BVI, the German association of insurers, investment companies and building societies, has presented a five-point plan aimed at radically simplifying the retirement system. The aim is to deliver better returns and to lower costs for savers, thus encouraging a stronger uptake.The disclosure was triggered by the extremely low interest rates environment and a stagnating uptake, which are making a reform of state-sponsored private retirement plans a matter of urgent necessity.The BVI is suggesting that:standard retirement products should be made as simple and easy to understand investment choices and, therefore, offered at a lower cost;there should be an attractive and transparent form of state funding that can be intuitively understood by everyone: each euro paid in by the saver is topped up by at least 50 cents;state-sponsored private retirement plans should be available to everyone – including the self-employed;a relaxation of the guarantee of total gross contributions shoudl be in place in order to boost return opportunities for savers;a general simplification of the procedure for granting bonuses in order to reduce the number of bonuses clawed back each year (currently some 800,000) by more than 90%. BVI is asking the German government to call an early meeting with providers in order to realise its aim of strengthening private retirement planning by the first half of 2020. The proposed reform initiatives offer considerable cost-cutting potential. Close cooperation between providers and the government is vital in order to achieve this, BVI stated.The association sees ongoing development of the current system as being a substantially more convincing reform approach than switching to a different system altogether.Suggestions, such as a virtually compulsory Deutschland-Rente, as proposed by the Government of the Federal State of Hesse, or the “extra pension” advocated by the Federation of German Consumer Organisations (vzbv), place a burden on employers.A radical change to the system, more or less compulsory, without minimum protection for investors, would produce considerable insecurity among the population, the BVI concluded.
Investor demand for Brisbane apartments has waned, but owner occupiers are still active. Picture: Marc Robertson.Urbis anticipates that project launches won’t see any drastic increase, however sales figures are not expected to register further decline. “It is a competitive market because there is still product in the market,” Urbis director property economics and research Paul Riga said.“In coming quarters we’re tracking another four to six projects likely to launch in the coming six months. “That will add more choice to the market, and on that basis, we would expect sales to move higher.” MARGOT ROBBIE’S SECRET WEDDING ESTATE FOR SALE Mr Riga said it was positive to see that while investor activity had slowed in the inner Brisbane apartment market, owner occupiers were still active.“A large proportion of owner occupier sales were in recently built or soon to be completed developments,” he said. “Generally, owner occupiers are looking for a home, they want to be able to see the finished product before committing.” Urbis director property economics and research Paul Riga.Unlike the previous quarter, where 46 per cent of sales were in projects in a presales phase, this quarter 55 per cent of sales were in recently built and settled developments. Only 15 per cent of sales were in presales developments.More from newsParks and wildlife the new lust-haves post coronavirus18 hours agoNoosa’s best beachfront penthouse is about to hit the market18 hours agoMr Riga said the decline in presales purchases was largely due to the lack of new projects launching to the market, with only three new projects yielding 146 apartments launching in Brisbane during the March quarter. And only 306 apartments were approved for development in the first three months of this year — in line with the low level of projects coming to the market. THE BLOCK’S BACKPACKERS’ MAKEOVER A GOLDMINE High-rise apartments in Brisbane. Picture: Mark Calleja.More than 4700 apartments, including in sold-out projects, are expected to settle across inner Brisbane by the end of the year.Mr Riga said many “savvier” developers were working behind the scenes with buyers, agents and valuers to ensure settlements were on track.“Many developers are monitoring to see how these settlements go before deciding to launch anything new to the market,” he said.“I haven’t heard reports of too many drastic issues when it comes to settlements.”Despite the lack of new projects, demand for the right product at the right price was still there, with a number of projects pending launch gathering interest from prospective buyers. “From our conversations within the market, we know that there has been solid interest and sales in recently built stock which has had to be resold, indicating that demand hasn’t disappeared and buyers are still active,” Mr Riga said.BRISBANE APARTMENT MARKET SNAPSHOT*154 sales in the March 2018 quarter, down from 252 sales in the previous quarter*Average sales price for the quarter remained steady at $680,195*Two-bedroom, two-bathroom product made up the majority of sales at 58% *Only three new projects yielding 146 apartments launched in the quarter*Owner occupier transactions made up the majority of sales at 34% sales(Source: Urbis) Brisbane apartment sales almost halved in the March quarter, a new report reveals. Photo: Adam Armstrong.APARTMENT sales have almost halved in Brisbane as fewer new projects are launched to market and developers adopt a wait-and-see approach, a new report has found.It’s good news for first home buyers and downsizers hunting for a bargain, with the slowdown keeping a lid on unit prices.And while investor demand has waned, the appetite for units in the Queensland capital is still strong among owner-occupiers, who made up the majority of sales during the March quarter. GET THE LATEST REAL ESTATE NEWS DIRECT TO YOUR INBOX HERE The latest Urbis quarterly apartment report reveals 154 apartments were sold in the first three months of this year — down from 252 sales in the previous quarter.Owner occupier transactions made up 34 per cent of sales, overtaking foreign investor purchase, which accounted for 28 per cent of sales.The average apartment sale price remained steady at $680,195.
More from newsCairns home ticks popular internet search terms3 days agoTen auction results from ‘active’ weekend in Cairns3 days ago10-12 Lark Close, Clifton Beach“It is on level land, so there is no steep driveways or terraces.“The owners want to downsize and so are reluctantly putting it on the market.“They fell in love when they bought the land around four years ago and have thoroughly enjoyed living in the area in one of the most sought after places in Clifton Beach.”An island-bench, servery and bi-fold windows complete a modern and well-equipped kitchen which opens onto a dining room.An ionised freshwater swimming-pool affords privacy sitting in the midst of three sides of the house and can be viewed from several spaces in the home.Airconditioning has been installed throughout the home, as has a high-capacity solar-system, capable of drastically reducing energy costs.Walk-in robes, a double-garage with ample storage facilities, security-screens, a completely fenced yard, remote-controlled electric gate, Intercom, an outdoor-shower beside the pool and an extensive irrigation system complete the tale of a beautifully crafted property. 10-12 Lark Close, Clifton BeachMr Frohlich said Clifton Beach was one of the most beautiful Coral Sea destinations and just minutes away from neighbours Palm Cove to the north and Kewarra Beach to the south.The beachside appeal, close to work, schools and other amenities could prove the perfect choice for buyers new to the region.“The region provides multiple choices of restaurants, bars and cafes, golf courses, tennis courts, shopping centres as well as a variety of shops, trades and medical practitioners; this well-balanced infrastructure and amenities covers all needs,” Mr Frohlich said.“The International Airport Cairns and the CBD can be reached in less than half an hour.“James Cook University and Smithfield, with a wider range of shopping facilities, brewery and access to the Tablelands via the Kennedy Highway, is just a few minutes away by car or public transport.” 10-12 Lark Close, Clifton BeachA LIFE of quiet luxury awaits the new owners of a prestigious and elegant property set in the hills along Cairns’ popular northern beaches.A timeless and open style of architecture shows off the building’s best assets and immerses the property in its pristine natural environment. 10-12 Lark Close, Clifton BeachSet on 4246sq m of parklike gardens, the urban congestion of the Captain Cook Highway will certainly seem like hours away.Raine & Horne Palm Cove senior sales and marketing agent Gunther Frolich said the 355sq m Clifton Beach property was built just three years ago and features four bedrooms and two bathrooms.“A spacious state of the art master-bedroom, two offices and an open-plan living area with an artfully integrated, switch-operated, open gas-pebble fireplace provides the home with flair and a warm ambience,” he said.“The owners have loved the very large patio positioned at the rear of the property – the outlook is just gorgeous.
As one of Brisbane’s most historically significant addresses, Ascot is well-known for having a unique blend of houses and architecture that exude charm and sophistication. Racecourse Road is the area’s original promenade, shopping street and dining hub, and today, it is still a bustling commercial centre. Thanks to the recent completion of Racecourse Village Shopping Centre, the suburb is continuing to offer its residents unrivalled amenity and convenience.With old grand homes on large blocks of land, the area has drawn increased investment in recent times, offering alternative residential options for those wanting to remain in the area. Heritage buildings and historic sites dot the suburb, combining with the new to create a suburb where contemporary melds with classical charm.Contemporary residential offerings sit alongside classical homes in Ascot.Since 1863, Eagle Farm Racecourse has called this area home – with the name Ascot given to the suburb as a tongue-in-cheek reference to Ascot in England and its prestigious Ascot racecourse.It’s no surprise then, that the Brisbane Racing Club in particular, has been an integral part of the community for more than 153 years. Nearly 10 years ago, the club made the decision to invest $1.2 billion in the redevelopment of its land around the Eagle Farm and Doomben Racecourses.Its masterplan to build a shopping centre, a sports club and hotel, childcare services, a retirement and aged care facility as well as residential offerings, has further cemented Ascot’s reputation as a premier place to live.Brisbane Racing Club has invested in the redevelopment of the area surrounding Eagle Farm Racecourse.The recent completion of Ascot House – the first stage of the prestigious Ascot Green residential development undertaken by Mirvac – has already drawn significant interest from local buyers.Mirvac Queensland’s general manager of residential development, Warwick Bible, says the first stage of Ascot Green is Ascot House, offering one, two and three-bedroom apartments overlooking Eagle Farm Racecourse.It’s attracting buyers from the local area and surrounds who come from big family homes and want to downsize without compromising on space, style or privacy.“With 90 apartments in Ascot House, the building is geared towards owner-occupiers, as a premium has been placed on ensuring apartments are oversized and with extensive communal facilities for residents to enjoy,” Bible says.Ascot House’s trackside location and incredible amenities has drawn interest from local buyers.He says being trackside means residents benefit from expansive green outlooks, with each apartment designed with oversized balconies.Another drawcard for prospective buyers is the newly opened, $40 million Racecourse Village Shopping Centre, featuring a major supermarket and 18 specialty retail outlets, including alfresco dining and medical services.“Ascot Green residents benefit from the amazing lifestyle amenities on their doorstep including the restaurant-lined Racecourse Rd and the new Racecourse Village retail precinct a mere 700m away,” Bible says.Residents of Ascot House can downsize without compromising on space or style.The Racecourse Rd precinct is packed with an eclectic range of businesses, eateries and services providers. It stretches from Hamilton at the Brisbane River to Eagle Farm racecourse and hosts markets, race day parties, festivals and all manner of community-minded events.Brisbane Racing Club chairman Neville Bell says he’s already seen a visible uplift in visitors to the area, and believes the completion of Ascot House has set the precedent for additional investment in the area.All images supplied by Mirvac.
The master bedroom with ensuite.More from newsParks and wildlife the new lust-haves post coronavirus14 hours agoNoosa’s best beachfront penthouse is about to hit the market14 hours agoVoids and skylights draw attention to Alpine dry stone and spotted gum timbers which are used throughout the house and flow through to the outdoor entertaining area with inground pool. SEE THE FULL BRISBANE AUCTION LINE-UP FOR THIS SATURDAY FOLLOW THE COURIER-MAIL REAL ESTATE TEAM ON FACEBOOK Mr Lockyer has been a registered architect since 2002 and set up his own company in Brisbane in 2009.He won the 2018 Australian Institute of Architecture award for best residential architecture for the V House on the Sunshine Coast. The Shaun Lockyer designed V House on the Mooloolah River. The street view of 84 Langshaw St, New Farm.Step inside and the craftsmanship of one of Queensland’s top architects is evident in every ultra-modern finish. The renovation extends the rear of the house into the backyard.Hamish Bowman of Ray White New Farm is taking the property to auction. It was originally scheduled for this Saturday but has been postponed to February 23 at 10am. This New Farm cottage has been converted into a stunning modern home that goes to auction next weekend.HEADLINING upcoming Brisbane auctions is this stunning 1930 cottage that has been transformed by leading Brisbane architect Shaun Lockyer.The four-bedroom house at 84 Langshaw St, New Farm presents as a chic 1930 cottage with restored gabling and delicate fretwork along the front balcony. Connectivity is a theme of this modern transformation.“The intricacy of detail and superb appointment of space reflects the leading craftsmanship, showcasing this as a quintessential Lockyer home,” the listing says.
Those who own a helicopter, or plan to, might find this property is the perfect match.BE spoiled for choice when it comes to what vessel you’ll use to arrive at this grand waterfront mega-mansion.Be it car, boat or helicopter, the Paradise Waters residence can accommodate them all.One of its opulent features is a waterfront helipad, the only Gold Coast house to have one.But there are many more lavish inclusions that will take your breath away.MORE NEWS: The seven best ‘burbs to invest in MORE NEWS: Impressive price for rare property package 101 Commodore Drive, Paradise Waters, is the ultimate trophy home.There’s luxury at every turn.Buyers seeking a trophy home will relish at the high-end finishes, custom refinements and grand scale.It will be difficult to find another property that can match the luxury on offer at this sprawling mansion.Owners Nerolie and Robert Rye are regretfully selling the house, which was a project of love and envisaged as their forever family home, due to ill health.Ray White Prestige agent Robert Graham, who is marketing the opulent offering, said everything about the property was grand in proportion, including the money the Rye family spent building it.“It’s a one off and was built for the family as a forever home,” he said.“Unfortunately through a change of circumstances the property now needs to be sold. The property will be perfect for someone who expects, understands and appreciates quality.”The house makes the most of its wide waterfront position.The kitchen is also grand.Mr Graham said the house was built less than two years ago and included a range of features that set it apart from other mega-mansions on the Coast.“The helipad is a standout feature and is the only approved waterfront helicopter landing pad on the entire Gold Coast,” he said.“Plus, the pillar-less basement garage — the owners spent a huge amount of money having no posts in the basement so when you drive in it’s completely open.“The home is unlike anything else.”More from news02:37International architect Desmond Brooks selling luxury beach villa10 hours ago02:37Gold Coast property: Sovereign Islands mega mansion hits market with $16m price tag1 day agoThe property was only recently built.It is set to go to auction on October 24.Created by renowned designer Jared Poole, the property sits on 30m of river frontage and has multiple living areas, both indoors and out, that take advantage of the spectacular panorama. Entertaining can be enjoyed from numerous zones, whether it be on the waterfront terrace, one of two covered alfresco areas, poolside or in the sports bar.The basement level of the three-storey abode offers a seven-car garage, workshop and a waterside bar.The main living areas are zoned on the ground floor including an office, library, home theatre and open-plan living, dining and kitchen area.The gourmet kitchen features double island benches, integrated Sub-Zero refrigeration, Wolf appliances, a butlers pantry and servery window to the outdoor terrace.Video Player is loading.Play VideoPlayNext playlist itemMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 1:20Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -1:20 Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedCaptionscaptions settings, opens captions settings dialogcaptions off, selectedQuality Levels720p720pHD540p540p360p360p270p270pAutoA, selectedAudio Tracken (Main), selectedFullscreenThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window.This is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.Close Modal DialogThis is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.PlayMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 0:00Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -0:00 Playback Rate1xFullscreen6 Australian wow homes that have just sold01:20The helipad is just one of many impressive features.The five bedrooms occupy the top level, each with an ensuite and walk-in wardrobe, the main offering a waterfront balcony. There’s also a playroom and guest quarters on this floor.The five-bedroom mansion is set to head under the hammer on October 24 through Robert Graham of Ray White Prestige.
Brisbane celebrates its birthday on Boxing Day and we reckon there’s no better place to live. Photographer: Liam Kidston.BRISBANE will celebrate its 117th birthday as a city on Boxing Day and to mark the occasion we’ve found three properties of historical significance that have added to its rich tapestry.Built in 1880 for Queensland’s first resident Supreme Court Judge, the Honourable Justice Virgil Power, Valda used to reside upstream from Shafston House in East Brisbane and was known locally as ‘Queen of the Eastern Suburbs’. Valda, at 50 Grandview Rd, PullenvaleIt’s fretwork pediment over the front entrance and handpainted murals of water birds in the hallway are documented by the National Trust of Australia. MORE REAL ESTATE STORIES It is now surrounded by 2.5 acres of laws and gardens at 50 Grandview Rd, Pullenvale where it has been restored, extended into a five-bedroom house and landscaped with garden rooms in the ‘Edna Walling’ style. A quaint children’s playhouse on the grounds of 50 Grandview Rd, Pullenvale.The ballroom is now a large formal living and dining room, there are floor to ceiling bay windows, and a large country kitchen with Rosieres Paul Bocuse range cooker.The property is listed by Rachael Spinks of Spinks & Co Residential Brisbane.In Brisbane’s western suburbs, the history of 100 Dillon Rd, The Gap is documented by The Gap Historical Society as it was the original Dillon banana and avocado farm in the area. There’s a dam at 100 Dillon Rd, The Gap.The 6.48 hectare property features a 10 megalitre dam with a working heritage irrigation engine and pump and can sustain six head of cattle. All this is just 13km from the Brisbane CBD.The architect-designed house has six bedrooms, two fireplaces, a media room and large kitchen with granite benches and modern appliances. The architect-designed 100 Dillon Rd, The Gap.Outside has a lap pool and plunge pool with a kids slide, and a large orchard with citrus, mango, avocado, olive and macadamia trees.Graham Symes of Ray White The Gap says the property could become an income producing property for the neighbourhood once more and is inviting offers.More from newsParks and wildlife the new lust-haves post coronavirus10 hours agoNoosa’s best beachfront penthouse is about to hit the market10 hours agoIn the inner city, Matt Lancashire of Ray White New Farm has listed a waterfront house on land that was once part of Sir Samuel Griffith’s Merthyr Estate. The property at 17 Griffith St, New Farm.Sir Griffith became Queensland premier in 1883 and was later appointed the first Chief Justice of Australia. Former Queensland premier Sir Samuel Griffith. He lived at Merthyr House on Llewellyn St, New Farm and for a time, this part of Brisbane was the suburb of Mertyr.On the market for the first time in 20 years, The Ripples at 17 Griffith St, New Farm was designed in 1928 by architect Eric Percival Trewern and is on a 739sq m waterfront block.The property has a private pontoon and city views and the four-bedroom house has been designed in the Spanish Mission style.It is on the market for $5.9 million.
Video Player is loading.Play VideoPlayNext playlist itemMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 0:58Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -0:58 Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedCaptionscaptions settings, opens captions settings dialogcaptions off, selectedQuality Levels720p720pHD432p432p216p216p180p180pAutoA, selectedAudio Tracken (Main), selectedFullscreenThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window.This is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.Close Modal DialogThis is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.PlayMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 0:00Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -0:00 Playback Rate1xFullscreenHow much do I need to retire?00:58 MORE: Brisbane, Gold Coast among world’s best luxury cities Land values jumped by up to 20 per cent in Brisbane suburbs Buyers making cash offers to stop houses going to auction “The property is currently owner-operated as a venue hire business catering to a variety of theatre productions, live music, wedding receptions and corporate functions. Additionally, the property has two retail tenants and one commercial tenant.”Close to the Mater Hospital, walking distance to Southbank, the Mater Hill Busway Station and the future Cross River Rail Station at Woolloongabba. FOLLOW SOPHIE FOSTER ON TWITTER Princess Theatre: 8 Annerley Road Woolloongabba has been listed for expressions of interest.If you’ve always wanted to be royal, you could own a title dating back to 1888 though it may not be quite what you expect.The stunning 130-plus-year-old Princess Theatre in the heart of the Queensland capital is on the market. That is an amazing ceiling. More from newsParks and wildlife the new lust-haves post coronavirus10 hours agoNoosa’s best beachfront penthouse is about to hit the market10 hours agoIn the limelight.The property at 8 Annerley Road, Woolloongabba, covers a land area of 1,103sq m and floor area of 1,000sq m, and is zoned for mixed use.Agents Christian Sandstrom and Adam Willmore of Knight Frank Brisbane are marketing it as a chance to “own a piece of Brisbane’s history”.“This historic building was originally constructed in 1888 and has been home to a variety of theatre companies and other tenants over the years,” was how it was described. The heritage listed building in Woolloongabba has agents looking for expressions of interest in the 500-person theatre.The owners, the Lifecity Church, has been used the space for services every Sunday in the stunning building. On other days, it still exists as a theatre, hosted weddings, performances and fashion shows – stunning visitors with its acoustics over the years. The Princess Theatre has hosted many banquets. A crowd pleaser.A Facebook post by the Lifecity Church confirmed the property was now on the market.“It’s official! The Princess is on the market. We believe that God has a great future for Lifecity and that His plans and purposes are before us. Let’s all be praying for a great result and let’s stay connected as we move forward together as a community. It’s exciting,” the February 21 post said.
DNO ASA, the Norwegian oil and gas operator, has completed the the acquisition of Origo Exploration Holding AS, a privately-held oil and gas exploration company with a focus offshore Norway and the United Kingdom.The transaction has been approved by regulatory authorities in both Norway and the United Kingdom.Rebranded DNO Norge AS, the company is now a wholly-owned, Stavanger-based, subsidiary of DNO.Following the acquisition, DNO returns to the North Sea with stakes in 11 exploration and appraisal licenses, of seven of which are on the Norwegian Continental Shelf and four on the UK Continental Shelf.In its previous announcement DNO said it would assume Origo’s drilling commitments and license obligations with an effective date of March 31, 2017, with certain working capital adjustments. DNO also said it would retain Origo’s management, staff, and headquarters in Stavanger.Origo was launched in 2014 by founding members of two private equity-funded exploration companies, Revus Energy ASA and Agora Oil & Gas AS.Offshore Energy Today Staff
Image courtesy of Pakistan LNG TerminalsIndonesian state-owned Pertamina is working on finalizing liquefied natural gas (LNG) export deals with Pakistani and Bangladesh importers. Indonesia’s deputy energy minister Arcandra Tahar said the deals are being negotiated with Pakistan LNG and Petrobangla, the two companies led-by the respective governments, Reuters reports.Tahar noted that the two deals would total between two and three million tons of the chilled fuel per year.The term for the contracts is ten years and valued at some $12 billion, he said.Both Pakistan and Bangladesh are looking to import LNG to feed the natural gas power stations under construction in both countries.