Property Market Update
The start off 2022 has continued the trend of global events marked by uncertainty and upheaval that we have seen for the last 36 months. Fortunately, Gibraltar has weathered the storms so far in it’s own unique way. As the world watches events in Ukraine unfold, Gibraltar joins the world in imposing sanctions on Moscow and wait for the response. Property Insight turns to BMI Managing Director Louis C Montegriffo for his analysis of the local property market.
High demand, growth and
confidence on The Rock
High value clients (Cat 2 / Hepps) and other applicants relocating to the Rock continue to represent a significant part growth in the property sector. We are seeing new startups in the gaming industry, with substantial investments which suggest a long-term presence in Gibraltar; the DLT sector and the Finance Centres’ foresight in regulating the industry at technology level is already proving to be hugely successful and has the makings of developing similarly to the online gaming sector, which has, over two decades been responsible for substantial growth.
We believe that there are numerous fundamentals surrounding our economy which will underpin further consistent growth. We are therefore optimistic and side on a real prospect that prices will hold at current levels and may see further growth particularly within the upper tiers and owner occupier driven sectors.
Off-plan re-sales and re-sales in recently completed developments such as Quay 31 and Midtown continue to be a good indicator of confidence.
There has been a strong indicator that re-sales in certain developments are seeing significant growth margins of up to 25% in the past 12 months. As has been the case in so many previous updates, we place a great deal of importance on the impact of off-plan sales and the quality / profile of buyers; we do not tire in repeating simple logic, “owner occupiers” will always drive the sector – “let the market drive the market”.
Commercial Property in Gibraltar.
With respect to current availability / stock, it is safe to say that there are options in various locations, but particularly so in older commercial developments. The offering is generally lower quality and in certain areas, compromised in terms of layout flexibility and sizes.
There is no question that an element of decanting from the older commercial properties into the newer and better designed office schemes has been the order of the day over the past 48 months. Worthy of note is the fact that letting rates/sqm have not been compromised at the higher end due to the decanting, in fact quite the opposite; applicants are prepared to pay high end prices for high end specs. In our view this creates an opportunity for landlords with older (decanted) buildings, to upgrade and provide the market with improved offerings to market.
We take the view that new modern office options will only serve to improve the commercial offerings in the market and will generate new business steered by new expectation which once again serve to underpin the positive future for Gib Inc.
In light of the Covid pandemic and the advent of a greater volume of employees working from home, there is a case to be made in so far as less demand or a request for reduction in office space, particularly for the larger office users. We believe that this has not directly affected the high rates for Grade A offices being achieved, but there may be some circumstances where negotiations on rent reviews may now favour the tenant.
Having said all the above, we take a great deal of confidence from the fact that the economy continues to grow, and with it, so to will the demand for commercial space.
New Off-plan Developments and their impact.
Currently there a number of off-plan developments ongoing, such as Eurocity, E1, Forbes, etc. It would be fair to say that there isn’t enough to go around when one considers the demand and the impact this has had on pricing levels over the past 18 months.
Thanks to a thriving economy with new entrants across the board (commercial / retail / financial service / gaming / DLT / private clients) we find ourselves in a not uncommon situation of serious lack of supply and over-demand for properties, leading to a hike in prices that had not been seen since 2007 and then again in 2013.
There is clearly a need and demand for new off-plan projects and of course this will be met with the Victoria Keys reclamation and of course the Eastside project, but these are still a while away. This will in itself continue to harden the market at the levels and potentially at the pace we have experienced over the past 18 months or so.
Fundamentally however, when it comes to sensible planning and knowing your market and your profile buyers, we have always maintained that a mix of owner occupiers, seasoned investors and a small measure of speculators is healthy, any overdose of the latter and you run the risk of exposing the market to an oversupply trend and in turn a property bubble. We saw this very situation in 2008 and in not such a large degree in 2014 and again 2017.
Thankfully, because of our well protected economy, Gibaltar has (in the past 25 years) weathered over supply storms and downturns better than most.
Property values as indicated have grown enormously in most sectors, although these increases have not consistently mirrored GDP growth as in the past; it would be unrealistic to expect as much.
Our take for the future very much depends on new business for Gibraltar, but more importantly the ability for our economy and financial services sector to continue to strive, compete and attract new entrants from other jurisdictions. The DLT Crypto sector is clearly a new area where Gibraltar (as was the case with Gaming) is leading the way in Technology Regulation; in doing so will place itself at the forefront of what is a global game changer. We also believe that the private client space will feature highly over the next few years as we see high value clients looking for jurisdictions that can afford them a safe, proactive, low tax and regulated environment.
Key Related Economic Factors:
• There continue to be NO bank repossessions.
• Unemployment remains below 1.5%.
• Finance Centre industry is growing from within with new sectors arriving onshore.
We hope that with this recent write up we can give a small and educated snapshot of the market where we see the upsides, as well as some of the downsides.
Louis C. Montegriffo
On Trend on a budget
Interior trend: Concrete
A trend that cropped up last year and continued to gain momentum with more and more items coming through with concrete finishes. From tiles to transform your bathroom, to decor items and lighting, this is a really easy trend to adopt into your home. Not only that, but because this look is so simple, it’s perfect to hang any colours / textures around without crowding your home.
Interior trend: Mustard
Another really bang-on-trend that’s showing no signs of slowing down. This beautiful, vibrant shade will brighten up any space – and is another really great colour to use in ‘pops’, through lighting, soft furnishings, or furniture. Yes, it’s a strong colour but don’t be afraid to pair it with other bold options. As this kitchen shows, a bit of bravery can reap huge rewards.
DIY BUDGET IDEA
Swap cupboard doors for concrete effect. A really simple way of updating a piece of furniture you no longer love or a kitchen that is looking a little tired. You can buy replacement doors and drawer fronts in different shades/finishes here on The Rock or in places such as IKEA.
Very Peri may well be the colour of the year but there are other looks that are taking hold this year. Here are some ideas to refresh your living spaces and bring the big trends into your home without blowing the budget.
Interior trend: Red Earth
A shade that’s set to be massive this year is terracotta / red earth. A beautiful, organic, bold tone, that will breathe life into any room, you don’t have to redecorate to welcome it into your home – there are lots of different ways of adding this shade into any space, through decor. Pots, vases and lamps are cost-effective solutions and also honour the earthenware origins of this look.
Interior trend: Waves & Circles
Another one that we started to see lots of last year, waved shapes are going to be huge in furniture and accessories in 2022. Add circles, waves and curves to make your home look fluid, comfortable and inviting. If you’re a DIY fan then a fabric-covered headboard is easy to make and is the perfect way to both soften a bedroom and create an eye-catching feature.
DIY BUDGET IDEA
One of the easiest ways of bringing colour into your home without redecorating – add some soft furnishings such as cushions, a rug or a throw onto your sofa. You’ll get the colour pop you’re craving without spending a fortune – and you can always change the cushion covers next time you fall in love with another shade.
Why is insuring your home so important? Your home is probably your most valuable possession which you will have spent years investing in and improving. It contains all your belongings, comforts and memories, it makes sense to ensure it is fully secure if the unexpected happens.
Home Insurance is a wise investment that you take on to protect your home and family , it gives you the peace of mind that should the worst happen, you will be able to deal with it and return to the position you were before the loss had occurred. Cover is available for buildings or contents, both of which can also be combined. A home owner should choose buildings cover and may combine this with contents whereas a tenant will insure their contents only as the buildings would be insured by their landlord.
Buildings insurance will cover the structure, including its permanent fixtures for example the roof, windows, doors, as well as the internal fittings such as flooring, sanitary ware, fitted kitchen and fitted wardrobes. Some home owners may only insure their fixtures and fittings as the structure is insured via the management, this is also very common with tenants where they insure the tenants improvements. Contents insurance covers all your belongings from furniture electrical equipment to clothing personal effects and valuables.
What does home insurance cover? It will cover you for any unforeseen loss or damage caused by standard perils i.e Fire, lightning, storm, flood and earthquake. Some policies will also provide additional perils such as accidental damage for example accidentally damaging the TV or broken glass caused by accidental means. Theft replacing stolen items, damage caused by a burst pipe, legal liability should you be held liable for any loss or damage to another person or property, these are referred to as ‘insured perils’. Some insurers also offer optional covers that fit your needs such as cover away from the home, this option is on an all-risks basis meaning ‘all-risks’ basically a more comprehensive cover covering you for accidental loss or damage usually limited to your personal belongings that you carry with you or wear like personal effects including handbags, glasses valuables and even electronic devices like mobile phones and laptops that we can’t leave home without. Bicycles and other sports equipment can also be covered away from the home.
What do you need to start on your home insurance? You need to set your sums insured, this should reflect the replacement value of your buildings and or contents this would also include additional associated costs. The best way to set this figure is to calculate what it would cost to replace your buildings and or contents in the event of a total loss for example a fire or earthquake. What would it cost to rebuild your home after a loss, this information is usually stated on your property survey at the time of purchase and or from an architect. Additional fees, these are costs incurred after a loss and or required to rebuild your property including architects fees and clearance of debris which is usually a percentage on top of the rebuild value. The same applies when calculating your fixtures and fittings. What would it cost to replace your entire belongings and contents? The best way to calculate this would be calculating the contents in each room of your home. Some insurers can assist by providing you with a contents calculator. Once you have your sums insured you will need to decide what cover suits you best by selecting any of the optional covers that suit your needs.
It is important to ensure your sums insured are always kept up to date and that your valuations and receipts are kept up to date and made available should you need to provide proof of value in the event of a claim. Always ensure that you understand your insurance policy terms and conditions and requirements for example maintaining your property in a good state of repair, ensure that you comply with specific requirements such as minimum security and safe and alarm requirements if any. Also remember that the purpose of insurance is to cover you for specific perils and is not intended to be a maintenance contract therefore any losses due to mechanical breakdown, wear and tear or gradually operating causes such as water ingress through inadequately sealed roofing or windows will not be covered.
Once you are happy that your sums insured are adequate and understand the home insurance cover in place, you can rest assured that in the event of an insured loss you do not have to worry how to fix or replace the damages, because you now have the peace of mind of being properly insured.
How to bring Pantone’s colour of the year into your home
What do the numbers 17-3938 mean to you? Probably not much unless you read our ‘Colour of the Year’ article last month. To cut to the chase it’s the technical name for Pantone’s 2022 colour of the year ‘Very Peri’. If you’re still at a loss then you’ll have seen it a lot on social media, in magazines, on tv, covering celebrities on the red carpet and endless Pinterest boards.
‘Very Peri’ has been described by the brand as “a symbol of the global zeitgeist of the moment and the transition we are going through”. To many, it’s a very strong colour that scares them silly trying to imagine where that is going to fit in their lives! To us it’s like violet, lilac and midnight blue had a baby – and we like it. We’re in the third year of a pandemic and we have got to know our homes (also known as home offices, classrooms, regional HQs and gyms) far, far too much. Maybe it’s time for a change.
So, how can you make this playful colour work in your home? Whether you choose to go big or small here are some suggestions on how you can incorporate Pantone’s “Very Peri” into your life:
Whether it’s one wall, multiple walls, or maybe even your ceiling (sometimes referred to as the fifth wall), using two paint colours in the same room adds visual interest. Fortunately, Very Peri is a versatile shade, but it’s still a good idea to be strategic when painting.
Think about how the paint will look in the light during different times of day, how the colour will integrate with your existing furniture and paint, and which architectural details in your home you want to draw attention to. If you want to get creative and give your space a wow factor, consider using Very Peri on a stencil or arch mural.
As far as design trends go, wallpaper is back—and better than ever. It’s also easier than ever before to find, apply, and use. Today’s wallpaper can be custom-made, cut to fit for space, and easily removable. However, wallpaper has the power to make or break a space, so it’s crucial to get the right pattern for your home.
Just like paint colour, you want to make sure your lighting complements the wallpaper you’re considering. You also need to consider the scale of the pattern or graphics and how it will look in the area you’re planning on using it.
Whether it’s through your light fixtures, lamps, or the tone of the lighting itself, consider using Very Peri. When done correctly, a well-placed coloured light fixture or accent lighting can completely change the mood of the space, making it look and feel more modern and playful. Plus, research shows that blue-ish purple light can actually increase productivity and can help restart your internal clock.
4. Wall art
Besides the ever-popular Pantone swatch, art is probably the easiest way to bring Very Peri to your walls. Here are just a few easy ways to get your dose of Very Peri:
– get framed
If you love your existing wall art (or wall mirrors), consider painting the frames in Very Peri. A quick Youtube tutorial can give you all the confidence you need to try out this simple DIY project.
- on the download
Sites like Etsy and Society6 let you shop for the perfect piece of artwork to download, choose your size, and customize with colour. Buying and downloading art online is an extremely cost-effective way to try new artwork and see how big and bright you want to go with new colours..
– Unleash your inner creative
If you have the time and energy, try painting a piece of art yourself using Very Peri. Not only does painting help relieve stress, but it also allows you to customise your home’s artwork and give it a unique flair..
Accent colours can liven any space. Use Very Peri as inspiration to bring in opaque purple through a set of matching vases for the mantle, an area rug, couch pillows, blankets, candles, or books. Take the time to walk through your space with a designer’s eye and think about which items you could easily swap out for some extra colour.
Consider the following options for each room:
• Front door
• Coat rack
• Office chair
Kitchen and Dining
• Kitchen island
• Soft furniture
• Window treatments
• Shower curtain
• Jars & bottles
• Exterior paint
• Graden furniture
• Flower boxes / planters
Emotional connection to our property
When we think of our home we should have thoughts filled with happiness, contentment, warmth, love and security. It’s more than just four walls and a place to eat and sleep, but it’s where relationships are developed and where some of our biggest life events happen.
Buying and selling a property has long been known to be one of the most stressful things someone can do in life. In fact, it ranks alongside death and divorce. Part of the reason why property negotiations can feel so stressful are that we have to navigate through a series of time sensitive situations, which are often exacerbated by emotions running high, sometimes to breaking point.
A question for you. Name me another transaction in life which a large percentage of the UK population would go through at some point or another, that would involve similar levels of money, plus emotion? I dare say you may be drawing a blank. Property is arguably the only deal we ever do in life, where money, feelings and as a result stress, all run equally high at the same time.
It is undeniable that we have an emotional connection to our homes. For most of us, they are comfortable, safe and full of memories which promotes that warm, woolly feeling. We rush to get home and relax, to see the people we love the most in it and surround ourselves with everything that says “we love being here, we love being who we are!” They are our haven in the storm and are fundamental to our feeling of wellbeing. But surely you can’t set out to design for “Emotion”?
The interior design market has never been hotter. Blogs, social media and high street brands can’t get enough of it. It the golden age of home décor and it is really exciting to see people creating beautiful spaces. But the secret to the foundations to building happy homes is held within a couple of things.
Gill Hasson is author of more than 30 books on the subject of wellbeing for adults and for children.
How important is it to feel an emotional connection to a property?
It is pretty important to feel an emotional connection to a property. You’re going to spend a lot of time there – so you want to enjoy it!
Often, when we’re looking for a property – whether it’s to rent or buy – when we find the right property it’s because it’s ticking all or most of the boxes on our checklist for what we’re looking for. So, for example, the property might be near to family, friends or work. Maybe there’s a space for you to be able to work from home. These are practical reasons for buying or renting a particular property.
Emotional reasons could be that the property has a super kitchen or bathroom. Maybe the bedroom is south facing so it’s filled with light. Perhaps it has a lovely garden or an amazing view. These are all things that provoke feelings and emotions. And they are all valid reasons for buying/ renting a property. A property having all or most of the things you’re looking for is probably going to create an emotional attachment. That’s a good thing!
Once you have established the kitchen is big enough and you have adequate storage space, how much emphasis should we personally put on our feelings about a property?
You don’t have to love a property, but there have to be a few things about it that you like otherwise you’re soon going to be miserable there. It’s fine if you don’t particularly like it if you’re only going to be living there for just a few months or up to a year. But if you’re looking for a property for the long term, you need to find some aspects of it that you do love. However, as most people know, it’s unlikely that a property will be exactly right and have everything you’re looking for. You’ll always have to compromise. But there should definitely be a few aspects that you really like.
What is the impact of living in a property where the emotional pull is significant and whether this aspect of our decision should be important.
Well of course, that’s great if you love where you live. The difficulty is when, for whatever reason, you need to move – you need to leave the property that you love. And that can be very hard. Not only do you love the property, but you’ve probably got a lot of lovely memories of living there – bringing up children in the property, friends and family visiting, parties, Christmases and so on.
The answer here is to acknowledge how sad and upset you are to leave. It’s normal to grieve for the loss of something you loved. But don’t get stuck in those feelings. When you can, change your focus to looking forward to creating more good times and memories in your new home.
For those who have made the decision to move, prepare yourself for the emotional fallout of moving. Whether you wanted to move or are forced to move the anxiety and apprehension is attached to the ‘unknown’ part of doing something new. Mentally reassure yourself why the move is important and why now. Remind yourself that with everything that is new comes opportunities to develop new friends, memories and grow as a person. Accept the move and focus on the benefits and possibilities the transition will present for you.
A new home is the perfect time to start new traditions. Invite friends and family over so you can create new, wonderful memories.
Gill Hasson is author of Emotional Intelligence Pocketbook and, Moments of Comfort: Embracing the Joy in Life’s Simple Pleasures (both published by Capstone).
Top Ten Kitchen Gadgaets
Part of the fun of cooking is using cool kitchen gadgets. From small kitchen tools to countertop appliances, there is a large array of products to choose from when you’re looking to upgrade your kitchen or searching for the perfect gift for your favorite cook. It doesn’t matter if your kitchen is large or small or whether you cook for one or many. There are plenty of tools that will help you work smarter and faster—and make cooking tasks easier.
Check out these gadgets that make our lives easier and our time in the kitchen more enjoyable.
1) Hotel Chocolat Podcycler
Okay, so not easier and the fun part is debatable but let’s start with something that tackles the massive problem of 15 billion coffee capsules heading to landfills each year. This small device is a must-buy for those with a pod coffee machine. The Podcycler separates the spent coffee grounds from the pod, making it easier to recycle. The Podcycler eco-presses the pods after use, completely removing all coffee grounds from the capsules and enabling effortless household recycling. Coffee grounds even go neatly into a separate chamber, to sprinkle and enrich garden soil or add to your compost bin. Keep your coffee fix and do good at a very cheap price! Smug Instagram post on the horizon.
2) AVOCADO KEEPER
Small-item that solves one of our pet hates… that sad, brown, ruined half of the avo that you didn’t use a few hours earlier. Think of this little plastic fella as the avocado’s bodyguard. The shell keeps the tender fruit safe, and the flat surface prevents air from getting to the exposed fruit. This will slow browning and mush-ification and in turn your sadness. It also eliminates the need for single-use plastic wrap or aluminum foil. The design prevents air from reaching the exposed fruit inside, so it won’t turn brown as quickly.
3) KITCHENAID PROFESSIONAL 5™ PLUS SERIES 5 QUART BOWL-LIFT STAND MIXER
This is a big one but it’s here for a very good reason. The KitchenAid Professional 5™ Plus Series 5 Quart Bowl-Lift Stand Mixer (catchy name) is essential if you want to be serious in the kitchen. This durable bowl-lift stand mixer is built to last, and features ten speeds to gently knead, thoroughly mix, and briskly whip ingredients for a wide variety of recipes and comes in a variety of colors to perfectly match your kitchen. You’ll be able to expand your mealtime creativity with over ten optional hub-powered attachments, from food grinders to pasta makers and more. This is going to be one of the most valuable tools in our kitchen arsenal for many years to come.
It was the workhorse of our household during the pandemic when we baked bread almost every day. The motor in this machine is designed to last a lifetime, and there’s more you can do with it besides just mixing flour and extruding pasta. Additionally, you can use it to grind meat to make the best burger and meatball mix.
4) OXO Good Grips Angled Measuring Jug
Ever thought you needed an angled measuring jug? Neither did we… until we got one. This plastic jug from OXO has an angled measuring surface so you can measure accurately from above, bringing an end to bending, lifting, checking and adjusting.
The oval shape of the kitchen tool lets you see measurements by just looking down and the non-slip handle means you can pour with precision – even with wet hands. Clever, right?
5) Spoon rest… yes, but no, but yes.
We’ve searched high and low for a spoon rest that we don’t hate – and we think we’ve finally found one (yes, our lives are so glamorous!). This space-saving Yamazaki Home Stand keeps cooking spoons, ladles, tongs and pot lids from clattering to the counter and spraying my cooking surface with goopy sauces and splats. Not only that but it doubles as a cooking book stand and tablet holder. It’s stylish enough to blend into most kitchen environments (it also comes in white/grey and there’s a similar style that’s all-white with a bamboo rest bar). Importantly, the bottom catch tray pops out, so all pieces are easy to clean.
Tip: When in doubt, go with black. Dark colors will be less likely to stain, especially if you cook with a lot of red, oily sauces or yellow seasonings like turmeric.
6) Stainless Steel Butter Spreader
Never tear your toast (or your hair out) with cold butter again thanks to this clever 3-in-1 knife that has been gaining interest on TikTok and Pinterest. The knife has mini cutouts on the side to create easily spreadable coils of butter. It also has a hole at the top of the nice for larger ribbons and a serrated edge to cut. Another gadget you don’t think you need? Sure, tell us that when you’ve finished hacking at that block of butter straight from the fridge.
7) Tovolo Tiki ICE Pop Molds
Ice pops aren’t just for kids. These tiki-style molds will make the kids happy, of course, but they can also be used to make icy adult pops (think margarita pops or piña colada pops). Each pop has a different design, which adds to the fun, and the handles fit the tiki theme as well.
It is easy to pull out the pops from the molds, and they can be washed in the dishwasher. Other designs, including robots, monsters, and dinosaurs, will definitely delight your children. Our tip is to check out the Zombie ones, they are pretty awesome.
8) ThermoPro Instant Read Thermometer
This little beauty can be used to bake, grill, or fry, ensuring that your food will be cooked to perfection every time. Originally used for checking meat on the barbecue, we have been using it for all kinds of dishes and it has been the best bang for your buck item in our kitchen.
9) Microplane Classic zester / grater
This grater is the choice of chefs and home cooks alike, featuring ultra-sharp blades that produce fine, even grating, whether you’re zesting ginger or citrus or grating cheese.
No more bloody knuckles or chipped nails. No more lemon pith. No more vampire-deterring chunks of garlic. Only happy hands, fine zests, and fancy garnishes for cocktails. Bliss.
10) The Mini Supoon
The what? It’s 8-inch silicone spoon that features a flat squeegee tip, a scooping head, and a bend in the handle that props the spoon up so the head doesn’t touch the counter. That sounds great but in reality it’s just the best spoon for getting every last something out of a jar. We would have wasted cupfuls of peanut butter, jam, and mustard over the years were it not for this genius little scraper.
The flat tip is key – it gets into every nook while the rest of the bendy, flexible head wipes clean the insides of any jar. Think there’s no way you have a tablespoon of mustard left for that recipe? Use this spoon and you’ll probably come up with two.