Lazurus of Plants | Flight to Quality | Lifetime Earnings

We have all been talking about it, haven’t we? Not who is going to win this afternoon’s Hungarian Grand Prix, or which couple is going to be crowned Love Island winners tomorrow night, or when will Tottenham Hotspur make their first signing in the current transfer window. But rather the recent UK heatwave that saw temperatures reach 35.1 degrees Celsius on Thursday. You know we have been. Whether it be complaining just how uncomfortable it has been to sleep at night, or how sweaty it has been commuting to work, or worse still, how barren our gardens look. In fact, it’s frightening just how often we have heard people praying for rain in the hope that it will revive their precious lawns. This ‘chat’ needs to end. However parched and forlorn your grass is looking, it doesn’t matter. It really doesn’t. Scientists have advised this week that your grass hasn’t died but rather has gone into a deep emergency slumber. Grass is the ‘Lazarus of the plant world’. It is ready to bounce back into verdant life as soon as our summer returns to its more usual sodden schedule. Like today, given the forecast! So enjoy the sunshine (when it returns), enjoy the fact you don’t need to mow your precious lawn. And please, no more chat about whether to use your sprinkler or not!
A rather traditionally quiet summer week in the UK property industry was illuminated by the release of Lambert Smith Hampton’s UKIT Q2 2018 entitled ‘Flight to Quality’. It’s pretty stat heavy, but it also expertly summarises the current trends in the UK property investment market. Thankfully there was not a lot that took us by surprise, but reading that the All Property average yield moved down by 22 basis points during Q2 to stand at 5.45%, its lowest level since Q4 2007, might even be enough to get you off your sun lounger! As for investment volumes, £13.5bn worth of assets changed hands during Q2, broadly in line with Q1’s volumes, albeit 8% down on the five-year quarterly average. Domestic institutions were the largest net buyers of UK real estate in Q2, a feat last seen in Q2 2014, with industrial properties still the clear focus for their capital (accounting for 40% of their purchases). Positive recent net inflows into UK funds bodes well for further institutional activity and, coupled with the Chinese government’s recent easing of restrictions on overseas buying, could mean a busy remainder of the year. Here’s hoping anyway!
The most ardent of Weekly readers will recall how in Edition 222 we revealed that ITV's hit show Love Island apparently had more people applying to go on it than there were applications to attend Oxford and Cambridge universities combined. Well, to mark the show finally ending tomorrow night, we thought we would share some further staggering research on the programme that featured in the Financial Times on Thursday. A group of economists at Frontier Economics estimate that those contestants who stayed on the programme for half its eight weeks could expect to earn £1.1m after the show, and those that were there from start to finish could expect to earn £2.3m. This compares with a lifetime average return of £815,000 from completing an undergraduate degree at Oxbridge! Whilst this is clearly disturbing, the fact that five Frontier economists decided to spend two weeks demonstrating that celebrity pays more than scholarship is surely equally as bad!