HMRC said it was also changing its policy on the investment management and administration of the DC funds, accepting that occupational schemes share characteristics with EU special investment funds (SIFs).This was the argument behind ATP’s successful case against its tax authority, Skatteministeriet, where it said occupational DC pension schemes were SIFs in nature and therefore VAT exempt under EU legislation.To qualify as an SIF under HMRC’s revised definition, the funds need to pass on investment risk to members and contain contributions from more than one member.In both cases, where DC schemes and DB sponsors qualify, HMRC said administration and investment management charges should never have incurred VAT, leaving the gate open for reclaims.UK accountancy firm Baker Tilly said the new stance from the government could result in a potential £2bn (€2.5bn) windfall from the tax authority.Any refunds would be subject to a four-year capping period, in line with the authority’s existing practice.In a briefing, the tax authority said: “In support of claims, businesses must be able to produce evidence to demonstrate they have accounted for VAT on the relevant services and must be able to substantiate the amount claimed.“HMRC will not accept estimated claims.”It was previously anticipated that HMRC would amend the existing guidelines in the wake of the ATP case, with the authority saying earlier this year it was reviewing the outcome of the case. The UK government has accepted rulings from the European Court of Justice (ECJ) on VAT, leading to potential windfalls for both defined benefit (DB) and contribution (DC) pension funds.The rulings relate to challenges made by Dutch employer PPG and Danish pension fund ATP against their respective tax authorities.In its ruling for sponsors of DB schemes that pay investment management and administration charges, the UK tax authority, HMRC, said there were no grounds for it to differentiate the two charges, so both could be VAT exempt.Previously in the UK, for employers, administration charges were exempt from VAT, or 30% of a combined investment management and administration fee.
The proportion of UK pensions assets in defined contribution (DC) plans invested in alternatives such as property and commodities has grown significantly over the last two years, while exposure to developed equities has fallen, according to a report on the sector.In its latest six-monthly FTSE DC report, asset manager Schroders said the pension schemes of companies in the FTSE 100 index had lifted their exposure to alternatives to 12% by March this year, up from 8% in March 2013.Meanwhile FTSE 250 schemes had raised their allocation to the asset type to 9% from 5% over the same period, the study showed.Exposure to developed equities, on the other hand, had fallen over the past 24 months, with FTSE 350 schemes’ exposure to these assets falling to 71% in March 2015 from 79% in March 2013. This exposure consisted of 29% UK equities and 42% global equities, Schroders said.Schemes of FTSE 100 companies had cut their allocation to UK equities markedly in the last six months alone, bringing it down to 25% from 29%, with total developed equity allocations down to 69% from 72%.The survey threw light on shift towards fixed income that had been occurring over the last 12 months, Schroders said.Among FTSE 350 schemes, fixed income allocations had doubled to 14% from 7% over the period, with the bulk of this growth having taken place over the last six months.Almost a third of schemes in the survey now had a fixed income allocation of at least 20%, whereas a year ago, this had only been true for 3% of schemes, Schroders said.Stephen Bowles, head of UK institutional defined contribution at Schroders, said he welcomed the growing diversification of DC pension scheme investment, noting that auto-enrolment had boosted pension scheme membership.“This means an appropriate truly diversified defined contribution default strategy is more critical than ever before,” he said.More than 5.2m people in the UK now had access to company pension schemes through auto-enrolment, with 4.5m of those belonging DC schemes, the firm said.
The UK, far from kowtowing to China, could be criticised for failing to exploit its relationship more, argues Joseph MariathasanChinese president Xi Jinping’s recent state visit to the UK has been a success despite criticism that Britain’s lavish welcome represented a kowtowing by a major European nation and close ally of the US to China. To treat international relationships between the major powers as one-dimensional existential stand-offs is to revert back to the ideological Cold War battles that collapsed with the Berlin Wall. As Philip Hammond, the UK’s foreign secretary, pointed out in response to criticisms: “We don’t think we are being naive – we go into all relationships with our eyes wide open.”China represents an enormous opportunity for the UK that is not just a function of the relationship between the leaders of the two countries. Trade and tourism should continue regardless of disagreements at the political level. Chinese visitors to Europe represent both a commercial opportunity and a political one, as the visitors return to China with what we hope is a better appreciation of European culture and the liberal political environment.The UK, if anything, can be criticised for not exploiting its historical relationships more, despite the still lingering after-taste of the opium wars and the annexation of Hong Kong that Chinese school children learn about at school. But they also learn the poem ‘On saying farewell to Cambridge, again’, written in 1928 by Xu Zhimo, one of the most renowned 20th-century Chinese poets, who studied at King’s College Cambridge. The college has a memorial stone dedicated to the poet in its gardens that attracts a steady stream of Chinese visitors. Meanwhile, British boarding schools are attracting increasing numbers of mainland Chinese students whose parents want their children to become proficient in English and benefit from what they see as a more balanced education. They will also pick up a set of ideas, values and relationships that should encourage closer ties in the years to come.Yet, despite the benefits of having large numbers of high-spending Chinese tourists, the UK is still struggling to set up a visa regime that can facilitate visits easily and cheaply. Instead, Europe’s Schengen area is a more attractive route for Chinese tourists undertaking a European tour, which too often by-pass the UK given the hassle of having to obtain an extra visa.The press this summer has produced a tremendous amount of China-related hype about short-term market movements. But it does appear the real issues have been ignored. What is the macroeconomic set-up behind China’s currency, current account and monetary policies? What meaningful market and policy developments have already occurred and are in process? And what actionable investment opportunities are likely to result from all this?Economists Robert Mundell and Marcus Fleming argued that an economy cannot simultaneously maintain all three policy objectives of an independent monetary policy, fixed exchange rates and a free capital account (the Mundell-Fleming Trilemma). In China’s case, the decision to liberalise the capital account and the currency was taken in principle long ago, with the remaining question being only sequencing. The major end-game for China will be the liberalisation and maturation of the domestic financial sector – China’s Big Bang.What is important is the UK’s strategy of taking advantage of this by trying to develop London as China’s principal offshore base for finance. The announcement that China will issue short-term debt in London is just another step towards this objective, as is the UK government’s issuance of a CNY3bn (€430m) bond in 2014. This may have been a token amount in terms of the UK’s overall debt programme, but being the first Western country to issue this debt had tremendous symbolic significance.For China and the world at large, open Chinese currency and investment markets would be beneficial, eliminating mis-allocations and price distortions and raising real economic growth worldwide. It should only be a relatively short period of time before the renminbi is floated, albeit with some capital controls in place. A mature and functional finance industry, including capital markets, is a pre-requisite for successful currency and capital-account liberalisation. The better financial markets work, the greater the benefits of liberalisation.For the UK, playing a major role in China’s Big Bang is an objective that ultimately could shape its attitude towards its negotiations with the EU and even its relationship with the US. Will it damage the special relationship between the UK and the US, assuming it still exists? Will the UK’s position as an offshore centre for Chinese finance be substantially reduced if it leaves the EU? These are questions that may require wider discussion in the future.Joseph Mariathasan is a contributing editor at IPE
ERAFP – Dominique Lamiot has been re-appointed chairman of the board of directors of the supplementary pension scheme for the French civil service. Lamiot has been chair of the board since 2013. The position is filled by presidential decree. His re-appointment follows the renewal of the entire board, by ministerial decree, effective 20 November.Swedish Shareholders’ Association – Carl Rosén is to step down as chief executive of the Swedish Shareholders’ Association to join the Swedish Ministry of Industry, where he will head up the division charged with overseeing the nearly 50 state-owned companies. Rosén is a former head of corporate governance at AP2 and left the buffer fund in 2009 to become managing director of the International Corporate Governance Network.AXA Investment Managers-Real Assets – Sébastien Herzog has been appointed global CFO, COO and corporate secretary. Herzog has been global head of internal audit at AXA IM since 2012, having originally joined AXA IM-Real Assets (then AXA Real Estate) in 1998 as corporate finance manager. NIBC, APG, Cambridge Associates, Cardano Risk Management, Pzena Investment Management, Russell Investments, Nordea, ERAFP, Swedish Shareholders’ Association, AXA Investment Managers-Real AssetsNIBC – Dick Sluimers has been appointed as member of the supervisory board (RvC) of Dutch corporate bank NIBC as of 1 January 2016. On NIBC’s RvC, Sluimers is to chair the audit committee. Currently, he is chief executive at APG, asset manager and pensions provider for the large civil service scheme ABP. He is to leave APG at the end of this year. He joined ABP in 2003 as CFO and became chief executive of APG in 2008, when the asset manager was privatised. Sluimers is a member of the RvC of Akzo Nobel and chairman of the RvC of credit insurer Atradius. He is also a trustee of the International Financial Reporting Standards Foundation and a member of the RvC of Netspar, the Dutch network for pension researchers and professionals. Angelien Kemna, the company’s CFRO, will act as interim chief executive until APG appoints a successor.Cambridge Associates – Benoit Jacquemont has been appointed as senior investment director. He joins from Cardano Risk Management, where he was a senior portfolio manager responsible for the implementation of liability-driven investment strategies and tactical fixed income overlays for fiduciary mandates. At Cambridge, he will advise UK and European corporate and public pension scheme clients on their liability-driven investments and risk management. He will focus on fiduciary mandates.Pzena Investment Management – The US-based asset manager has opened a London office. To lead its EMEA business, the company has installed a new management team for London – Phil Hoffman as head of UK, Middle East and Africa and Ulrik Ahrendt-Jensen as head of Europe. Hoffman joins from Russell Investment, where he held a number of positions, including head of research. Ahrendt-Jensen joins from Nordea’s funds business.
The previous European Commission, under Michel Barnier, put on hold work on solvency of pension funds.In its opinion today, EIOPA held back from recommending harmonised capital or funding rules, saying the introduction of a one-size-fits-all framework in this context would not be “effective” in allowing heterogeneous IORP sectors across Europe to meet the different challenges they are facing.The UK’s Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association (PLSA) hailed EIOPA’s decision. Joanne Segars, chief executive at the PLSA, said: “EIOPA’s decision to end its work on solvency marks an important development in the long-running debate about a solvency-based funding regime for pensions.“It is good news for pension schemes in the UK and Europe, and [it’s] a result our member pension schemes have campaigned tirelessly to reach.”However, it was critical of EIOPA’s proposal for a new reporting regime because of the expense and the confusion it would cause, and without delivering any benefit to scheme members.EIOPA acknowledged that “significant” costs could be incurred in complying with the proposed framework but said that, with “a proportionate application”, the benefits would outweigh the costs.Segars said there were “more pressing priorities for EIOPA to pursue” and that EIOPA should also “go further and drop the Holistic Balance Sheet altogether”.The Holistic Balance Sheet (HBS) is the term EIOPA had used for its concept of a standardised valuation of DB pension funds’ asset and liabilities that would capture security and benefit adjustment mechanisms such as sponsor support and any possible benefit reductions, all on a market-consistent basis.EIOPA has dropped the HBS term, however, replacing it with ‘common framework balance sheet’.It is also using the term ‘standardised risk assessment’ instead of ‘solvency capital requirement’. Least worst optionThe common framework EIOPA has proposed consists of a “market-consistent balance sheet” and a standardised risk assessment.Under the former, EIOPA said, occupational pension schemes should use a basic risk-free interest rate to value liabilities and “recognise all available security and benefit adjustment mechanisms”, including sponsor support, pension protection schemes, conditional and discretionary benefits and benefit reduction mechanisms.The risk assessment would be on the basis of this balance sheet, thereby showing how the various adjustment mechanisms can absorb stresses and reduce IORPs’ deficits.Rowan Harris, actuary at UK firm Barnett Waddingham, said EIOPA had gone for “what might be described as the ‘least worst’ option”.“Many schemes under pressure to keep running costs low would have preferred EIOPA to ditch this concept altogether,” he said, adding that there were better risk-management tools for them than the HBS. “The case for a common framework, above and beyond this, at European level has not been adequately made,” he said.Others were more positive about EIOPA’s proposal. Philip Shier, senior actuary at Aon Hewitt in Dublin and the former chair of EIOPA’s occupational pensions stakeholder group (OPSG), said he supported a “robust approach” to risk management, measurement and mitigation.“There are difficulties in getting a consistent approach because pensions are different across Europe, but most of the approach in the EIOPA paper seems good,” he told IPE in an initial reaction. “The issues are to what extent [the risk assessment] gets used and creates additional cost. It is much too early to say how this might filter through into action.”Barnett Waddingham’s Harris, meanwhile, raised the Brexit issue, noting that, even if European legislators decide to take up EIOPA’s recommendation, UK pension schemes may not be subject to any future regulation on the matter.,WebsitesWe are not responsible for the content of external sitesLink to EIOPA “Opinion to EU Institutions on a Common Framework for Risk Assessment and Transparency for IORPs” The UK pension association has applauded what it described as the European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (EIOPA) ending its work on solvency for pensions but, like others in the European pension industry, bemoaned its recommendation for a common risk assessment and reporting regime.In an opinion paper, EIOPA today recommended the introduction of a common framework for risk assessment and transparency for defined benefit (DB) occupational pension schemes.The framework should be incorporated into the directive for Institutions for Occupational Retirement Provision (IORPs), although EIOPA said it was not urging for this as part of the move to a revised IORP Directive (IORP II), currently being negotiated in trilogue.It will be up to European legislators to decide on what to do with EIOPA’s recommendations, which it provided on its own initiative rather than on request from the European Parliament, Council or Commission.
Schroders – Andreas Markwalder has been appointed country head of Switzerland. He joins from GastroSocial, the largest Swiss pensions fund in terms of members, with CHF6.3bn (€5.9bn) in assets. Before becoming chief executive, he was head of investments for 13 years. He also sits on a range of boards of investment funds and is the founder of the AFIAA, a global property fund with more than 40 Swiss pension funds invested.Held – Pension lawyers Teun Huijg, Mark Heemskerk and Maarten Minnaard are to launch a “boutique” law firm named Held. Huijg joins from law firm Stibbe, while Heemskerk and Minnaard worked at Onno F. Blom Advocaten and Houthoff Buruma, respectively. Huijg has been involved in the dispute between KLM and its pilots on indexation, as well as the set up of two general pension funds (APFs). Heemskerk has been Prof of pensions law at Radboud University in Nijmegen since 2012 and specialises in equal treatment, the scope of law and the right of say. Minnaard focuses on insurance contracts and fiscal matters and has advised in many collective value transfers to insurers and pension funds.National Employment Savings Trust – NEST has hired John St Hill as deputy CIO in a newly created role. St Hill joins from the Pension Protection Fund (PPF), where he was a senior portfolio manager. He left the UK’s lifeboat fund for defined benefit schemes in October last year. At NEST, he will be reporting to CIO Mark Fawcett.IIGCC – Peter Damgaard Jensen, the chief executive of Danish pension fund manager PKA, has succeeded Donald Macdonald as chair of the Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change (IIGCC). Macdonald is also retiring as a trustee director of the £46bn (€56bn) BT Pension Scheme in the UK, a role he held for 19 years.Asset Management One International – The London-based subsidiary of Asian asset manager Asset Management One has appointed Yasuko Sato as a product specialist. Sato joins the London Business Development Team with responsibility for supporting clients and further promoting Asset Management One’s capabilities across the EMEA. She joins from JP Morgan Asset Management, where she was a client portfolio manager.Aries Insight – The pensions legislation specialist has appointed Laura Kerr as a pensions technical consultant. She joins from Kier (formerly Mouchel), where she worked as a pensions technician, responsible for analysing regulation.Mayer Brown – Duncan Watson has been appointed as a senior associate on the pensions investment team. He joins from Deutsche Bank, where he was vice-president and senior counsel in the asset management division.Kempen Capital Management – Ben Kramer has been appointed head of the pension fund and insurance company “industry vertical”. Kramer has worked at Lombard Odier Darier Hentsch & Cie and BMO Global Asset Management. Rijn- en Binnenvaart, Montae, RobecoSAM, Vescore, Invesco, Deutsche Asset Management, Schroders, GastroSocial, Held, NEST, PPF, PKA, Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change, BT Pension Scheme, Asset Management One International, JP Morgan Asset Management, Aries Insight, Kier, Mayer Brown, Deutsche Bank, Kempen Capital Management, Lombard Odier Darier Hentsch & CieRijn- en Binnenvaart – The €795m sector-wide pension fund for Rhine and inland shipping has named Inge Bakker as director, succeeding Rein Godding. Bakker will execute her job from pensions adviser Montae, where she has worked during the past four years. Montae also provides board support for the pension fund. Previously, Bakker was a board member of the €8.1bn pension fund TNT, which later became PostNL, as well as negotiator for collective labour agreements for union CNV.RobecoSAM – Marius Dorfmeister has been appointed global head of clients, as well as a member of the executive committee at RobecoSAM, Robeco’s €10.2bn and Zurich-based asset management subsidiary for sustainable investment. Previously, Dorfmeister worked as head of clients at Swiss asset manager Vescore, Swiss private bank Notenstein La Roche and Bank Sarasin & Cie. Invesco – Erwin Heenk has been named senior institutional marketing manager for the Benelux and the Nordic countries. He joins from Deutsche Asset Management, where he was marketing manager for the Benelux. Prior to this, he held various marketing positions at asset managers Nationale-Nederlanden, BNP Paribas and Delta Lloyd.
Smidt highlighted that current low interest rates made DB unattractive, and DC a more logical option.“But if interest rates rise, DB schemes would thrive and grant indexation, so we would have the option of returning to DB arrangements,” he explained.The tyre firm currently has an insured DB plan run by Aegon. Contributions were set to rise by 65% if the company had extended the existing contract, Smidt said.Edwin Troost, account manager at Centraal Beheer, indicated that he expected more employers to be interested in the concept, “as this was often demanded by their works council, when they decide to switch from DB to DC”.The option of a periodical switch was already introduced for the participants of pension plan Relx – the former pension fund of publisher Elsevier. Members – who are now part of the multi-sector scheme PGB – can change their pensions accrual between DB and DC every three years.Regulatory uncertaintyApollo Vredestein staff considering a switch would be given information about the expected outcome of each option, provided by the APF.Smidt acknowledged that only a minority of participants were likely to use the complicated switch option. Apollo Vredestein and the APF planned to launch a campaign to clarify the arrangements.However, it was unclear whether accrued pension benefits could be transferred to new arrangements with each switch, as this wasn’t covered by legislation yet, Smidt said.The company’s plan was to enable participants to purchase DB rights using assets accrued under DC arrangements, Smidt added, and parliament would be asked to amend legislation accordingly.Centraal Beheer’s Troost said that a transfer in the other direction would be more complicated, as answers had still to be found for how to deal with the financial buffer or a funding shortfall in a DB plan.Alex Makkinje, trustee at the FNV union, said that, despite his members having unanimously approved the new pension arrangements, he was “not ecstatic”, because his organisation was not keen on DC at all and preferred the security and risk-sharing aspects of a DB plan.However, he described the option of returning to DB as “an advantage”.Gerard van Dijk, director at union CNV Vakmensen, said he was pleased with the new scheme and suggested it could ultimately become part of his union’s regular policy. A small Dutch pension scheme is to offer its staff the option every year to switch between defined benefit (DB) and defined contribution (DC) arrangements in an innovative compromise between the employer and unions.The change comes as tyre manufacturer Apollo Vredestein prepares to transfer its scheme’s 1,500 members to a general pension fund (APF) run by Central Beheer, a subsidiary of Achmea.“Sticking to a DB plan would have become unaffordable, and we also wanted to remove the pension liabilities from our balance sheet,” said Frans Smidt, the company’s director for labour conditions.“At the same time, however, a pure DC scheme would have been unacceptable to the trade unions.”
Finland’s biggest pension fund, Keva, said it wants to offer itself as a long-term, domestic ownership option for energy infrastructure assets – a sector where it said foreign investors are very active – and is currently on the look out for new investment opportunities in Finland more generally.The head of the €53bn public sector pension fund has said in a blog that it is important that Finland identifies new funding options for transport infrastructure besides traditional state financing to increase national competitiveness, and said Keva was actively involved in such work.Timo Kietäväinen, president and CEO of Keva, said: “Owning listed Finnish companies is only one tool with which Finnish occupational pension operators can strengthen the success of our country.”He said around a fifth of the pension fund’s investments are in Finland, and as well as equities, Keva was also targeting domestic investments such as corporate and government loans, rental apartments, hotels, various office and retail premises and funds investing in domestic companies. “We are actively looking for new destinations in Finland all the time,” Kietäväinen said.Keva had made new investments in transport infrastructure financing and the energy sector, he said, citing as the most recent example the fund’s deal earlier this summer to buy a local district heating business in the Järvenpää-Tuusula area of Finland from European energy firm Fortum, alongside Vantaa Energy and Infranode.“It is worth noting that in the energy sector (energy production and distribution networks), foreign investors are also very active. Keva wants to offer a long-term, domestic ownership option,” the pension fund chief said.To read the digital edition of IPE’s latest magazine click here.
Geraldine Leegwater, PGGM’s new chief, investment managementEdwin Velzel, CEO of PGGM, said: “Geraldine will bring a combination of extensive management experience in the pension sector and a great deal of investment expertise. That is very welcome in a period of massive changes, both in pensions and in the world outside.”Leegwater said: ”PGGM plays a leading role in the Dutch pension sector, for example in helping to shape a new pension system. As a pension investor, the organisation is actively involved in initiatives at home and abroad to improve the sustainability of investments.”And with its heritage and ties in the Dutch healthcare and welfare sector, PGGM recognises the huge social value of this sector, which has my particular attention. All this makes PGGM an organisation to which I look forward to contributing, particularly in the period of change ahead.”Read moreSee the Netherlands country report in IPE’s September issue for more about the new pension system:Netherlands: New paths Looking for IPE’s latest magazine? Read the digital edition here. Geraldine Leegwater will be the new investment managent chief at PGGM, the €252bn Dutch pension investor announced this morning.She will take on her role on 1 November, succeeding Eloy Lindeijer, whose plan to leave PGGM was announced earlier this year. Lindeijer, who occupied the chief investment officer role since 2011, is leaving the firm on 1 October.Leegwater is currently a trustee of the Dutch pension fund ABP, where she chairs the investment committee and a member of the investment committee of De Nederlandsche Bank, the central bank. She will resign from these positions when she joins PGGM, but will continue to be associated with the pension study programmes at the Erasmus School of Accounting & Assurance, which is linked to Erasmus University Rotterdam.Leegwater’s appointment is subject to regulatory approval.
Is now the right time to list for sale?You can barely go on-line, whether it be Instagram or Facebook, without seeing some local person gallivanting through some exotic European location with a smile across their face and a drink in their hand.For those of us working through the Aussie winter, keeping the economic wheel turning, it can get very frustrating watching the world on vacation.Locally the streets are less congested and on the real estate front open house numbers can and have dropped off during the holidays.On this topic I had a friend ask me whether they should list during the school holidays. It’s a fair question, we usually have lower inquiry and there is an argument that the weakening in competition could lead to lower prices during winter. This alone would mean you should avoid listing in winter. But there is an unpredictability to residential sales that plays a huge role in the decision.In the winter months of 2008 many owners may have held their properties off the market waiting for spring.The Brisbane market was booming and even though prices were good, a lot of people would have thought they were only going to keep getting better.What happened though was a dramatic change in market conditions in October 2008 – the Global Financial Crisis.More from newsNew apartments released at idyllic retirement community Samford Grove Presented by Parks and wildlife the new lust-haves post coronavirus17 hours ago Video Player is loading.Play VideoPlayNext playlist itemMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 6:36Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -6:36 Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedCaptionscaptions settings, opens captions settings dialogcaptions off, selectedQuality Levels720p720pHD540p540p216p216p180p180pAutoA, selectedAudio Tracken (Main), selectedFullscreenThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window.This is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.Close Modal DialogThis is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.PlayMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 0:00Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -0:00 Playback Rate1xFullscreenLiz Tilley’s prestige property wrap 06:36 Prices dropped by an average of 30 per cent and history will show that those people who waited cost themselves thousands.Real estate is a ‘now’ business. The conditions today may not be the conditions tomorrow. You can wait and prices might get stronger or you could wait and they could get worse.My answer to my friend was list now.We have buyers today who want to buy now. But inquiry is down. The next few months look sound however an election, dramatic change in the southern markets or a significant international event could knock things off course.We are still selling a lot of property and buyers are in the market. My friend has bought another property and with the confidence in todays market has decided to list now.