Auckland Property Developer Tim Manning is leading an Asian syndicate backing Fiji’s ambitious $US200 million casino project.
NBR first linked Mr Manning and Singapore based Nico-Franken, to the project in June. Mr Manning confirms the deal this week, which sees his company HGW International take a 50% stake in the casino developer One Hundred Sands and Mr Manning and Norwich Properties general manager Brad Worthington join the board.
The Casino Project involves two sites – near Nadi and Suva – with the former site featuring 250 slot machines, 40 tables, a 1500 seat convention centre, a Hotel with up to 600 rooms, bars and restaurants.
A development site near Denarau Island should be confirmed next month. “We’ll be building in the first quarter of next year quite easily.” he says.
Mr Manning will not say where his syndicate investors are based, or how many there are, and is coy about his own financial involvement in the project.
He’s confident a deal can be struck with Fiji’s government over $US100,000 monthly penalty payments.”
Swiss-Belhotel is set to make its entry into New Zealand with the signing of a resort outside Queenstown.
Swiss-Belhotel International Chairman, President and owner, Gavin Faull, a New Zealander by birth, said he is proud to bring the rapidly growing brand ‘home’.
“Swiss-Belresort Coronet Peak Queenstown is the closest resort to the Coronet Peak ski field and this lends an exclusivity that is perfect for well-heeled international travellers and aspiring skiers and snowboarders,” Faull told HM.
Swiss-Belhotel International is doing a full rebrand of the property and planning to raise its rating to four stars. This will include the introduction of additional conference and meeting space and outdoor hot tubs as well as upgrades to leisure facilities including spa and sauna, petanque, volleyball, croquet, badminton, ski waxing and drying rooms as well as Queenstown’s only ten pin bowling alley.
The resort’s location provides easy access to the Onsen Hot Pools – a natural geothermal hot tub connected to the Shotover River which itself offers an extensive range of water sport activities.
The launch of Swiss-Belresort Coronet Peak Queenstown brings the Hong Kong-based group’s portfolio to more than 120 hotels, resorts and projects ranging from 2-star to 5-star classifications across Asia, the Pacific, China and the Middle East.
Norwich Properties and Tim Manning – New Zealands most experienced property developer is thrilled to have engaged Swiss-Bel as the operator or its latest Hotel in Queenstown. It plans to work with Swiss-Bel to roll out further hotels around New Zealand to complement their 120 hotels in Asia to date. Tim Manning likes doing deals with Kiwis, especially successful ones and Tim is very excited about the partnership of Swiss-Bel Resort Queenstown.
Swiss-Belhotel rebrands ski resort in New Zealand
TTGasia – Article by Hannah Koh, Queenstown,
Published August 22, 2013
SWISS-BELHOTEL International will take over the management of Coronet Peak Hotel and rebrand it as the company’s first New Zealand property, the Swiss-Belresort Coronet Peak.
The upscale resort is situated within the ski playground Coronet Peak and was previously running under independent management.
Swiss-Belhotel is set to fully rebrand and launch extensive upgrading on the property to meet four-star standards, and will add extra conference and meeting space as well as outdoor hot tubs.
Swiss-Belresort Coronet Peak general manager, Marcus Kennan, said the resort would remain operational throughout the refurbishment process. “We are lucky we can close different accommodation wings of the hotel and carry out work, without impacting the guests staying with us. Total scheduled completion date is the end of March 2014.”
Gavin Faull, chairman, president and owner of Swiss-Belhotel International said in a press release: “Swiss-Belresort Coronet Peak Queenstown is the closest resort to the Coronet Peak ski field and this lends an exclusivity that is perfect for well-heeled international travellers and aspiring skiers and snowboarders.
“Queenstown is an immensely popular destination in both the summer and winter months, with June to September seeing droves of snowboarders and skiers descend upon Coronet Peak’s 280 skiable hectares and extensive, state-of-the-art snowmaking installations…This guarantees a long season.”
The resort offers 75 rooms and a range of leisure facilities including a spa and sauna, pentaque, volleyball, croquet, badminton, ski waxing and drying rooms, Queenstown’s only ten-pin bowling alley and an après-ski restaurant and bar.
Online article at: http://ttgasia.com/article.php?article_id=21568
Auckland has almost no chance of reaching a housing accord’s target of 39,000 new houses in the next three years, a property developer says.
The accord, announced on Friday by the government and the Auckland Council, allows for the fast -tracking of certain developments while the city waits for its unitary plan to take effect in three years.
It has set “aspirational” of 9000 new homes next year, 13,000 the year after that and 17,000 in 2016.
Building consents in the city remain in the doldrums, with fewer than 5000 being issued in the year to March, equating to only three new houses per 1000 people.
Building boom unlikely
And developer Tim Manning of Norwich Properties says it is extremely unlikely the city will be able to reach the lofty targets included in the housing accord.
He says the accord is a good one and will give a boost to property development in the city, particularly by speeding up the consenting process.
But whether the industry can achieve a big increase in new building activity will come down to factors beyond the control of the government or the council.
“I find it hard to believe it can be realistic. Where on earth is this going to come from?
“The lack of supply is so entrenched with so many reasons, that to say all those will go away and they’ll build 39,000 houses in the next three years is hard to figure out.
Mr Manning says a new build rate of about 6000 houses a year in Auckland is more likely.
One of the major roadblocks is the ability to source finance for big residential property developments.
“The banks have got money and they’re happy to lend but the ratio they’re willing to lend to is not where it was so you still need a big chunk after the bank. The number of places you can get it from has declined,” he says.
“With most of the finance companies gone there aren’t many options for getting $10 million to 20 million. You can try private individuals but they are buying land to land bank and doing their own thing. This is one of the key handbrakes to new supply.”
Another issue is whether the construction industry has enough capacity to lift the building rate in such a short time, Mr Manning says.
“I don’t think so. All the labourers are heading to Christchurch. You’ve got Mainzeal missing and two or three more you hear are a bit wobbly. The sector needs to build up its resources again.
“A lot of those big contractors are just buying low-margin work to keep their staff going. They only have to have a couple of jobs go pear-shaped and they have no slack in their balance sheets. It’s precarious.”
Although the market is difficult, Mr Manning has high praise for Auckland mayor Len Brown, who negotiated the accord with Housing Minister Nick Smith.
“The Auckland Council has been most proactive and helpful, more than I’ve seen in 25 years. There’s absolutely been a change in attitude, it’s really positive.”
“When you ring them and say you’ve got this idea they’re responsive to that. It’s obviously come from Len Brown, who’s told them ‘you have to work with developers rather than against them’.”
New Zealand property values continued to rise in April to be 4 percent above their peak of late 2007 as Auckland again recorded strong gains, according to state valuer Quotable Value.
National property values increased 1.3 percent in the three months ended April 30 to $431,967, the same pace as in the three months through March. Values have gained 7.1 percent over the past year.
Property values in greater Auckland climbed 12 percent to $628,205 in the latest 12 months and in Christchurch they rose 9.4 percent to $418,829, though growth across all main urban areas was relatively strong, rising 8.8 percent to $495,488.
“The increase in nationwide values is now being driven by all the main centres, not just Auckland and Canterbury,” Kerry Stewart, QV operations manager, says.
“Buyers are showing more optimism and confidence, although are still being careful in their decision making. The exception to this is in parts of Auckland, where demand is so high that there is little opportunity to delay making offers.”
The figures come a day after the Reserve Bank said in its financial stability report that it is preparing to impose limits on high loan-to-value home mortgages, which could pose a significant risk to country’s financial stability.
“Further price escalation will worsen the potential damage that could result from a housing downturn following an economic or financial shock,” governor Graeme Wheeler said yesterday.
The QV figures show Wellington house values were 2 percent higher than a year earlier, and Dunedin property values rose an annual 4.8 percent.
A property developer has spoken out against Auckland Council’s plan to tax increases in the value of land from rezoning or redevelopment. The council’s proposal for “shared land value uplift,” buried in an addendum to the mammoth Auckland unitary plan, is a tool the council is considering for “enabling affordable neighbourhoods,” the document says.
“A number of countries provide scope for local councils to obtain part of the land value uplift from landowners when land is rezoned for more intensive use for example, rezoning from rural to urban land use or rezoning from a low to a higher density).” The revenue generated could be used to develop affordable housing or to fund infrastructure and amenities, the document says.
But Auckland-based property developer “Tim Manning says taxing land value increases would make development more expensive and drive it out of the city to other regions. The proposal ignores that getting land rezoned can be an expensive process, including holding costs such as interest payments if there is debt, he says. “You have really got to work at this; you need to hire planners and planning barristers, do traffic reports and impact assessment reports to show this land is better off residential than commercial or rural.”
The real problems are the small number of large developers, the lack of land available for residential subdivision and the tight supply of funding, Mr Tim Manning says.
Councillor Cameron Brewer says there would be “enormous contestability and difficulty” in accurately calculating a property’s new value after rezoning has taken place.
Auckland Council is eyeing taking another slice out of rising property values and may seek a change in the law to do so.
The council is calling the proposal “shared land value uplift” but its critics are blasting it as a thinly disguised capital gains tax.
And if Auckland proceeds with the plan, it could open the door for other councils to follow and broaden their revenue bases.
The proposal is contained within an addendum to the council’s draft Auckland Unitary Plan, which is likely to result in zoning changes that would allow higher-density housing in many parts of the city and possibly also extend the city’s urban limits.
Properties that have their zoning changed from low density to high density housing, or rural properties on the city’s fringes that are rezoned as urban, allowing housing or commercial development, would almost certainly benefit from a significant increase in value.
“At the moment in New Zealand, any increase in land value resulting from the rezoning decision remains with the landowner,” the council’s draft plan states.
But under its “shared land value uplift” proposal, the council would be able to take a slice of those capital gains. It outlines several possible ways the council could obtain money from owners or developers whose properties were rezoned.
These could involve the council negotiating with developers on a case-by-case base over the size of a fee they would pay, or introducing a uniform across-the- board levy.
Alternatively the council could estimate the likely profit a development would produce and how much of that was due to zoning changes, and then negotiate with the developer to retain a portion of the profit.
The council could also directly acquire land that was to be rezoned, and on-sell it to developers at a profit once rezoning had taken place.
Possible uses of the money raised could include spending on infrastructure projects or providing affordable housing.
However, Property Council NZ chief executive Connal Townsend sees it as a tax grab.
“This is a capital gains tax,” he said. “One needs to be very cautious about arguments that this would have benefits for housing affordability. I don’t buy that for a minute.
“I think this has been dressed up in housing affordability arguments without any real analysis. I think really what it is, is an attempt by the council to tap into another revenue stream. It’s a capital gains tax and I expect it would be very inefficient.”
Townsend believes that instead of making housing more affordable, it will ultimately make it more expensive, because it would add an extra cost to each development.
Property developer Tim Manning also said the proposal would push up housing costs.
Manning’s company, Norwich Property, has built around 2000 homes throughout the country, many of them the types of higher- density developments such as terraced housing and apartment blocks which the Auckland Council is trying to encourage.
“It’s another layer of costs and those costs have to be worn by someone and eventually it’s the end purchaser,” he said.
“They [the council] think turning a bit of farmland into a residential development is easy. But you’ve got to get umpteen dozen reports, you’ve got to consult neighbours and often pay them money.”
Often developers had to hold land for five or six years and pay interest costs and other expenses, sometimes millions of dollars, with no certainty, he said.
“You could get to the end and the Environment Court says no, and then it’s goodbye. You are left with a bit of land that’s worth half as much as you’ve already spent.
“So if you can get it over the line you’ve got to be rewarded for that because it’s so bloody hard to do. For such a high risk there has to be an upside for the developer. Otherwise why would they do it?”
Auckland Council’s manager of financial policy, Andrew Duncan, said the council was still preparing a financial assessment of the proposal, to help decide whether to proceed.
“I think the council would want to think about how such a mechanism would affect the housing market and land market and developers and what sort of revenue might be involved. And then, if it wanted to think about it further, it would want to think about how it [the money raised] could be used,” he said.
However, before the policy could be put into in to effect the Local Government Act would need to be changed and if that happens, it would allow other councils to adopt similar policies, potentially opening the door to a capital gains cash grab throughout the country.
Townsend believes the current Government is unlikely to support the necessary law change. “We know this Government has no appetite for a capital gains tax.”
Labour and the Greens launch their electricity policy later today, and if the drought had not already broken the deluge of crocodile tears from opposition MPs would have done the job.
Expect to hear much about high power prices and their impact on the less well off when Labour leader David Shearer and Green co-leader Russel Norman announce their power prices policies.
The difficulty they face is the largest sustained household price increases for a generation or more happened between the end of 2001 and the end of 2008.
To get some comparison, look at the graph, compiled from Statistics New Zealand data.
In the 11 years to the final quarter of 2001, household electricity prices rose 47%. That was still above the compound rate of inflation over that time (21.2%) — but nothing like what was to follow.
In the seven years between the final quarter of 2001 and the final quarter of 2008, household power prices rose 63.5%. Over the same period, the compound rate of inflation rose 21.0%.
The reason for picking the final quarter of 2001 is because this marked a turning point in electricity prices — for households, as well as for businesses.
High in Labour and Green party demonology on electricity is the reforms of National’s late 1990s Energy Minister Max Bradford.
These chopped the old Electricity Corporation into four companies, split the industry between lines companies, generators, and retailers, and sold off Contact Energy.
The changes were bitterly attacked, and when the government changed in 1999 Labour Energy Minister Pete Hodgson promised a more “active management” of the portfolio, with lower power prices.
There was an inquiry into the sector in 2000, with much consultation and much talk about “long-term thinking”.
As can be seen from the graph, this is not quite what happened. After a period of quiescence, households started to be hit with much higher power prices. Commercial electricity rates turned upwards as Well.
Taking place as they did three years after the Max Bradford reforms took effect, and two years after a change of government,it is a little difficult to see how these were much to do with decisions made in 1998.
To be fair, there were demand factors pushing up prices -the biggest being the high rate of conversions of former sheep and beef farms to dairying. Milking sheds, operating six or more hours a day, use quite a bit of electricity.
But the biggest factor was an aggressive dividends policy from 2002-07 dividends from the main electricity Companies averaged, in total, slightly less than $500 million a year.
So todays talkfest from the opposition parties is going to be so much hypocritical handwringing about the effect of higher power prices on the poor.
Lt would not be so nauseating if Labour had not been prepared to gouge those same poor with historically high power prices so as to fund the large, Statist empires in Wellington.
That though does not let the current government off the hook. Household power prices are still rising above the rate of inflation. Yesterday’s Consumer price index showed benign inflation of 0.9% but power prices up 5.2%.
It is not a one-off: household power prices are still rising above the rate of inflation. Since the end of 2008 they are up 15.6% when compound inflation is up 9.2%.
But it is still nothing like the power price gouge which took place between 2002-08.
The country is going through another bout of bumper sticker economics over a capital gains tax.
With the Auckland property market performing its well-known impression of a runaway circus elephant whose keepers have shoved a cocktail of speed and hallucinogens into the feed — and with the New Zealand dollar also having one of its periodic bouts of hyperkineticism the calls have gone out again for such a tax.
The latest push seems to have been fuelled by Labour leader David Shearer’s claim on television that a capital gains tax would cause people to put more money into businesses.
As an example of muddled economic thinking, it takes some beating and it is worth quoting Mr Shearer in full:
“What I’m saying is that what we need to do is to grow the economy in a way that it’s not growing at the moment, and we’ll be talking about Tiwai Point in a little while … one of the big problems about— no, no, let me finish — one of the biggest problems about that is that the exchange rate is so low that we are seeing many of our businesses actually going out of business because they are not being able to succeed.
“We’re not putting our money in the profitable sector; it’s going into the property market because we don’t have a capital gains tax that will help us direct money into those areas.
“And if you are wanting to raise money, then at least put money into businesses — invest in businesses through the incentives of capital gains, and that brings, obviously, money into the government as well.”
Leave aside for the minute that Mr Shearer is under the strange misapprehension New Zealand’s exchange rate is on the low side. Even though it attracted quite a bit of negative comment, that part is not the most important part of his comment.
The more important parts are the claim that New Zealand is not putting money into its profitable sector, and that a capital gains tax would mean the country would start doing so.
None of those claims are true.
First, capital investment in New Zealand has held up remarkably well, despite some tough economic times.
Furthermore, residential investment has actually fallen.
Not what you’ve heard?
Then take a look at the figures from the most recent GDP figures, released last month.
Overall business investment rose 5.4% last year, dominated by 7.6% rise in investment in plant machinery and equipment.
And residential investment is now only14.4% of total capital investment in New Zealand in 2007 it was 20.4% of total capital investment.
In other words, a major shift in investment is happening. The notion that New Zealand firms are being starved of investment because of the absence of a capital gains tax simply is not true. Not all capital gains taxes are alike
The second point is there is no reason to think the kind of capital gains tax being pushed by Labour and the Greens would do what they say it would do.
It would, first, apply to businesses, which are not Current subject to capital gains tax It is difficult to see how this is supposed to help such investment.
Second, it would not apply to two-thirds of the residential property market, because it exempts owner occupied housing. This is important, because opposition politicians are inclined to talk as if everyone who advocates a capital gains tax is advocating the same kind of CGT they are pushing.
True, Treasury, the OECD and the IMF have all talked of New Zealand having a Capital gains tax.
But not for the same reasons – and certainly not in the same form as what is being pushed at present.
There is no reason to think a Capital gains tax would stop any future property bubble: it certainly did not in Australia or the United States.
The reason Treasury, the OECD and the IMF all talk of New Zealand having a Capital gains tax is to broaden the tax base and to cover off an area of income not currently taxed.
Crucially, the idea is emphatically not to increase overall taxation: it is to allow tax reductions in other areas.
That is the last thing Labour or the Greens have in mind. In fact, they plan to increase, rather than decrease, income taxes, with the return of a 39% top tax rate imposed by the last Labour government.
In short, the policy is a tax grab under the guise of a concern about the current property bubble in Auckland.
It is the worst kind of bumper-sticker analysis to accept this claim at face value.
It is borne out neither by what is happening in the economy at present, nor by how such a tax would actually work.
The number of New Zealand house sales rose to a six-year high last month and prices touched a new record as Auckland continued to drive up the national average.
Some 8128 houses were sold in March, up 23 percent from February and 11 percent from the same month a year earlier, according to the Real Estate Institute.
The national median price rose an annual 8.1 percent to $400,000, the first time it has broken the $400,000 mark.
About 90 percent of the increase in the median price has come from Auckland and Canterbury over the past year, meaning those markets – which account for just over half of all sales – are over-represented.
“There’s a real danger that the Auckland housing market is mistaken for the New Zealand housing market, and that regulatory decisions will be made on the assumption that conditions in Auckland and Canterbury are replicated across the rest of the country,” chief executive Helen O’Sullivan says in a statement.
“Across the rest of the country while activity is picking up, price gains are far more modest.”
The figures come after Finance Minister Bill English today flagged housing as a risk to New Zealand’s economy in a pre-Budget speech, saying it could drive up interest rates if the current level of property price inflation persists.
Quotable Value figures earlier this week showed property values continued to grow in March, albeit at a slower pace.
Auckland’s median sale price rose 5 percent to $565,000 from February, while Canterbury/Westland’s increased 1.1 percent to $359,000.
ASB economist Jane Turner says “improved household confidence and low interest rates are factors underpinning a lift in housing demand”, with Auckland underpinning growth.
Housing demand has steadily increased over the past year and a lack of listings in Auckland and Christchurch means “the true level of demand may be higher than the level of sales turnover suggests”.
The REINZ stratified housing price index, which smooths out peaks and troughs, rose 2.4 percent from February, and was up an annual 8.6 percent.
Auckland’s stratified housing price index jumped 16 percent on an annual basis.
The number of days to sell fell to 31 days in March from 39 in February.