The UK National Employment Savings Trust (NEST) is to consult on the future of its offering given the changes announced to the defined contribution (DC) at-retirement market.NEST, the UK’s largest DC master trust by number of members, will consult on the role of annuities in the market, balancing growth and protecting in-retirement investment strategies and whether its members can share risk in collective DC (CDC) arrangements.It will also evaluate how to mitigate risks associated with income-drawdown products and whether its expected scale could allow it to offer services in-house.NEST currently has more than 1.7m members and is widely expected to be the UK’s largest DC provider after auto-enrolment is fully rolled out in 2018. Its default target-date fund investment strategy – where 99% of its members invest – currently de-risks on approach to retirement, shifting towards cash or annuities for larger savings.However, with compulsory annuitisation now abolished in this year’s Budget, Mark Fawcett, CIO at NEST, said the industry had a “once-in-a-generation opportunity to make DC savings work”.“The old binary debate between annuities and drawdown is no longer relevant,” he said.“We have an opportunity to look at how elements of each might be used to create more flexible solutions.”Fawcett said the provider would take as much time as necessary to design its offering, with members retiring in the near-term unlikely to have built up enough savings to be affected.NEST said it needed to account for savers’ concern over market volatility, longevity risk and design outcomes for both engaged and less engaged members.“If they are not going to buy an annuity, they are likely to be exposed to volatility, and we’re thinking about those features,” Fawcett said.He added that the consultation needed to look at potential ways of hedging longevity risk but without purchasing an annuity, and design a default path for members using annuities and drawdown.“We still need a default path to allow people to draw retirement income without having to make complex decisions,” he said.Fawcett said consultation around the three differing glide paths towards cash, annuities or drawdown was unlikely to produce a consensus.Basing this on pot size would be an interesting discussion, he said, adding that NEST would monitor its retirees’ decisions.The consultation will also look at the mechanics of annuitisation and income drawdown, while exploring how products could interact.Fawcett said this would explore options such as members initially starting with a drawdown product, how a default drawdown option would work, the risks of emptying member pots and the economically appropriate time to annuitise.The organisation said it currently remained neutral on who would deliver potential products to its members.“We do care about what product people end up investing in, so this will be part of the process,” Fawcett said.“We would need some changes to legislation [to provide an income-drawdown product internally], and the Department for Work & Pensions would have to be comfortable about what it wanted NEST to do.”The consultation also looks into whether risk-sharing and CDC could operate in either accumulation or decumulation in the scheme.“We are very open-minded about it,” Fawcett said.NEST raised concerns around governance challenges and highlighted research conducted by the master trust on asset allocation, which showed CDC schemes to be less aggressive than traditional DC.Fawcett said CDC trustees were perhaps overly focused on liability management, neglecting the contribution and higher risk-tolerance of members joining the scheme.“We question whether the extra 30% [suggested better return from CDC] is ever realised in practice,” he said.The consultation runs until January 2015, with NEST expected to publish preliminary findings in the spring.It said it would welcome views from UK and international market participants.,WebsitesWe are not responsible for the content of external sitesFuture of retirement consultation
It said the project was a good investment because of the healthy expected return, the investment diversification it added to the overall portfolio and the fact it reduced interest-rate sensitivity.“It is an integral part of our overall investment strategy to reduce duration in our investment portfolio,” the pension fund’s spokesman said, adding that PenSam had begun implementing this strategy five years ago.PenSam will remain as owner of the development after the construction phase, renting out the properties.The development has been designed by Vilhelm Lauritzen Arkitekter, and NCC Construction Danmark is the developer.Construction of the new flats is due to start in August 2015 and expected to be completed at the end of 2016.The first phase of the overall construction of Marmorbyen is scheduled to be ready in the late summer of 2015.The project will include four commercial rental properties and a hall.Most of the apartments will have three or four rooms and an average size of 105 sqm. Labour-market pension fund PenSam is investing in the construction of another 128 rental flats on Marmormolen (Marble Quay) in the Danish capital, adding to the 128 apartments already underway in the project.PenSam declined to say how much the deal was worth, but a spokesman said the ongoing return on the investment would be more than 10% a year.Marmormolen is a quay in the Nordhavn (North Harbour) district of Copenhagen, best known as the location of the large FN Byen (UN City) development.PenSam said it is co-owner of the site and the development – called Marmorbyen (Marble City) – along with state authority By & Havn (City & Port).
“The volume within the income-based pensions market in Norway will increase in coming years, and this will give life insurance companies greater economies of scale, which can form the basis for price reductions in the market,” the study concluded.Competition has been shown to work well in the Norwegian market, and the supply chain is efficient, the study said.“This supports the assumption the market will succeed in achieving economies of scale, and that scale benefits will be reflected in lower market prices,” it said.The coverage of occupational schemes in Norway is very broad compared with Sweden and Denmark, with businesses having great freedom of choice, it said.According to the study, the way workplace pensions are organised in Sweden and Denmark means a large number of individuals and businesses are excluded from the most effective schemes, and consequently charged much higher costs.Commenting on the study, Finance Norway’s chief executive Idar Kreutzer said he hoped the report would be considered when the social partners came to assess the pension system.“Finance Norway does not rule out the possibility that there may be room for improvement in the current pension systems in the private sector but believes this must happen within the current main model,” he said.Most private sector employees in Norway belong to a defined contribution scheme, Finance Norway said.The market expanded after the introduction of mandatory occupational pensions in 2006.See why Veritas and Elo are still cautious over growth after ‘especially strong’ 2014 returns The income-based occupational pensions market in Norway is competitive and cost-effective compared with its Swedish and Danish counterparts, despite the fact it still has a relatively small volume of assets, according to a study conducted for industry organisation Finance Norway (Finans Norges).In its conclusions, PA Consulting said in its study: “A comprehensive evaluation of cost efficiency in the countries showed that the Norwegian market has the preconditions to be able to become the most cost-effective market for income-based pensions in Scandinavia.”Administration costs per member were on the level of those in Sweden, while equivalent costs in Denmark were significantly higher.PA Consulting said it was important to note the Norwegian market was still at an early stage, with a short history and markedly lower level of assets under management than corresponding schemes in Sweden and Denmark.
According to Timo Ritakallio, president and chief executive at Ilmarinen, the company’s long-term investment strategy was a key element in its success.He said: “The diversification across different asset classes and also geographically has proved successful. Last year, we also succeeded particularly well in the timing of our investment decisions.”However, continuing low interest rates were reflected in the 1.2% return on Ilmarinen’s fixed income portfolio, compared with 2.4% the year before.According to Ilmarinen CIO Mikko Mursula, low interest rates prompted investors to look for alternatives throughout 2015, leading to brisk activity on the real estate markets.“Property once again proved its worth in our portfolio, with a return of 7.8%, compared with 5.4% the year before,” said Mursula.“Last year, we continued to diversify our real estate portfolio outside Finland, buying properties in Germany, Belgium and the US, among other countries.”Ilmarinen’s solvency remained strong. At end-2015, solvency capital was €8.2bn – 29.6% of the technical provisions, giving a solvency position of 2.0 times the solvency limit.In terms of its operations, however, the company said the development of customer numbers did not reach the levels of previous years.Ritakallio said: “We can be satisfied with our customer acquisition, but strengthening customer retention will be a focus area in our operations in the future.”In other news, Norwegian public service pension fund KLP reported value-adjusted and book returns of 4% and 3.6%, respectively, for 2015.KLP said good returns in the equity and property markets were the main contributors to Q4 profits, with value-adjusted returns of 2% for the last three months of the year.Sverre Thornes, chief executive at KLP, said: “Poor prospects for economic growth and persistently low interest rates have resulted in higher risk premiums for debt instruments, unsettled equity markets and low commodity prices.“Against that backdrop, it is now important to have sufficient solidity to withstand further fluctuations in the market. KLP has strengthened its financial buffers to be as well prepared as possible in facing challenging capital markets.”Under the new Solvency II rules, KLP has a solvency ratio of 187% without the use of transitional rules for technical provisions.When using these rules, the solvency ratio is 274%.The group has freed up premium reserves of NOK19.6bn with changes to its disability financing, new disability rates and special conditions for the nurses’ scheme.Thornes said: “NOK14.9bn of these assets is set to be used for solvency-promoting measures such as reducing the average guaranteed rate of return and making transfers to the risk-equalisation fund. The remaining NOK4.7bn will be returned to the customers’ premium fund.”The large influx of new customers running public sector occupational pension schemes in recent years has continued.During 2015, 22 public businesses and one municipality, with just under NOK2bn worth of assets in total, transferred to KLP.Group assets under management rose to NOK543bn, from NOK491bn at end-2014, with the growth largely attributable to these customers.In total, 91 municipalities, one county and 375 public businesses have chosen KLP as their provider since 2012. Finnish pension insurance company Ilmarinen has reported a 6% return on its portfolio in challenging market conditions for 2015, compared with 6.8% the previous year.Within its portfolio, worth €35.8bn at end-December, equities performed best, in spite of share price volatility.The return on the equity portfolio was 11.6%, with Finland, Europe and Japan the top performers.However, Ilmarinen said the US equity market return in dollars was modest, while returns from emerging market equities fell into negative territory.
The €424bn Dutch asset manager APG and the €131bn Chinese asset management company E Fund Management have agreed to explore a long-term strategic alliance.In a joint statement, they said they wanted to use each other’s expertise “by exchanging information about pensions administration, asset management and ICT to increase mutual insight into various pension systems and supporting technologies”.The partners, who signed a letter of intent, said they also sought to enhance their access to local and global investment markets.Speaking to IPE, Eduard van Gelderen, CIO at APG, said his organisation was excited about the co-operation, “given that China, as the world’s second-largest economy, is continuously opening its market – both inbound and outbound”. Although he stressed that the co-operation would focus initially on knowledge-sharing, he made clear APG wanted to be prepared for increased access to the Chinese market.“Our co-operation with E Fund, as China’s largest asset manager and local partner, will help us to get the answers we need,” he said.Van Gelderen said APG would apply for a licence to invest in China and that it was already liaising with local supervisors.He noted that Chinese equity markets could be part of the MSCI World Index within a year and that APG’s investments in the country were likely to increase quickly as a result.APG has invested more than €5bn in Chinese equity through the Hong Kong-Shanghai Connect, logistics and infrastructure, through local partners and listed companies.It might also be involved in the establishment of a second-pillar pensions system in China, according to Van Gelderen.He said China was just beginning to develop a second-pillar system as part of a new five-year development plan, approved last year.“The Chinese see us as a sounding board and have shown great interest in our experiences with the Dutch pensions system,” he said.“They want to know much more about asset-liability management and long-term investments.”Van Gelderen said both players believed there were “many initiatives” they could take together.“Because E Fund has a strategic partnership with technology-driven internet firms – such as Alibaba and Tencent, for example – it could help to employ technology for investment, communications and robo advice, as well as machine learning,” he said. APG is Europe’s largest pensions manager and one of the largest fiduciary managers worldwide.In addition to two offices in the Netherlands, it also has a presence in Hong Kong and New York.Guangzhou-based E Fund provides a “full spectrum of services” and claims to be the leader in mutual funds, pension funds and segregated-account businesses in China.It also has offices in Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong, as well as other major cities across the country.
Falcon Funds, a Malta-based asset manager, is being investigated by the Swedish Economic Crime Authority (SECA) after allegations that it has defrauded 22,000 Swedish pension investors of hundreds of millions of Swedish krona. Falcon had been accused by the Swedish Pensions Authority (SPA) of “deceitful and fraudulent actions in relation to Swedish pension savers, carried out by insurance intermediaries or call centre companies”.The three sub-funds – cautious, balanced and aggressive – in the Falcon Funds SICAV had previously been registered as eligible UCITS funds in the Swedish Premium Pension System.Premium Pension savings made up virtually all of the sub-funds’ assets. The sub-funds were managed by Malta-based Temple Asset Management (TAM), although Falcon has not only rescinded the contract but is now suing TAM.The SPA launched its own probe into Falcon in late 2015 and subsequently de-registered the sub-funds, with most of the investors’ interests moved to AP7’s Såfa default option.The Swedish regulators also issued a redemption order in June 2016 for the return of investors’ capital from the company.So far, nearly SEK1.3bn (€136m) has been returned, out of the SEK2.4bn total value of the sub-funds at the time of the order. Mikael Westberg, chief legal counsel at SPA, said it was likely that investors would receive a significantly lower net asset value than that currently displayed in the accounts of the individual sub-funds.He said: “This is due to the fact Falcon Funds made harmful investments and exaggerated the value of the funds.”It was late last year when the SPA asked SECA to investigate Falcon, after it refused to return all the investors’ money.There were allegations that the company had unlawfully defrauded pension savers to put their savings into its funds, and that the investment policies of the funds were not sound.Falcon was also accused of conflicts of interest in investing savers’ money.A key player appears to be Emil Ingmanson, a Swedish businessman who acted as an introducer for Falcon Funds to the SPA, and who is also being sued by Falcon Funds. Ingmanson has been linked by the SPA with improper behaviour in relation to the sub-funds’ investments in exchange-traded instruments (ETIs).The SPA said: “The Agency strongly suspects that Falcon Funds has chosen to invest in the ETIs due to a business relationship with Mr. Ingmanson, which constitutes a serious conflict of interest.”It added: “The Agency concludes that the instruments’ design may be purposely non-transparent in order to veil any further analysis of the underlying assets and the risks connected to an investment in the ETIs.”Arne Fors, the SECA prosecutor leading the investigation team, told IPE: “We don’t know what some of the underlying assets are within the Falcon funds, so we have to look into that. There are also questions about the different companies involved, and we need to inspect their accounts to see where the money went.”Fors also said that three individuals so far had been identified as suspects, but declined to name them. No charges have yet been brought, against corporations or individuals.But depending on the outcome of the investigations, court action could follow.Fors said: “If a crime has been committed in Sweden, then legal action would be brought in Sweden. But if the crime was committed only in Malta, proceedings would only take place there.”Meanwhile, the Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA) has appointed KPMG Malta to run Falcon Funds in place of the company’s own management.Last September, the MFSA had backed the SPA’s demand for the return of investors’ capital, ordering Falcon to comply with EU regulations.Westberg said: “We are still in a very serious situation, and it has been made worse due to the fact Falcon Funds has been left without management for several months. Therefore, we are pleased that Falcon Funds will now be subject to proper management and that we now finally can expect an orderly redemption of the remaining assets.”Westberg continued: “Up until now, Falcon Funds, under the supervision of the board of directors, has inflicted serious damage on both Swedish pension savers and the Swedish pension system.”And he concluded: “Our work on this matter will therefore continue with full force, with the objective to get as much money back as possible. We will also hold those responsible for this accountable and we will consider all available legal options.”
The taskforce envisaged superfunds as absorbing and replacing existing schemes, taking on both assets and liabilities. Employers and trustees would be discharged from their obligations for future benefit payments, and the superfund would instead carry out the role of both scheme and sponsor.The PLSA wants the government to make it easier for consolidation to happen, and called for a new requirement for trustees of DB schemes “to demonstrate to members and the Pensions Regulator that the scheme is being run effectively and, if not, what steps they are taking to fix it”.The superfund route to consolidation would sharply improve the security of schemes with sponsors categorised as “weak” by the regulator, according to the taskforce. It argued that the probability of such schemes failing would fall from 65% to 10% or less if they were able to consolidate.It acknowledged questions about the affordability of superfunds to sponsors of poorly funded schemes, but said “a superfund could allow sponsors to raise capital from markets or creditors to enable a transfer to a superfund”.The taskforce’s superfund idea is intended to help improve the odds of members in underfunded schemes getting their full benefits if the sponsor goes bust. The PLSA also said it would look into whether trustees should be allowed to accept benefit reductions as a means of “opening up the benefits of superfunds to more members”.Calum Cooper, head of trustee consulting at Hymans Robertson, said that cutting back benefits for access to a superfund could be subject to legal challenge as well as going against the comments by the pensions minister, Richard Harrington, that pensions are a promise that must be kept.The taskforce described entry into a superfund as an alternative to a buyout, an option it said few can afford.In addition, insurers might find the capital requirements under Solvency II would be less demanding for a superfund than for a buy-out, the taskforce added.The other three models of consolidation detailed by the taskforce in its report were:Shared services: combining administrative functions across schemes.Asset pooling: individual schemes retaining responsibility for governance, administration, and other functions.Single governance: asset pooling and combination of governance, administration, and back office functions.The analysis behind the taskforce’s proposal went against that in a recent DB reform paper released by the UK government, in which it downplayed the pressures in the DB system.The taskforce said that, in contrast to the government, it had taken into account the pressure on scheme sponsors and had “not assumed that sponsors’ deficit recovery contributions are entirely sustainable indefinitely”.Hymans Robertson’s Cooper challenged the idea of consolidation representing the most effective means to addressing affordability issues in the DB sector. ”There’s an elegance to the theory but it feels vulnerable to being hijacked by reality,” he said. The UK government should legislate for the creation of “superfunds” to consolidate defined benefit (DB) pension schemes, according to a proposal from the UK pensions trade body.The Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association (PLSA) today issued a report from its DB Taskforce pushing the case for consolidation and pitching superfunds as the best of four models.The DB Taskforce had flagged consolidation as one of several potential solutions in its first report on the state of the DB sector in the UK. Ashok Gupta, chair of the taskforce, said: “We think the biggest gains lie in the merger of schemes into what we have called superfunds. We believe superfunds have the potential to offer great benefits to members, employers, the regulator, the industry, and the economy.”
Much of Silver’s book is a description of the UK’s financial system covering equity and bond markets, the major institutional investor bases of pension funds and insurance companies, and the role of intermediaries in the form of banks and asset managers. He argues that, ultimately, savings are not being channelled by companies into productive investments, while banks are channelling their loans predominantly into property, giving rise to property bubbles in the UK.The price of all financial assets has been boosted by a steady decline in interest rates, while the price of individual companies’ shares has been boosted by share buy-backs, reduced investment and reduced staff costs.The financial framework is, as Silver describes, based around a few key theories, namely: the Capital Asset Pricing Model, which postulates relationships between risk and return; the Efficient Market Hypothesis, which argues that securities are usually fairly priced reflecting information available; and the Black-Scholes option pricing model, the most widely used general model for pricing options.But, says Silver, the financial system operates on a set of norms which equate all human values with financial value, and measures value as the market price. This is proving catastrophic for the economy, society and the planet.Financiers, says Silver, work in “Potemkin markets”, where every aspect is dominated by government. Financial markets are largely the creation of governments, they fulfil certain services for governments and they run in a way specified by governments.The problem is that, while governments encourage people to save for a pension to reduce the fiscal burden arising from an ageing population, it is not working because they have only managed to persuade the rich people to save – the very section of society who would not be a burden when they retire as they can afford to look after themselves.This, says Silver, is the result of the savings glut caused by governments encouraging people to save in combination with the actions of central banks in trying to repair the damage caused by the same savings being mismanaged. Interest rates have been driven to close to zero, making pensions unaffordable. Given the high charges of the finance industry, Silver argues that it is people who do not save for a pension who are the sensible ones.Silver’s key argument is that the current financial system is a by-product of financial intermediaries allocating capital to maximise their own revenues, with no guarantee that this will be in the best interests of society or the economy – in fact, it is likely that it will not be.Silver certainly raises many issues which should be debated more widely and are at the heart of many government policies. The problem with his book, however, is that the final chapters suggesting ways forward appear to be a random collection of ideas. They range through Scandinavian-style pension models, introducing a financial transaction tax or Tobin tax, finding alternatives to fractional reserve banking, better accounting of externalities, and ideas such as impact investing.I am reminded of Winston Churchill’s assertion that “democracy is the worst form of government, except all those others that have been tried”. Silver has certainly pointed out very many valid flaws in the Anglo-Saxon financial framework which need to be addressed. But he has not come out with a coherent description of anything better. Nick Silver, in his recently released book Finance, Society and Sustainability, argues that the financial framework behind the Anglo-Saxon economies of the US and the UK in particular is the construct of flawed economic theories which purport to efficiently allocate society’s capital.Instead, says Silver, the finance sector allocates savings and investments to maximise its own revenues, with a resulting collateral damage to the economy, society and the environment.John Kay led a review of the UK equity markets and long-term decision making, published in 2012. One conclusion was that UK equity markets were no longer a significant source of funding for new investment by UK companies.Silver argues that this means asset managers who dominate the market are not actually doing the job they are supposed to be doing – yet the people who work in this field are highly paid not to do their job. His book then attempts to explain how this has happened.
“We now have more than NOK600bn in bonds with negative yields. That is equivalent to a quarter of our fixed-income portfolio, and in line with the markets.”Grande added: “Uncertainty about global trade and economic growth dampened returns early on, but markets rallied towards the end of the period, driven partly by the prospect of more expansionary monetary policy in developed markets.”The Norwegian krone continued to rally on foreign exchanges in the reporting period, extending its gains in the first three months of the year. This hit the value of the GPFG by NOK38bn, according to NBIM data. Inflows into the fund amounted to NOK6bn in the second quarter.The fund’s equities allocation continued to increase, rising to 69.3% of investments from 69.2% on 31 March, and up from 66.3% at the end of 2018.Meanwhile, the fixed-income allocation was unchanged from March at 28% and unlisted real estate contracted to 2.7% of the fund, from 2.8% three months earlier and from 3% at the end of 2018.The GPFG held NOK9.4trn in assets as of 21 August, according to its website.‘It’s becoming harder to mitigate against negative yields’ Norway’s giant sovereign wealth fund benefited from falling bond yields in the second quarter of 2019, but now holds more than NOK600bn (€60bn) in fixed income assets with a negative real yield.In its second quarter report, Norges Bank Investment Management (NBIM), which manages the Government Pension Fund Global (GPFG), revealed it made more on bonds than equities between April and June, with fixed-income investments returning 3.1%, while equities generated a return of 3%.The oil fund’s manager reported a positive overall return on investments of 3% in the second quarter, or NOK256bn – 0.2 percentage points below the benchmark – and said that equities had delivered a positive return despite volatile market conditions.Trond Grande, deputy chief executive of NBIM, said: “We had a positive return on our fixed-income investments thanks to falling yields. Chris Iggo, CIO for fixed income, AXA IMIn a client commentary published last week, Chris Iggo, CIO for fixed income at AXA Investment Managers, warned that the strong returns from fixed income so far this year would be “much harder to sustain” in the coming months.Investors faced “unprecedented conditions” in the asset class, Iggo said, with “more than 40%” of European investment grade corporate bonds, and 60% of European sovereign bonds, trading with a negative yield, including the entirety of the German Bund yield curve.“For bond investors it is becoming harder to mitigate against the impact of lower yields on portfolio decisions,” he added. “It might not be the time to take more credit risk, yet there is incrementally less reward for extending out along the yield curve.”He added: “We should be worried about lower and lower bond yields because they are sending very negative signals about the economic outlook, but they may cause some (as yet not fully understood) tensions in the financial system with structural implications.”
This house at 22-24 Ascot Street, Ascot, has sold for $4.25m. This house at 22-24 Ascot Street, Ascot, has sold for $4.25m.THE ultimate Ascot trophy home has sold for a whopping $4.25 million within two days of being listed for sale, in another sign Brisbane’s prestige property market is on fire.The private Sydney vendor of the immaculate, newly rebuilt property at 22-24 Ascot Street has made a very tidy profit from the sale, given records show he bought it for $1.625 million in 2011.The build is estimated to have cost upwards of $1 million. GET THE LATEST REAL ESTATE NEWS DIRECT TO YOUR INBOX HERE The sitting room in the house at 22-24 Ascot Street, Ascot, which has sold for $4.25m.Inside is adorned with the highest quality finishes such as French oak flooring, French doors and sandstone walls.“You’re basically buying a brand new house in an area where you usually can’t find one,” Mr Keenan said.“Houses that have been renovated and where the floor plans have been fixed to work, people are happy to pay really good money for because they’re time poor — they just want to buy a product that’s done and move in.” BRISBANE TO DEFY HOUSE PRICE FALLS Inside the home at 22-24 Ascot Street, Ascot, which has sold for $4.25m. The kitchen in the house at 22-24 Ascot Street, Ascot, which has sold for $4.25m. The living and dining area in the house at 22-24 Ascot Street, Ascot.The sale of 22-24 Ascot Street is the latest in a number of $4 million plus sales in Brisbane in the past financial year, with agents reporting strong demand for high end homes, despite overall softness in the market.A historic, five-bedroom Queenslander perched on a hill at 32 Teneriffe Dr, Teneriffe, sold for $4.405 million at auction earlier this month.FUNNIEST OPEN HOME INSPECTIONS The landmark home achieved one of the highest prices in the suburb for a non-riverfront property in more than a decade.Across the river, a luxurious four-bedroom estate at 16 Scott St, Hawthorne, sold last month for $4.875 million, and in April, riverfront home in Chelmer fetched $5 million. And it’s not just houses that are in demand.A three-bedroom apartment in New Farm changed hands for a whopping $6.5 million in March this year. MOST RECENT $4 MILLION PLUS SALES IN BRISBANESale date Address Sale priceJune, 2018 22-24 Ascot St, Ascot $4.25mJune, 2018 9 Craven St, Clayfield $4mJune, 2018 32 Teneriffe Dr, Teneriffe $4.405mMay, 2018 16 Scott St, Hawthorne $4.875mApril, 2018 127 Laurel Ave, Chelmer $5mMarch, 2018 5/81 Moray St, New Farm $6.5mDec, 2017 77 Mowbray Tce, East Brisbane $4mDec, 2017 42 Quay St, Bulimba $4.225mNov, 2017 68 Molonga Tce, Graceville $5.65mNov, 2017 34 Mullens St, Hamilton $5.975mOct, 2017 175 Adelaide Street East, Clayfield $4.15mOct, 2017 30 Aaron Ave, Hawthorne $4.1m This house at 22-24 Ascot Street, Ascot, has sold for $4.25m.More from newsParks and wildlife the new lust-haves post coronavirus18 hours agoNoosa’s best beachfront penthouse is about to hit the market18 hours agoSelling agent Vaughan Keenan of Grace & Keenan said the property was scheduled to go to auction, but was taken off the market just two days after listing.“We had a buyer looking at penthouses in the New Farm and Teneriffe area, so we took them through a week before the house was completed,” Mr Keenan said.“There are lots of buyers out there who want to handle things discreetly, so they’re happy to pay a premium to get properties off the market.” ENTIRE TOWN LESS THAN ONE AVERAGE HOUSE Mr Keenan said the buyer was a mature, local family who had moved out of the area and was wanting a Brisbane base.The vendor employed Vaughan Keenan Designs to completely rebuild the original 1950s house on the 810 sqm site and transform it into a Hamptons style home.The house has five bedrooms and four bathrooms, set among manicured gardens behind a private front gate.