Scott Picken, CEO of International Property Solutions (IPS) believes a paradigm shift is occurring: 8 years ago, people would only invest in property in their own neighbourhood. Now, investors are starting to seek the best investments globally. IPS was created 5 years ago to facilitate international investments and provide an end-to-end solution to ensure that investors can invest with confidence!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

How to use a Webinar? Login, etc

Scott Picken, IPS CEO, explains how to login into a Webinar and how to use them. Webinars are the way of the future for information dissemination. He takes you through the process of logging in for the first time, downloading the software and using the seminars.

It is a simple process, and there are three ways to learn how.

1) Look at the instructions below.
2) Read the Downloadable Document which takes you the process - step by step -
3) Watch a movie - running you through the process live.

To watch in You Tube -

Instructions on how to do it:

1) Receive the email.
2) Click on the date which suits you.
3) Fill in your details.
4) You will receive a confirmation page and also a confirmation email (there is a section you can download to event to outlook).
5) At the time of the event, click on the link which is sent to you. (Try and make sure it is 10 min before the starting time)
6) Wait why your computer downloads the software. If the computer asks for your permission to download the software - agree to it. This can take 5 to 10 minutes, depending on your download speed.
7) The software will automatically link you in. You are ready to be part of the Webinar.

Enjoy access to one of the world’s best information sources!

Go to to find out about all the latest Webinars!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

British property companies seek to raise $1.9 billion

Jonathan Buck | September 24, 2009
Article from: The Wall Street Journal

IN the strongest indication yet that confidence is returning to the real-estate sector, UK property companies announced plans to raise more than L1 billion ($1.9 billion) to strengthen their balance sheets.
Renewed signs of life in UK property

A builder works on a house under construction in Surrey Picture: Bloomberg
House builders Barratt Developments and Redrow disclosed plans to raise more than L900 million through rights issues and placements, while Liberty International - the country's largest industrial real-estate investment trust - said it would raise about L310 million through an issue of new shares.

The capital increases are the latest in a burgeoning trend that has seen similar moves earlier this year by house builders Taylor Wimpey, Bovis Homes Group, Berkeley Group Holdings and Bellway.

Home builders have been struggling for more than a year with the worst housing-market conditions in decades. Mortgage financing evaporated in the banking crisis, reducing the number of buyers to a trickle and forcing house prices lower. As a result of falling prices, companies had to put developments on hold and take write-downs on the value of land and work in progress.

However, signs continue to emerge to suggest that conditions in the real-sector have eased. Both Barratt Developments and Redrow said that house prices in the past few months had risen, visitor numbers at sales sites had increased and sales were up.

"We have definitely seen the market stabilise during the calendar year 2009," Redrow chairman Steve Morgan said.

UK house prices in August rose for the third time in four months while the annual rate of decline continued to ease, Lloyds Banking Group said earlier this month. Its Halifax house price index was up 0.8 per cent from July, but down 10.1 per cent from August, 2008.

"Demand for housing has increased since the start of the year due to better affordability and low interest rates," said Martin Ellis, Halifax's housing economist. "This, together with low levels of property available for sale, has boosted house prices over the last few months."

Still, gross mortgage lending in August was 13 per cent lower than in July, the Council of Mortgage Lenders said last week. "Underlying lending levels appear to have stabilised during the summer, with stronger lending for house purchase balanced by lower levels of remortgaging," the CML said.

Those signs of stability have given executives the confidence to prepare for growth.

"We believe this is the right time to refinance and recapitalise the business," Barratt Developments chief executive Mark Clare said.

Barratt Developments announced a fully underwritten placing and 1.3-for-1 rights issue to raise gross proceeds of L720.5 million. Mr Clare said some of the funds would be spent to buy land this year in order to maintain a land bank equivalent to at least three-and-a-half years' work.

Barratt's announcement came as the builder said that an "intensely difficult year" in the UK housing market had resulted in a net loss of L468.6 million for the 12 months ended June 30, compared with a net profit of L86.4 million a year earlier.

Redrow announced a rights issue to raise L156 million. Proceeds from the rights issue will be used to reduce overall levels of gearing by repaying and cancelling up to L135 million drawn under an existing syndicated facility agreement. Redrow also announced the proposed L15 million acquisition of the Harrow Estates business, which focuses on identifying and acquiring brown field land.

The house builder's CEO said the marketplace had shrunk in the past seven or eight years but remained competitive. "The country's need for new homes is greater than it has ever been," Mr. Morgan said.

Industrial landlord Liberty International said it would issue new ordinary shares representing around 9.9 per cent of its total capital, worth about L310 million, so that it can resume investment in its prime UK regional shopping centres and central London assets.

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Tuesday, September 22, 2009

What is South Africa's economic future? What comes next?

By Cees Bruggemans, Chief Economist FNB
21 September 2009

After the hottest boom in decades came the slowdown. And after the slowdown came recession (and recession, and yet more recession). After recession came recovery.

What comes next?

Whereas some of our sectors (government service) haven’t slackened, the recovery has already been with us from very early in other sectors (mining, electricity) since mid-1Q2009, while slightly lagging in yet others (manufacturing recovering from mid-2Q2009).

But now that the world at large is feeling the strong undertow from synchronized industrial recovery, and financial markets are celebrating survival from disaster, made possible by exceptional intense and synchronized global policy action, it is time to lift our sights.

First thought is that we are starting yet another very long expansion, certainly globally. Resource utilization has been much reduced in the West, allowing a long period of growth without generalized overheating.

With financial imbalances defused and asset market valuations greatly reduced, it isn’t obvious what could catch out the world any time soon, despite wartime-like financial commitments by governments and central banks.

To this we must add Asia’s development impatience and the apparent ability to drive its own agenda now.

For South Africa, this first reading of the longish global tealeaves is similarly encouraging.

We also acquired substantial resource slack during this latest cyclical disruption, probably equivalent to some 10% of the 13 million deployed labour force, when thinking of those who have lost jobs, those newly joining the labour force, returnees from abroad and the large unskilled labour reservoir on tap.

We also successfully demolished and removed any trace of the long-running prosperity boom of 2004-2007. Not only have car sales and property transactions halved compared to cyclical peaks, but we have also shrunk imports and thereby the current account deficit despite horrific export contractions in places.

All this suggests that we too could have a long run without overheating either our economy or asset markets.

But what comes next will not be without challenges, and undoubtedly accompanied by much uncertainty.

The exotic surprise could be a major inland drought. Exotic in that predicting the long-term weather is an uncertain business. But we have been favoured by good agricultural growing seasons for so long now that the dice seems to be increasingly stacked against us.

Somewhere out there, given long-term cycles, looms a devastating drought and everything that implies (loss of national income, upward pressure on food inflation, potentially intense political pressures).

Probably more certain than the weather are the short-term antics of man and bankers.

The world’s comeback from the brink has been structured in such a way that Asian commodity demand is an early locomotive (favouring emerging market producers). Also, the determined and generous policy accommodation throughout most of the world has created much liquidity, suppressed safe haven asset returns, even as more risky destinations look relatively attractive (and their risk underwritten by nearly all of this).

Thus we again find ourselves flooded, only partly by higher commodity prices (gold hugging $1000, platinum $1300), but especially footloose capital seeking out our high-quality corporate assets, our safe public bonds and our drooling equities (up over 40% since March).

This flood of capital shapes us just as much as its episodic withholdings do, in a rhythmic global cadence by now over 150 years old.

This is one very important reason for recognizing early what is happening here. There is so very little new to this process, not unlike living in monsoon parts of the world, where the seasons have a very different logic compared to say deserts.

The capital flood has so far undone the Rand shock decline from last year (nearly touching 12:$ last October) and has already pushed us into overvalued territory near 7.40:$.

More Rand firming is presumably to come, as we are still only in the foothills of the global episode driving this.

This will badly confront exporters and import-competing businesses (60% of the economy), like a withering heat wave laying waste among many of our producers.

Meanwhile bankers are determined to price risk adequately in a capital-constrained world, also letting borrowers carry a greater part of any risk through increased equity participation as in days of old.

Such credit restrictiveness won’t prevent recovery, but should make it very slow in interest rate-sensitive sectors (another 10% of the economy).

All of these factors could inhibit long-term commitment to private fixed investment (another 15% of GDP) even as our star sector performer (construction) has started to experience headwinds.

Thus the forces aligned against us could be very powerful as we embark on long-term recovery. A reason to suspect that policy may not be quite finished actively supporting the economy as it tries to find its way.

With fiscal policy fully committed, the onus may fall yet more on monetary policy to ensure a balanced recovery from recession, narrowing our output gap to more acceptable limits and sustaining a longish expansion within our reach.

It suggests yet lower nominal interest rates, mindful that inflation has further to fade.

Cees Bruggemans is Chief Economist of First National Bank. Register for his free e-mail articles on

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UK House prices rise 0.4% in August

House prices in August rose by 0.4%

The average price of all residential property transactions completed in England & Wales in August 2009 was 0.4% higher than in July. This is the fourth month in succession in which we have seen positive growth in house prices, albeit at low levels.

• Prices are now 8.6% lower than a year ago
On an annual basis, the average price of all residential property transactions in England and Wales in August is 8.6% lower than a year ago. The trough in the house price decline, on an annual basis, was reached in April 2009 at minus 13.4%.

• Housing Transactions have now doubled since January 2009
The number of housing transactions has increased each month from a low of 27,200 in January 2009, to more than double this number in July 2009. However, this figure still represents a decline of 48% from the long run average of 105,270 property sales per month, over the seven year period 2001 to 2007.

Dr Peter Williams Chairman of Acadametrics said

“The average house price has continued to rise but at £202,181 it is back, so far, only to where it was in April 2006. The monthly price rise of 0.4% contrasts markedly with the 2.2% price drop in November 2008; the data do suggest that the sharpest falls are now behind us and that the rate of decline has now reversed, even if it is too early to talk of a prolonged reversal.”

To read the whole article go to -

Thursday, September 10, 2009

More good news for Australia!

Australian residential markets continue to record solid gains in July

Over the first seven months of the year Australian home values increased across every capital city, rising by 5.9 percent nationally. Based on Australia’s largest property database, owned by which
includes roughly 145,000 sales for the first seven months of 2009,Australia’s housing recovery has continued in the month of July with solid across-the-board capital gains. According to the market respected RP Data-Rismark Home Value Index, Australian home values rose by +0.9 percent in the month of July 2009. This brings total capital growth in the first seven months of 2009 to 5.9 percent.
Underpinned by historically low mortgage rates and only small rises in

Click here for more and to download.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

What information do you want from IPS?

Dear IPS Investor

IPS continually endevors to provide you with all the information and knowledge we can? We believe it is a two step process, first get the knowledge and then people will be able to educated and sophisticated decisions about investing.

We use all the technology mediums to try and educate you and keep you up to date.

What do you want though?

- More video?
- More overviews of the market which summarise what is happening?
- Individual view points on topics?
- Keep it as is?

Please give us feedback - good and bad!

I really look forward to hearing from you.

Yours sincerely

Scott Picken

Bond Choice, OzInvest and IPS launch Joint Venture

Hundreds of thousands of South Africans would like to invest overseas, but either don’t have the knowledge, the money or the offshore allowance. There are many reasons for this and some of them are: - they are prudent investors and want to diversify their investments, a Rand hedge, insurance policy, the prestige of owning international property, possibly even for immigration, etc.

The most important thing though is that they do not know what to do next? People in JHB are often presented with opportunities, but most of the people in the rest of the country are never presented with opportunities and when they are how do they trust the source?

For this reason the Joint Venture was formed between these 3 companies. Bond Choice with their national reach, offices in all major cities and most importantly relationships with hundreds of thousands of people, if not millions of South Africans home owners, presented the perfect opportunity to reach many South Africans and provide them with the opportunity of investing overseas.

Bond Choice also did their thorough due diligence, including flying to Australia to investigate OzInvest, a company which specialises in helping people invest in Australia. The company was formed in 1987 and was designed to help Defence Force people buy property while they were abroad. Therefore this provided the perfect opportunity for South Africans who were also investing from far to invest in Australia remotely. They handle everything, including offering a 10 year lease back, which guarantees the investors rental income for 10 years and more!

International Property Solutions, IPS, a South African company which specialises in helping people invest overseas, has been brought in to provide the End to End solution between Bond Choice clients and the OzInvest products.

Scott Picken, IPS CEO “We are very excited about this Joint Venture as we have had a huge demand for offshore property, in particular Australia, and we believe the more people who know about the opportunities overseas, trust the source and have the knowledge will be able to benefit directly, which is great for all South Africans!”

Runaway rand gets lift from reserves

THE rand hit a new 13-month peak yesterday, boosted by rising global risk appetite, higher gold prices and a surge in reserves after a 2,17bn shot in the arm from the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

The currency firmed to R7,57/ — its strongest level since August last year — and traders said it could extend its gains if the global backdrop remains favourable.

The trend is good news for SA’s inflation outlook, but disturbing for the embattled manufacturing sector, which could shed more jobs as rand strength erodes the competitiveness of local exports.

Gross gold and foreign exchange reserves leapt 6,2% to 38bn last month after the IMF gave SA 2,2bn as part of a worldwide cash injection, data from the Reserve Bank showed yesterday.

They are set to climb further this month as SA will get another 281m cash allocation from the IMF, and may add to its reserves the proceeds of a 500m increase in its global bond issue last month.

The IMF agreed earlier this year to disburse the equivalent of 250bn to member states to help them deal with the global crisis.

Local banks have been shielded from the credit crunch, but the rand lurched to R11,87/ late last year as investors sold “risky” assets.

Ample reserves help shield a country’s currency from global volatility. SA’s reserves have climbed steadily since 2004, but still tend to lag those of its emerging market peers, and the Bank has said it will continue to build them.

The latest inflows will remove any immediate pressure on the Bank to buy foreign exchange aggressively in the months ahead, which would weigh on the rand.

Since the global crisis erupted, the Bank has refrained from buying large amounts of foreign exchange, to avoid destabilising the rand and sparking higher inflation.

“Everything in the short term looks good for the rand,” said Citgroup senior dealer Julian Wilson. “Provided none of the global factors come back to haunt us it looks set to see further strength.”

The rand broke a key level at R7,72/ on Thursday after news that SA’s current account deficit shrank more sharply than expected in the second quarter of the year.

Its rally gained momentum yesterday as global stock prices closed near their peak this year, driven by a weekend agreement by G-20 countries to keep economic stimuli running. The JSE rose 1%, up for the third trading session running.

Gold prices also supported the rand, edging above 995/oz and approaching the 1000 level. The local unit was in step with the Australian dollar, which scaled a one-year peak yesterday.

Wilson said the rand would have scope to appreciate to R7/ in coming weeks if it broke the next significant level at R7,50/ . It has risen 26% against the dollar this year and 20% against a trade- weighted basket of currencies.

Other analysts have similar views . “There are a number of factors which could drive further rand gains in the short term, but we have some concerns over the medium term,” said Rand Merchant Bank currency strategist John Cairns. These included high inflation and the likelihood that SA’s deficit on the current account would start expanding again soon, he said.

Imports have fallen much faster than exports this year as the country entered its first recession since 1992. They are expected to rise faster than exports when growth rebounds.

Aus property prices up 4.2%

According to the Australian Bureau of statistics, the average growth accross the top 8 Australian cities is 4.2% for the last quarter.

Quarterly Changes

Preliminary estimates show the price index for established houses for the weighted average of the eight capital cities increased 4.2% in
the June quarter 2009.

There were price rises in all capital cities with Sydney (+4.9%), Melbourne (+5.2%), Perth (+2.7%), Brisbane (+2.5%) and Adelaide (+3.4%) the major contributors to the weighted average of the eight capital cities. There were smaller contributions from Canberra (+3.6%), Hobart (+2.5%) and Darwin (+2.4%).

The movement in the preliminary established house price index between December quarter 2008 and March quarter 2009 has been revised from an estimated decrease of 2.2% to an estimated decrease of 1.5%.


Over the year to June 2009, preliminary estimates show that the price index for established houses for the weighted average of the eight
capital cities decreased 1.4%.

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UK House prices rise 0.1% in July

JULY 2009

England and Wales house price trends from Acadametrics

• House prices in July rose by 0.1%
The average price of all property transactions completed in England & Wales in July 2009 was 0.1% higher than in June. This is the second month in succession that we have seen positive growth in house prices, albeit at low levels.

• Prices are now 10.9% lower than a year ago
On an annual basis, the average price of all completed transactions in England and Wales in July is 10.9% lower than a year ago. The trough in the house price decline, on an annual basis, was reached in April 2009 at minus 13.6%.

• Housing Transactions are on the increase
The number of housing transactions has increased each month from a low of 27,000 in January 2009, to a figure of 47,000 in June 2009. In Q1 of this year the monthly average number of properties sold was 30,598; this is 63.4% lower than the average number of properties sold during the same three months for the period 2000–2008. In Q2 of this year the monthly average number of properties sold was 41,971; this is 58.4% lower than the average number of properties sold during the same three months for the period 2000–2008.

Dr Peter Williams Chairman of Acadametrics said

“The average house price continues just below the £200,000 mark and at £199,903 is now back to where it was in February 2006, that is more than 3 years ago.
“The monthly % change at 0.1% contrasts markedly with the -2.2% in November 2008, and the data do suggest that the sharpest falls are behind us and that the rate of decline has now slowed significantly, even if it is too early to talk of a prolonged reversal.”

Go to to download the full document.
"If you help enough other people get what they want, you can have anything you want!"

Zig Ziglars