London house prices fall at its fastest rate since 2009

(qlmbusinessnews.com via news.sky.com– Wed, 17th July 2019) London, Uk – –

The second half of the year may be a buyers' market for much of the UK as average price increases continue to slow sharply.

House prices in London fell in May at their fastest rate for almost a decade, according to official figures.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) reported a 4.4% decline, on an annual basis, in residential property costs in the capital.

It marked the biggest fall since the 7% reduction recorded in August 2009 as the effects of the financial crisis took a hold on the sector.

The wider ONS figures showed a continuation of the slowdown across the UK as a whole – with prices increasing by 1.2% in the year to May, down from 1.5% in April.

The gradual decline – over the past three years – was first driven by London followed by the wider South East region.

However, house price growth in Wales – while sharply down from a 5.3% rate in April – remains positive at 3%.

The figure was 2.8% for Scotland.

The English region with the strongest rate of growth was the North West at 3.4%.

London saw a surge house price growth after the financial crash that saw prices almost double before cracks began to appear in late 2016.

They were a consequence of concerns about affordability after the boom and shaky sentiment since the Brexit vote.

The ONS said that while London house prices fell over the year, it remained the most expensive place to purchase a property at an average of £457,000.

That sum is 6.7% down on the 2017 peak.

The North East continued to have the lowest average house price, at £128,000, and remains the only English region yet to surpass its pre-economic downturn peak, the ONS said.

There are signs of worse news for prices ahead.

The official figures lag other industry surveys which have already reported on activity during June.

A report by Rightmove earlier this week suggested that the current political uncertainty – as the clock ticks down to the extended Brexit deadline of 31st October – was continuing to weigh on sentiment.

It said average prices had fallen in the UK for the first time in 2019.

Rightmove's director and housing market analyst, Miles Shipside, said: “With record employment, low interest rates and good mortgage availability, buyers have a lot in their favour apart from the lack of political certainty.

“Those who have postponed their purchase should note that estate agency branches have more sellers on their books than at any time for the past four years, so there should be more choice of properties to buy.”

By James Sillars, business reporter

Shares in Mike Ashley’s Sports Direct fall more than 10% as annual results delayed

(qlmbusinessnews.com via news.sky.com– Mon, 15th July 2019) London, Uk – –

The retailer's investors react nervously as the company delays its annual results citing several factors.

Shares in Mike Ashley's Sports Direct have dived more than 10% after the retailer said it had delayed the publication of its annual results.

The company, whose shares trade on the FTSE 250, blamed problems integrating its purchase of House of Fraser (HoF) stores last summer and increased scrutiny of its accounts.

It added that this could affect its financial forecasts.

Sports Direct had been due to publish results for the year to 28 April on Thursday but said it now expected to release them between 26 July and 23 August.

Its statement said: “The reasons for the delay are the complexities of the integration into the company of the House of Fraser business, and the current uncertainty as to the future trading performance of this business, together with the increased regulatory scrutiny of auditors and audits including the FRC (Financial Reporting Council) review of Grant Thornton's audit of the financial statements of Sports Direct for the period ended 29 April 2018.”

In December, Sports Direct had described trading as “unbelievably bad” with significant challenges for House of Fraser, which it had bought out of administration at the height of the high street crisis.

It has since lost a major stake in the collapse and rebirth of struggling Debenhams and it is currently in the process of taking full control of Game Digital.

Shares – down almost 40% this year – fell more than 12% in early deals on Monday.

Neil Wilson, chief market analyst at Markets.com, said of the announcement: “The big question was what impact House of Fraser and various other acquisitions of dubious value would have on Sports Direct results. A material impact, one can only assume. HoF must be losing money hand over fist.

“Looking to the earnings, top line growth is expected to rise but profits are seen weaker as the cost of acquisitions weighs.

“Since reporting a 27% decline in underlying profits in the first half we've not heard a peep from Sports Direct on performance.

“The delay in delivering the annual results does not sit well with investors, who must be nervous about what it means.

“It seems likely it's been a tough ride in the core Sports Direct retail division, whilst acquisitions have added nothing but increased costs,” he added.

A Day in the Life of Property Magnets – Grant and Elena Cardone

Source: Grant Cardone

Here's a day in the life of me and my wife Elena Cardone. A private plane from Miami to Houston, real estate shopping, then a trip to Las Vegas to speak at Thrive. How do you build an empire? You're either creating or destroying something every day! If you don't want to do something, but know you should, do it anyway. No matter how you feel. That's how you fast track your way to success .

The Most Expensive House In The World

Source: Mr.Luxury

Inside Antilia, the $2 billion home.

Living in the most expensive of areas in a never ending mansion replete with all the amenities you can dream of; surrounded by a staff running to cater to each of our whim. Wake up, the bubble of your impeccable imagination just burst! Welcome back to the reality, that’s not your home but such a place, actually exists. Don’t believe us? Allow us to guide you towards a peep into Antilia, the mesmerizing abode of the richest man of India!

10. The only home 9. Distinct designing 8. Extra heights 7. Comfort traveling 6. Affluent Neighborhood 5. Luxury amenities 4. The extra step 3. Unbeatable hospitality 2. Energy efficiency 1. Best of both worlds

Construction sector output ‘falls at steepest rate since April 2009’

(qlmbusinessnews.com via news.sky.com– Tue, 2nd July 2019) London, Uk – –

Fears are growing the UK economy may have contracted in the second quarter of the year as the latest data misses expectations.

Output in the construction sector fell at its steepest rate since April 2009 in June, according to a close-watched activity survey.

The IHS Markit/CIPS purchasing managers' index (PMI) showed declines across the sector over the month – adding to evidence of a wider economic slowdown in the second quarter of the year.

The index for construction showed a reading of 43.1 in June – down from 48.6 in the previous month and way below the expectations of economists.

Anything above 50 indicates growth.

The PMI findings – based on the responses of purchasing managers – suggested business activity and incoming new work both fell at the fastest pace for just over 10 years.

The slide in construction demand across residential, commercial and civil engineering operations was mainly attributed by survey respondents to “risk aversion among clients in response to heightened political and economic uncertainty.”

Continued fog over the UK's departure from the EU has coincided with a sharp easing in demand across the global economy – largely blamed on the US-China trade war.

The UK economy grew by 0.5% in the first three months of 2019 however much of that growth surge was attributed to Brexit stockpiling ahead of the original deadline of 29 March.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) figures showed construction had flat-lined during January to March with growth of just 0.06%.

The PMIs suggest construction output will have contracted during the second quarter.

There is little to cheer in the sector as the housing market continues to lose steam and businesses hold back on investment decisions.

Separate figures by Nationwide released on Tuesday showed house price growth at an annual rate of 0.5% in June – with London and surrounding areas continuing to see the largest declines in prices.

Shares in housebuilders fell at the open and declined further when the PMI number emerged.

Persimmon was down by more than 2%.

Dr Howard Archer, chief economic adviser to the EY ITEM Club, said: “With the purchasing managers also reporting that manufacturing activity contracted in June and was at a 76-month low, the dire June construction survey fuels belief that the UK economy highly likely contracted in the second quarter.

“Obviously, the performance of the dominant services sector will be important so there will be appreciable interest in the June services purchasing managers survey out on Wednesday – but while services activity is likely to have avoided contraction in the second quarter, we doubt it will have been sufficient to stop GDP contracting given the likely sharp falling back in manufacturing output.

“Specifically, we currently expect GDP to have contracted 0.2% quarter-on-quarter in the second quarter.”

By James Sillars

ROBERT KIYOSAKI – Rich Dad, Poor Dad – How To Invest In Yourself

Source: LR

Robert Kiyosaki is an entrepreneur, educator, and investor, best known as the author of Rich Dad Poor Dad—the #1 personal finance book of all time. He has challenged and changed the way tens of millions of people around the world think about money. And he has become a passionate and outspoken advocate for financial education.

UK sales of houses worth £1m have risen – but London suffers a decline

(qlmbusinessnews.com via news.sky.com– Thur, 27th June 2019) London, Uk – –

The rise in numbers of £1m homes was seen in Scotland, Wales, the Midlands and in the north of England – but London saw a fall

The number of homes worth a million pounds or more that have been sold nationally has reached a record high – despite a fall in London.

In total, the number of sales of houses valued at £1m or more increased by 1% in 2018 to a new high of 14,638 – which is the highest number recorded, according to Lloyds Bank.

The number of homes sold for more than £2m was down though, from 2,530 in 2017 to 2,501 in 2018.

The rise in numbers of £1m homes was seen in Scotland, Wales, the Midlands and in the north of England, according to Lloyds, which analysed Land Registry and Registers of Scotland figures.

However, sales in London and the South East remained relatively flat, despite making up around 80% of the sales for homes worth over £1m.

8,267 million pound homes were sold in London in 2018 – down from 8,308 in 2017.

The capital also saw a 3% fall in the sales of homes worth more than £2m, from 1,946 to 1,886 over the course of a year.

The South East showed no major growth in the sale of million pound homes, with 3,390 being sold, which is only 13 more than than the year before.

In Yorkshire and the Humber, the number of million pound homes sold dramatically fell by 23% year-on-year in 2018, with only 103 sales made.

The south-west of England saw a 1% fall from 676 homes in 2017 to 668 in 2018.

Louise Santaana from Lloyds Bank said: “The high-value property boom the country has experienced over the last decade has decelerated in the past 12 months, which is in line with expectations.

“However, while growth across London and the South East has slowed, there are still a number of property hotspots across the country that would create some value for investors, particularly in the East Midlands.”Sponsored Links

How New York Got Its Skyline

Source: Bloomberg

Why do so many of New York's older skyscrapers have a similar design? The answer can be traced back to a monumental 1916 zoning law, which established “setback” requirements for buildings above a certain height. In the heart of the Financial District, the Equitable Building, a historic skyscraper that predates the law, remains a symbol of the excesses of the pre-zoning era.

Lidl discount supermarket chain to open 40 new stores in south-east England

(qlmbusinessnews.com via bbc.co.uk – – Wed, 12th June 2019) London, Uk – –

Discount supermarket chain Lidl plans to open 40 new stores in the south-east of England.

The £500m investment will take place over five years and will include a new UK head office in south-west London.

The move will create 1,500 new jobs, a boost for the traditional retail sector which has seen high-profile store closures in recent years.

New shop locations will include Alperton, East Acton, Hackbridge and Watford. as well as central London.

Lidl opened its first shops in the UK in 1994 and now employs more than 22,500 people in 760 stores.

It has a 5.8% share of UK grocery spending, up from 5.4% a year ago, according to research firm Kantar. Rival discounter Aldi has an 8% share.

Sainsbury's, Morrisons, Tesco and Asda are all seeing their share of the market drop, although between them they still account for more than two thirds of spending on grocery shopping.

How Singapore developed one of the world’s best public housing programs

Source: Bloomberg

Singapore had a severe housing shortage decades ago. But it developed one of the world's best public housing programs, which has also allowed a huge number of its citizens to buy their own homes.

Palm Beach: America’s first “gated community.”

Source: CBS

The first thing you should know about Palm Beach is that it's an island (unto itself) – the most exclusive town in America, and (according to writer Laurence Leamer) America's first “gated community.” Mo Rocca takes a tour of the city that rose from Florida's tropical wilderness, which today features one of the richest commercial strips in America, and is home to Mar-a-Lago, the “Winter White House” resort of President Donald Trump.



Why Amazon Associates Are Acquisitioning Failed Malls

Source: WSJ

As the decline of brick and mortar retail rolls on, commercial real estate developers are left with massive abandoned properties. Who will fill that underutilized space? A series of recent acquisitions by associates of Amazon in Northeastern Ohio provides some clues.

Purplebricks Michael Bruce steps down as CEO as the online estate agent scales back expansion

(qlmbusinessnews.com via theguardian.com – – Tue,7th May 2019) London, Uk – –

Michael Bruce steps down as chief executive after firm admits it grew in US too quickly

Purplebricks has ousted its chief executive and said it would pull out of Australia and scale back its US business after the online estate agency admitted it had expanded too quickly.

It is understood Michael Bruce, who founded the company in 2012 with his brother Kenny, stepped down after the chair, Paul Pinder, decided to take action following what he described on Tuesday as a “disappointing” 12 months.

Bruce, who owns 11% of Purplebricks, has been replaced by the chief operating officer, Vic Darvey. Darvey joined the firm in January from MoneySuperMarket, where he was managing director. Bruce will receive his annual salary of £150,000 but will not get a bonus, as disclosed in the latest accounts.

Shares in the company, which does not have any branches, fell 7% after Pinder apologised to shareholders in a trading update for its poor performance and conceded it had made a number of mistakes including over expansion abroad.

Pinder said: “With hindsight, our rate of geographic expansion was too rapid and as a result the quality of execution has suffered. We have also made sub-optimal decisions in allocating capital. We will learn from these errors and will not make them again.”

The company said it would close its Australian division after the market had become tougher. It also admitted to making “some execution errors” in the two-and-a-half years it had been operating in the country.

Purplebricks is also carrying out a strategic review of its business in the US, which it is scaling back operations and cutting spending on marketing.

The company said that although conditions were “challenging” in the UK, it was outperforming the wider market and saw plenty of opportunity for profitable growth.

Purplebricks slashed its revenue forecast in February and announced the sudden departure of its UK and US heads. It stuck to this revised estimate on Tuesday, predicting full-year revenues of between £130m and £140m.

Shares were worth 100p when the firm floated on London’s junior Aim market in December 2015, and peaked at nearly 500p in July 2017. Since then the shares have slumped about 75% to trade at 126p on Tuesday.

The share price decline has dealt a blow to Woodford Investment Management, led by the well-known City investor Neil Woodford. It is the largest shareholder in the company, with a 28% stake.

Purplebricks, which does not have any branches, charges sellers an upfront fee for advertising their property online and arranging viewings, while traditional estate agents charge after a home is sold.

By Julia Kollewe

Palm Island Dubai the largest man-made island in the world

Source: Provident

Palm Jumeirah is the world’s largest man-made island and is comprised of a two kilometre long trunk, a crown made up of 17 fronds and a surrounding crescent. The first of three such islands that comprise ‘The Palm Trilogy', Nakheel's signature development, it will be followed by The Palm Jebel Ali and The Palm Deira.

Following a number of years of feasibility studies, the Palm Jumeirah was launched in 2001, with reclamation starting in the same year. From the end of 2006, the island's first residences – comprising 4,000 luxury villas and apartments were handed over during a phased period. Since then, the tourism, leisure and retail elements of the island have been developed, creating a spectacular, world-renowned residential and tourism destination.

Debenhams names 22 stores to close with the loss of 1200 jobs

(qlmbusinessnews.com via bbc.co.uk – – Fri, 26 April, 2019) London, Uk – –

Debenhams has named 22 of the 50 stores it plans to close as part of a plan by new owners to revive the department store chain.

The retailer says the store closures will start next year and 1,200 staff will be affected by the first phase.

Stores in Canterbury, Guildford, Wolverhampton and Kirkcaldy are among those earmarked for closure.

Earlier this month lenders to Debenhams took control in a deal which wiped out the investments of shareholders.

Once the 50 store closures are complete Debenhams will have around 116 stores in the UK.

Debenhams also reported results for the 26 weeks to March. Sales at its UK stores fell 7.4%, which it blamed on fewer shoppers heading to the High Street.

Debenhams stores expected to close in 2020

  • Altrincham
  • Ashford
  • Birmingham Fort
  • Canterbury
  • Chatham
  • Eastbourne
  • Folkestone
  • Great Yarmouth
  • Guildford
  • Kirkcaldy
  • Orpington
  • Slough
  • Southport
  • Southsea
  • Staines
  • Stockton
  • Walton
  • Wandsworth
  • Welwyn Garden City
  • Wimbledon
  • Witney
  • Wolverhampton

Failed expansion

Debenhams is the UK's biggest department store chain and its origins can be traced back to 1778 and a drapers store in central London.

However, industry experts said it expanded its stores at the wrong time – when customers were switching to online sales.

The expansion left the company with debts and expensive leases.

The store closures are part of a broader rescue effort, under which lenders provided £200m of fresh funding.

Under that refinancing agreement, shareholders saw their stake in the firm wiped out, including Mike Ashley, the founder of Sports Direct.

Mr Ashley wanted to buy Debenhams and become chief executive, but his approaches were turned down.

‘Fit for the future'

Terry Duddy, Debenhams executive chairman, said: “Debenhams has a clear strategy and a bright future, but in order for the business to prosper, we need to restructure the group's store portfolio and its balance sheet, which are not appropriate for today's much changed retail environment.

“Our priority is to save as many stores and as many jobs as we can, while making the business fit for the future.”

Debenhams is just one of many High Street chains to run into trouble in recent years.

The collapse of BHS in 2016 resulted in more than 160 stores closing, and House of Fraser has been shutting stores after being bought out of administration last year.

Marks and Spencer is in the process of closing 100 stores by 2020.

Some areas have been particularly hard hit by the problems in the retail industry. Wolverhampton has lost a House of Fraser, a BHS and now a Debenhams.

Lendlease’s Labbad to be successor as new chief exec of Crown Estate

(qlmbusinessnews.com via news.sky.com– Mon, 22nd April 2019) London, Uk – –

Dan Labbad, Lendlease Europe's CEO since 2009, will be named this week as Dame Alison Nimmo's successor, Sky News learns.

By Mark Kleinman, City editor

The company which manages the monarchy's vast land holdings will this week name an Australian property industry veteran as its next chief executive.

Sky News has learnt that Dan Labbad, who runs Lendlease's European operations, has been identified as the successor to Dame Alison Nimmo, who is due to step down at the end of the year.

His appointment, which requires a Royal Warrant, is understood to have been signed off by 10 Downing Street and the Treasury in the last few days.

It is expected to be announced on Tuesday.

Mr Labbad's hiring will come after a nine-month search to fill one of the most prestigious jobs in the British real estate sector.


The Crown Estate's £14bn portfolio, which includes swathes of London's Regent Street and a fast-growing offshore wind turbine business, is managed on behalf of the Royal Family on a commercial basis.


Last year, the company reported a profit of £329m, with a quarter of that figure paid to the royal household as a sovereign grant to fund maintenance of royal palaces and residences.

The Crown Estate, which manages Windsor Great Park, does not have responsibility for the Queen's private properties such as Balmoral Castle and Sandringham House.

With a history dating back to ‎1066 and the Norman Conquest, the Crown Estate is owned by the reigning Monarch for as long as they remain on the throne.

It is one of the UK's biggest property groups, and has recently sought to capitalise on some of the sector's most important growth trends by opening its first branded serviced offices.

Mr Labbad's appointment will see him taking over from Dame Alison at the start of 2020.

He has run Lendlease Europe, which has worked on construction projects at London's Tate Britain art gallery and the Bluewater shopping centre in Kent, since 2009.

Including roles in Australia, where he led the expansion of Sydney Airport ahead of the Olympic Games hosted by the City in 2000, he has worked for the company for about 20 years.

‎Mr Labbad has also chaired the UK Green Building Council, which promotes sustainability in the built environment.

His arrival at the Crown Estate will come at a time when it is demonstrating resilience in the performance of its West End retail estate – although it will have been hit, like other landlords, by last week's environmental protests by Extinction Rebellion activists.

Outside London, it part owns the Westgate shopping centre in Oxford and Rushden Lakes, a £140m leisure and retail complex in Northamptonshire.

Much of the Crown Estate's growth is, though, being driven by its offshore wind portfolio, which a report by the company this month described as having “entered the premier league”.

Announcing last year's results, Dame Alison said its robust profit growth was a consequence of the company looking “beyond short-term volatility to deliver long-term, sustainable outperformance”.

‎The Crown Estate is chaired by Robin Budenberg, a former City banker who went on to run UK Financial Investments, the agency set up to manage taxpayers' stakes in bailed-out lenders after the 2008 financial crisis.

A spokeswoman for the Crown Estate declined to comment on Sunday.

Inside Lenny Kravitz’s Amazing Brazilian Farm Compound

Source: Architectural Digest

Lenny Kravitz takes us on a tour of his incredible Brazilian farm compound. Built on an 18th-century coffee plantation, his home is set on a working farm that feeds every guest that comes through. Featuring a Brazilian barbecue, a full-sized football field and 19th-century Portuguese colonial-style farmhouses and outbuildings, it's a wonder Lenny ever wants to leave home.

UK house prices rose at its weakest rate in six-and-a-half years in February

(qlmbusinessnews.com via uk.reuters.com — Wed, 17th April 2019) London, UK —

LONDON (Reuters) – British house prices rose at the weakest rate in six-and-a-half years in February, dragged down by London’s biggest price slump in a decade as Brexit uncertainty sent chills through the property market.

Official data also showed Britain’s consumer price inflation unexpectedly held just below the Bank of England’s 2 percent target in March, offering relief to consumers whose spending has helped Britain’s economy through the Brexit crisis.

House prices were just 0.6 percent higher in February than a year ago, slowing sharply from a 1.7 percent annual rise in January, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said.

In London, house prices were down by 3.8 percent — the biggest drop since mid-2009. The malaise in the capital spread to the south-east of England, where prices fell for the first time since 2011.

Other surveys have shown Brexit to be a major drag on the property market in the capital, which is sensitive to flows of migrant workers from the European Union. A surge in prices in London in previous years has also stretched affordability.

House prices in London are now 6 percent below their mid-2017 peak, albeit a smaller contraction than an 18 percent decline during the financial crisis.

“It is possible that the avoidance of a ‘no deal’ Brexit at the end of March could provide a modest boost to the housing market through easing some of the immediate uncertainty and concerns,” said economist Howard Archer from consultancy EY ITEM Club.

“However, we suspect it is more probable that with Brexit most likely being delayed until Oct. 31, prolonged uncertainty will weigh down on the housing market and hamper activity.”

INFLATION STILL SEEN RISING

Separately, the ONS said consumer prices rose at an annual rate of 1.9 percent in March, the same rate as in February. A Reuters poll of economists had pointed to a rate of 2.0 percent.

Sterling slipped against the U.S. dollar and the euro on the figures, while British government bond prices rose slightly.

Rising motor fuel prices were offset by falling food prices and computer game prices rising more slowly than they did a year ago, the ONS said.

Looking ahead, improving wage growth and poor productivity in Britain’s economy are likely to push inflation above the BoE’s 2 percent target by the end of 2019, said economist Andrew Wishart from consultancy Capital Economics.

“Nonetheless, with another Brexit crunch point looming in October and growth likely to be modest this year, we doubt the (Bank of England) will press ahead with another interest rate hike until next summer,” Wishart added.

BoE policymakers have said they want to see firm evidence of domestic inflation pressure – chiefly from rising wages – building before they vote to raise rates.

They will likely be reassured by Wednesday’s data that showed costs faced by factories for materials and energy – which eventually feed through to consumer prices – rose more slowly than expected in March.

By Andy Bruce, William Schomberg