Savills reports ‘astonishing’ post-lockdown estate agency revival

first_imgHome » News » Agencies & People » Savills reports ‘astonishing’ post-lockdown estate agency revival previous nextAgencies & PeopleSavills reports ‘astonishing’ post-lockdown estate agency revivalGlobally Savills has seen revenues drop by up to 25% at its commercial operation but its UK residential bounced back strongly.Nigel Lewis11th March 20210445 Views Savills UK estate agency has significantly outperformed the rest of its business where its global commercial property operations have been battered by Covid, its results for 2020 reveal.The upmarket estate agency says its UK residential operation staged an ‘extraordinary’ recovery after the first lockdown until year end with revenues finishing 10% higher than 2019 at £153.2 million.Underlying residential profits, which include build to rent and new homes, increased by 29% year-on-year to £23 million.Its estate agency business did even better, increasing its revenues by 18% year-on-year.“Of particular note was YOPA, the digital hybrid estate agency, which continued to take market share in the mainstream UK residential markets,” says chairman Nicholas Ferguson (pictured).The agency says it residential post-lockdown renaissance was a result of Sunak’s stamp duty holiday and the pent-up demand created by new people’s desire to ‘escape to the country’.This pushed up sales at its non-London branches by 26% year-on-year and the competition for properties ramped up its average agreed sale value from £1.13m to £1.26m.In London, where the ‘rush to rural’ softened demand, the average property agreed sale value dropped by 8% to £1.96 million.Lockdown also meant its core overseas client market was effectively barred from the market, and sales dipped by 11% year-on-year and exchanges by 10%.Its lettings team remained resilient, with revenues falling by only 2% despite the challenging market conditions impacting London lettings significantly.Mark Ridley, Group Chief Executive (pictured), says: “Savills delivered a robust performance in 2020 reflecting the strength and resilience of our global, diversified business.“Much of this outperformance is due to our strategy of retaining the strength of our teams and focussing resolutely on addressing both the pandemic-related, and longer term, needs of our clients.”Anthony Codling, former Jefferies analyst and now Twindig CEO, says: “Such is the strength of the results one has to question whether the stamp duty holiday was needed and could that money [have been] better spent on the NHS than helping Savills wealthy clients buy bigger homes.”Read its full 2020 results.Mark Ridley Nicholas Ferguson Savills March 11, 2021Nigel LewisWhat’s your opinion? Cancel replyYou must be logged in to post a comment.Please note: This is a site for professional discussion. Comments will carry your full name and company.This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.Related articles BREAKING: Evictions paperwork must now include ‘breathing space’ scheme details30th April 2021 City dwellers most satisfied with where they live30th April 2021 Hong Kong remains most expensive city to rent with London in 4th place30th April 2021last_img read more

Downtown Tunes Into Piano Concert

first_imgSisters Farley O’Brien, 15, foreground at right, and Kasey O’Brien, 13, of Linwood, and their friend, Katie Compton, 18, of Mays Landing, perform on dual pianos with their music teacher Shawn Quigley. By MADDY VITALEIsabella Miller, 11, of Corbin City, was just five years old when she began taking piano lessons.“She always played for as long as I can remember,” said Tammy Miller, Isabella’s mother. “She put her fingers on the keys, listened to the music and began to play.”And that love of music could be heard, in fact, loud and clear, when she took her seat at an upright piano at the corner of Eighth Street and Asbury Avenue on Sunday and played the song “Scientist” from the rock band Coldplay during an outdoor concert featuring young students.“I like playing,” Isabella, a sixth-grader, said after her performance. “I like the way my fingers move across the keys.”Isabella Miller, 11, of Corbin City, performs “Scientist” while her piano teacher Shawn Quigley turns the sheet music.Isabella was one of a dozen students of Seaville-based piano teacher Shawn Quigley. Students from middle school, high school and college joined Quigley for the free concert.The mild, sunny second day of spring also meant plenty of bicyclists, shoppers and strollers in the downtown. Many of them slowed down or stopped to listen to the performances.“It helps set the tone for the community and it is great for the kids,” Quigley said of the outdoor concert. “It is a win-win all the way around.”Noel Wirth, of Ocean City, and an employee at the Ocean City Historical Museum, listened, clapped and remarked on the young talents.“What a beautiful day and such great music by these young performers,” Wirth said. “What a day.”Other students performed the Coldplay hits “Yellow,” “Clocks” and “Paradise.” There was a special treat when Quigley and three of his students, sisters Farley, 15, and Kasey, 13, O’Brien, of Linwood, and their friend, Katie Compton, 18, of Mays Landing, performed on dual pianos to the hit “Don’t Stop Believin’” by Journey.Teagan O’Brien, 11, of Linwood, receives applause after a powerful rendition of “Clocks.”Teagan O’Brien, Farley and Kasey’s 11-year-old sister, performed a solo to “Clocks” and never appeared to look at the sheet music.Quigley joked with Teagan when, at first, she didn’t bring the music up to the piano, that she didn’t need it anyway.Parents Kevin and Liz O’Brien watched as their daughters performed.The couple said they had Quigley to thank, in part, for how well their daughters play the piano.“Shawn is extremely talented and does an awesome job with the kids,” Kevin O’Brien noted. “And the wonderful turnout today is proof-positive of that.”Quigley dedicated the concert to his late friend, John Murphy, who lived in Ocean City. The two became friends when Murphy began helping Quigley move pianos years ago.“He was a great friend. Everyone who knew him liked him,” Quigley said. “He actually was the very first person to tell me about Coldplay and how it would be great music to play for my students. Today’s concert is in memory of John.”Coldplay ballads fill the downtown by way of young pianists.last_img read more

Hovis joint venture gains EC approval

first_imgPremier Foods has been granted competition approval by the European Commission for the deal it struck in January to partly hive off its bread business in a joint venture.Hovis Limited is the name of the new joint venture, operated by both Premier and American investor The Gores Group. The transaction is expected to complete by the end of April 2014.The US firm paid £30m for a 51% stake in the unit. The two companies will jointly invest £45m to “reinvigorate the Hovis brand, building on its strong heritage”. Premier said it would invest the sale proceeds into its grocery business.Premier Foods spent £28m last year on restructuring its bread business after closing two mills and three bakeries, and losing several contracts.last_img

Journey to D.C.

first_imgAbout 900 fellow classmates and I spent a good portion of our time at the Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) fully engrossed with last fall’s presidential election.Walking to class, sitting in the HKS Forum, on a bench in the HKS Courtyard, over coffee, or over books, it was all we talked about.Witnessing the most electrifying campaign of our generation with classmates who were certifiable political junkies, and all deeply committed to public service, was an almost transcendent experience. And it could only have happened at the Kennedy School.I remember the debates, especially during the primaries. The passion of my classmates was matched by their abundant political knowledge, a breadth of experience working on and around the issues they discussed, and myriad connections to the political players involved.Some were absent for weeks at a time, leaving to field organize for Republican John McCain or Democrat Barack Obama. It was not uncommon to read classmates’ writing about the campaign in a major publication or see them on the news discussing political strategy or the organizing work they were leading, all while maintaining their course loads.What touched me the most was the uncommon civility present at all times in our political dialogue. No shouting. No name-calling. No anger that a handshake and a smile couldn’t resolve.I was a Hillary Clinton supporter during the primary season, and one of only two black Clinton supporters at the School. This made me one of the more sought-after faux pundits at HKS. Classmates wanted to get inside of my head, and many wanted me to defend my stance. Some weeks, I’d spend hours debating the intersection of race, politics, and gender with members of the HKS community. But the discussion was never acrimonious. And I always learned to see things a bit differently afterward.I started writing about politics during the election, creating a blog to keep a record of evolving opinions of the campaign. I took classes at HKS with Luciana Herman, an adjunct lecturer in public policy, and Timothy McCarthy, an adjunct lecturer in public policy, history and literature, that allowed me to spend time finding and developing my voice as a writer. Guidance from those courses ultimately helped me to get one of my commentaries published, with an assist from an Institute of Politics fellow. Without the resources the Kennedy School provided, that opportunity might not have been available.I graduated in June with an M.P.P. I’m now a Kroc Fellow at National Public Radio, my job an outcome of my HKS policy-analysis exercise and an internship I had while a student. In my office, deadlines are hard, and the time to pontificate can be short, as with any news organization. Being where I am now makes me appreciate last year even more.A chance to talk about politics and policy, in a safe space, with time to really think, and with friends who care, is something hard to come by in our current political climate. Knowing that makes me even more aware of the value my education at the Kennedy School. Witnessing history is amazing. Doing it with class is rare.If you’re an undergraduate or graduate student and have an essay to share about life at Harvard, please e-mail your ideas to Jim Concannon, the Gazette’s news editor, at [email protected]last_img read more

Across 160 years, Darwin speaks

first_imgWhile in Houghton Library, sorting through stacks of old manuscripts and letters from the great naturalist Charles Darwin, history of science graduate student Myrna Perez and lecturer Alistair Sponsel stumbled across something extraordinary: a previously unknown letter from Darwin to his colleague and later nemesis, zoologist Richard Owen.“We initially went [to Houghton] to confirm that a few letters we thought were here at Harvard were actually here,” said Sponsel, who, like Perez, is an affiliate of the Darwin Correspondence Project, whose American editorial office is at Harvard.“We were not really looking for a new letter,” Perez said. “One of the editors … noticed there were some discrepancies between the letters that the project believed to be at Harvard, and what she could tell from the Harvard catalogs themselves.”After cross-checking the British lists and the Harvard catalog, Perez came across a letter that couldn’t be found on any of the lists.“I was a little excited, but a bit skeptical that it would actually be new,” she said. “And then when I got it, I spent a long time looking through our project databases, had Alistair check what I did, and we finally concluded that it was a letter unknown to the project.”According to Sponsel, Darwin wrote the undated letter in April 1848, long before his landmark book “On the Origin of Species” was published. Darwin would have been 39 years old, but he was already famous as a voyager and author. Owen had previously contributed to Darwin’s book “The Zoology of the Voyage of the HMS Beagle.”“We can tell with fairly good confidence which Sunday in 1848 he wrote this,” Sponsel said. “The two [Owen and Darwin] were working on a publication for the British Navy, a handbook for people on voyages to teach them how to make scientific observations.”Perez added, “The letter, and the entire exchange, gives a perspective on the collaborative process of their work and the kind of instructions that Darwin felt were appropriate for new naturalists on naval expeditions. He makes some interesting comments in the letter, saying that he would have loved to have had this kind of manual on his own Beagle voyage.”“Unknown letters don’t come up very often, maybe about 10 a year,” said Darwin scholar Janet Browne, Aramont Professor of the History of Science and Harvard College Professor. “This letter is unusual in that it is a letter from early in Darwin’s life, before ‘On the Origin of Species’ was written, and with a particular individual with whom he became almost sworn enemies.”It was “On the Origin of Species” that changed Darwin and Owen’s relationship. After its publication, Owen wrote a cruel review of the book, and the relationship disintegrated.The discovery comes as part of Perez and Sponsel’s work for the Darwin Correspondence Project, an endeavor begun in the mid-1970s by American scholar Frederick Burkhardt and now based at the University of Cambridge.  Participants there and at Harvard are dedicated to cataloging, editing, and publishing Darwin’s correspondence from throughout his life. To date, Browne said, the project has cataloged about 15,000 letters from “unexpected people in all sorts of categories, including women scientists and African colonial administrators.”“Historians have found principally through this large publishing project that correspondence is a significant element of what scientists used to do,” Browne said. “It turns out that someone like Darwin was writing letters as a way of collecting information. It was part of his scientific method.”The transcription of the letter, which is copyright of the Darwin Correspondence Project, will be published in a forthcoming supplement to the “Correspondence of Charles Darwin” (Cambridge University Press).last_img read more

Duo Arrested Following Cherry Creek Drug Raid

first_imgShare:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window) WNY News Now File Image.CHERRY CREEK – Two men are facing various drug charges after the Chautauqua County Sheriff’s SWAT Team knocked down the door of their Cherry Creek home this week.The Southern Tier Regional Drug Task Force says Gregory Schroeder, 38, and Raymond Provorse, 26, were arrested on Tuesday morning after investigators served a Search Warrant at 6900 Main St. in Cherry Creek.Deputies say Schroeder was wanted on a DEA Federal Arrest Warrant for allegedly selling methamphetamine while Provorse was taken in to custody on an unrelated task force investigation.Provorse has since been arraigned and released while Schroeder remains behind bars. Detectives say other residents of the home were released following the investigation.Because of the deteriorating condition of the property, the Cherry Creek Code Enforcement Officer deemed the structure unsafe and uninhabitable.The Sheriff’s Office encourages anyone with knowledge of illegal drug trafficking to call their tip line at (716) 664-2420.last_img read more

Totally Trivial With Melody Walker and Jacob Groopman of Front Country

first_imgMelody Walker and Jacob Groopman are grabbing attention everywhere they go.  Along with their progressive bluegrass band Front Country, they have garnered gold in band competitions at both Rockygrass and Telluride, Melody’s debut record, Gold Rush Goddess, was named one of the top 50 records of 2012 by No Depression, and Melody won the Chris Austin Songwriting Contest at MerleFest in April of this year.That is a nice collection of kudos for a couple of musicians who have been on the scene for just a couple years.Melody and Jacob, who live in Northern California and hail from San Francisco and Richmond, respectively, can be found recording and playing as a duo when not on the road with Front Country.  Just this week, they set out from California on a two month tour that will take them all over the country.  Jacob and Melody are touring in support of their new release, We Made It Home.BRO recently caught up with Jacob and Melody to get Totally Trivial.BRO – One thing you can get in NorCal that you can’t get in Richmond?Jacob – Seriously amazing authentic dim sum.  I never even knew about this until I moved out to California.  In Richmond, we didn’t even get a sushi place until I was in high school.  Of course, I’ve not lived in Richmond for almost 15 years, so maybe there is some dim sum there now.Melody – Poison oak.  Y’all have poison ivy over there, but apparently the rash is the same, so . . . .BRO – One thing you can get in Richmond that you can’t get in NorCal?Jacob – Great Civil War history!Melody – All kinds of weird Southern foods that don’t even exist on the West Coast.  What is creasy salad?  Chitlins?BRO – In five words or less, finish the following statement – “Winning the Chris Austin Songwriting Contest was better than . . . . “Jacob –  . . . not winning!Melody – . . . getting tarred and feathered.BRO – Most recent song that you heard and immediately had to listen to again?Jacob – This is random, but it was a song by a UK artist named Goldfrapp.  I was in our neighborhood record store, heard it, and had to go home and find it.  The album is called Tales of Us.Melody – I do this all the time, but most recently it was “Gone and Back” from Alaskan songwriter Anna Lynch.  She released it as a teaser for her new album, and you can listen to it here – http://annalynch.bandcamp.com/track/gone-and-back. It’s super catchy and has this cajuny swing that makes me want to dance.BRO – Favorite guilty pleasure while on the road?Jacob – White Cheddar Cheez-Its.Melody – Chex Muddy Buddies.  But we do not give in to these pleasures anymore.  Why, you got some?BRO – Last movie that made you cry?Jacob – Forrest Gump.  It’s the only move that’s ever made me cry.  “I miss you, Jen-nay!”Melody – It doesn’t take much.  I guess Gravity got me for a second, even though that movie was stupid!BRO – Most played song on your iPod?  You proud of that?Jacob – I have no idea.  It might be “Bubbles,” by Bela Fleck, Edgar Meyer, and Zakir Hussain.  I can’t get enough of that song and I am very proud.Melody – I’ve worn out Graceland – the whole album – pretty good on road trips over the years.  It never gets old and always puts a smile on my face.  That’s basically like musical heroin.  I will never quit you, Paul.BRO – What state do you anticipate driving through least on the big tour?Jacob – Nebraska, because it NEVER ends.  This time, though, we’re actually stopping for a gig in North Platte so maybe I’ll change my tune.  Texas is also really large.Melody – Sorry, Nevada, but it’s always you.  There no gig here and you not very scenic on I-80.BRO – Favorite tune on the new record?Jacob – I’m a big fan of how “Betelguese” came out.Melody – I like “O Heartbreaker” because it’s really a pop song snuck onto a folk record.BRO – If you could have just one guest sit in on the big tour, it would be . . .Jacob – Tim O’Brien.  One day it will happen.Melody – David Rawlings.  Sorry Jacob.Melody and Jacob will be racking up some serious miles in the car over the next couple months.  If you get a chance, catch them when they hit a town near you.  For our Colorado readers, the duo will be in Carbondale, Longmont, and Boulder by the end of this week.  Jacob and Melody will be in the Southeast by the end of November, hitting Washington, D.C., Richmond (VA), and Johnson City and Knoxville (TN).For more info on tour dates and how to get your hands on the new record, check out www.melodywalkermusic.com.  Also, be sure to listen to “We Made It Home” on this month’s Trail Mix.last_img read more

3 changes that could affect your financial life in 2015

first_imgby: Steve NicastroThe New Year is all about change and getting a fresh start, like setting personal resolutions to improve your physical and mental well-being. But our financial health often gets overlooked.If you’re seeking to give your finances a new beginning in 2015, it’s vital to be aware of these three important financial changes that took effect at the start of the New Year.1. Contribution limits on retirement, flexible spending accounts riseWant to save more for your retirement in 2015? Well, you’re in luck: The contribution limit for a 401(k), 403(b), most 457 plans and the federal government’s Thrift Savings Plan has been increased to $18,000, a $500 bump from 2014. And if you’re age 50 or older (or turning 50 anytime before Dec. 31, 2015), you’ll be able to stash away an additional $6,000 as a catch-up contribution, a $500 increase from 2014.What if you’re self-employed or a small-business owner with a Simplified Employee Pension (SEP) IRA? Good news: You’ll be able to contribute $53,000 to the account in 2015, a $1,000 boost from last year. continue reading » 8SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

Pension funds must set ‘proactive’ tone over water-risk engagement

first_imgPension funds have been urged to engage with companies on the risk of water shortages, as a report showed that more than one-fifth of companies view shortages as detrimental to growth.According to a report by CDP and sponsored by Norges Bank Investment Management (NBIM), the asset manager of the NOK5.8bn (€678bn) Government Pension Fund Global, the detrimental impact on growth will be felt keenly in emerging markets such as Brazil, China and India.The report said half of the risks identified by the 174 companies, all listed in the FTSE Global 500, were expected to stunt growth within three years.Paul Simpson, CDP’s chief executive, said companies were increasingly understanding the fact that water-related problems can damage a brand. “Over two-thirds of Global 500 companies reporting to CDP this year face substantive water risks – therefore, investing to conserve, manage or obtain water has become crucial for some sectors,” he said.He noted that companies such as Coca Cola and Nestlé had started investing to reduce their water use and improve waste-water treatment.Of those reporting on risks, 43% expect them to materialise within three years, 15% said 4-6 years and 24% expected it to take more than six years.The remaining 15% said they did not know how long it would take them to be impacted.The report, ‘From water risk to value creation’, identified the utilities sector as most exposed to “substantive” water risks, followed closely by the energy sector and those producing consumer products.Cate Lamb, who heads up the CDP’s water project, urged pension funds to put engagement over water management at the heart of any agreement with asset managers.She told IPE pension funds were “hugely critical”, due to their influence on the asset management sector and companies they own.Lamb said the current prolonged drought in California, among the world’s 10 largest economies, had helped raise awareness, as it was a state producing critical commodities, where production changes caused price hikes globally.Similarly, previous droughts in Russia have driven up cattle-feed prices, which in turn has increased the price of leather for shoe manufacturers.  “There is quite a significant opportunity for asset owners to set a more positive, proactive tone among their asset managers by including water-related issues in the request for proposals (RFPs) they issue,” Lamb said.“It’s a topic we hope to work with more pension funds on over the next year, to identify what those opportunities are.”Dutch healthcare sector fund PFZW recently confirmed that strategies to tackle water scarcity would be part of a drive to quadruple sustainable investments by 2020.For its part, NBIM has been heavily involved in the issue of water risk, first discussing the matter in 2009.It more recently called on companies to work on a universal approach to water management reporting.In an effort to make water-related infrastructure more attractive to investors, CDP has also confirmed its involvement in a new working group by the Climate Bonds Initiative.The climate bonds water infrastructure expert committee will – similarly to the groups on agricultural and property bonds launched by the initiative – set out ways for investors to assess the credentials of water-related bonds.Sean Kidney, chief executive at the Climate Bonds Initiative, said the opportunities to invest in the sector were “enormous”.Explaining the need for consistent standards in the sector, he added: “While it may be tempting to define every water project as ‘green’, water investments that don’t take into account climate change, with, for example, its increased volatility of rainfall – dumps and droughts – will come to be seen as both higher risk and not consistent with green.”For more on the Church of Sweden’s approach to managing water risk, see the current issue of IPE,WebsitesWe are not responsible for the content of external sitesLink to CDP’s report ‘From risk to value creation’last_img read more

Canada: Hibernia platform resuming production after storm

first_imgSeaRose oil spill The Hibernia Management and Development Company-operated Hibernia platform, located offshore Newfoundland and Labrador, is gradually resuming production following a shutdown last Friday, November 16. To remind, the area experienced a significant storm last week, prompting the oil and gas operators offshore Canada to halt production at their facilities.While the weather conditions were well within the design limits of the Hibernia platform and the platform kept operating during the storm, three of the eight Hibernia lifeboats were impaired and taken out of service as a result of the weather.However, on Friday morning, November 16, following discussions between Canada’s offshore regulator, C-NLOPB, and the operator regarding the fact three lifeboats were out of service, Hibernia operations were halted and  the number of persons onboard was reduced to 175.Production remained halted during the week to enable the operator to assess the damage and complete the repairs. On Thursday, November 22 C-NLOPB informed that the Hibernia platform was authorized to restart production operations on November 21, after completing all necessary inspections on the facility and production systems.In a separate statement on Thursday, the HMDC said that, while the storm conditions were within design parameters, the Hibernia engineering and offshore personnel carried out a series of robust and thorough inspections of the platform and completed all integrity checks prior to resuming production operations. Close surveillance of the facility will be carried out throughout start up.The regulator also said that the number of persons onboard would remain at 175 until all necessary repairs, inspection, and analysis to the damaged lifeboats are complete.C-NLOPB added that Hibernia would also need to inspect their subsea systems, which include the Offshore Loading System, and all drilling systems prior to resuming drilling and offloading operations.Certifying Authority concurrence that these systems are fit for purpose post-storm is also required, prior to resuming those operations.The shareholders of Hibernia Management and Development Company are: ExxonMobil Canada (33.125%), Chevron Canada Resources (26.875%), Suncor (20%), Canada Hibernia Holding Corporation (8.5%), Murphy Oil (6.5%) and Equinor Canada (5%). Green light to resume production It is also worth reminding that, as a result of the storm, Husky’s SeaRose FPSO on Friday, November 16 spilled 250 cubic meters (250,000 liters) of oil into the environment after trying to restart production, which had been suspended due to Thursday’s weather. The FPSO will remain suspended until a full inspection of all facilities is completed and Husky has received the support and approval of the C-NLOPB.Meanwhile, other operators offshore Canada are also assessing their offshore facilities for damage before resuming operations.Offshore Energy Today Stafflast_img read more