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First commercial property portfolio of 2018

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Barfoot & Thompson Commercial has kicked off the new year by launching a portfolio of 19 properties on the market.Agency manager John Urlich says the first Insite publication for 2018 contains a spread of properties across the Auckland...

Cafe close to famous Otago Rail Trail

Saturday, January 20, 2018

The Stationside Cafe at Lauder in Central Otago trades in a part of New Zealand with air so clear an atmospheric research laboratory has been established based nearby.The closeness of this NIWA facility isn't lost on ABC business...

Leigh Bramwell: Everything on the doorstep

Saturday, January 20, 2018

When Jim and Barbara Scopas move into their new home, they won't have far to go.They're building just in front of their current property, replicating many of the features of the house they've enjoyed for several years."We bought...

Donna McIntyre: Kiwi kid's paradise

Saturday, January 20, 2018

To Heather Restall and Kevin Pugh, Tindalls Beach conjures up memories of lazy summer days just a stroll from their family bach across the lawn to the water's edge.The brother and sister spent their school holidays at the family...

Robyn Welsh: Little moments of design

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Architectural graduate Sophie Wylie grew up in this street, dreaming of designing houses. Now she's living the dream in the home which she designed for her family and which stands in front of this property and its adjacent mirror...

Government seeks North Shore build partner

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Home builder partners keen to be involved in major government housing projects in Auckland are being sought for five superlots of land totalling 1.58ha in Northcote, on the North Shore.Stage 1 of the government's Northcote Development...

'Amazon-proofing' retail destinations

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Shopping strips in prime locations with plenty of dining and entertainment options are best placed to withstand Amazon's arrival Down Under, says Bayleys new head of retail, Chris Beasleigh.Amazon's launch in Australia at the end...

RECENT DEALS for Saturday January 20

Saturday, January 20, 2018

$6.8 m Eden Terrace sale A commercial property at 1A Porters Avenue, Eden Terrace, has been sold with vacant possession for $6.8 million by JLL agents Jarred Hill, Nick Cape and Alex Wefers. Purchased by an owner-occupier following...

Units for sale in Onehunga

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Adjoining industrial units in sought-after Captain Springs Rd, Onehunga, will go to auction on February 15.Both the freehold units are being sold by Barfoot and Thomson commercial and industrial agents James Marshall and Nick Wilson.The...

Green roofs could bring hidden costs

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Green roofs can make commercial buildings more sustainable, efficient and appealing places to work – but they can also be difficult to maintain, costly and underutilised, a property expert warns.Chris Farhi, Director of Strategic...

Smart work places help staff wellbeing

Saturday, January 20, 2018

A North Shore co-working complex is now operating with the wellbeing of staff as its priority, says Paul Gunn, the chief executive of Smales Farm Management.Gunn says the Takapuna complex, dubbed the B:Hive, is New Zealand's largest...

8 Minimalist Homes That Are Big on Style (Not on Stuff)

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Homes are hitting the market across the country with clean lines and bright spaces, proving you can maximize style while keeping things minimal.

Can my management charges rise for renting out my flat? 

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Blocks of flats often want to change the relationship between a leaseholder and the freeholder, but it all boils down to the terms of the lease.

Let’s move to Finnieston, Glasgow: ‘You’ll struggle to find a lampshade in the modish new nitespots’

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Move there and open something useful. With no cocktails in jam jars

What’s going for it? Bare lightbulbs. Yes, yes, I know they’re very fashionable right now, thank you very much. I have read Living Etc. But, at the risk of sounding like my late granny, what’s wrong with a lampshade? Once upon a time, bare lightbulbs in a window might have indicated poverty or dereliction. Now they mean quite the opposite. You’ll struggle to find a lampshade in the windows of the modish new nitespots on Argyle Street, aka the Strip. Finnieston is yet another tale of gentrification. Where once dockworkers had their fish supper, yuppies/dinkys/hipsters/whatevs now eat octopus with blood orange and drink in gin bars; where there were once actual docks, there are now “luxury” (you might want to speed-dial trading standards with that word) apartments. With wearying inevitability, last year saw Finnieston third in the UK for property price rises, at 14%. So perhaps it’s a case of let’s not move to. Or, if you do, maybe open something useful. With lampshades. And no cocktails in jam jars.

The case against The much-documented problems of gentrification. The Clydeside half by the Expressway can feel bleak, unpopulated and Anywheresville. Few affordable options if you have a family.

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Don’t Mind the Day Care Downstairs

Saturday, January 20, 2018

More than half of the day care centers in New York City are home-based, which means toddlers often get dropped off in residential buildings.

Michael Douglas' Majorca party palace fails to sell

Saturday, January 20, 2018

The lavish property, where the showbiz couple previously hosted parties for the likes of Tom Cruise, Nicole Kidman, Michelle Pfeiffer and Jack Nicholson, is yet to be snapped up.

Right at Home: Surviving a Bad Airbnb Review

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Posting a bad review is one thing, but what if a host calls you a bad guest? Would that make you crazy or push you to be a better version of yourself?

These 4 Clever Hacks Give New Life to Household Junk

Saturday, January 20, 2018

All you need is a few minutes - and a few materials you already have.

The Space edit: our pick of the best table lamps – in pictures

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Shed some light with a table lamp – the more futuristic, the better

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UK's Property Market braces for Fall Out from Landmark Leasehold Case

Friday, January 19, 2018

This week an appeal court ruling could result in the cost of extending leases being halved and buying freeholds for 2.1 million households in Wales and England could also become considerably cheaper. One thing first time buyers often overlook in their calculations if they can afford a UK apartment, house or flat in Britain is how much ground rent is payable and what monthly or annual maintenance charges are being applied. When householders feel they are being held to ransom by freeholders over the application of unreasonable maintenance charges, they often decide buying the freehold might be cheaper than continuing to pay maintenance. At this point, they discover that landlords apply totally archaic methods to calculate just how much the freehold is worth.

The Duke of Westminster is one of the nation's richest men. If the landmark legal challenge should prove successful, he could see the value of his estates drop sharply.

The court of appeal was going to rule on 16th January 2018 in the case of Mundy v. the Sloane Stanley Estate in a long-running legal battle over the calculation basis for extending a lease. So far nothing has been published about what the court has decided, but if the decision goes against rich freeholders like the Duke, then he could see a significant fall in the value of his assets, while 2.1 million households across England and Wales could buy their freehold for some 31% less than before.

This number of households reflects the leases with less than 80 years remaining, of which there are 490,000 in London alone. Extending leases back to 99 or 125 years could cost on average 31% less if the legal challenge is successful.

The Sloane Estate v Mundy case involves a small flat in Chelsea where the lease has fallen to less than 23 years - the freeholder is looking for £420,000 to agree an extension. In the background of the case is surveyor James Wyatt, who is challenging a system of lease valuation commissioned on behalf of the Duke of Westminster more than 20 years ago.

His Grosvenor estate in central London includes the freeholds to some of the most expensive real estate in the world, making the current Duke of Westminster, 26-year-old Hugh Grosvenor, one of the richest men in the UK with a fortune estimated at £9.5bn. Hugh Grosvenor owns 300 acres of prime central London land in Mayfair and Belgravia, including Grosvenor Square named after his ancestors.

At the heart of the case are the so-called "relativity graphs" used by real estate experts that set the value of short leases relative to the freehold.

James Wyatt said: "In 1996 the Grosvenor estate commissioned (the surveying firms) Gerald Eve and John D Wood to draw up graphs of relativity to set the price for lease extensions and buying freeholds. No one has had the time, effort or money to challenge them since. It’s a much bigger scandal than the ground rents issue, and a real David and Goliath battle."

Wyatt was formerly head of valuations at John D Wood. He left to set up his own consultancy, Parthenia Valuation, and argues that the mathematical models currently in use wrongly award too much to the freeholder.

"The big London estates will be particularly hit, but it’s not just about the London market. I hear from lots of people, many of them pensioners, who are trapped in declining leases and can’t afford to extend them. For example, I know one where the lease extension should be £30,000 but the freeholders want £50,000 and the pensioners can’t afford it," Wyatt said.

He estimates that leaseholders are currently being overcharged by £480m a year. In his opinion, nothing has changed because a "gravy train" of surveyors and solicitors are earning huge fees, and they are thus in favour or maintaining the existing system.

Not all of the freeholders are aristocratic individuals. Some are major charities, such as the Wellcome Trust, a big landowner around South Kensington. The Trust uses any surpluses to invest in cancer research.

Jo Darbyshire, of the National Leasehold Campaign, explained: "The Mundy case is a landmark moment in leasehold reform. If the appeal is successful all leaseholders will benefit by being able to pay less for lease extensions and freehold purchases."

She added: "Over the last 12 months the National Leasehold Campaign has been pushing for reform to leasehold law and an end to the leasehold scandal. It’s time to see if the establishment are ready to listen to a logical, balanced argument and level the playing field for leaseholders."

If the Mundy case goes in favour of the leaseholder, it is expected to go to the supreme court on appeal. But even if the case is unsuccessful, leasehold valuations are expected to drop significantly after a government review into the sector.

In December the Department for Communities and Local Government said it would be "working with the Law Commission to make the process of purchasing a freehold or extending a lease much easier, faster and cheaper". Among the valuation models believed to be among those under consideration by the department's reform is the one proposed by Parthenia Valuations.

Article by Maria Thermann on behalf of

On New Indian Condos, the Name Is Trump, and the Lure Is Meeting One

Friday, January 19, 2018

The developers of the new Trump Towers outside New Delhi promise the first 100 buyers a meeting with Donald Trump Jr. They got 20 to sign on the first day.

Trust account case at Harcourts' Preet & Co headed for Real Estate Agents Disciplinary Tribunal

Friday, January 19, 2018

An investigation into "abnormalities" in the trust account of a 10-branch Auckland Harcourts business has been referred to the Real Estate Agents Disciplinary Tribunal.The case involves former agent Gurpreet or Preet Grewal and...

What's the color of the year for 2018? You get to decide

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Predictions for 2018 color trends with a photo gallery of favorites.

Wooden homes for sale – in pictures

Friday, January 19, 2018

Go with the grain at these timber properties, from a Victorian boathouse to a former drill hall and cinema

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Ground rent: can landlords really demand six years’ payments in one hit?

Friday, January 19, 2018

My freeholder hasn’t been sending annual invoices, and has just landed me with a massive bill

I read with interest about landlords being able to claim six years’ worth of ground rent providing they complete the appropriate demand form.

Now my freeholder has done just that. Are they in breach of the rules as they haven’t been sending annual invoices? Or can they simply bill six years in one go if they fill in the correct form?

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The January blahs are a thing. I actually kind of like them

Saturday, January 20, 2018

In January, a house is a million little things. The kettledrum thump of the furnace kicking on. The burned coffee smell when you yank the pot out a little too early and the last few drips sizzle on the heating plate. The booming echo of a shower door.

Add in quirky people, quirky traits and you...

Neighborhood Spotlight: Bell's advantageous location bumps its past scandal down a few pegs

Saturday, January 20, 2018

In the 1800s, the king of Spain was in the habit of extravagantly rewarding the civil servants and soldiers who helped tend to his far-flung empire, providing eye-poppingly large land grants to generals and back-office non-commissioned officers alike.

So it was that Cpl. Don Antonio Maria Lugo,...

My Favorite Room: Peter Paige's loft is 'gentlemanly' with touches of the provocative

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Peter Paige opted for a gentlemen’s-club look for his Hollywood loft — the kind that British upper-crust chaps frequented in the 19th century.

The writer, director and producer began with a wall of art, tucked inside a modernist Hollywood building fit with skewed windows and splashed with a jaunty...

What $900,000 buys right now in three L.A. areas

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Here’s a look at what roughly $900,000 buys right now in the Eagle Rock, Hollywood Hills West and Park Hills Heights areas in L.A.

EAGLE ROCK: This wood-accented contemporary home sits on a knoll and boasts a backyard with canyon views.

Address: 4307 Mont Eagle Place, Los Angeles, 90041


Why becoming a parent is a bad career move in UK - survey

Friday, January 19, 2018

Many parents turn down promotions due to the challenges of juggling home and work

Working parents are struggling to juggle the pressures of their jobs and family life, with many deliberately stalling their careers or rejecting a new opportunity in a bid to restore balance, a survey shows.

The Modern Families Index found almost half (47%) of UK parents and carers said work affected their ability to spend time together as a family, with two in five (39%) saying it prevented them from being able to say goodnight to their children often or all the time. A similar proportion (42%) said work commitments meant they could not help their children with their homework.

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