Blog

The Economic and Human cost of Furlough and Redundancies

The job retention scheme, or furlough, has amounted to an astronomical cost to the government  with the second furlough at approximately £6 billion per month, £200,000 per day and a total of £41.4 billion as at 18 October 2020 to the economy (figures from HMRC). Let us also not forget the staggering human cost that both furlough and redundancies have had across the employment industries. 

The Human Cost

The following graph shows the number of employees furloughed from the start of the scheme, through to mid-October, the numbers have levelled out at 9.6 million. 

When someone is furloughed this raises a number of concerns about the future security of their job. Will their job still be available to them once the furlough period ends? Will their employer invest in and employ new technology that will ultimately make them redundant? 

The next graph depicts the number of furloughed employees who are retained after furlough. We can see a gradual decrease in employee retention as time passes.

What are the implications for the Real Estate sector?

In the real estate sector, the furlough take up is greater than average, so a bigger percentage of real estate professionals are on furlough compared to other professions. 

The line graph shows the trend of furlough take up in the real estate profession, topping out at almost 150,000 real estate workers on furlough in May during lockdown 1. The step effect you can see is in line with payroll month ends, so a cohort of employees are taken back on for the start of a new month. The statistics are not yet out for the lockdown 2 but we can expect to see another jump up.

Furlough by Age & Employer size

Whilst there are many trends to the furlough statistics, the statistics shared here focus on furlough by employer size and by age.

The graph below shows the correlation between employer size and the percentage of firms taking up furlough, this is represented by the bars, orange shows the percentage of firms of differing sizes eligible for furlough and the blue bars are the percentage who have utilised the scheme. 25% of single employee firms took up the chance to furlough, in essence closing their business for the period, 43% of those employing 2-4 staff furloughed at least one of their employees. The bigger firms furloughed higher percentages of employees. They will have seen a drop in work and could spread it out among fewer staff and furlough the rest, this is much less achievable with a small workforce, where it is likely each employee has different specialisms.

This next chart shows that it is older employees who are more likely to have been furloughed, although this could in part be down to the fact that they make up a larger percentage of the workforce to start with. Another factor could be a resistance or less ability to learn the technology that makes home working possible.

The Problem of Furlough

Whilst on Furlough, employees get at least 80% of their salary, but this potential drop in income is not the only issue. 

The stress of being uncertain if you will be retained after furlough can hit hard, and if you are an APC candidate, the ability to gain experience in all the required fields such as inspection becomes impossible during lockdown. The most recent APC cohort has seen the highest level of referrals ever, the lack of experience, stress of furlough and pressure of homeworking is highlighted by this.

Psychological impacts are immense. Feelings of loss of purpose, lack of routine and loss of connection all play a part. If you are used to working and engaging with a large team, a disconnection can create a loss of creativity and team camaraderie.

Employment is seen as a key driver of wellbeing, providing purpose, identity, financial security and routine.

Cambridge Finances Helping Hand

Cambridge Finance understands the many uncertainties surrounding furlough and we want to play a part to tackle this ongoing problem. We are therefore offering  those affected a 30% discount on our upcoming course: ‘Understanding Commercial Property Valuation.’

This offer is strictly limited to those on a) furlough, b) who have been made redundant or c) are APC candidates. We will require proof of one of these statuses prior to booking, and any bookings must be made between 23rd and 27th November 2020.

Understanding Commercial Property Valuation will take place 7th-11th December over 4 sessions. We are offering you this course at a discounted cost of £696.50 over the full price of £995. This is truly a great opportunity for those looking to learn new skills, or a refresher course to get you geared for 2021.

Statistics taken from HMRC – https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/hmrc-coronavirus-covid-19-statistics

Financial Modelling – What, Why & How?

At Cambridge Finance we train professionals in the construction, development and analysis of financial models. We believe this is a hugely valuable skill in real estate and the financial industries. Why? Please read further.

  1. What?

Before delving into why we need financial modelling, let us first look at a definition.

financial model is a tool (typically built in Excel) that displays possible solutions to a real-world financial problem. And financial modelling is the task of creating a financial model.

Danielle Stein Fairhurst – dummies.com

The financial model varies depending on the information the user wishes it to provide. At Cambridge Finance we specialise in real estate financial modelling, therefore variables are inputs such as rental values, lease length, break clauses and so forth.

A financial model is far superior to a ‘normal’ spreadsheet. A financial model is dynamic;  it can illustrate relationships between several variables, show forecasts and potential outcomes otherwise referred to as scenarios.

In short, a financial model utilises several variables, inputs and outputs, and is both flexible and dynamic.

  1. Why?

The simplest way to consider why we need to build financial models is to look at the same analogy with a car. Constructing a car requires amassing car components, creating a detailed design and production process and finally testing a prototype. Without these stages you could be short of an engine or have engine failure!

It is the same with financial models.

Prior to making an investment decision , it is critical to you, your clients and ultimately your organisation, to have built a financial model and run it through a rigorous testing procedure in order to understand how the financial model should perform. These tests will be hypothetical but it can help you mitigate risk and maximise return.

Financial modelling is a tool that allows us to look into the future and by making calculated assumptions about how variables will behave, we can see potential outcomes. This is a process that can be done on paper, however it would be hugely time consuming and unable to account for unexpected scenarios such as a break clause in year 3. In which case you need to restart the whole process again.

Being able to work our equivalent yields quickly and efficiently has changed my life.

Cambridge Finance – Testimonials

The beauty of a financial model is it’s flexibility.

Many businesses have multiple investments, to have paper calculations or non dynamic spreadsheets for these would be cumbersome and rudimentary.

Financial modelling enables informed, well founded financial decisions.

  1. How?

In order to make the financial models we make accessible and understandable we need to apply standard techniques and avoid using functions that can cause errors such as circular references. The presentation needs to be professional and easy to read.

Unlike other real estate finance and modelling courses which I’ve taken, the course was based on the very latest Excel modelling functions, which led to the creation of streamlined and easy to explain models.

Cambridge Finance – Testimonials

In order to make the financial models we make accessible and understandable we need to apply standard techniques and avoid using functions that can cause errors such as circular references. The presentation needs to be professional and easy to read.

Unlike other real estate finance and modelling courses which I’ve taken, the course was based on the very latest Excel modelling functions, which led to the creation of streamlined and easy to explain models.

Cambridge Finance – Testimonials

The more complicated the investment structure that is being modelled, the more interrelationships with functions and variables there need to be. Building your core understanding and knowledge from ground level up is thus imperative to have the skills to not only develop but also analyse complex financial models. 

At Cambridge Finance we can help you understand the very foundations of modelling, and train you to construct robust, flexible and professional financial models that will enable you to make discerning financial decisions.

To see our full range of professional courses and dates, please click below:

To request a call back please click below:

How can employee training benefit employers? 5 reasons.

A lack of professional training can lead to an obsolete, demoralised and demotivated workforce, a reduction in productivity and competitiveness. The benefits of training for your staff, both new and experienced cannot be overemphasized.

  1. Better employee performance,  increase in employee satisfaction and morale – Professional training in a relevant subject increases not only knowledge but also employee confidence, giving them the ability to perform their duties more efficiently and with more conviction. By investing in training employers give their staff the sense that they are valued and that they are considered worth the expense and effort of training provision. Motivation and confidence quickly converts to an increase in quantity and more importantly, quality of work.

A quotation from a recent testimonial:

Recently I had to do a number of valuations of different types of property, retail, residential development, as well as an industrial park. I was able to apply the concepts, modelling experience and rational thinking which I had learned in the course to the practical application of this real-life modelling and valuation work, validating the quality and authenticity of the Cambridge RE Finance work.

Cambridge Finance – Testimonials

  1. Addressing weaknesses – Training hones skills and addresses weaknesses. If there is a gap in knowledge, professional training bridges it and results in a more rounded understanding of the profession. Assigning tasks becomes easier for managers as they have a bigger pool of knowledgeable professionals to choose from, no longer do they need to only give financial modelling tasks to the one individual who has the skill to produce this. Groups can work as more cohesive and effective teams as the knowledge is shared.

A recent delegate managed to bridge his knowledge gap:

With no modelling exposure in my day-to-day role and having previously tried out various online modelling courses, the value in this course, for me, was moving from limited to comprehensive knowledge in one weeks worth of classes. The course walks you logically through investment appraisal, capital structure and debt, and development financing and the opportunity to ask questions saves a lot of time and helps develop a deep understanding. 

Cambridge Finance – Testimonials

  1. Innovation and improvements – Training is the best and easiest way to share new ideas and methods. Innovations and up to date techniques keeps your firm at the forefront of the profession. Clients expect the best and most current methods, so by training for innovation, you will be meeting client needs and enhancing the firms reputation. Team members with up to date training will also feel more able and willing to provide such innovations to the team, spreading the benefits.

It is a friendly way to review and enhance the best practices in financial modelling by getting simple tips to work faster and also avoid errors and present your models in a persuasive way.

Cambridge Finance – Testimonials

  1. Ensure consistency and increase standards – By utilising a robust training program delivered by the same training team ensures consistent experience and knowledge. If all staff have attend the same training courses, their knowledge will be coherent enabling easier co-working and harmony in the reports produced. For example, if all employees were trained to use the same methodology in building formulae in spreadsheets and used a standard formatting, the spreadsheets will be more easily transferable between team members without the need for lengthy explanations and reworking. With standardisation of methods, use of technology to increase accuracy, efficiency and design of reports, the whole standard of the end product is lifted.

Being able to work our equivalent yields quickly and efficiently “has changed my life”

Cambridge Finance – Testimonials

  1. Employee retention and networking opportunity – With the increase in motivation, feeling a valued member of the team and better morale, staff are more likely to stay with an employer, leading to reduced recruitment costs (and retraining!).Delegates are able to meet other professionals and make contacts which could prove a valuable resource. Word is spread about a firm which values its staff and offers training.

I would strongly recommend Cambridge Finance if you are looking to develop your technical ability beyond the traditional software packages used in the Surveying industry. Investing in yourself pays the biggest dividends.

Cambridge Finance – Testimonials

How can Cambridge Finance help your employees?

With decades of expertise, Cambridge Finance has designed training courses that deliver measurable and visible results. We pride ourselves on a focussed and bespoke approach to shape our delegates requirements. 

To see our full range of professional courses and dates, please click below:

To request a call back please click below:

Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Charterholder vs Member of Royal institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS)

By Maria Wiedner MRICS CFA MPhil (Cantab)

From time to time, I receive enquiries about career progression in real estate and even though my career path is not the most common (if you know me you will know!), here is my 2p-worth analysis of the pros and cons of the CFA vs RICS qualifications.


Question:
I recently passed my APC (June 2020) and am currently working as a valuer at [a large surveying firm]. However, I am considering my options going forward. I completed the Cambridge Finance’s Real Estate Investment & Financial Modelling Course (Jan 2018) and I think that I’d like to move my career in a direction where I’m able to use the skills learned during that course on a day-to-day basis.

I am considering taking the CFA Level 1 exam and I need to better understand how relevant the qualification would be if I were pursuing a career as an analyst in Property. My understanding is that it would certainly be seen as a positive, but it isn’t a necessity. Your name always appears near the top in a google search for ‘MRICS and CFA’(!) so I thought you would be a logical person to ask. I also need to better understand the role of an analyst (day-to-day) and the career progression that the role provides.

Any insight that you’re able to provide me with regard to: the CFA qualification in property, the role of an analyst within the property industry and the subsequent career progression would be very much appreciated.

Here you go:

Qualifications in Property
I think the most important question to ask here is if you really need any qualification to start with. I would say ‘no’ and I even think that a degree is not necessary either. But that’s my personal opinion, of course, and as you saw on Google, I am a top-ranked professional in real estate finance in terms of qualifications. But if you are thinking about a career move or progression, in front of an employer’s eyes, you are a commodity and labels can open certain doors. However, closing it behind you and climbing the ladder is another matter and the topic for another article, I suppose. So, if you want to move on to become an analyst, go for it.


The CFA vs RICS qualifications

Both qualifications are hard to get through. The CFA and RICS take the life out of you for a couple of years until you get qualified. On that end, congratulations on recently passing your APC!
The RICS qualification is more ‘learn by doing’; you need to have been involved in some projects so you can prove your competencies as ‘case studies’. That’s why it’s hard to qualify if you have not been enrolled in one of the graduate schemes of those large companies that can provide you with a broader exposure to different projects. It is also an interview format, so you need to be good at presentation and engaging with the examiners. The good news is that the pass rates are quite high, especially in the Commercial Property Pathway at 77%. As long as you manage to get your submission through in good order, the actual examination seems to be more of a formality than an actual examination, or at least the odds are in your favour.
The CFA is a multiple-question exam up to level 2 and then at level 3 there are some ‘open’ questions, in my time it was approximately a third of the exam. If you work in real estate, the material covered in the CFA has very little resemblance with what you do on your day-to-day job as a surveyor, even if you work as a valuer or as an investment broker or analyst. The CFA curriculum favours those who work in the more mainstream equity / debt markets but even for them the examination is tough. Only 20% of those who start the programme end up qualifying as pass rates at each level (there are three) are around 45%, so the probability of you passing the three levels straight away are as slim as 9%.
I would say the CFA and RICS are complementary, but my opinion is that neither actually cover real estate finance and investment as core subject. For example, in the CFA we talk about yield to maturity of bonds, in the RICS, if you do the more financial competencies, you will probably need to know what an IRR is, but how they both relate is completely up to you to figure out as the linkages between the two markets are not well covered in either programme.

Why isn’t the MRICS enough?
The main problem with the RICS qualification for graduates who want to move to the more competitive financial jobs in private equity or investment banking is that it is a wide overview of the whole chosen career path. There is so much depth available in each interlinking area that it would be impossible to test every avenue. It skims crucial subjects such as economics and financial analysis, and is not quantitative enough, this is out of necessity but if you aim to steer your career towards investment roles it falls short if taken in isolation. Even those who have done the Property Finance and Investment Pathway, within the RICS APC, will benefit from the CFA programme. Graduates qualifying under the general Commercial Property Pathway, which I would say make up 95% (it’s a guess!) of surveyors working in the property capital markets, will benefit even more. So, if you are an analytical person and want to move into the more competitive investment jobs, I think the CFA will be a good idea.

The Role of An Analyst Within the Property Industry
Their day-to-day role depends on the company, of course, but in my experience as an analyst, I was mainly sourcing data, creating and maintaining financial models in Excel and making investment presentations or memoranda. All fairly quickly, of course. Very rarely I had to visit properties, measure them and inspect them; this more mundane work was left to the building surveyors, structural engineers, electrical engineers, architects; my focus was always on the economics of the properties and the investment risks involved.

Will the CFA guarantee me a job as a Real Estate Analyst in a private equity firm or investment bank?
Maybe. I analysed the background of my first connections on LinkedIn of Analysts up to Senior Associates working for Blackstone Real Estate in UK only. You will be surprised I had 53. Here is what I found out:

  1. Their previous jobs were in investment banking (Credit Suisse is their favourite at 6 counts, JP Morgan 4, Morgan Stanley 4, Goldman Sachs 3).
  2. And / or they worked for a competitor (Starwood, TPG, Carlyle, Lone Star)
  3. They have a degree from a good university (Cambridge at 9, HEC Paris 7, London Business School 7)
  4. The most common skills they mention is Excel (17 times), Financial Analysis 14, Financial Modelling 13, PowerPoint 10. (Note that each person can have multiple skills).
  5. There are 4 analysts or associates that have passed CFA Level 1 and one who is fully CFA qualified. I didn’t find anyone with an MRICS qualification.
  6. It appears that most of them speak at least a second language fluently (I couldn’t do the count of languages and level of fluency though).

Career Progression
It tends to be Analyst > Associate > Senior Associate > Principal / VP > CFO / CIO / CEO, which is the banking structure as well. But what takes to get from one level to another is the topic of another blog.

What should you do?
I don’t think you necessarily want to work for Blackstone, but that was an example of companies in real estate private equity (they are the largest) and getting a job there seems competitive enough. So, see how many boxes you tick from the above and what would be the most practical way for you to achieve your career goals.


If you would like me to write you a recommendation letter for Cambridge, take the CFA, do the RICS qualification in commercial property or property finance and investment (the pathways that I assess), learn about Excel and financial modelling, learn another language (I speak another 4) or anything else, you can drop me a line (details at the end of the blog) and I can give you some other insights.
Alternatively, come to my courses. They are listed on www.cambridgerefinance.com/calendar.

Boa sorte, Viel Glück, Onnea, Buena suerte, Good luck 🙂

How has Covid shaped property design?

Coronavirus has had a marked affect on how people want to spend their work and leisure time and has shifted priorities for building design.

Gardens, recently seen as a nuisance and best avoided by some, are now sought after for the offer of private open air space and open plan is falling in popularity as working from home becomes a necessity.

Environmentally friendly properties are sought after as well as features that promote a healthy lifestyle, both physical and mental and give a sense of family togetherness.

Showhouse.co.uk tells of a recent survey by the Royal Institute of British Architects which shows that most of the homeowners surveyed (70%) thought their home environment and its design affected their wellbeing, especially mentally, during the pandemic.

This survey found that the most popular things looked for in home design with the lessons learnt in the pandemic were:

  • Reconfigure the existing space (23%)
  • Close in open plan spaces (9%)
  • Make more open plan areas (14%)
  • Increased environmentally friendliness including natural light & soundproofing (40%)
  • Flexibility of space (ie, moveable room divisions) (8%)
  • Creation of office space (17%)
  • Room for extended family (7%)
  • More personal space (12%)

This of course applies to all property to a greater or lesser extent. Residential properties need to be prepared for working from home and potential periods of isolation. Commercial properties on the other hand need to be as flexible as possible. Not many businesses will be willing to sign up to long leases, so bespoke fit outs become less palatable. Retail premises are becoming more redundant as online continues it’s inexorable path, so redevelopment as alternative uses becomes attractive.

Perhaps we could solve two problems in one and convert unused retail buildings into homes, just like the conversion of offices to homes became popular.

Industry also needs to follow the new safety protocols, this inevitably means more requirement for space for those that survive the economic tsunami. Amazon has just built three new warehouses in the North of England and plan to take on 7000 new staff. Their warehouses are mammoth, the biggest being in Tilbury clocking in at 2 million sq ft!

Tilbury

This shift in requirement and therefore design will ripple through to all aspects of the real estate profession. From finding investors to fund schemes and proving the profitability of schemes to targeting the end purchaser and ensuring they will be willing to buy the property that is produced.

Financial Modelling plays its part, shorter lease lengths, break clauses and the increased possibility of changing tenants must be factored in.

Adaptability both of financial model and buildings is key.

We cannot cure Covid, I sincerely wish that was in our skillset, but the experts who can are working on that. What we can do is equip you with the tools to adapt your financial models and be able to make well informed, clear and considered decisions quickly.

Real Estate Development & Financial Modelling Course

Construct a robust real estate financial model to assess the financial risk and return profile of development, re-development & refurbishment projects.

References:

showhouse.co.uk

Royal Institute of British Architects

Cambridge Finance

The Rise and Fall of the Residential property Market

By Holly Mapletoft BA MAAT


What shape is the residential property market in, how did it get there and what can we expect to happen next?

When we speak of house prices, it is about an average, and, as with any statistic, this is open to interpretation. The average house price varies wildly across regions, with London houses demanding roughly four times the price of Liverpool. So in this blog, I am looking at the UK average, this will mean it probably won’t fit any region exactly but gives an idea of trends rather than specific prices.

Historically

Graph taken from economicshelp.org

As you can see from the above graph, the trend is usually upwards, this makes sense as the value of money has changed over time, your £20000 that could buy you an average house in 1979 wouldn’t even buy a mid range car today.

Graph taken from economicshelp.org

The above graph takes inflation into account and is therefore a better guide. Here you can see more troughs and peaks, you can see in this graph the early 80’s recession, the early 90’s recession and the ‘great’ recession which was the deepest since the second world war, caused, among other factors, the subprime mortgage crisis.

So, historically, it has been a bit of a roller coaster but generally upwards.


Now

We find ourselves in an unprecedented situation. Covid has swept across the globe and had devastating effects on health and economies. Governments have expended untold amounts on trying to keep their countries afloat, and it all has a knock on effect on house prices.

With the introduction of lockdown and only essential shops being open for a period of months, then the expense of introducing new safety measures, allowing less customers in your shop at any one time, all adds up to less profits, if you are lucky enough to be able to make any. This is just one industry, similar stories are happening across many business streams.

Some businesses could not withstand the initial lockdown, even with government grants, some have struggled through only to find that the trade has not increased sufficiently post lockdown to allow their survival. Other businesses have adapted and managed to thrive, I am sure the likes of Amazon have seen huge boosts as more shopping gets digitalised.

All this means loss of income and jobs, leading to an inability to fund a mortgage, there is likely to be an increase in repossessions and therefore a flood of properties coming onto the market, when the government legislation putting them on hold is eventually lifted. This would point to another dip in the housing price.

However, the government temporary cut in stamp duty between 8 July 2020 and 31 March 2021 has had a dramatic effect. As house buyers dash to take advantage of this, house prices rocket in response to the increased demand.


The Future

I am not, I’m afraid, in possession of a crystal ball, so this is all conjecture from this point on!

Unless some other measures are introduced to mitigate it, when the ban on repossessions is lifted and the stamp duty cut draws to a close, the expected slump in prices will happen. I would hope that the government will put in place something to ease the impact, but we are in their hands.

The government is proposing to launch 95% loans (Loan to Value Mortgages) in Spring 2021 and this would help many first time buyers climb over the biggest barrier to climbing onto the property ladder, that is, the ability to get a mortgage.

Unfortunately, I see it likely that it is the lower paid who will be most likely to have found themselves in trouble, either through unemployment, rising prices in shops as they inflate prices to cover their costs. It is therefore likely to be lower costs homes that come onto the market. Will landlords swoop in and hoover these up to rent out? Let’s face it if repossessions are up, the number of potential renters will be too. We will need to be on the watch for the unscrupulous who will take advantage of this to supply substandard lettings.

With less demand for properties after the stamp duty sojourn, and more supply as a knock on from repossessions, even with the proposed 95% LTV mortgages, unless some minor miracle occurs, house prices will be heading downwards, how steeply is another matter.

We can however, take heart that these slumps have never yet been permanent and the market recovers and then increases, we may just have to wait it out.


This blog was inspired by an article in property wire.com and the historic data taken from economichelp.org.

You can find out more about the property market on one of our courses:

For graduate surveyors, APC candidates, beginners in the finance or property professions we recommend our Introduction to Property Development & Investment Course

For surveyors, finance and investment professionals, APC candidates (in particular for the financial modelling competency), bankers and anyone interested in learning more about property investment and financial modelling, we recommend our Real Estate Investment & Financial Modelling Course, which is part of our Cambridge Finance Certificate in Real Estate Financial Modelling Course.

Valuation in crisis – Art versus Science – The Science View

The Science View on Valuation

Estimating Property Values in Times of Significant Uncertainty

In times of Covid-19 pandemic, property market or fair values are harder than ever to estimate. Valuers desperately trying to find enough ‘evidence’, but property is an illiquid asset by definition and as such, transactional evidence disappears during periods of market unrest.

So, what can property valuers do in times of market uncertainty?

The International Valuation Standards Council (IVSC), whose standards have been adopted by the ‘RICS Red Book’, issued a letter in March 2020 with the title ‘Dealing with valuation uncertainty at times of market unrest’[1]. Their advice was mainly based on three points:

  • If the valuer can’t carry out an inspection due to government restrictions, clearly state it and agree this with the client.
  • If the valuer considers that it is not possible to provide a valuation on a restricted basis, the instruction should be declined.
  • Valuers should not apply pre-crisis criteria to their valuations as this approach is based on the potentially erroneous assumption that values will return to their pre-crisis levels and there is no way of predicting that this assumption in fact correct.

 As a valuer, Continue reading Valuation in crisis – Art versus Science – The Science View

Valuation in crisis– Art versus Science – The Art View

The Art View on Valuation

The life of a valuer is pretty tough at the best of times, even with the benefit of good comparable evidence. This is because valuers are carrying out transaction analysis in the most imperfect market that exists. This is why valuation is often described as both an art and a science.
Before a valuer starts to worry about the valuation methodology and analysis, the basis of value needs to be defined, this represents the fundamental measurement assumptions of the valuation. For the purposes of this article, I will focus on the most common basis of value, market value.

Market value
This is defined by Valuation Practice Statement 4 in the RICS Valuation Global Standards 2020 as: Continue reading Valuation in crisis– Art versus Science – The Art View

Will Green Credentials Impact Property Values – Let’s Go Dutch

By Morag Beers

Going Dutch does not always have particularly positive connotations; but Going Dutch in green investments is a whole other matter. The Dutch do it well, and the results are increasingly being recognised as beneficial.

dutch cycle

How do the Dutch know how to do this? I learned a joke about developers when I arrived in Holland: ‘

What is the first thing a developer does? He makes the land’. Ha ha.

The Dutch grow up to the national tune, Living with Water, not taking it for granted that our land is permanent and knowing that we are together collectively responsible for its stability. There is also the inbuilt advantage of being brought up on bicycles: as soon as you are old enough to sit up straight at a few months old, you can expect to be riding along on a seat out front on your parent’s bike. Being a very small baby projected into town traffic makes you brave in life. It is hardly surprising that these people grow up to be creative engineers and responsible investors, intuitively understanding environmental protection and not being easily fazed by life. Some of the most innovative, sustainable and thought-provoking investments and construction projects stem from Dutch activities which have served Dutch investment returns well. It is no accident that GRESB, the leading sustainability performance measurement, has its roots in Holland working with that other seat of innovation, California.

Continue reading Will Green Credentials Impact Property Values – Let’s Go Dutch