Mormons, and a Big Swiss Bank: Savvy Land Speculators
|December 20, 2013||Posted by Staff under Economic Principles|
Mormon Church Buys 2% of Florida to Become State’s Largest Land Owner
The Church of Later-day Saints paid $565 million, using funds of the publicly traded mega-real estate company St. Joe Co, for 400,000 acres in the Florida’s panhandle region, around 2% of the state.
Before this purchase, the Mormon Church already owned a massive cattle ranch in Central Florida, straddling three counties and south east of Orlando.
All totaled now the Church is Florida’s largest landowner.
UBS Enters Australian Property With A$10 Billion
UBS AG (UBSN), Switzerland’s biggest bank, is entering Australia’s property market to invest as much as A$10 billion ($9 billion) over the next five years.
The bank, which now only holds property shares in the country, is partnering with Australia’s largest closely held builder Grocon Pty to beat a rush of global capital that’s seeking a home in its real estate market.
Investor demand for Australian property is climbing, driven by relatively higher yields, and as home prices in the nation’s biggest cities reach records each month. Australia was among the three most active Asia-Pacific markets for commercial property transactions in the three months to Sept. 30, after Japan and China.
UBS manages $8 billion of retail and industrial property in Japan through a joint venture with Mitsubishi Corp., and partners with Chinese developer Gemdale Corp. in a residential development fund.
The Aussie partnership will begin by focusing on prime office properties for more conservative investors, and residential developments to cater to those seeking higher returns.
Ed. Notes: If ground rent is good enough for a big church and a big bank, it sure is good enough for society as a whole. There’s nothing wrong with getting hefty returns from land, but it’s something we should do together, since we as society generate the value of locations, just by our mere presence. It’s the value of the buildings and other improvements that belong to the owner exclusively. If society were to recover the site values it creates, it could repeal the counterproductive taxes on income, sales, and buildings (property). That’d allow residents to become more productive, which is good for business, and would lift up location values, swelling the tax base. Singapore uses this geonomic policy to a degree and is one of the best places on the planet for business. And the timing must be right; let speculators lead the rest of society to benefitting from the worth of Earth.