Month: September 2020

  • Dutch schemes must decide on targets, risk and premiums – Federation

    first_imgDutch companies and employees must be allowed to choose the right balance between pensions targets, investment risks and contributions, the Pensions Federation has argued.Speaking at the federation’s annual congress, chairman Kick van der Pol stressed that the sector wanted to improve the stability of both contributions and liabilities.But he decried the fact that, in initial proposals for a real pensions contract, pension funds had to invest “prudently” while at the same time providing full indexation.In the federation’s opinion, this is “impossible”. In a message ostensibly directed towards Jetta Klijnsma – state secretary for the Ministry of Social Affairs, who is currently elaborating a financial assessment framework (FTK) based on a single hybrid pension contract – Van der Pol compared the government’s previous versions of the FTK with “a shoe shop without the right shoe sizes”.He also lamented the “contradictory” goals of politicians, who have demanded both an increase in contributions to improve financial buffers and lower premiums, due to the expected reduction of tax-friendly pensions accrual.In the chairman’s opinion, pensions communication should focus on explaining risks to participants rather than on underlining certainties.“We must make clear that taking investment risks generates a much better pension than risk-free investment,” he said.Van der Pol also announced that the Pensions Federation’s three constituent organisations – the Association of Industry-wide Pensions Funds (VB), the Foundation for Company Schemes (OPF) and the Union for Occupational Pensions Funds (UvB) – would merge fully into a single lobbying body on 1 January.“By offering pension funds the option of becoming a direct member of the federation,” he said, “we expect to increase both their involvement and our influence.”He added that the federation hoped the change would help regain the trust of participants.Surveys have shown that pension-fund participants currently have more faith in banks and insurers than in pension funds.last_img read more

  • ICI UK pension fund slipstreams Brexit to arrange buy-in with L&G

    first_imgThe UK’s closed ICI Pension Fund has completed a fifth buy-in, insuring £750m (€1.03bn) of liabilities with Legal & General shortly after the EU referendum.The pension risk transfer takes to £7.05bn the reported liability insurance deals by ICI Pension Fund; it has £10.3bn of liabilities in total as at 31 March 2015. Legal & General has executed £5bn in pension risk transfers with ICI Pension Fund since 2014, according to a statement.The recent deal with the pension fund was executed shortly after the UK vote on its membership of the European Union on 23 June. Cheryl Agius, head of strategic pension risk transfer at Legal & General Retirement said: “The strength and depth of our relationship with ICI Pension Fund enabled us to move fast when the market opportunity presented itself.”Legal & General has executed £4.5bn of bulk and individual annuity business this year so far, compared with sales of £2.7bn for all of 2015.It carried out £250m of pension risk transfer business in June during the referendum period, it said.ICI Pension Fund announced its fourth buy-in in the lead-up to the referendum, a £630m deal with Scottish Widows. The UK’s ICI pension fund is closed, and sponsored by AkzoNobel.JLT Employee Benefits expects new pension fund risk transfer business in 2016 to match or exceed that of 2015, when more than £12bn in liabilities were insured either through buy-ins or buyouts.last_img read more

  • Infrastructure and US push Industriens’ 8.2% 2016 return

    first_imgIndustriens, the Danish pension fund for industrial sector workers, posted an 8.2% return on investments for 2016 – boosted by rallying US equities and bonds.The return compares to a 6.7% gain in 2015. Industriens said half of last year’s return had been generated by holdings in infrastructure and American securities. Overall, these investments contributed DKK5.5bn (€741m).Laila Mortensen, chief executive of the pension fund, said: “We are committed to making sure we have the best risk diversification and have increased our investments in infrastructure and corporate bonds.”She added that these two asset classes added DK3.7bn to last year’s total return, and now accounted for 11.4% and 14.6% of Industriens Pension’s investments respectively.  Mortensen said the pension fund was very pleased with the 2016 result, even though it was more concerned with long-term returns. Over the past 10 years, the fund produced an annual average return of 8.4%.Industriens has DKK35.8bn invested in corporate bonds – 24.1% of the overall portfolio. Of these holdings, high yield bonds produced a 14.8% return last year, investment-grade bonds gave a 4.4% return, while emerging market bonds generated 11%, the pension fund said.However, equities – in which Industriens has DKK42bn invested – ended the year with very different levels of return coming from different geographical regions, the pension fund said.Danish shares produced a “modest” 3.2% return, it said, but noted that this had come after three years when the average annual return for these investments had been 30%.European shares produced a return of just 0.3% last year, while shares outside the region generated 13.2%, it said.Unlisted shares in businesses, infrastructure assets and property – which make up 26.9% of the overall portfolio – produced a “significant contribution” to the fund’s total return for last year, Industriens Pension said. The highest return came from infrastructure assets: 11.4%.Industriens Pension’s total investment assets increased to DKK150.8bn at the end of 2016 from DKK137.7bn at the end of 2015.last_img read more

  • Deutsche AM puts its money on measurement of physical climate risk

    first_imgIn a statement, the asset manager said it would be able to integrate a company’s physical climate risk equity score within new investment products, and assess the implications of climate events for individual companies in its portfolios. The move backs up Deutsche Asset Management CEO Nicolas Moreau’s previously expressed view that investors have not been taking seriously enough the physical impacts of climate change, and focussing too much on the potential repricing of economic assets.More recently, Moreau said natural disasters such as the hurricanes making landfall in the US this year “discredit” the investment industry’s current approach to accounting for climate change risk.The focus on transition risk resulted in “a false sense of comfort” that the investment implications of climate risk, while substantial, would arise in the long-term, according to Moreau.Physical disruption from hurricanes or floods posed a “clear and present danger”, he argued. Also, scientists believed that stronger and more frequent extreme weather events would be a feature for many years to come even if greenhouse gas emissions fell to zero tomorrow, he said.“Investment managers need to contend with the physical aspects of climate risk with some urgency,” said Moreau.Companies need to disclose their related risk exposures, but investors should not wait for them to do so and also needed to seek alternative sources of information, he said.This would include information from the mapping of corporate facilities’ physical location as Four Twenty Seven does. Satellite imagery of Hurricane Harvey, one of three Category 4 hurricanes to make landfall in the US in 2017, a new record Deutsche Asset Management is set to consider companies’ exposure to catastrophic climate events as part of its investment decision-making.Deutsche developed the new approach with the help of California-based climate intelligence advisory firm Four Twenty Seven. The latter has mapped the physical locations of more than 1m corporate facilities globally and uses scientific models to assess the likelihood of them being affected by climate hazards such as heatwaves, floods and cyclones.Deutsche said it was the first time this had been done for investment purposes, and it provided a method of calculation for individual companies’ exposure to catastrophic events.The approach has been developed for measuring physical climate risk in equity portfolios.last_img read more

  • Dutch pension fund liabilities fall in 2017

    first_imgThe rise in interest rates in 2017 resulted in a €9bn decrease in liabilities for the Netherlands’ pension funds in 2017.Regulator De Nederlandsche Bank (DNB) said combined liabilities fell from €1,245bn at the start of the year to €1,236bn by the end of the year. Pension fund risk assets rose by €72bn to €1,344bn.The average coverage ratio stood at 108.7% at year-end 2017, an increase of 6.6 percentage points compared to the year before.The average ‘policy coverage’ – the average funding level over the previous 12 months – rose from 97.5% to 106.5%, an increase of 9 percentage points. This measure is the main criterion for deciding whether Dutch schemes can grant inflation-linked increases or must cut benefit payments. The increase in assets was due to higher equity prices, according to DNB. It highlighted the 25.1% rise in the Dow Jones index and 12.7% in the Netherlands’ domestic AEX index. The rise of the euro had a negative effect last year: according to DNB it appreciated in value against virtually all major currencies.The number of pension funds with a funding deficit, measured by the policy coverage ratio, fell to 54 from of 268 schemes. These schemes must cut benefit payments if they have less than the minimum required funding for six consecutive years.Last week it emerged that this was still the case for four out of top five industry funds in the Netherlands. All major schemes, however, saw their cover ratio rise above 100%.The pension fund for healthcare workers, PFZW, had a funding level of 101.1% at year-end 2017. This meant that the pension fund was ahead of its recovery plan, which had projected its coverage ratio would increase to 99.2%. The policy coverage ratio also turned out higher than the recovery plan for PFZW: 98.6% versus an expected 97.2%.If the 2017 trend continues, the larger schemes may not need to reduce their pensions in 2020 or 2021.last_img read more

  • Netherlands scores lowest on ‘retirement happiness’ – study

    first_imgThe Netherlands scored lowest out of eight countries for “retirement happiness” in research carried out by State Street Global Advisors (SSGA).The country scored lowest on two of the three variables the provider identified as determining retirement happiness – trust and ownership – and third-lowest for “preparedness”.The research covered defined contribution (DC) members in eight countries, representing a range of retirement systems: Australia, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Sweden, the UK, the US, and the Netherlands.It was informed by a survey of around 9,400 people, all of whom participated in a DC or similar retirement plan. Launching its research report this week, SSGA said it found that “retirement structures with the highest objective rankings did not necessarily correspond to the happiest respondents”.Alistair Byrne, head of pensions and retirement strategy at SSGA, said: “From these findings, we hope to have arrived at a blueprint for a successful retirement structure that combines effective practices with rewarding retirement experiences, gathered from around the world.”The asset manager noted Netherlands’ high score in the Melbourne Mercer Global Pension Index – of the countries covered by SSGA’s study it scored joint-highest in the most recent ranking – and that it maintained very high coverage, participation and savings rates.What objective approaches could not indicate, however, said Nigel Aston, global head of strategy and proposition at SSGA, was “how it feels – the human element – to be in those systems, and that’s what we wanted to find out”.An unhappy retirement?Just 8% of Dutch respondents said they were optimistic about their financial situation in retirement. The Netherlands also recorded the joint-lowest trust score, 2.2 out of five, level with the UK and Germany. Commenting on the Netherlands’ overall “happiness score”, SSGA said the country had “strong assets and a well-developed pension system, but is experiencing a savings model transition that’s created a low sense of ownership and a sombre outlook”.Once reforms were implemented, the Netherlands would “more closely resemble Sweden”, added SSGA.Italy, which had recently been through “painful” pension reforms, and Germany, which was on the cusp of reform, could also “look more like Sweden” if changes were successfully implemented, according to the asset manager.The US scored highest of the eight countries, with Sweden and Australia in joint second place.Sweden, commented SSGA, had “an established and well-understood system which is sustainable, providing a combination of state and private funding”.The comparatively high level of confidence US respondents indicated was probably due to their being from a “relatively fortunate sector of the population”, with access to a workplace retirement plan, the manager noted.The SSGA report can be found here.last_img read more

  • Dutch government to oppose EU cross-border pension product

    first_imgIn the compromise, countries could decide individually whether they would allow second-pillar institutions to offer PEPPs.In the Netherlands, this would mean that pension funds and low-cost defined contribution vehicles – known as PPIs – were not allowed to offer third-pillar products.This was in order to protect mandatory industry-wide schemes and maintain Dutch rules aimed at protecting insurers from unfair competition from pension funds.The proposal would not have a fiscal affect in the Netherlands either, as the PEPP would be subject to local tax rules for the accrual and payment of pensions. Sophie in ‘t Veld, MEPSophie in ‘t Veld, Dutch MEP and head negotiator for PEPP on behalf of the European Parliament, chided the Dutch government’s approach.“We have got our way, but are still to vote against the compromise proposal. What sense does this make?” she said in an interview with IPE’s Dutch sister publication Pensioen Pro.The full text of the compromise will become available after the member states have voted on the proposal later this month. The Netherlands is to vote against the introduction of a pan-European third-pillar pension product (PEPP), despite the fact that most of its objections have been addressed during the negotiations.Wopke Hoekstra, the Dutch finance minister, wrote to parliament last week stating that he was satisfied with the outcome of negotiations in December between the European Parliament and the European Council.Nevertheless, the Netherlands would vote against the proposal because of the perceived “limited added value” of the PEPP in the context of the Dutch pensions system. The Dutch parliament also rejected the idea of a European third pillar, Hoekstra added.He said he expected that a compromise would be adopted by a large majority of EU member states.last_img read more

  • German Pensionskassen may need further regulatory relief

    first_imgGerman Pensionskassen are under heavier than usual pressure due to a mix of low interest rates and market uncertainty caused by the COVID-19 crisis, and for this they could benefit from further regulatory relief, as the outlook, according to some, does not look promising.In a reply to a parliamentary inquiry of the far-right party Alternative for Germany, AfD, the German government revealed that 36 Pensionskassen were currently under the intensive supervision of the Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin).According to the government, BaFin has already approved applications to cut pension benefits filed by seven Pensionskassen (see box below). Four additional Pensionskassen have submitted applications, which are now being reviewed by the authority, the government replied without giving further details.Rafael Krönung, actuary and company pension schemes expert at Willis Towers Watson (WTW), told IPE that many Pensionskassen and Pensionsfonds “have enough financial buffers at their disposal to absorb the effects of the COVID-19 crisis on their assets; others will go through difficult times”. If a Pensionskassen entity cannot meet funding requirements, it must provide BaFin with a recovery plan that would restore its required solvency within a certain time frame, Krönung explained, adding that the schemes could also approach their employers for additional contributions.He said that if an employer could not provide additional financial support and capital investments were not sufficient to cover liabilities, most Pensionskassen would have a restructuring clause.The reduction of obligations is a last resort. “It is what the BaFin, the employer and the Pensionskasse usually want to avoid with all their power,” Krönung said, adding that of the around 135 Pensionskassen in Germany, only a few had to cut obligations in the past, although it is possible that others would follow because of the current crisis.BaFin has already decided to provide relief for employers to restore the coverage of guaranteed assets for Pensionsfonds, by allowing them to submit a plan to restore coverage of up to 10% until 1 October at the latest.For Krönung, similar or even further measures are necessary for Pensionskassen to reduce the risk of cutting benefits. “This could permanently harm beneficiaries or employers, even though the financial situation of the Pensionskasse might recover in the near future,” he added.Even if underfunded, a Pensionskasse usually has sufficient assets to make benefit payments for at least 30 or 40 more years, therefore, BaFin and the legislator should provide adequate time to overcome the current market volatility, he said.Detlef Coßmann, actuary at Aon Hewitt, believes that BaFin has reacted quickly to relax the rules for Pensionsfonds. “This creates considerably more flexibility and cash relief for employers or sponsoring undertakings.”He said similar action could be put in place for regulated Pensionskassen, “for example an extension of a financing period to strengthen calculation bases, or even a delay of an additional payment scheduled for 2020-21”.BaFin already allows for regulated Pensionskassen to hold a temporary excess of real estate investments as other assets devalue: “It would be very helpful if, in general, supervisory responses would reflect the extraordinary circumstances by reacting to the needs for Pensionskassen, Pensionsfonds and employers,” Coßmann added.VolatilityBaFin’s strict supervision, however, may not couple well with current capital market volatility.For Coßmann, losses may not only be reflected in the stock market in the medium term, but also in other markets such as real estate and alternative investments. “However, given market volatility, it is difficult to estimate an actual loss in the value of assets,” he said.Pensionskassen and Pensionsfonds had already experienced the negative effects of price developments in 2018, which led to discussions on the sustainability of losses, followed by a recovery in 2019.“In this respect, one should not overreact and deal moderately with the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on asset allocation and actual holdings, especially since it is not yet possible to conclusively assess whether and when a partial recovery could emerge,” Coßmann said.The funding requirements of a Pensionskasse or a Pensionsfonds could further stress the liquidity situation of an employer, WTW’s Krönung added. In the case of a Pensionsfonds, the employer would have to pay additional contributions if the Pensionsfonds is underfunded and, similarly, this can happen for sponsoring companies of a Pensionskasse.“In the current situation, Pensionskassen, Pensionsfonds and employers need in particular one thing, and that is time,” Krönung said, adding that the crisis causes extreme volatility on capital markets.He highlighted the importance for Pensionskassen and Pensionsfonds to take prudent long-term decisions.Normally, Pensionskassen investing in equities would rely on a risk buffer that shows it can sustain volatility. For this reason, in current times a fund would be forced to end its investment in equities and make safer capital investments instead, he noted.He said a pension fund would realise losses in equities and when prices pick up again, the fund would not be able to participate in the rebound. Instead, “Pensionskassen should be allowed to wait until the equity market picks up again and should not be pushed to realise the current losses due to regulatory reasons” as this would harm the Pensionskassen and their beneficiaries in the long term, Krönung said.Pensionskasse that have received approval from BaFIn to cut pension benefitsDeutsche Steuerberater-VersicherungHannoversche Alterskasse VVaGHannoversche Pensionskasse VVaGKölner Pensionskasse VVaGPensionskasse der Genossenschaftsorganisation VVaGPensionskasse der Hamburger Hochbahn Aktiengesellschaft -VVaGPensionskasse Deutscher Eisenbahnen und Straßenbahnen VVaGlast_img read more

  • Luxury Gold Coast house marks new era of display homes

    first_imgThe Riviera 65.DISPLAY homes are certainly not what they used to be.The launch of Metricon’s latest design on the Gold Coast last night marked a new era of display homes.Almost 100 people attended the unveiling of The Riviera 65, which is part of the builder’s Signature by Metricon collection.The Sorrento property is more mansion-like than the more traditional display homes, which are a basic floorplan and three bedrooms.Luxury fittings and fixtures, a pool, theatre, wet bar and two wine fridges are among The Riviera’s inclusions. “These bespoke designs are highly detailed and finished to perfection to provide functionality and enduring appeal for the homeowner.”The home’s interior features an open-plan kitchen with a butler’s pantry while the dining room has a wet bar. The Riviera 65.The indoor living area opens out onto an outdoor entertaining area through bi-fold doors where there is a pool and gazebo overlooking the waterfront. Metricon’s Queensland general manager Peter Ryan said the design showed what knocking down and rebuilding a house could achieve rather than renovating.“With the Gold Coast having a shortage of prime vacant land, it makes sense to rebuild the home of your dreams,” he said. Other designs in the Signature range include the Aura, Bayville, Bordeaux, Lavelle, Meridian, Modena, Somerset and La Pyrenee. The Riviera 65. Video Player is loading.Play VideoPlayNext playlist itemMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 1:50Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -1:50 Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedCaptionscaptions settings, opens captions settings dialogcaptions off, selectedQuality Levels720p720pHD540p540p360p360p180p180pAutoA, selectedAudio Tracken (Main), selectedFullscreenThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window.This is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.Close Modal DialogThis is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.PlayMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 0:00Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -0:00 Playback Rate1xFullscreenDifferences between building in new or established estates01:50center_img MORE: More ‘multigenerational’ homes built on Coast The Riviera 65. The Riviera 65.More from news02:37International architect Desmond Brooks selling luxury beach villa14 hours ago02:37Gold Coast property: Sovereign Islands mega mansion hits market with $16m price tag2 days agoMetricon design director Adrian Popple said the collection was all about luxury living with plenty of space to relax and entertain.“The Signature by Metricon collection is the result of Metricon’s vision for creating luxury living with a range of residences that are personalised to allow people to create their ultimate home,” he said.MORE: Why this house is the most viewed in Queenslandlast_img read more

  • Breakthrough for buyers as home values drop in Brisbane

    first_imgNational Dec. -1.1%; Qtr -2.3%; Year -4.8% Median value $532,327 Darwin Dec. -1.8%; Qtr -1.2%; Year -1.5% Median value $416,149 Canberra Dec. 0.0%; Qtr 0.6%; Year 3.3% Median value $601,275 Hobart Dec. 0.4%; Qtr 2.0%; Year 8.7% Median value $457,523 Melbourne Dec. -1.5%; Qtr -3.2%; Year -7.0% Median value $645,123 Adelaide Dec. 0.2%; Qtr 0.5%; Year 1.3% Median value $434,924 Perth Dec. -1.0%; Qtr -2.5%; Year -4.7% Median value $446,011 “Housing is more affordable and Brisbane never had the run up in prices that Sydney and Melbourne did, so it remains a lot more stable.”“The economy is also not linked to the resources sector like it is in Perth and Darwin so it is continuing to attract (workers) from other states.” Brisbane’s housing market has not had the runup in prices that dogged Sydney and Melbourne buyers. Picture: AAP Image/Darren England. CoreLogic head of research Tim Lawless said it showed that the housing market slowdown was not just restricted to price corrections in Sydney and Melbourne.“Although Australia’s two largest cities are the primary drivers for the weaker national reading, most regions around the country have reacted to tighter credit conditions by recording weaker housing market results relative to 2017.”CoreLogic researcher Cameron Kusher said “the market in Brisbane has been flat, much like it has been for many years”.The flat conditions in Brisbane, at a time when prices were falling by record margins in Sydney and Melbourne reflected Brisbane’s better affordability and diverse economy. It is also attracting a lot of interstate migration, which is pushing up housing demand. Video Player is loading.Play VideoPlayNext playlist itemMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 0:51Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -0:51 Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedCaptionscaptions settings, opens captions settings dialogcaptions off, selectedQuality Levels720p720pHD576p576p432p432p270p270pAutoA, selectedAudio Tracken (Main), selectedFullscreenThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window.This is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.Close Modal DialogThis is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.PlayMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 0:00Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -0:00 Playback Rate1xFullscreenStarting your hunt for a dream home00:51 CoreLogic Hedonic Home Value Index, December 2018 Results More from newsParks and wildlife the new lust-haves post coronavirus15 hours agoNoosa’s best beachfront penthouse is about to hit the market15 hours agoSydney Dec. -1.8%; Qtr -3.9%; Year -8.9% Median value $808,494 Combined capitals Dec. -1.3%; Qtr -2.8%; Year -6.1% Median value $612,737 Brisbane Dec. -0.2%; Qtr -0.1%; Year 0.2% Median value $493,568 Combined regional Dec. -0.2%; Qtr -0.5%; Year -0.2% Median value $377,661 The last time the national falls were this large was over the 12 months to March 2009. Picture: Penny Stephens.Buyers have had a breakthrough in Brisbane with home values dropping simultaneously over the month and the quarter for the first time in over a year.But it’s a small chink in the armour after a year in which Brisbane held its steady golden glow while Sydney and Melbourne were hammered by the credit crunch and restrictions on offshore buyers.The CoreLogic December home value index found Brisbane dwelling values fell -0.2 per cent over December to a median of $493,568.The result was just enough to also tip the Queensland capital into negative territory over the quarter as well at -0.1 per cent growth.National dwelling values were down by a cumulative 5.2 per cent since peaking in October 2017, while Sydney values were now 11.1 per cent lower than their July 2017 peak and Melbourne values 7.2 per cent below their November 2017 peak.The last time the national falls were this large was over the 12 months to March 2009. The price drops over December were not only seasonal, with the market much weaker than it was at the same time last year and substantially weaker over the same period in 2016. (Source: CoreLogic) FOLLOW SOPHIE FOSTER ON FACEBOOK — With Aidan Devinelast_img read more