More Balls Please | Seminar Season | Mile High Ply?

The Weekly was particularly taken by the ‘performance’ this week of French professional golfer, Clement Berardo, whilst playing on the European Tour’s Challenge Tour in Spain. It’s fair to say he had an absolute stinker. He started with a quadruple-bogey NINE on his first hole and, for any non-golfers amongst our readership, that’s woeful! After he had finished his first nine holes, he was six-over par. His back nine weren’t much better. By the time he was standing on the 16th tee, he was 10 over par. Remember, this is a professional golfer, albeit only ranked 1,909th in the world. Not a Chartered Surveyor playing at a corporate golf day. Then disaster struck. Berardo lost the final ball in his bag and was subsequently disqualified for failing to finish his round! You may rightly ask why he didn’t just borrow a ball from his playing partner, but golfing rules state that a player must end their round with exactly the same type and model of ball they started it with. Clement can, however, take a grain of comfort in knowing that far better golfers than him have encountered the same problem in the past. At the 2011 Australian Open, two-time major champion, John Daly, hit seven balls into the water on one hole and subsequently had to trudge off the golf course having emptied his bag of balls. For anyone planning to play golf today, don’t forget to stock up beforehand!
Invitations to Royal Ascot, Queens and two England World Cup cricket games were all in high demand, but, in The Weekly’s eyes anyway, the golden ticket this week was the St Bride’s Annual Seminar. For those of you who were unable to attend on Thursday morning and are wondering what you missed, ING's Chief International Economist, James Knightley, provided a forthright, if not rather ominous assessment of what lies ahead for the global economy. It’s also probably fair to assume he’s not planning on holidaying in Italy this summer! Robert Houston set out St Bride's in-house views and re-affirmed the firm’s start-of-year prediction of 3.75% total return for All Property. This is now some way ahead of the IPF Consensus forecast which has dropped to 1.80%; Matthew Hopkinson, co-founder of Didobi, offered his vision on what is required to create better towns in a world where technology, the relationship between people and places is ever changing. Having a strong and community involved leadership group that covers all aspect of what makes a town great will be crucial; and David Kaiser gave a fascinating insight into the world of WeWork, a business which, despite emanating out of New York only eight years ago, now commands the position as London’s largest private occupier. At a time when the UK’s active co-working population stands at 1.3m, having just grown another 10% (y/y), it is clear why WeWork have no plans to scale back on their aggressive acquisition programme. A copy of the presentation slides is available upon request.
Building tall has been a popular competition in the world’s largest cities for many years now. It’s hardly surprising as the world has been urbanising at an astonishing rate. Four billion people live in urban areas, up from two billion in 1985. The United Nations predict that over the next thirty years urban areas will encompass more than six billion residents. Where will they all live or work? Well, according to a report entitled ‘Forecasting the Urban Skyline with Extreme Value Theory’, by 2050 there will be forty-one thousand skyscrapers surpassing 150 metres and 40 floors, an increase of 8% per year, far outpacing the expected urban population growth of 2% pa. Apparently, there is also a 9% chance that the world’s tallest building will be a mile high! That’s 1,609 metres. The Jeddah Tower in Saudi Arabia, which is currently under construction, has recently been scaled back to 1,000 metres but, at this height, will still assume the title of the world’s tallest building from the incumbent, the 830-metre Burj Khalifa in Dubai. Concrete and steel have been the favoured building materials for tall buildings but, with climate change concerns intensifying, the pressure is on to use more sustainable alternatives such as wood. Mile high ply anyone?