2016: Family First senator Bob Day quits after business collapses
ABC, 18 October 2016: Bob Day: Hundreds of homes in doubt as senator’s building company collapses

Spruiker Jamie McIntyre banned for a decade

Jamie McIntyre.

Jamie McIntyre.

The Australian Federal Court banned property spruiker Jamie McIntyre & his brother Dennis on Monday from holding corporate roles, and from offering financial services, for the next 10 years.

Justice Robert Bromwich also ordered Jamie McIntyre’s main business, 21st Century Group (not a company, but there is an unrelated company of the same name) to be liquidated, along with several entities which are registered companies.

The judge said liquidators had failed to locate over $A7 million invested in options on 5 schemes earmarked for sites on the outskirts of Melbourne, Bendigo & Townsville. Justice Bromwich said the landbanking projects were unregistered managed investment schemes, and that the 2 brothers & their companies had unlawfully conducted an unlicensed financial services business.

Jamie McIntyre’s 21st Century Group website describes him as the founder of the 21st Century Australia Party, and says he founded over 12 companies employing almost 100 staff & franchisees that turned over in excess of $A40 million/year.

Mr McIntyre fought back against his prosecutors & critics, using a news website he set up 2 years ago under his 21st Century banner, the Australian National Review, where he wrote his own columns and was interviewed.

3 articles show how he turned the attack back against ASIC (the Australian Securities & Investments Commission), Fairfax Media & the Age property editor Simon Johanson (whom he accused of planting dozens of false articles about his activities) and senators. The articles (link below): ASIC exposed for attempting to cause $A5.5 million in investor losses to frame one of its biggest critics, ASIC does nothing as Fairfax Media lose investors almost half a billion in failed property projects, and ASIC gets lashed by furious land banking investors.

Although Mr McIntyre referred to Mr Johanson as “disgraced”, Mr Johanson appeared to be still writing today.

21st Century Australia Party
McIntyre blog
Jamie McIntyre Exposed
24 March 2016: Injunction orders
Australian National Review interview of McIntyre: Fairfax Media and ASIC to face class actions by angry investors
The Age, 18 December 2015: Watchdog moves on Henry Kaye-linked scheme

Attribution: Guardian, ABC, Age, Sydney Morning Herald, McIntyre websites

Regular leads: Europe Real Estate, Mingtiandi, Planetizen

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World property M17Oct16 – Senator fights to save his housing business

Australian senator’s housing business teeters

Australian senator Bob Day, federal chairman of the Family First Party and elected under its banner in 2013 and again in the double dissolution this year, is fighting to save the New South Wales division of the national housing group he established from his base in Adelaide.

Senator Day, national president of Australia’s Housing Industry Association before his election to the Senate in 2013, said on 29 September in response to inquiries & stories by the Australian newspaper, he left the building business when he was elected.

He wrote: “Let’s be clear about 2 things here. Firstly, when I became a senator I left the building business. I only stepped back in to help after others’ poor management decisions affected some customers & suppliers.”

The Sydney Morning Herald reported on Saturday that the senator’s New South Wales business, Huxley Homes, applied to have its licence renewed – “even though the company last week ceased all work on the homes of its 61 clients because it has no cash”.

The newspaper said Huxley was about to be evicted from its Sydney offices after falling months behind on rent, and the senator refused to answer questions about the company’s solvency. He’d also turned up for only 3 of Parliament’s 11 sitting days since the July election.

Senator Day was made an officer of the Order of Australia in 2003 for services to the building industry & social welfare, particularly the homeless.

He wrote the introduction in January to the annual Demographia report that rates housing affordability internationally, saying that rising unaffordability was a contrived crisis: “It is important to remember that the ‘scarcity’ that drove up land prices is wholly contrived – it is a matter of political choice, not geographic reality. It is the product of restrictions imposed through planning regulation & zoning… Quite apart from the economic foolishness of it all, it is morally wrong for legislators to be enriching some (established home owners) while impoverishing others (first home buyers).”

Earlier story:
25 January 2016: Australian senator says affordability crisis ‘contrived’

SBS, 12 October 2016: Exclusive: HomeWorld evicts Senator Bob Day the builder

Attribution: SBS, Sydney Morning Herald, Twitter, Huxley Homes.

Regular leads: Europe Real Estate, Mingtiandi, Planetizen

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