Land promoter Richborough Estates has launched a commercial division in response to increasing demand for consented land for business use.
Nick Jones has been appointed group director of the division, moving from his role as Midlands regional director.
Jones said: “Richborough is one of the first land promoters to diversify with a dedicated commercial land division and I’m thrilled to be heading it up.
“In particular, we have seen a real surge in demand for industrial and logistics space due to the rise of online retail and introduction of new energy efficiency standards for buildings.
“As with our residential schemes, our in-house team will design high-quality, oven ready schemes that can be quickly delivered while delivering the best outcomes for our landowners and stakeholders.”
The changes come weeks after the Birmingham-based company signed a landowner promotion agreement to bring forward a major 65-acre site on Lichfield Road adjoining Junction 9 on the M42.
Located just 800 metres from Hams Hall Distribution Park, the land has the potential to provide more than 750,000 sq ft of Industrial and logistics space.
Chief executive Paul Campbell added: “This exciting opportunity to bring forward a major industrial and logistics development is the latest in a string of commercial schemes in our portfolio, so the launch of our new commercial division is a natural evolution for us.
“Nick Jones is the perfect fit to take the helm due to his extensive experience of planning and development as well as his contacts in the commercial property world.”
The final unit in a development of seven commercial buildings in Leicestershire has been sold.
Specialist land development and property consultancy Mather Jamie has sold the facilities within Glenborough Court, Glenfield, on behalf of Lagan Homes.
The site was originally occupied by Glenborough Engineering. When this business closed, having built an adjacent business park, Cawrey Homes purchased the land and self-funded part of the build. Construction was completed in 2021 and Cawrey Homes was subsequently acquired by Lagan Homes.
The seven two-storey units vary in size from 1,238 sq ft to 1,560 sq ft and occupiers include professional advisers, electricians, distributors and a wholesales trading business, while one of the units is being fitted out to let as an office.
Adrian Regan, land director from Lagan Homes, said: “The units have been expertly marketed over the past year with strong demand from buyers who want to purchase property as an investment within their pension portfolio.
“Working together as a team, we have achieved a great outcome on this exciting new development which complements other business start-up units we have available on Pear Tree Office Park in Ratby.”
Alex Reid, head of commercial at Mather Jamie, added: “High-quality units of this size and location are highly sought after and we have worked hard to create the right interest and ensure each sale has completed quickly so that our client can continue to re-invest and create other similar developments.”
Other advisers on the deal included Emma Ali from Shakepeare Martineau, who provided legal advice to Lagan Homes.
Middlesbrough-headquartered GB Bank has bolstered its board with three new appointments who have more than 100 years of combined experience.
SME lending expert Mike Kirsopp has joined the challenger bank as chair, with property and banking industry figures Andrew Telfer and Ian Henderson joining as non-executive director and investor director respectively.
Kirsopp has more than 40 years of experience in SME lending and served as chief executive at Cambridge & Counties Bank Ltd from 2014 to 2021.
He was part of the team recruited to mobilise the bank and gain its full banking licence, and also guided the business to profitability.
Prior to this he ran his own consultancy business, Mike Kirsopp Associates, and had a long career at Lloyds TSB as a strategy and change director and mid-corporate real estate director.
He said: “It is a great privilege to have an opportunity to lead the board of GB Bank, especially as we accelerate our plans to bring much-needed support to the businesses delivering future growth in under-served areas across the country, starting in our native North East.
“We have assembled an experienced and talented group with deep knowledge of banking and property markets who are all committed to building on the great foundations laid which helped bring the bank to life in 2022.”
Elsewhere, Andrew Telfer has joined as non-executive director following a career spanning more than 30 years in the construction and property development sector.
Telfer joined Wilmott Dixon in 2002, subsequently becoming a main board member in 2008.
Ian Henderson, who has more than 30 years of executive experience within financial services in the UK, has joined as investor director.
During his career, Henderson has held senior positions at RBS, Barclays and Shawbrook Bank where he was chief executive.
Stephen Lancaster, co-founder and chief executive of GB Bank, said: “These appointments represent a real step-change in GB Bank’s development and complete a formidable boardroom team.”
He added: “Their experience and know-how at senior levels in the finance, property and development sectors will prove invaluable as GB Bank expands in our North East heartland and across the country.”
GB Bank was granted a full banking licence in August 2022. Its main aim is to help property developers in underserved areas with financial support throughout their development lifecycle.
The Biden Administration has said the U.S. is in competition with China and restricted the ability of American businesses to sell high-end chip tech to China.
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BEIJING — A ban on U.S. investment in Chinese tech could drive up market volatility — but some sectors may escape untouched, Bank of America analysts said.
The White House is reportedly considering an executive order to ban U.S. investment into high-end Chinese tech, such as artificial intelligence, quantum computing, 5G and advanced semiconductors, according to a Politico report last week.
It’s unclear whether or when such a rule might take effect. The report indicated ongoing internal debate within the U.S. government.
“If there were a strict investment ban on US investors, it could create a significant supply of shares over the grace period and hence potential large volatility in the near term,” Bank of America’s Hong Kong-based research analysts said in a note Tuesday. “Potential long-term impact is less clear.”
“Though AI is quite prevalent in today’s online world, companies that don’t have a large business in external AI solutions [will] likely see a lower chance [of] being targeted by the U.S. side,” the analysts said.
“Online travel companies, pureplay game and music companies, online verticals in auto and real estate, niche eCommerce specialties, and logistics-focus eCommerce companies are some of the examples,” the Bank of America report said.
The analysts did not name specific stocks.
Chinese stocks have recently tried to rebound after a plunge in the last two years.
The country ended its stringent zero-Covid policy in December. In the second half of last year, the U.S. and China also reached an audit deal that significantly lowered the risk Chinese companies would have to delist from U.S. stock exchanges.
Some of the U.S.-listed Chinese stocks with the largest U.S. institutional investor ownership on a percentage basis included KFC operator Yum China, livestreaming company Joyy and pharmaceutical company Zai Lab, according to a Jan. 25 Morgan Stanley report.
Semiconductor industry company Daqo New Energy had nearly 27% U.S. institutional ownership, Morgan Stanley said.
The data showed Alibaba had the most U.S. institutional ownership by dollar value, but it only accounted for 8.2% of the stock.
In a separate report Monday, Morgan Stanley equity strategist Laura Wang pointed out the Biden administration has focused on targeting tech with ties to the Chinese military.
She noted signs of stabilization in the U.S.-China relationship, including U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s planned visit to Beijing in the coming days and the potential for Chinese President Xi Jinping to visit the U.S. during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Leaders’ Summit — set to be held in San Francisco in November.
The White House and China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the Politico report.
— CNBC’s Michael Bloom contributed to this report.
Lisa Su, president and chief executive officer of Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (AMD).
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Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) reported a fourth-quarter earnings beat Tuesday, despite ongoing weakness in the PC market, demonstrating the semiconductor firm has the wherewithal to continue to grow and nab market share.
A business case to bring forward commercial space on a site in Poole looks set to take a step forward.
BCP FuturePlaces – a wholly owned urban regeneration company – was set up with the fundamental purpose to drive placemaking, regeneration and property market transformation across key sites owned by BCP Council and the wider area.
The business plan approved by Cabinet in June 2022 lists the key sites the company has been tasked with progressing the regeneration of.
This includes part of the Chapel Lane Car Park.
An outline business case has been drawn up for the site, with the recommendation that it is retained and developed out by the authority as a build-to-rent mixed-use residential scheme comprising ground floor commercial space and up to 27 homes.
A report drawn up ahead of the authority’s Cabinet meeting on 8 February notes that this option “meets the council’s strategic objectives and delivers against the Big Plan”.
While the outline business case considers the overall viability of the recommended option based on high level assumptions, the full business case will confirm the exact design, time, cost, and quality expectations, as well as the proposed delivery pathway and overall affordability.
Cabinet is being asked to approve the outline business case and agree to move the project to the full business case stage, committing costs of an estimated £753,000.
Before that, the report will go to the authority’s Place Overview and Scrutiny Committee, which is being asked to scrutinise and comment on the report, and make recommendations or observations as appropriate. This will take place on 2 February.
Since its release in November of 2022 by OpenAI, ChatGPT has garnered worldwide attention for its efficient and precise ability to write emails, essays, poetry and even generate lines of code based on a prompt.
Controversy has surrounded its uses and raised questions about whether or not using the tool counts as cheating, with some schools banning the program altogether.
“It saved me so much time,” JJ Johannes, a realtor in Iowa told the outlet. He noted that although he had to make a few edits before publishing a listing made through ChatGPT, it has been an overall game-changer. “It’s not perfect but it was a great starting point. My background is in technology and writing something eloquent takes time. This made it so much easier.”
Johannes isn’t the only one utilizing the new tool at work. Several other real estate professionals told CNN that they not only use ChatGPT to write listings but also to draft social media posts and legal documents.
“I’ve been using it for more than a month, and I can’t remember the last time something has wowed me this much,” Andres Asion, a broker at Miami Real Estate Group, told the outlet.
Although ChatGPT is free for the time being, OpenAI is considering a $42 monthly charge. However, the price won’t stop realtors like Asion, who says the program has made his job significantly easier.
“I would easily pay $100 or $200 a year for something like this,” he told CNN. “I’d be crazy not to.”
A growing number of Londoners are opting for novel means of buying and selling their properties, with WhatsApp emerging as a new home for luxury listings.
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LONDON — In trying times for the U.K. real estate market, a growing number of Londoners are opting for novel means of buying and selling their properties, with WhatsApp emerging as a new home for luxury listings.
Off-market home sales surged in the British capital in the final three months of 2022, according to U.K. estate agents Hamptons International, accounting for more than one-in-five (22.3%) transactions — its highest percentage on record.
The uptick coincides with a period of turmoil for the U.K. property market, during which lenders pulled hundreds of residential mortgage deals and new homebuyer enquiries plunged following then Prime Minister Liz Truss’ chaotic “mini-budget.”
Hamptons senior analyst, David Fell, said that led some vendors to “test the water” discretely without leaving a “digital footprint” and potentially hurting future sale prospects.
“Sellers have been increasingly looking to test pricing quietly without leaving a digital footprint, particularly if they chose to take their home off the market with a view to trying again in 6 or 12 months’ time,” he said.
But the figure also marks a continued rise in private property sales in recent years.
Private property sales have almost tripled in London since 2018, when they made up just 8.8% of annual transactions versus 21.2% in 2022, according to the agency. Private sales have also risen nationwide over the period, though to a lesser extent.
London’s luxury real estate market, in particular, has led the off-market trend.
Private sales of £1 million-plus ($1.2 million) homes accounted for almost one-third (32%) of the capital’s total prime real estate transactions in the final quarter of 2022, and 29% over the year, according to Hamptons’ data released last month.
Savills estate agents noted that the “anonymity” of such transactions is especially valued by buyers and sellers of properties in the £20 million-plus range — both in London and the surrounding counties.
“In the last quarter of 2022 in the home counties we did see the overwhelming majority of £20m+ sales being conducted off-market,” Crispin Holborow, country director of The Private Office at Savills, told CNBC via email.
James Myers, director of London-based prime real estate agency Oliver James, told CNBC an increasing number of high-end private transactions are also being conducted via messaging tools like WhatsApp.
“WhatsApp has been an enormous advantage to estate agents in recent years,” Myers said. “With more people using WhatsApp, it’s proven to be a much easier method for estate agents to contact clients, customers etc.”
In particular, Myers noted that additional functions available within the WhatsApp Business app have made it easier to share properties with multiple would-be buyers while still keeping the listing discrete.
The app’s “Catalogs” feature, for instance, which was launched in late-2019, acts as a brochure for businesses to showcase photographs of various products. Previously, businesses had to send product photos one at a time and repeatedly provide information.
“With the added benefit of the new tools … it [has] allowed estate agents to promote their properties via the brochure section, which, as a result, has helped to showcase property to a wider audience and aid the sale of property,” said Myers.
When contacted by CNBC, Meta, Whatsapp’s parent company, said “people want to do business the same way they chat with their friends and family.”
However, while the off-market trend is set to continue into 2024, Hamptons’ Fell said that many sellers may also use private listings as a way to judge buyer appetite before going on to list on the open market.
“We’ll also likely see more sellers start life off-market before deciding to market their home more widely if reaction from ‘black book’ buyers was favorable but they still weren’t quite able to secure a sale,” he said.