Ausbuild managing director Matthew Bell says there is plenty of steam left in the Queensland market with sales surging ahead in the Redlands. Photographer: Liam Kidston.THE Brisbane land market is expected to continue to power ahead despite national concerns that building approvals peaked last year. Ausbuild joint managing director Matthew Bell said there was a lot of strength still left in the Brisbane market, with the Redlands area proving to be quite a powerhouse.“On a national basis Sydney and Melbourne influence those figures strongly, but I’m confident the local marketplace has a lot of steam left in it,” he said.“We haven’t yet seen the heights of price growth that the southern states have seen and therefore our position is much stronger from an affordability perspective, which is key in most buyers minds.” Esperance estate, Thornlands. Photographer: Liam Kidston.Mr Bell said land within 25km of the CBD and infill subdivisions were still very strong.“With the economic position here still being relatively strong from wage growth and the current interest rate environment, there would have to be significant change in either of these factors to negatively influence the growth rates.”Ausbuild has a strong interest in the Redlands, having developed there for more than 20 years.Mr Bell said it was an interesting marketplace because of its lifestyle appeal and proximity to the water.“Redlands itself, over the years, has benefited from strong infrastructure and transport investment with more businesses establishing themselves within the community,” Mr Bell said.“So what we’ve found is that it’s never oversupplied with development … the supply and demand equation has always upheld the value of property in the Redlands area.”“It’s the lifestyle that attracts the buyers to Redlands and now we have strong community and businesses basing themselves in Redlands.” More from newsMould, age, not enough to stop 17 bidders fighting for this home4 hours agoBuyers ‘crazy’ not to take govt freebies, says 28-yr-old investor4 hours agoAusbuild display home at the Esperance estate, Thornlands. Photographer: Liam Kidston.Ausbuild has four major land estates in Thornlands, with Esperance and Majestic, both almost completely sold out, and Altitude and Kinross recently launched.Mr Bell said a strong majority of buyers they had sold to over the last five or six years were coming from within 5kms of where the developments were based.Mr Bell said Esperance was the company’s flagship development, appealing to a wide cross-section of buyers, bringing a lot of diversity to the community.With a wide range of allotment size, Mr Bell said the estate enabled a broad cross section of buyers including young first-home buyers who had grown up in the Redlands, the ability to buy into the area when they would normally not be able to afford to remain in the area.“A lot of first-home buyers here have grown up in the Redlands, they have their parents here, their friends here and they seek employment here, they don’t really want to leave,” Mr Bell said.“Yet often the new subdivisions are out of reach of their budget.”The newly launched Altitude was designed to appeal to a different buyer profile, with 52 lots ranging in size from 350sq m to 1000sq m, and a strong uptake on the seven larger blocks since launch last month. Ausbuild display home at the Esperance estate, Thornlands. Photographer: Liam Kidston.“This is a segment of the market that we usually can’t appeal to because of estate lot size restraints, but it’s a segment where third and fourth home buyers still want this larger size lot.“We find that the downsizers and often the first home buyers are looking for low maintenance housing product and that’s where we try and get as much mix into an estate as we can,” he said.“But whenever we do produce lots over 600sq m we get strong demand.”Kinross is bringing more diversity to Ausbuild’s portfolio with the first stage launched in what will be a 76 lot subdivision.“This estate has a bit of a bushland feel, it’s very rural,” Mr Bell said.“We really understand the Redlands buyer and hence have a strong pipeline of development in front of us.“Ausbuild has been in the Redlands for more than two decades and it’s obvious the move to urban communities is not just a passing trend — but a societal shift that is gaining momentum.”
EIOPA was commenting in the context of its submission to the European Commission’s consultation about the next phase of its sustainable finance strategy. This closed on Wednesday.One of more than 100 questions posed by the Commission was whether the EU “should explore options to improve ESG integration and reporting beyond what is currently required by the regulatory framework for pension providers”.The IORP II Directive refers to the concept of investment decisions’ impacts on ESG factors, but merely states that pension funds should be allowed to take these impacts into account.Last year EIOPA recommended that national pension fund supervisors “should encourage” IORPs to take into account the potential long-term impact of investment decisions on ESG factors, adding: “in order to support society’s sustainability goals”.It argues that considering the long-term impact of investment decisions on ESG factors could contribute to managing pension funds’ exposures to ESG risks. EIOPA has suggested as a potentially positive step the amendment of EU pension fund legislation to mandate pension funds to take into account the long-term environmental and/or social impact of their investment decisions.According to the European supervisory authority, the change would be in the context of the prudent person rule, set out in Article 19 of the IORP II Directive, and “without prejudice to the objective of providing occupational retirement benefits, also having regard to the principle of proportionality”.It did not explicitly recommend this action be taken, but said that introducing such a mandate for IORPs “may be” a step that could further improve ESG integration by pension funds.An industry insider described EIOPA’s proposal as “a significant departure from the current prudent person rule”. EIOPA in Frankfurt, GermanyIn its consultation submission EIOPA also said that mandating IORPs to take into account the potential long-term impact of their investment decisions on ESG factors “would require further consideration of how IORPs integrate members’ ESG preferences in relation to prudent person rule compliance”.In recent years the narrative around ESG has evolved to explicitly include the notion of investment activity’s sustainability impact, as distinct from the perspective of ESG factors having implications for investment decisions. Some refer to impact as a “third dimension”, after risk and return.In its consultation, the European Commission asked for views about changing rules to directly require asset managers to consider and integrate adverse impacts of investment decisions on sustainability, but it did not mention this idea in relation to IORPs.EIOPA also made another suggestion in relation to IORP II, saying a further improvement would be “to have a standardised ESG quality label presentation to make information more friendly to members and consumers”. It did not further explain this idea.In response to a question about how pension providers could contribute to the achievement of the EU’s environmental goals “in a more proactive way,” EIOPA said “the importance of IORPs’ stewardship role through the Shareholder Rights Directive” should be strengthened.“Large IORPs are more likely to influence investee companies,” said EIOPA. “For small and medium-sized IORPs it is a challenging, if not impossible task: in other words size matters.“Initiatives such as a taskforce or consortium bringing together IORPs with common interests/objectives to influence investee companies or regrouping ESG knowledge/practices, can be encouraged.”PensionsEurope’s Matti Leppäla this week told IPE’s Summer Pensions Congress that EU regulation around responsible investment for pension funds was moving too fast.Looking for IPE’s latest magazine? Read the digital edition here.
Energi Coast is well-placed to support the development of the 1.4GW Sofia and the 3.6GW Dogger Bank projects selected in the Contracts for Difference (CfD) Allocation Round 3, this North East of England’s offshore wind cluster said.In total, six UK offshore wind projects have won CfD, including Sofia, Dogger Bank Teesside A, Dogger Bank Creyke Beck A, and Dogger Bank Cryeke Beck B, all located off the North East of England coast.Sofia is being developed by Innogy Renewables UK, and Dogger Bank projects by a partnership between Equinor and SSE.The developments secured strike prices of between GBP 39.65/MWh and GBP 41.61/MWh, which is nearly 30 percent lower compared to the strike prices in the second CfD auction in 2017.“The UK supply chain has matured to become ideally-placed to support the offshore wind developments that have been awarded Contracts for Difference,” George Rafferty, Chief Executive of UK energy sector business development experts NOF, said.“Offshore wind is now a central part of a balanced UK energy mix and the companies within the NOF membership and its wider network for diversified and evolved to contribute to the delivery of these projects through the application of innovative technology-led solutions and effective working practices.”North East England’s offshore wind cluster is well-placed to support these developments, Energi Coast said, adding that the cluster has matured to deliver the majority of what is required for an offshore wind farm, both at design, construction, installation and operations & maintenance phase. This expertise ranges from foundations, cables, installation, ports and logistics, training and specialist subsea services.James Ritchie, Chair of Energi Coast and CEO at Tekmar Group. Source: Energi Coast“This is a significant step forward to the UK offshore wind industry, which presents tangible opportunities for North East England’s cluster of supply chain companies that have the experience and expertise to support their delivery and operation,” James Ritchie, Chair of Energi Coast and CEO at Tekmar Group plc, said.“We do not underestimate the challenges this price reduction will create, but I am confident our cluster will be cost-competitive to support the delivery of these projects and we hope developers will recognise the benefit of using a proven, local supply chain. The innovation that companies from our cluster have brought to the industry will enable these developers to deliver sustainable offshore wind generation and ensure the sector can play its role in decarbonising the UK energy system.”