Thursday 17th September 2020 - NZ Commercial Property Market Update - Breakfast with Paul Winstanley, Head of Research, JLL (NZ)
Paul Winstanley, head of research at JLL (NZ) is an Englishman who worked in NZ for several years before returning to London then two years ago he emigrated with family to Auckland for good. Paul is in the unique position of having spent recent time in both NZ and UK property markets and was able to give us some good insights into the relative performance of certain NZ locations, asset classes and what trends we might seen in NZ property in future.
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Kiwi deal-flow club
As a natural extension of our Kiwi property network we have started a “deal flow club” for KIP members who work for active property investment companies including asset and investment management companies, family offices, banks, funds, etc. We are identifying member investment asset appetite, building a database and accessing the KIP network and beyond to identify suitable opportunities. Patrick Ryan of Sire Properties is working with KIP to develop the deal-flow club and we already have a couple of off market deals on the table. If you would like to get involved please get in touch with Bryce at [email protected] or Patrick at [email protected]
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Dorrington Plc – RICS qualified Residential Surveyor (London)
Dorrington Plc are active investors focusing on the residential and office markets in London and the South East with assets of in excess of £1.3bn. They are seeking an ambitious and well-rounded property professional to join the close-knit building surveying team of five working across the residential portfolio to provide the full range of building surveying and project management services and skills to the residential portfolio. More detail can be found on the KIP jobs board on our website. Contact [email protected]
Our jobseekers page is actively in use. Please support any new arrivals with a (virtual) coffee and guidance whenever you can. We all remember what it was like being new to London and how good it was to grab a flat white with another kiwi who could give us a steer in the right direction.
You can contact the following Kiwis seeking work by visiting our Jobseekers page or connecting through linkedin:
Quarantine interview with Matt Comery – August 2020
Where are you right now?
At the time of writing this (6th September) my wife and I are in managed isolation in the Rydges Hotel, Auckland.
What made you decide to return to NZ?
Our time in the UK was always going to be finite and the emergence of COVID-19 focussed our minds on where we wanted to be and how we wanted to live. Living in a small, one bedroom flat in Angel wasn’t as attractive as it once was with future lockdowns a possibility, travel abroad more difficult and London culture largely paused. We decided on a different lifestyle and, while that could be achieved to a certain extent by moving out of London, we opted to move closer to friends and family in NZ.
Was there anything unusual or different about the flight home?
The flight home was a bit of a rollercoaster. Having had two Emirate flights cancelled (the second being just six days prior to our departure) we hastily did some research and booked a flight with Cathay Pacific via Hong Kong. Just getting on flights to NZ is a challenge due to the Government restrictions on the number of returnees imposed on airlines to ensure that there is capacity in the quarantine hotels. That means that the cost of flights is extremely expensive (we paid $3,500 per person one way). There are cheaper options out there but it’s a roll of the dice - essentially, the less you pay, the more likely you are to be bumped off the flight.
Thankfully our Cathay Pacific flight went ahead without a hitch. Other than an uncomfortably long 11 hour transit in Hong Kong Airport (with all shops either shut or boarded up), our flights were near empty and we had loads of room to lay flat and sleep. The airline staff were incredibly helpful and both flights were the most comfortable we’ve ever done in economy.
What were your first impressions of the NZ quarantine process after landing?
Upon arrival in New Zealand you are greeted with a Ministry of Health official at the airport who asks you if you have any symptoms or if you have a temperature. The rest of the customs and baggage claim experience is as per normal until you come through to the arrivals hall and find it empty other than some security guards and a manned desk by the door where you find out where you will be sent for managed isolation for the next few weeks. The first impression that sticks in my mind was the greeting we got from everyone at the airport. While cliched, the friendliness of the boarder security staff and customs officers was a huge contrast to what we have experienced in the UK and other countries and made us feel extremely welcome and happy to be home.
What is the standard of accommodation?
We have been extremely lucky to have been put up in the Rydges in Auckland which seems to be one of the better hotels in many ways. The room is comfortable with great WiFi and sky sport channels which pretty much covers all needs. The hotel runs three supervised walks per day which involves getting on a bus to go down to the waterfront where you’re able to do laps of the wharf next to the “Cloud”. You can also get fresh air in the hotel forecourt and arrange time to visit the roof terrace.
What is the food like?
The food has been a mixed bag. Breakfast options have included eggs benedict, omelettes, pancakes, cereal and bagels. Lunch and dinner has been an array of curries, salads, burgers, pizza and pasta. While you won’t go hungry, a side of cake for every meal and copious calories means that you need to be careful what you eat!
If you’re interested in checking out more, I have set up an Instagram page (Tintin_Quarantino_NZ) to document our quarantine experience which has a particular focus on the food.
What contact do you have with other people?
We’ve had limited contact with reception staff and other quarantined guests in the hotel. Thankfully, the Rydges is relaxed about you talking with people outside quarantine through the fence on the hotel forecourt. We’ve had regular visits from family and friends and taken deliveries of food and useful bits and pieces. It’s worth noting that there are some restrictions on taking deliveries of alcohol and electrical appliances due to fire risk.
How are you relieving boredom?
I was advised by a ex-military friend that routine is the key to fighting boredom and that’s been successful thus far. Breakfast arrives at 7.30 so once we’ve picked our way through that (and thrown out the obligatory cake that arrives with every meal!) we catch up on daily news on our laptops/iPads for a few hours before doing some form of exercise. My wife has a subscription to an exercise app that puts us through our paces and has put my fitness to shame. We’re then in a state to tackle the lunch carbs and our afternoons have been filled with reading, seeing visitors in the forecourt, skyping and Netflix. In fact, we haven’t found it much different to lockdown in London.
What is the general mood in NZ about the pandemic generally and quarantine policy?
It’s difficult to say as our insight is limited to the media and what little we have gleaned from our visitors. I think there is still a lot of resentment towards paying for travellers to quarantine although the Government’s policy of charging certain people who choose to leave NZ or are visiting for less than 90 days has calmed the mob. I do get an impression of “pandemic fatigue” by which I mean that people are just sick of it and are keen to get on with everyday life.
What pieces of advice would you give to anyone following in your footsteps?
Get in touch with Kiwis that have done it before to chat through their experience. I’d highly recommend joining the “Kiwis Coming Home” and “New Zealand Hotel Quarantine” Facebook groups. There’s loads of helpful information sharing and the best tips on which airlines are flying, how to maximise your chances of getting home, what to expect at your quarantine hotel, etc. I’m also happy to field any direct questions or help in any way I can.
What’s the first thing you are going to do when you leave quarantine?
Go for a run to celebrate being able to roam freely and fire up the BBQ shortly afterwards.
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