Archive | Archive – local property

Snapshot on local property, week to 6 October 2002

6 October 2002

Australasian Property Holdings Ltd, listed in New Zealand but with a project in the Blue Mountains west of Sydney, began drawing down its $A4.6 million construction facility on 26 September for stage 1 of The Escarpments project at Katoomba. The stage comprises 4 fairway villas, 8 terraces, refurbishment of the golf clubhouse, golfcourse & civil works.

Justice David Baragwanath reserved his decision in the Auckland High Court on Thursday on the application by Ngati Maru Iwi Authority for leave to appeal to the Court of Appeal against consent granted to Kiwi Income Property Trust for its Sylvia Park town centre project. The appeal is now down to earthworks, and the central issue was over cultural impact from damage to sacred sites, which the Thames-based iwi was unable to specify to the satisfaction of (now semi-retired) Principal Environmental Judge David Sheppard when he granted the trust consent to develop.

Interior Minister George Hawkins said the Government would establish a mediation service for owners of leaky homes to go to — prompted by industry & local body representatives into taking more than the previous zero action, as tough new insurance conditions looked set to close down much of the building industry. Mr Hawkins said after talks with the Insurance Council: “We do not believe the industry will grind to a halt as a result of insurance issues raised so far.” But although insurance action so far has been against specific independent building certifiers and related to future cover for this particular issue, it can knock such certifiers out of all business and could easily extend to other businesses. The next Government steps are to get a report on ways to ensure the building certification process works, and to ensure the regulatory process under the Building Act will stop leaky-building repetition.

Kiwi Income Properties Ltd, the manager of the Kiwi Income Property Trust, has started its $90 million redevelopment of the Northlands shopping centre in Christchurch. On completion by 2004, lettable area will increase from 20,785m² to 40,700m². Fletcher Construction Ltd has the main construction contract.

Housing NZ Corp has agreed to buy both Auckland City Council’s housing portfolios for $83 million — full market value of $31 million for the 129 ordinary units, but a 50% discount on the 1542 pensioner rental units on 50 sites. The discount takes into account that the pensioner sites will always be retained for social housing and that the corporation is committed to a fast-tracked redevelopment programme. The council said it would be relieved of $75 million of upgrades & maintenance costs over the next 20 years. The council is scheduled to approve the deal on Thursday 10 October. It’s due to go unconditional on 30 November, with settlement on 1 March 2003.

1 October 2002

North Shore mayor George Wood has urged people affected by leaky buildings to make submissions to the parliamentary select committee inquiring into the weathertightness of buildings. Written submissions & requests to be heard personally have to be lodged by Monday 21 October.

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Snapshot on local property, week to 27 May 2001

Latest: “Sludgegate” back in court, FAL seeks clearance to buy Woolworths, Bayswater marina plan considered, arena submissions close Friday, BT reduces AMP NZ Office stake, Calan has Melbourne operator, Capital Properties makes small profit after writedowns, Colonial property trust raises earnings substantially, Westfield buys second half of Manukau centre, MacCormick takes helm at Richina.

27 May 2001

“Sludgegate” campaigner Adrian Chisholm was jubilant this weekend after taking his application to the Appeal Court to get it to overturn the rejection of leave to appeal against a High Court ruling which kept documents crucial to his Sludgegate argument out of trial evidence. Mr Chisholm said Auckland City Council, which he’s suing for alleged malicious intent by officers in deciding to deposit sewage across the fence from his proposed Waiheke resort, had decided to hand the disputed document to High Court trial judge Justice Robert Chambers. The trial, which closed in December, will reopen on Friday 8 June. Mr Chisholm hopes to see a decision by the end of June.

Foodland Associated Ltd of Perth, owner of Progressive Enterprises Ltd and the Foodtown and Countdown supermarket chains, has sought Commerce Commission clearance to buy the Woolworths chain from Dairy Farm International of Hong Kong. The commission may make a ruling by 11 June. Progressive has 25% market share, Woolworths 20% behind Foodstuffs’ 55%.

25 May 2001

The Devonport Community Board will meet on Tuesday 29 May (at St Margaret’s Presbyterian Church Hall on Lake Rd, Belmont) to consider whether the Bayswater marina land should become a community-oriented area with a strong focus on recreational and boating activities and improved public transport services. The next step is to prepare a variation to the proposed district plan.

24 May 2001

Submissions close this Friday, 25 May, on Auckland City Council’s draft annual plan, on its $50 million Quay Park arena funding plan, and also on preferences for the arena, including whether it should include convention space.

23 May 2001

Sydney-based BT Financial Group Ltd has reduced its holding in AMP NZ Office Trust from 9.21% to 7.01%.

Calan Healthcare Properties Ltd has entered a non-binding heads of agreement with the Epworth Foundation for the Epworth hospital to operate Calan’s private hospital project in the Melbourne suburb of Box Hill. The agreement allows 90 days to negotiate and execute lease documentation.

21 May 2001

Capital Properties NZ Ltd had a steady $16 million operating surplus before unusuals and tax, on revenue up 47% to $53.4 million, and raised the after-tax surplus by 3.6% to $13.583 million in the March 2001 year. Its portfolio was written down $12.9 million, or 3.6%, and it recorded a $600,000 book loss on sale of City Tower in Wellington, for a bottom line surplus of $600,000 compared to a net deficit of $6.6 million last year.

The Colonial First State Property Trust increased its March-year after-tax operating surplus and extraordinaries 51.4% to $12.94 million and earnings/share 50% to 8.9c on revenue up 29.7% to $22.3 million and operating surplus before unusuals and tax up 45% to $15.1 million. After allowing for disposal costs and capital expenditure during the year, the portfolio was written down by $1.611 million, or 0.78%.

Westfield Trust will buy the other 50% of Westfield Shoppingtown Manukau (formerly the Manukau City Centre) from joint-venture partner Axa NZ for $83 million. It’s subject to Overseas Investment Commission approval but is expected to settle by 15 June. The 32,000m centre has 136 shops and generates annual sales of $180.4 million. Westfield’s funds management director, Victor Hoog Antink, said the purchase would be funded internally and would be accretive to distributions to unitholders.

Richina Pacific Ltd has elected Alastair MacCormick as chairman, replacing Sir Allan Wright, who remains a director. Mr MacCormick was deputy chairman.

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Snapshot on local property, week to 26 January 2003

22 January 2003

The ASB Bank’s latest quarterly housing confidence survey shows 58% of respondents thought house prices would rise (up from 45% in September), 17% believed it’s a good time to buy (down from 24%) and 29% believed interest rates would rise (down from 53%). In Auckland, 64% thought prices would rise, 5% thought it was a good time to buy. ASB’s chief economist, Anthony Byett, said the rotting homes issue would be limited to specific types of homes. “More generally, the situation of strong demand & limited supply persists and the overall outlook for the housing market remains positive. The results suggest less market volatility than we’ve seen in previous housing cycles. 2003 has started off on a strong note and strong activity & modest price gains are forecast for the rest of the year.”
Website: ASB Bank reports

The average price for an Auckland house sold by Barfoot & Thompson rose 14.6%, or nearly $46,000, last year to $358,226. Over the whole year, the average price rose $24,000 from $311,165 in 2001 to $335,029. In 1997 the average was $284,865. A result is that 30% of sales were in the $500,000-plus bracket in 2002, up from 18% 5 years earlier. B&T averaged 156 sales worth more than $500,000 every month in 2002, out of total sales of 1179/month. That total sales figure was up 49% on 2001.

20 January 2003

The NZ Defence Force is looking for a 15-18,000m² standalone building with exclusive occupancy, preferably with large, efficient, regular-shaped floors, preferably in the north of Wellington’s central business district, and available by early 2006. Dow Corporate Real Estate Ltd (Peter Dow) is acting for the Defence Force, which currently occupies most of the 17,123m² Defence House on a lease expiring in March 2006, and some of Freyberg House. Both those buildings are owned by Capital Properties NZ Ltd, the listed company which evolved from the state-owned Government Property Services.

Kurraba Investments Pty Ltd (Bruce Jackson) has taken an 8.69% stake in Australasian Property Holdings Group Ltd, the NZ-listed company which is working up to developing a resort in the Blue Mountains back of Sydney. The company’s chairman, Tracey Lake, has increased his stake to 22.84% following the rights issue, Associated Dairies Pty Ltd has 8.1% and Keith Walker of Sanctuary Cove has 9.5%. The company has market capitalisation of $3.6 million.

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Snapshot on local property, week to 7 December 2003

3 December 2003

Open-Air Cinema Ltd (Urs Bauer) plans to run a temporary movie theatre on Viaduct Harbour’s Te Wero Island for a month from 15 January, with seating for up to 2000 people and a screening every night just after sunset ($12 for flat seats & $16 for posh ones).
Website: Open-air Cinema

Bay of Plenty company Generation Developments Ltd (David Mansel & Graham Hockly) launched its latest Papamoa subdivision this week — Milford by the sea. The 1st stage has 52 sites at the end of Longview Drive, which the company expects to sell within 6 months. Generation expects to complete all 240 sites over 4 stages. House & land packages are priced from $300,000. Roadworks are under way and the development will feature walkways, a manmade lake & a bridge.
Website: Generation Developments

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Snapshot on local property, week to 22 December 2002

19 December 2002

Auckland City Council’s regulatory & fixtures sub-committee held its last meeting for the year on Tuesday, dealing with a couple of tree-pruning applications and some to do with signs (it knocked back the application for a double-sided billboard on Williamson Ave, Grey Lynn). The committee will hold its first meeting for 2003 on Tuesday 21 January.

House sales nationally totalled 9832 worth $2.39 billion in November, just below the 10,000-plus record level of February & March 1996. Real Estate Institute national president Graeme Woodley said the national median price of $195,000 was a record. In the Auckland region, the median price for homes edged up $1000 from October to $280,000 on 3450 sales, above October, well above November 2001 but down from the year’s peak, 3708 in March. In metropolitan Auckland, the median house price fell $2000 from October but was still $35,000 ahead of November 2001 at $285,000. The section price median was $142,000 in metropolitan Auckland, $137,000 for the whole region. City medians were: North Shore $300,000, up $27,500 on a year ago, on sales up from 496 to 730; Waitakere $220,000, down $1400, on sales down 14 to 408; Manukau down $1500 in a month to $277,000 on sales down 77 in a month to 685. Papakura District’s median rose $43,000 to $218,000 on sales up 36 to 87; in Rodney the median rose $33,000 in a month to $290,000 on sales up 86 to 269.

17 December 2002

Fletcher Building Ltd closed its $125 million capital notes issue $25 million oversubscribed. The March 2008 notes will carry an 8.6% interest rate and the March 2010 notes 8.85% until the 1st election date.

16 December 2002

Commonwealth Bank Group has bumped its holding in Fletcher Building Ltd up from 8.59% to 9.83% in the past week.

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Snapshot on local property, week to 25 February 2001

Latest: PFI profit cut 57%, Auckland International Airport up 15%, Michael Hill up 3.3%, Connell Wagner advances international building relationship, Kiwi Income at 60% of KDT, Sanctuary shell faces liquidation but Sanctuary (Icon) carries on, Deloitte pair receivers of Manor Inns, Calan “don’t know” on price drop, airport gets seventh design-build, Starline takes over at Gulf Harbour in April, Starline’s Quay Park project unveiled soon, city valuation firms merge, Duffy joins Dominion Funds.

23 February 2001

Property For Industry’s full-year profit was cut 57% to $3.9 million on a 2.4% portfolio writedown and disposal costs, though revenue rose 11.3% to $19.2 million. The operating surplus before unusuals fell 42% to $6.5 million. Earnings per share were down from 5.05c to 2.18, but the company is maintaining its dividend levels — 1.53876cps final with 0.54c imputation, and 6.88cps total for the year. Its portfolio increased from $181 million to $216 million. The book was written down by 2.4%, or.$5.3 million, much of that on two buildings and part on disposal costs required on the $23 million Westfield portfolio bought from Watts Group at the end of the year.

Auckland International Airport Ltd increase net profit after tax for the December half-year by 15% to $28.5 million, the pre-tax operating surplus by 18.2% to $43.6 million, on revenue up 9.9% to $93 million. Fully imputed interim dividend is 5cps.

Michael Hill International raised half-year net profit by 3.3% to $7.75 million on revenue up 4.2% to $104.7 million. The operating surplus rose 1.4% to $11.7 million. But the interim dividend has been increased from 6c to 6.5c/share, with full imputation credits.

Engineering consultancy Connell Wagner, based in Australia and New Zealand with considerable Asian work in its portfolio, has formed a building engineering alliance with Mott MacDonald of Britain. The two have worked together for 30 years, most recently as Mott Connell on Hong Kong’s new Chek Lap Kok airport terminal. John Leuchars, managing director of Connell Wagner NZ, will move to London to head the new consultancy, Connell Mott MacDonald. Other Connell Wagner divisions will continue as they are.

22 February 2001

Kiwi Income Property Trust, seeking to take over Kiwi Development Trust, now has 60.28% of the target trust.

Shell company Sanctuary Developments Ltd, now renamed Backspace Ltd (Gary Groves), faces liquidation, but Mr Groves says this will not affect his Icon apartment project on Symonds, as suggested in my original report on this item. [Original Snapshot item 22 February, correction 23 February. For a little more detail go to: Sanctuary (Icon)]

Manor Inns Group’s receivers are Rod Pardington and Dean Ellwood of Deloittes. The company announced plans to call in receivers last week after yet another half-year loss, but didn’t name them.

21 February 2001

Calan Healthcare Properties Trust told the stock exchange market surveillance panel, in response to an inquiry about a 12c price fall since 2 February, “No” to the stock question list — information which might explain the fall, someone trading on insider information, an impending announcement, an officer has spoken out of turn.

Auckland International Airport Ltd has signed up Federal Express Corporation as tenant for the airport company’s seventh design-build project in six years. The $3 million project, a 1000m² office block on two levels, 1625m² warehouse and 60 parking spaces, will be built between Tom Pearce and Laurence Stevens Drives, next to the airport freight centre and NZ Post international mail centre. It will be completed in July.

Starline Group subsidiary Gulf Corporation Ltd will take over 100ha of Gulf Harbour development land on the Whangaparaoa Peninsula in April and has appointed Brett MacLean as its general manager. Starline gets most of the remaining housing development land. Gulf Harbour Development Ltd, owned by Singaporean businessman Goh Cheng Liang, bought the whole 323ha and marina (with most berths sold) from the receivers of Wilkins & Davies in 1992 for $16 million. Sale price this time remains undisclosed. Mr Goh retains the golf course and country club, marine village, marina and the marina extension. Bruce Whillans of Bayleys, who brokered the deal, said most roading and services were in place and there was subdivision zoning for up to 2300 sections.

Starline Group has also bought 3.3ha of Quay Park near Auckland’s old central railway station , in a deal which saw transactions between it, Trans Tasman Properties and Magellan Corp at Viaduct Harbour, the rail land and in Hamilton last year. Starline managing director Jamie Peters said its plans for the Quay Park property included a business park with accompanying mixed commercial and limited residential uses, and would be announced soon.

Valuation and consultancy practices Blincoe Yarnton & Co and Eyles McGough Hilton & Waite Ltd have merged. The new business will trade as Eyles McGough Ltd from the Eyles side of the merger’s offices in the 280 Centre (ex Countrywide) on Queen St. Bob McGough has become a consultant to the firm and will continue with his arbitration work.

Syndication company Dominion Funds Ltd has appointed former Fletcher Property chief Paul Duffy as its chief executive. After nine years at Fletcher Property, which was dismantled before the over Fletcher Challenge restructuring, Mr Duffy was a consultant to Dominion before joining fulltime. Dominion, which markets its funds through Money Managers, has been a small unit headed locally by Richard Lynch and, from the Gold Coast, chairman Alastair Hasell. Its move, in company with other investors, towards development joint ventures and possibly other new structures that would change it from solely being an investor, means it can draw on the wider experience of Mr Duffy, who before his Fletcher days was responsible for creating a $US900 million property investment portfolio in the US and Europe.

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Snapshot on local property, week to 30 September 2001

26 September 2001

Colonial First State Property Trust said in its June quarter newsletter that the $42.6 million purchase of Manson Developments Ltd’s Millennium Centre on Green Lane pushed the trust’s average weighted lease term out from 3.8 years to 4.4 years. The trust’s profile at 31 August: 16 properties, total portfolio value $248.2 million, total annual rent $24.63 million, gross yield 10.55%, occupancy 99%.

25 September 2001

North Shore City Council has settled a dispute with the NZ Defence Force over rates on the 11ha Tamaki naval base in Devonport by agreeing to refund $2 million of rates. The out-of-court settlement was reached ahead of an Appeal Court hearing scheduled for today. The High Court had ruled the council didn’t have to repay $3 million of rates collected over the past decade, plus $1.6 million in interest. The Defence Force sought its refund after the High Court found last year the land was public reserve and not appropriate for selling off.

North Shore City councillors have agreed the terms for rezoning the Shore portion of the Okura catchment, with the finalisation of any consent order or Environment Court hearing agreement left to the council’s regulatory & hearings committee. But potential change to the cluster housing section lingers, in the form of a call for staff to give the regulatory committee comparative numbers on impervious surfaces & earthworks in a few other multi-dwelling developments. The council’s strategy & finance committee agreed today that minor dwelling units should be non-complying throughout the Okura zone.

Independent Manukau City commissioners Logan Carr & Dorothy Cooper heard General Distributors Ltd (Progressive Enterprise Ltd)’s application today for a Countdown supermarket plus five (originally seven) service shops across Te Irirangi Drive from the Botany town centre and next to the Willis Bond/AMP Hub development. National Trading Co NZ Ltd (the Foodstuffs supermarket chains) will complete the opposition submissions tomorrow.

Eldercare NZ Ltd has agreed to sell the Molly Ryan Trust retirement village & nursing complex in New Plymouth for $2.5 million, part of Eldercare’s repositioning out of property investment and into being a healthcare & medical operating company. The conditional buyer is a group associated with Alan & Jenny Dempsey, who would move to New Plymouth from the Somerville Cottage retirement complex in Dunedin.

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Snapshot on local property, week to 4 May 2003

2 May 2003

1 of Australia’s largest private childcare centre owners, ABC Learning Centres Ltd of Brisbane, has entered into 2 separate heads of agreement to buy 10 existing & 2 proposed centres in New Zealand. ABC will buy 6 centres for $NZ1.715 million (excluding gst) cash. The 2nd agreement, for 4 existing & 2 new centres, has a $NZ3-3.25 million price range (cash, excluding gst) depending on final configuration. Under the 2nd agreement, ABC can buy 20 more centres over 2 years.

30 April 2003

Ipoh Ltd, listed in Australia and subject to a takeover bid by a subsidiary of Singapore Government company GIC because of its poor performance, has sold the Old Bank Buildings (the old BNZ) in Wellington for $A13 million, which it said reflected current carrying value.

29 April 2003

Transfund has increased its funding of phase 2 of the eastern corridor study from 48% to 61% after agreeing to fund Transit NZ’s share. The whole phase 2 study will cost $14 million, including a 15% contingency provision. Auckland and Manukau City Councils are providing the rest of the funding. The 1-year study, being led by Opus International Consultants, will identify the best route for public & private transport along the corridor. Auckland mayor John Banks said the funding decision brought certainty. The 2 councils and Transit are committed to building the corridor by 2010.

Gary Noland will take over from Chris Minty at the head of Paramount Property Trust Management Ltd. Mr Minty was managing director of the trust from its listing in December, but has quit that role and also leaves unlisted property company Symphony Group this week to pursue his own interests. Mr Noland will be general manager of the trust management company and of Symphony’s property group, Symphony Properties Ltd. He was Symphony’s senior project manager for 8 years.

CDL Hotels NZ Ltd has increased its stake in CDL Investments Ltd by 3% through the dividend reinvestment plan, taking its holding to 61.48%. Both companies are controlled by Hong Leong Singapore.

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Snapshot on local property, week to 8 February 2004

4 February 2004

Sanford Ltd managing director Eric Barratt told the annual meeting today the highlight of the year would be the completion of the Auckland Fish Market development. He said the market would open on time & within budget in June. Early each morning there will be an extensive fish auction with an electronic clock where buyers, including wholesalers, retailers & restaurants will be able to bid for fresh seafood. Retail outlets on the site will be open through the rest of the day. The seafood school & demonstration kitchen to be used by restaurants, celebrity & amateur chefs, should become a popular activity in its own right, Mr Barratt said.
Company website: Sanford

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Snapshot on local property, week to 16 December 2001

15 December 2001

National Property Trust Capital Ltd’s $25 million capital notes issue closed fully subscribed on Friday. National Property Trust will use the proceeds to redevelop the Eastgate shopping centre in Christchurch.

12 December 2001

Manukau City Council’s compliance staff pride themselves on fast turnaround of applications, North Shore City’s are improving from a wayward decentralised position, Papakura District Council is taking the whole business back inhouse and Rodney District Council is considering the outrageously proper — giving refunds if it doesn’t perform quickly enough.

C grade central business district office buildings led the Property Council’s investment performance index for office property in the September half though capital movement in that sector, as in all others, was downward. Details: C grade outperforms other office sectors

A private New Zealand investment company has bought the West Plaza building & annex at the foot of Albert St in downtown Auckland. The price was not disclosed. The building was owned by National Mutual, now part of the Axa group, since construction 26 years ago. Lindsay Jackson of CB Richard Ellis completed the sale.The 20 office levels, ground and mezzanine retail have a total 8454m² net lettable area earning about $1.2 million/year with capacity to earn more than $1.5 million, excluding gst. The 1999 government valuation was $23.5 million, including $8.3 million for the total site of 2246m² ($3696/m² land). Apart from its shape, West Plaza has always been distinctive for its multitude of small office tenancies. Net floor areas are about 423m². The annex has an Albert St shop and provides the building with 102 parking spaces off the foot of Federal St.

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