Posted on 28 Feb 2013, 4:01 p.m. in Abercromby's, Auctions


23 Wangaratta Street, Richmond is scheduled for Private Auction on Wednesday 6th March.
We thought we should give you prior notice in case you know of anybody keen to move into the surrounding area.
Should you have any queries about this property, or any other real estate matter please do not hesitate to contact:

Jock Langley  0419 530 008
Sam Goddard  0438 334 374

The new role of wallpaper

Posted on 27 Feb 2013, 4:43 p.m. in Abercromby's, General Interest

Cutting edge technology now allows walls and floors to block mobile phone and WiFi signals


This year some of the most creative household innovations won’t be in the handheld gadgetry usually associated with the smart home, but rather in adaptations to the home’s surfaces – cutting edge tech hidden in the walls, floors and countertops that usually go un­inspected.

This year’s most remarkable advancement has to do with the wallpaper roll. In partnership with La Centre Technique du Papier, the Grenoble Institute of Technology is creating wallpaper that blocks mobile phone and WiFi signals. Not only can the new paper stop your neighbours from stealing your bandwidth but, more seriously, it protects your bank details and other sensitive particulars from would-be thieves. It may also put an end to the type of passive-aggressive WiFi names noted in a recent BBC article, one of the best coming from the English West Country and imitating the area’s accent: “Get orf my LAN”.

Read More : Financial Times

Returns on property v high-end collectables

Posted on 25 Feb 2013, 4:46 p.m. in Abercromby's, News

The determination by the super-rich to spend their way out of the gloom is reflected by activity in the luxury market

A recent visit to the South Pacific provided further evidence of a truth universally acknowledged: that while mass tourism to far-flung destinations is in the doldrums – down by as much as 60 per cent in Tahiti, for example – high-end hotels at the top end of the market are riding the waves with confidence, catering for a clientèle that occupies their sun-kissed suites and villas with nary a glance at the plummeting financial barometer.   The determination by high net worth individuals (HNWIs – defined by Knight Frank as individuals with more than US$30m net assets) to spend their way pleasurably out of the encircling gloom is reflected by activity in the luxury and collectables markets. According to China’s Hurun Report, 64 per cent of China’s millionaires are engaged in amassing collections.

Read More.. The Financial Times Limited 22nd Feb 2013

Global prime: the real costs

Posted on 18 Feb 2013, 4:54 p.m. in Abercromby's, News


How much do outsiders really pay in world cities?

A 4,000 sq ft townhouse in Brooklyn   The notion that a high net worth individual can swagger into any city in the world and buy a property with few obstacles to overcome has taken a knock recently.
Singapore has hit foreigners with higher duty, while those buying top-end London homes will soon face a hefty annual charge. Similar measures are in place or under debate elsewhere as governments try to deflate market bubbles or ensure everyone – yes, even the wealthy – pays more tax to pay off budget deficits.
We have analysed eight world cities where HNWIs congregate. Using data from property consultancy Savills, based on the purchase of notional £2m pieds-à-terre, it is clear that buying processes vary widely but one common denominator exists: ownership is less straightforward and more costly now than in the recent past.   Then we deserted rigorous research and instead blended subjective views on climate, lifestyle and reputation to award star ratings to our contenders.

Foreigners may buy only one home for personal use, so long as they have an employment contract or past tax record. One further property may be bought for investment.
A buyer pays a deposit of up to £52,000 for a home above £1.02m; after 15 days, 30 per cent of the agreed price is paid and a sale and purchase agreement signed. The buyer may then seek a mortgage from a Chinese bank but agents say most international deals are in cash. The purchase must be agreed by the Shanghai Real Estate Transaction Center. Buyers pay up to £60,000 stamp duty but have no ongoing ownership taxes.   “The Chinese growth story has helped push up prime residential prices 10.8 per cent in 2012 and 42 per cent over five years. This is despite government policies to cool the market,” says Nicholas Holt of Knight Frank.

Residential prices are sky high and so are transaction costs. Legal fees on a £2m apartment would be £3,255 and the purchaser’s share of estate agency fees £20,000. Another big cost is 15 per cent stamp duty on foreign purchases – £300,000 on a £2m property.
Different taxes apply if properties are bought and sold rapidly: this can push stamp duty to 20 per cent. An annual tax is levied, calculated as 8 per cent of notional rental value, whether or not the property is occupied; for a £2m home this is £2,500.   The Index of Economic Freedom league table based on 10 free enterprise criteria puts Hong Kong at the top but the housing market has been hard to tame.   “Low interest rates, limited supply and abundant liquidity create perfect conditions for a bubble. It’s hoped buyers’ stamp duty will curtail rapid rises. Sought-after areas include the Peak and Southside on Hong Kong Island, parts of Kowloon and the New Territories,” says Savills’ Simon Smith.

Outsiders buy without restriction only on Sentosa Island but require consent, considered case-by-case, anywhere on mainland Singapore. Since December foreigners permitted to buy must pay an extra 10 per cent duty in addition to the sliding-scale purchase levy.
This means buying a £2m property incurs £359,000 in duty plus £1,900 in legal fees. If it’s sold within a year there is an extra 16 per cent seller’s stamp duty. The annual occupancy charge – whether you occupy the place or not – is £5,140.
Singapore has avoided recession, despite weak manufacturing performance. “Prices are expected to remain firm despite cooling measures [thanks to] high liquidity and savings, a low-interest environment, strong balance sheet of developers and a very stable social and investment climate,” says Darren Wang of Cushman & Wakefield real estate consultancy.

Overseas buyers wanting an existing home must win hard-fought consent from the Foreign Investment Review Board. But they can buy brand new homes with relatively few restrictions, or buy vacant land or an established property to demolish and replace with a new one subject to planning consent.
Stamp duty on a £2m home would be £110,000 and another £7,000 covers administrative, legal and survey fees. There are no ongoing occupancy taxes.   “Toorak, Hawthorn and Camberwell [affluent suburbs] are popular with foreigners. We’re seeing commercial sites demolished to make way for residential towers sold offshore, principally to Malaysian, Singaporean and Chinese,” says Clinton Baxter of Savills.


Source and read more : Financial Times

Nature’s valentines

Posted on 13 Feb 2013, 5:02 p.m. in Abercromby's, News

Young artists and poets are now linking messages, love and nature in ways which romantic gardeners need to exploit

What should garden-lovers send to other lovers on Valentine’s Day next week? The day’s history and amorous origins are entwined in the natural world. It is poor form to send a bunch of unseasonal roses flown in from Kenya or an unecological bowl of hothouse orchids. Young artists and poets are now linking messages, love and nature in ways which romantic gardeners need to exploit. It is no longer good enough to send that attractive analyst on the other side of the office an anonymous box of heart-shaped chocolates.

For the day’s natural origins, read our great poets. Chaucer is the first Englishman to celebrate Valentine’s Day in verse. His superb dream-poem, “The Parliament of Fowls”, presents our feathered friends, the birds, debating their choice of mates on Valentine’s Day, the day when they pair off and have sex. Nowadays, we humans are out with the birds, imitating their Valentine initiative.

Source and read more : Financial Times

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