Friday people roundup

first_imgMorningstar Investment Management, La Française AM, Redington, Union Investment, Kames CapitalMorningstar Investment Management – Clémence Dachicourt and Marina Jelesova have joined the Morningstar Investment Management group as senior investment consultant and portfolio manager, and investment consultant and portfolio manager, respectively. Before joining Morningstar, Dachicourt managed €400m of assets in traditional and alternative multi-asset funds for La Française AM. Additionally, Dachicourt held roles as senior hedge fund analyst for Lyxor Asset Management, portfolio manager and buy-side analyst for UBS, and equity portfolio manager for CDC Ixis AM. Jelesova joins from Redington, where she advised institutional investors in her role as asset liability management and investment strategy associate. She also served as a hedge fund analyst for BNP Paribas Investment Partners and credit portfolio manager for Credit Agricole CIB.Union Investment – Michael Schmidt, managing director and CIO for equities, is leaving the German fund management company at the end of this year. Schmidt took charge of Union’s equity portfolio management in 2009. He now intends to take a “career break” after 22 years in the financial services industry. Until a successor has been found, Björn Jesch, head of portfolio management, will take on Schmidt’s responsibilities alongside his own.Kames Capital – Fiona Hope has been appointed institutional client director. She joins from the charity LinkAble, where she was a trustee and voluntary fundraiser. Hope has more than 20 years’ financial services experience, including 18 years in client relationship roles for the likes of Deutsche Asset Management, JP Morgan Fleming Investment Management and Merrill Lynch Investment Management.last_img read more

Friday people roundup [updated]

first_imgAP4, Franklin Templeton, Schroder Investment Management, AP1, Aberdeen Asset Management, International Integrated Reporting Council, European Public Real Estate Association, LGIM InfrastructureAP4 – Magnus Eriksson, vice-president and general manager of Sweden’s fourth national buffer fund, has decided to leave. AP4 said Eriksson would move to London at the end of June for “family reasons”.Franklin Templeton – Arnaud d’Anterroches has joined the investment company’s Switzerland business as institutional sales director. Based in Geneva, he joins from Schroder Investment Management, where he worked for eight years. Before that, he was at Edmond de Rothschild Asset Management and at Schroders in Paris.  AP1 – Sweden’s first pension buffer fund has hired Johan Temse as investment manager. Temse was previously at Aberdeen Asset Management, where he worked on a European secondaries fund in which AP1 was a lead investor in 2013. His role at AP1 will see him focus on real estate within the fund’s real assets division. International Integrated Reporting Council (IIRC) – Paul Druckman, chief executive at the IIRC for more than five years, is to step down this year. The IIRC said Druckman would remain with the Council for an indefinite period to ensure a smooth transition. The board is now searching for Druckman’s successor.European Public Real Estate Association (EPRA) – Laurent Ternisien, who led the integration of Investment Property Databank into MSCI following its takeover in 2012, has joined the EPRA as a senior adviser. Meanwhile, co-founder Rupert Nabarro has retired as a senior MSCI adviser. Ternisien, formerly managing director of real estate at MSCI, will work on EPRA’s investor outreach activities in Continental Europe.Legal & General Investment Management – Erik Westermark has been appointed senior investment associate at LGIM Infrastructure. Reporting to Silja Turville, head of LGIM Infrastructure, Westermark previously worked at Lloyds Bank focusing on infrastructure, energy and acquisition finance. He has also worked at Citi Global Markets.last_img read more

Frijns: ABP should be closed, relaunched as DC pension plan

first_imgABP, the €356bn pension fund for Dutch civil servants, should be closed to new entrants and relaunched as a defined contribution scheme rather than divided into smaller schemes for civil-service sub-groups, according to Jean Frijns.Frijns, who served as CIO at ABP, was responding to a recent government survey that suggested civil service pensions should be de-centralised to cut costs.Frijns dismissed government recommendations within the report as “opportunistic”, arguing that they were at odds with legislation aimed to protect pension funds from cost-cutting sponsor companies.He added that carving up ABP would create conflict among various participants, as it would be “very difficult” to define certain sectors. “Teachers, for example, would argue that their plans have grown too expensive, as their life expectancy is longer than that of most ABP participants,” he said. He also disagreed with ABP’s argument that it was too big to hedge the interest risk on its liabilities without distorting financial markets.“The markets for these kinds of financial products are big enough,” he said.Frijns conceded ABP’s current size did have its advantages, such as allowing it to invest in less liquid asset classes such as infrastructure and non-listed companies.But he warned that all groups under the ABP umbrella were currently unhappy, with younger generations complaining of increasing contributions and older ones lamenting the lack of indexation.“I no longer believe it’s possible to improve the current system, as the inability to differentiate investment policies for groups with an individual risk profile would remain,” he said. “In a new scheme under DC arrangements, participants could see what they accrued – that is what they want.’’Frijns said closing current schemes and starting new pension funds would generally be much easier than converting existing funds.“Transition would be extremely complicated, as pension rights must be divided,” he said. “This is likely to cause problems.”last_img read more

Commission calls for Solvency II rule change to boost infra spending

first_img“These targeted changes to the Solvency II Delegated Regulation will further support investment in infrastructure.”Solvency II regulations – introduced across Europe at the start of last year – require insurance companies to hold cash buffers on their balance sheet to offset the risk posed by different types of investment.The capital requirement for infrastructure projects was reduced last year.Insurance Europe, the continent-wide trade body for the sector, has lobbied in the past for a less restrictive approach to infrastructure investment within the Solvency II rules.Two years ago, responding to the first consultation about the creation of the CMU, Insurance Europe called for a “flexible definition” of infrastructure as an asset class and changes to the definitions of infrastructure-related debt and equity.In December 2015, the former EU commissioner for financial stability Jonathan Hill made the case for supporting insurance company investment in infrastructure.“By making changes to Solvency II, we can define infrastructure as an asset class and reduce the capital ratios associated with it by about one-third,” he said at the time.Meanwhile, the Commission also confirmed plans to press ahead with a legislative proposal for a pan-European personal pension product Insurers may have to hold less capital against infrastructure companies as part of a bid by the European Commission to secure more funding for the asset class.The proposal to alter Solvency II rules was announced as part of the Commission’s mid-term review of the development of the Capital Markets Union (CMU).It said it wanted to “encourage long-term investment” and would do so through a review of “prudential calibration for investments in infrastructure companies”.“We propose reducing the amount of capital that insurance companies need to hold when they invest in infrastructure corporates,” the Commission said in a statement.last_img read more

People moves: Danish regulator replaces ATP-poached Parner

first_imgStiftung Auffangeinrichtung BVG – Frank Rietmann has become head of the finance and risk management division at the Swiss substitute occupational pension scheme. He worked at Basler Versicherung, an insurer, from 2004 to 2014 and subsequently joined Nationale Suisse, where he was chief risk officer.Stiftung Auffangeinrichtung BVG, or Fondation Institution Suppletive LPP in French, is a Swiss federal government organisation that acts as a second pillar safety net. It accepts any employer and any individual that wants to join its benefits scheme, subject to statutory requirements being met. The foundation had CHF13bn (€12bn) of assets under management as at the end of 2016. Pensioenfonds Notariaat – The new €2.7bn Dutch pension fund for notaries and notary staff has appointed actuary and consultant Adri Jansen as board member, representing employees. Jansen had already been a member of the board for the notaries’ staff scheme, which merged with the pension fund for notaries last year. He will also become a member of the pension fund’s committee for asset management and balance management.Jansen is to succeed Jan Loof, who has been involved in the pensions provision for notaries and their staff during the past 23 years. Niko van Niekerk has left Pensioenfonds Notariaat, having been the chairman of its supervisory board (RvT). He had chaired the RvT of the former pension fund for notaries during the past five years.Pensioenfonds Medewerkers Apotheken – Huub Overgaag has been elected to the board of the €2.8bn Dutch sector scheme for pharmacies’ staff, representing pensioners. His appointment is waiting for approval by supervisor De Nederlandsche Bank. Overgaag has been co-ordinator for labour matters at the pharmacies lobbying organisation KNMP.BNY Mellon – Dennis Presburg has joined the comapny as head of asset servicing business development for northern Europe, a newly created role. He will also lead asset servicing sales in Germany. Presburg was previously at State Street for 10 years, and before that he worked at Northern Trust and KAS Bank. Calvert – Anne Richardson has been appointed to the new role of chief operating officer at the responsible investment specialist and Eaton Vance subsidiary. She joined Calvert from Cambridge Associates, where she was chief operating officer, global investment research. She was previously associated with The Brookings Institution and The George Washington University, according to a statement from Calvert. Richardson will report to Calvert’s president and CEO, John Streur.Smith & Williamson – Nick Murphy has been promoted to head of charities for the company’s investment management and banking division. He joined Smith & Williamson as a partner in the investment management team in 2012. The group had more than £1.9bn (€2.1bn) in charitable assets at the end of September, up from around £400m at the end of 2006.Pensions Administration Standards Association (PASA) – The UK body dedicated to improving standards in pensions administration has created a working group focused on transfers. It is chaired by Gary Evans, board director at PASA, and counts 22 other members. The group’s creation comes as transfer requests have surged. Evans said: ”Our working group will be looking closely at all aspects of the supply chain to work through issues and produce solutions, as well as guidance to act as a reference point and create a smoother, more positive experience for all involved.”TPT Retirement Solutions – The £9bn (€10bn) UK workplace pension scheme has appointed three new directors to its trustee board: Andrew Newberry, Thomas Hague and Paul Oldroyd. hree directors are stepping down from the TPT trustee board: Colin Small, Richard Stroud and Maggie Roger.Newberry and Hague join as member-nominated directors. Newbury is a recently retired chartered accountant. Hague is currently employed by Procure Plus Holdings, a consortia that serves the social housing market and has been a director for the £1.5bn Pilkington Superannuation Scheme. Oldroyd joined TPT’s board as an employer-nominated director, nominated by Guinness Partnership, one of the largest affordable housing and care providers in the UK, where he was a director until his retirement in April 2017. Oldroyd is currently a trustee of Tandem Group Pension Plan. T Finanstilsynet, Stiftung Auffangeinrichtung BVG, Basler, Pensioenfonds Notariaat and Medewerkers Apotheken, BNY Mellon, State Street, Calvert, Cambridge Associates, Smith & Williamson, PASA, TPTDanish FSA (Finanstilsynet) — Carsten Brogaard has been promoted to become one of the regulator’s four deputy director generals under the FSA’s director general Jesper Berg.Effective 1 January, Brogaard is the deputy director general in charge of non-life and life insurance companies and labour-market pension funds. He has been head of the unit for supervision of labour-market pension funds, corporate pension funds and ATP, LD and Labour Market Insurance (Arbejdsmarkedets Erhvervssikring), having joined the FSA in 2011. In his new job, Brogaard replaces Jan Parner, who left to become senior vice president and head of the actuarial office at ATP. Meanwhile, Per Plougmand Bærtelsen, who has been head of the FSA’s unit for supervision of life insurance companies since 2008, has been promoted to the position of assistant director. He will continue working in his current area at the regulator. Two of the FSA’s four deputy director positions remain vacant.last_img read more

Netherlands roundup: Parliament won’t force pensions on self-employed

first_imgDutch politicians prefer to encourage the approximately 1m self-employed workers in the Netherlands to save for a pension rather than to be subject to mandatory pensions accrual.A survey by IPE’s Dutch sister publication Pensioen Pro revealed that most parties would like to offer a fiscal stimulus or an opt-out system.Liberal party VVD and the liberal democrats of D66 – partners in the government coalition – indicated that they opposed mandatory pensions accrual for self-employed people (known as zzp’ers).Steven van Weyenberg, pensions spokesman for D66, said he hoped that the envisaged individual pensions accrual in a new pensions system would tempt them to keep on saving with the pension fund of their previous employer. At the other end of the political spectrum, socialist party SP also made clear that it preferred encouraging pensions savings rather than making it mandatory.“We want sector pension funds [to] offer zzp’ers the option to accrue a pension with them,” said MP Bart van Kent. “If this doesn’t work, we prefer a fiscal stimulus, such as making the current fiscal relief for self-employed workers subject to pension saving.”Pieter Omtzigt, pensions spokesman for the Christian democrats CDA – also part of the government coalition – said his party shared SP’s view on a fiscal stimulus.Green-left party GroenLinks indicated it supported mandatory pension saving, albeit only for people in low-paid jobs.Pension funds object to financial supervision payments The Dutch Pensions Federation said it still has serious objections proposed rules for the financing of financial supervision next year.In a joint response with the associations of insurers (VvV) and banks (NVB), the sector organisation argued that the proposed legislation fell short of democratic checks of costs, and that it also lacked transparency and an incentive to keep costs under control.During the past couple of years, the government hasn’t contributed to financial supervision, leaving the supervised organisations to foot the bill.According to the lobby organisations, it was unclear why the government made this exemption, as it still contributed to supervisory costs in other sectors.They proposed that the government paid for costs that had nothing to do with direct supervision.Sustainalytics takes over SolaronESG consultant Sustainalytics is to take over fellow analysis firm Solaron, increasing its oversight of controversial issues at companies in emerging markets.Amsterdam-based Sustainalytics said that 26 of Solaron’s 36 analysts, most of whom speak local languages and can follow local news sources, would join.Sustainalytics provides ESG ratings and analyses to institutional investors. The company employs 350 staff, of whom 50 are based in Amsterdam. It has offices in 13 countries.It said Solaron staff would largely be deployed in London and Bucharest, adding that Vipul Arora, Solaron’s co-founder, would be employed in a management position in London.Solaron – a specialist in emerging markets – is headquartered in the United States, but also has offices in India, the Netherlands and London.Its clients include the €123bn Dutch asset manager MN and Aviva Investors.last_img read more

Joanne Segars to chair USS valuation expert panel

first_imgJoanne Segars is to chair the expert group that will be examining the valuation of the £60bn (€69bn) Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS) as agreed in mediation talks at the end of March.She is a joint appointment of Universities UK (UUK), which represents UK higher education institutions, and the sector’s main trade union, the University and College Union (UCU).This is in line with an agreement that emerged from mediation talks between the two parties in March and was supported by university staff in April, after an earlier proposal was rejected by the unions.The panel’s job will be to agree key principles for UCU’s and UUK’s approach to the valuation of USS, the UK’s largest pension scheme. Segars is a well-known and respected figure in the UK pensions world. She is chair of the £41.9bn LGPS Central, one of eight asset pools formed by the UK’s local authority pension schemes, and before that was chief executive of the UK pension fund association, the Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association, for more than 10 years.She has also been head of pensions at the Trades Union Congress.Segars said she was honoured to have been appointed to the role. “I am acutely aware of how important USS is to the sector and to those who work in it,” she said.“If we are to be useful to UUK and UCU it is important that the panel members feel able to effectively challenge both each other’s views and those of our witnesses in a confidential environment,” she added.Segars said there would be considerable interest in the panel’s work from USS members and employers. She therefore intended to report regularly on the group’s progress and issues under discussion as well as “a clear explanation of the evidence upon which we base any recommendations”.last_img read more

It pays for sellers to feel right at home with many new marketing techniques

first_imgLeader Newspapers real estate Hot Topic – things to do before you sell – for editions week commencing June 12, 2017 – Peter Koulizos – iStock-157198401 An arrow shaped red “Home For Sale” sign in front of a suburban 2-story home. The green grass and blue sky is visible in the background.MARKETING is an investment you make to promote your property, writes REIQ Townsville zone chairman Wayne Nicholson.When I was a rookie agent in the ’80s, we were told the marketing budget should be about 1 per cent of the sale price. A $250,000 house, therefore, should incur a marketing budget of about $2500. Today, there are far more options for marketing a property and a flexibility that didn’t exist then. A marketing plan can be tailored to suit any budget and every property. Many consumers don’t understand the agent does not make any money, or receive any commission or kickbacks for the marketing spend. The money is paid to the media channel – either the newspaper, online portal, website, magazine or social media platform. Agents don’t receive any benefit. Our motivation is simply to drive buyers to the property. I have seen spectacular $25,000 marketing campaigns for multimillion-dollar homes and I have seen $2000 marketing campaigns that work very effectively. The success is determined by a range of factors and the size of the budget is just one of those factors. It’s not necessarily about how much you spend, but where you spend. It’s about finding the right channel for your property. More from news01:21Buyer demand explodes in Townsville’s 2019 flood-affected suburbs12 Sep 202001:21‘Giant surge’ in new home sales lifts Townsville property market10 Sep 2020Your goal is to get your property in front of that one pair of eyeballs that are attached to the heart that will fall in love with your home.It’s not always easy to find those eyes and that heart, but one thing is certain – if you don’t advertise you won’t find them. It’s like that saying: you miss 100 per cent of the shots you don’t take. When deciding how to market your property, talk to your REIQ accredited agent. They will be very experienced in this area and will be familiar with all the options for today’s seller. Back in the day when print advertising was the only option, the rule used to be the bigger the ad, the bigger the inquiry. Today there are so many more opportunities to connect with buyers, and a combination of a few different marketing channels can work very successfully. Well-placed ads and well-designed ads are the key to generating good inquiry on your property. REIQ agents will differ on certain marketing techniques, but all will tell you that you can’t sell a secret. Your property needs to be marketed.So in order to encourage the greatest amount of interest in the property, it needs to be promoted far and wide.last_img read more

Gold Coast mega mansion sells for more than $11 million

first_img“It’s just over $11 million,” Mr Mian said.“It is the highest sale on the Sovereign Islands.”“A local buyer will be moving into it.”The property, at 3-7 Sir Lancelot Close, now holds the sales record on the Sovereign Islands — the record was previously held by Baltimore, a mega mansion that changed hands for $11 million in 2006.Grande Vista first hit the market back in February, 2017 with a price tag of $14.88 million.Sellers Brian and Eileen Peat bought the mansion at auction for $7 million from receivers in 2010. Luxury at every turn. Entertain in style — this property is more like a resort. Floor to ceiling windows are a common sight. A sunken carpeted lounge is beneath 7m ceilings and warmed by a fireplace.There is a collection of formal and casual living spaces at every turn with extensive marble and timber floors throughout.As well as expanding the kitchen and creating an indoor-outdoor flow to the poolside teppanyaki alfresco area, the pair also worked their magic at the other end of the house, in the entertainment precinct.An open-plan wing complete with a bar, dining, lounge, library and outdoor area accessible via bi-folds can operate as a large-scale functions area. One of the luxurious bedrooms.More from news02:37International architect Desmond Brooks selling luxury beach villa16 hours ago02:37Gold Coast property: Sovereign Islands mega mansion hits market with $16m price tag2 days ago Cook up a storm here. Eileen and Brian Peat say Grande Vista’s privacy, luxury features and sprawling design initially sparked their interest. Picture: Richard Gosling From the water: 3-7 Sir Lancelot Close, Sovereign Islands. It was fallen Gold Coast developer John Fish’s mansion which had previously been on the market in 2009 for $15 million.Mr Fish paid $6.5 million for the home in 2003 and had undertaken a major refurbishment but when the Peats bought the property it was incomplete and hadn’t been maintained.They then spent big bucks transforming it from a Mediterranean-style mansion into a contemporary resort-style haven.center_img ● MORE NEWS: MARATHON NEGOTIATION SESSION PAYS OFF ● MORE NEWS: TWIST IN STOREY OF FLOATING HOUSE ● MORE NEWS: NRL STAY DALY CHERRY-EVANS SELLING GOLD COAST HOME The home takes up most of the 2103sq m block and overlooks the Broadwater.It has 55m of water frontage and features multiple entertainment areas, seven bedrooms and nine bathrooms with extensive marble and timber flooring.From the gated entry, cylindrical pillars and a high wooden portico stand guard over a stone driveway and manicured gardens.Inside, a combination of timber and wrought-iron features demand your attention while floor-to-ceiling glass offers a spectacular vista of the open water. What an outlook! Water views from every room. Brian and Eileen Peat bought the mansion at auction for $7 million from receivers in 2010. More 150 people turned out to see it sell. This photo was taken before the auction started. Photo: Luke Marsden. One of the dining rooms. Eileen and Brian Peat have sold Grande Vista for more than $11 million. Picture: Richard Gosling MEGA SALE: This Sovereign Islands mansion has sold for more than $11 million.A GOLD Coast mega mansion has sold for more than $11 million, the second highest sale on the Glitter Strip this year.Amir Mian, principal of Prestige Property Agents, confirmed the unconditional sale of ‘Grande Vista’ on the Sovereign Islands but would not disclose the sale price. From the foyer, a curved timber and wrought iron staircase leads to the five ensuited bedrooms on the upper level including the luxurious main bedroom.The basement has a wine cellar, gym, steam room and a powder room, plus a 10-car garage.The Peats have lived on the Sovereign Islands since 2007 and said Grande Vista’s privacy, luxury features and sprawling design initially sparked their interest. Top 10 sales on the Gold Coast in 2018 — 103-105 Hedges Ave, Mermaid Beach, $11.6 million— 3-7 Sir Lancelot Close, more than $11 million— 3250/23 Ferny Ave, Surfers Paradise, $9.5 million— 8-10 Marseille Court, Bundall, $9 million— 31-33 The Corso, Isle of Capri, $8.8 million— 2230 Arnold Palmer Drive, Sanctuary Cove $6.5 million— 57 Woodgee St, Currumbin, $5.6 million— 13-17 Binda Place, Sorrento, $5.01 million— 150/59 Pacific St, Main Beach, $5.3 million— 702/252 Hedges Ave, Mermaid Beach, $5.25 millionlast_img read more

Queensland renovation boom as spending hits just under $1.5 billion

first_imgAFTER: Morningside residence designed by Kieron Gait Architects took out the 2018 Houses Award for House Alteration & Addition over 200 sqm. Picture: Christopher Frederick Jones.“At a time when Brisbane is losing significant numbers of its historic housing stock to demolition or unsympathetic makeovers, the Morningside Residence provides an enduring alternative that is more true to culture and place,” the judges’ citation said.Zuzana Kovar, who along with partner Nicholas Skepper, saw their firm become Australia’s best emerging architecture practice, said it was not hard to believe that Queensland had reached almost $1.5b in renovation spending annually. BEFORE: The space underneath the cottage was virtually dead space before renovation. Architects Zuzana Kovar and Nicholas Skepper at their home business where 95 per cent of their work was renovations now. Picture: Mark Cranitch.The most popular renovations Queenslanders wanted, she said, were adding space, opening up homes for indoor-outdoor living or reworking internal space to suit growing families. “People want more space than when these houses were built 100 years ago.” sophie.foster@news.com.au Follow Sophie Foster on Facebook AFTER: Terrarium house by architecture firm John Ellway reimagined the undercroft in an award-winning fashion. Picture: Toby ScottJudges commended John Ellway for exploiting the natural fall in the site to insert living spaces into the once unused undercroft of the home.“The compactness of the house is its triumph; circulation flows seamlessly from one space to another and not one inch is wasted, with notable Japanese influences.”Morningside Residence by Kieron Gait Architects in Brisbane’s inner-city suburb of Morningside was Australia’s best house alteration and addition over 200 sqm, with the judges calling the renovation “a quiet, respectful and poetic addition to a 1920s Queenslander”. Monash Road House in Tarragindi by Zuzana and Nicholas was highly commended by judges in the House Alteration & Addition under 200 sqm category. Picture: Toby Scott.”In inner-city areas where you don’t have the option to demolish the house, you have to keep it and work with it, then the only option is to invest in renovation or extension. A lot of people are interested in retaining the character as well. It becomes sentimental to them.”Ms Kovar expected spending on upgrades to continue to rise — pushed along by older building stock hitting a century and strict limits on demolition in character areas. BEFORE: The worker’s cottage before John Ellway redesigned it into Australia’s best renovation under 200sq m. Picture: realestate.com.au BEFORE: The veranda area came straight off the pavement on the right before John Ellway’s redesign. AFTER: The veranda area was converted into an open air green space with stairs leading down into the undercroft living space. Picture: Toby ScottAustralia’s best house alteration and addition under 200sq m was a worker’s cottage, Terrarium House in Highgate Hill designed by John Ellway, which was transformed “into a luscious, planted oasis”.More from newsParks and wildlife the new lust-haves post coronavirus17 hours agoNoosa’s best beachfront penthouse is about to hit the market17 hours ago AFTER: The back of the cottage now: Terrarium House in Highgate Hill, architect John Ellway. Picture: Toby ScottThis as Queenslanders celebrated scooping national renovation gongs on Friday at the 2018 Houses Awards — with a worker’s cottage and a Queenslander emerging as the top renovated properties in Australia.Add to that a small Brisbane firm, Red Hill-based Zuzana and Nicholas, was named the country’s best emerging architecture practice, with 95 per cent of their work now focused on renovations and one of their renovation projects Monash Road House in Tarragindi highly commended by judges. Architects Zuzana Kovar and Nicholas Skepper ’s home-based business, Zuzana and Nicholas, has been named Australia’s best emerging architecture practice. Picture: Mark Cranitch.QUEENSLANDERS are officially the best renovators in the country, scooping top national awards as latest data showed spending on upgrades has hit record levels here.Just shy of $1.5 billion ($1.435b) was spent tweaking Queensland homes via alterations, additions and conversions in latest annual figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics.The renovation spend was a rise of just over $13.4 million in the four quarters to March compared to the same period the previous year. ABS figures released this month said. AFTER: Morningside Residence designed by Kieron Gait Architects was praised for its “respectful” redesign. Picture: Christopher Frederick JonesShe said there were some homeowners in Brisbane spending half a million dollars on renovation work, with much of the spending involving building underneath a home, sometimes on sloping sites, with significant excavation, restumping and structural work.”Average spend varies depending on how much they want to add and depending on the state of the existing house. Sometimes they could be not adding much but the house is in such a bad state it goes to that. Sometimes it’s minor things and repainting then most of the budget is given to adding new spaces. It can vary from $100-150,000 all the way up to $500,000,” she told The Courier-Mail. BEFORE: This is how the back of the Morningside property looked before it underwent renovations. BEFORE: The Morningside property was solid but needed updating for modern family life.last_img read more