Australian high end luxury real estate to receive boost with ultra rich pandemic passports for super rich seeking safe havens post Covid-19.
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“The Ultra-Rich Are Now Buying ‘Pandemic Passports’ So They Can Move to Safer Countries
Wealthy travelers have been playing a game of “beat the ban” as countries have closed their borders to try to fight the Covid-19 pandemic. Getting it wrong can be very expensive, as one British couple recently learned. The pair bought two £10,000 ($12,000) first-class tickets to escape from London to Barbados, but they were so worried that British Airways would axe its service that they paid £100,00 ($125,000) to charter a private jet instead. (BA carried on flying.)
Now the super-rich are buying the ultimate insurance policy to make sure they will be able to travel to whatever virus-free, sunny bolt-hole they choose, if a second spike in Covid-19 infections triggers another global lockdown. The world’s wealthiest are snapping up multiple citizenships in countries around the world.
Henley & Partners, a London-based citizenship broker, is one of the biggest players in the nearly $4 billion-a-year “identity management” business (a.k.a. “passports for sale”). The firm’s latest figures show a 42 percent year-over-year increase in the number of people filing a formal application for a new nationality during the first three months of 2020. The number of inquiries is up by 25 percent.
“’Investment migration’ has shifted from being about living the life you want in terms of holidays and business travel to a more holistic vision that includes healthcare and safety,” Dr. Christian Kalin, the firm’s chairman, told Robb Report.
So, what exactly is convincing high net worth individuals that they need an escape plan? According to one Italian multi-millionaire who is critical of his government’s handling of the pandemic, the decision came down to two factors: the varying performance of national healthcare services and the closure of national borders, which has split up families. “We want to know there is a safe place, with good medical services, that the whole family can go to at short notice if we need to,” the millionaire told Robb Report. “Only citizenship can guarantee that.” Countries that have closed borders have continued to admit nationals returning home. Most national airlines have maintained some flights to major capitals.
The most popular “pandemic passports” or permanent residency programs are those of Australia, Antigua, St Kitts and Nevis, Tuvalu, Vanuatu, Austria, Switzerland, Portugal, Cyprus, Malta and Montenegro. All offer nationality or permanent residency in return for a direct donation to the national treasury or investments in local property or businesses. It can cost as little as $100,000 per family member in the Caribbean, rising through €1 million to €2 million ($1.1 million to $2.2 million) in Malta and Cyprus, to €7 million ($7.6 million) in Austria.
Australia and Austria are particularly attractive because they not only have high-quality national health services but the government of each country acted quickly to limit the spread of the virus. The United Kingdom, which has been a magnet for the super-rich in recent years and offers residency—but not a passport—in return for multi-million-pound investments, is not considered a safe haven because critics say the government botched its handling of the pandemic by reacting too slowly to the threat and failing to ensure the National Health Service was properly prepared.
Although having funds to buy multiple citizenships gives the rich an advantage in protecting their health and lifestyle, Kalin points out that the fees and taxes they pay are a source of much-needed capital for hard-pressed governments that now have to raise funds to pay for Covid-19 emergency economic bail-out programs. “Take Antigua,” he says. “It depends on tourism and now there is none and there won’t be for some time. It needs fresh sources of funds. Citizenship by investment is one.””
We are seeing presales making a come back in Sydney and Melbourne. A sign the Australian East Coast real estate market is starting to move again.
“Partner with Elysium Habitats”
“Apartment launch a sign freeze is starting to thaw
The thaw in the freeze
on off-the-plan apartment development has begun in Sydney with Poly
Australia launching its new off-the-plan apartment project in Bankstown
The developer sold 37
units out of the first 40 launched at its ‘‘Spring Square’’ project at
the site of the old Bankstown RSL in Sydney’s southwest.
The group bought the
6.2-hectare site at 32 Kitchener Parade in 2017 and received approval to
build 516 units across five towers as well as retail space in a
The smaller launch – a
contrast to the red-carpet sellouts of projects at the height of the
housing boom in 2015-16 – is a conservative return to the apartment
sales market by the developer.
Nineteen of the units sold last weekend were to first home buyers.
There are other early
signs first time buyers are back, with many rushing to snare house and
land packages in Sydney and Melbourne as well as apartment releases.
During the boom between
2015 to 2017, investors pushed many first home buyers out of the market
by driving prices up to unaffordable levels.
The market correction
over the past 18 months and the tightening of investor lending has
slowed investor activity, allowing first home buyers a chance to get
back into the market.
Poly’s Spring Square release is first home buyer territory, with units priced between $445,000 and $665,000. These prices allow first home buyers to collect their first home buyer’s grant and avoid paying stamp duty.”
Source: Su-Lin Tan, Australian Financial Review
Presales Making a Come Back
Presales making a come back is a good barometer of the condition of the Australian real estate market.
It is a good time now to secure new development sites, lodge development applications, making the property development site construction ready, to take advantage of the stronger property market emerging.
To partner with Elysium Habitats call our Director direct on 02 8211 0412 to discuss upcoming projects or complete the form below.
The aftermath of the Australian property boom is subsiding and fresh growth is expected within the next few years, allowing us to take advantage of the property market.
Apartment Shortfall Predicted in 2021
“A slump in new apartments being marketed means the country faces a shortage of apartments in about 18 months’ time, when the current new supply and outstanding stock has been absorbed and there is as yet no pipeline churning out new dwellings, JLL says.
The total number of new apartments currently being marketed has dropped 72 per cent from the national peak of 34,488 in the third quarter of 2017 to just 9565, the commercial real estate agency’s 3Q 2019 Apartment Market Reports show.
The volume of apartments being marketed has nearly halved over the past 12 months.
‘‘The timing of this process will be slightly different in each market due to all having slightly different construction cycles, but by mid-2021 we expect all the major markets to be either back in, or very close to, a position of undersupply again,’’ said Leigh Warner, JLL’s head of residential research for Australia.“
Source: Michael Bleby, Australian Financial Review
New Development Applications
It is an opportune time to take advantage of the property market by identifying new property development projects, located in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and lodging new development applications, ready for the next real estate market upswing.
Residual Stock Clean Out
Residual stock left over from the Australian property boom should be either sold down or reallocated to a long term hold within the next few years.
The hangover due to the property boom’s end and the Bank property development credit squeeze it is expected construction will slow due to the restriction in the market.
Take Advantage of the Property Market
Take advantage of the property market now by partnering with Elysium Habitats in Sydney, Melbourne & Brisbane. The Director’s 30 years of experience in successful property development projects and development finance, insures a high probability of success.
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Industry Wants to Bring Electricity-Generating Housing to Mass Market, but Potential Buyers Must Be Sold on Price
Investors Partner with Elysium Habitats
The National Association of Home Builders’ 2015 New American Home generates its own electricity through a rooftop solar-power system. That system, combined with energy-efficient doors, windows, appliances and other features …
The home is designed so that its windows don’t get much direct sun exposure, which keeps it from heating up too much in the day. Most of its windows have overhangs that block direct sunlight. Trent Bell Photography …
Spray-on insulation in the walls and roof cocoon the home, preventing leaks and allowing more efficient temperature control. Trent Bell Photography …
The home is equipped with energy-efficient LED lights rather than conventional lighting. Trent Bell Photography …
The home is designed with several water features, including an infinity pool, that add to humidity in the house when its doors and windows are open, helping to cool it naturally. Trent Bell Photograph
The home has a tankless hot-water system that heats water on-demand rather than continuously keeping big tanks of water hot. Trent Bell Photography
The house can be cooled naturally by opening its many sets of large, sliding doors, allowing breezes to flow through the house and bringing in humidity from water features on its patio and in its courtyard. Trent Bell Photography
@KrisHudsonWSJLAS VEGAS—Net-zero homes are going mainstream, if the home-building industry has anything to do with it.
The homes, which generate more electricity in a year than they use, have long been viewed as a niche product for the affluent who can afford custom homes. The chief problem is that it is expensive to get a home to net-zero status, and many customers aren’t willing to wait several years for their electricity-bill savings to cover the thousands of dollars they would have to spend on net-zero features such as solar panels and energy-efficient windows, doors and appliances.
Jan. 20, 2015 5:48 p.m. ET
Economists See Housing-Market PickupThe 5,800-square-foot home, designed and built by the trade group and Blue Heron Design/Build LLC, is being shown in a format that will enable other builders to incorporate elements of the design in mass-market homes across the country. The company says it can build similar—but smaller—net-zero electricity homes for about $700,000. Blue Heron anticipates listing the New American Home for $2.5 million.
This year’s New American Home at the International Builders Show in Las Vegas aims to show off the viability of creating less-pricey net-zero electricity homes. Photo: Trent Bell Photography
But some builders, motivated by what they deem as rising demand from home buyers and state and local regulators, are aiming to change those perceptions by designing such homes for the mass market. Such a model home—the latest in the National Association of Home Builders’ annual New American Home series showcasing new-home designs —is on display this week in a hillside neighborhood 7 miles from the Las Vegas Strip as part of the trade group’s International Builders Show.
Tyler Jones on Energy Efficient CourtyardsMost net-zero homes generate much of their own electricity through rooftop solar systems, though they are still connected to the public power grid for the times, such as nights, when their system isn’t generating all the electricity needed. At other times, such as intensely sunny periods of the day, those solar systems generate more electricity than a given house needs, so the excess is sent to the public power grid. The homeowner receives credit for the excess electricity, the amount of which varies depending on the state and the utility company, that typically shows up on their monthly or annual bill.So far, in part because of price, net-zero homes remain a fraction of the overall market. In the past year, the U.S. Department of Energy has certified 370 homes as being “net-zero energy ready” under updated guidelines. Before that, it deemed an additional 14,500 as being close to zero-energy specifications.The hurdles to broader demand are higher in the Northeast and Midwest, where the sunshine—specifically, solar radiation—isn’t as intense as in areas like the Southwest. In those less-sunny regions, homeowners have to install more solar panels to generate the same amount of electricity as a home in the Southwest can generate with fewer panels.But some builders say that demand is slowly starting to pick up as the cost of energy-efficient materials and renewable-energy equipment falls. The Solar Energy Industries Association says the average price of an installed solar-power system has declined more than 50% since 2010.Meritage Homes Corp., which builds in nine states, has constructed 50 net-zero homes since 2011 and intends to build 50 this year alone. Some builders disagree. Luxury builder Toll Brothers Inc. says it’s “not seeing demand” for net-zero homes. Write to Kris Hudson at email@example.com
And Lennar Corp., the nation’s second-largest builder by closings behind D.R. Horton Inc., prefers to offer energy-efficient homes outfitted with solar power rather than those fully achieving net-zero status. “Net zero is an interesting concept, but it’s far from commercially available and far from being financially affordable,” said David Kaiserman, president of the builder’s Lennar Ventures division.
C.R. Herro, vice president of environmental affairs at Meritage, says the company can achieve net-zero status in homes costing as little as $200,000 in certain markets. Thus, the key to more mainstream acceptance, he believes, is not price but informing more home buyers of the benefits of net-zero homes. “Net-zero is technologically and financially solved,” he said. “It’s now a matter of the consumer catching up to that potential. That’s probably another three years.”
Retirees Robert and Sue Payton bought a new net-zero home in Coupeville, Wash., in 2011 from builder Ted Clifton ’s Zero-Energy Plans LLC. They spent an estimated $15,000 extra for the home to achieve net-zero status. They say they now pay no electricity bill. “We knew energy rates were going to go up, and we didn’t want that extra burden of energy bills on us,” Mr. Payton said.
Dan Bridleman, a senior vice president at builder KB Home, which has constructed net-zero homes in several states, estimates that it can cost $6,000 to $12,000 more for a solar-power system in the Northeast than in the Southwest to achieve the same amount of electricity output.
This year’s New American Home is expected to be listed for $2.5 million. But the builder, Blue Heron Design/Build, says similar, but smaller, versions can be made for about a $700,000 list price. Photo: Trent Bell Photography
Achieving net-zero status typically requires builders to install spray-on foam insulation to seal the house of leaks and adding energy-efficient doors, windows, appliances and lighting, among numerous other features. Net-zero homes also need high-performance heating and ventilation systems and other equipment to regulate humidity, air quality and air flow.
“We wanted to basically prove through this New American Home project that you can offer the absolute highest level of cutting-edge design, energy efficiency and technology on more of a production scale,” said Blue Heron partner Tyler Jones, who oversaw the home’s design and construction.