The union added that as a result of the agreement, a threatened strike would no longer go ahead.In a separate note, the union also summarised the Commission’s decision, noting that the general employees’ pension fund would once again be regarded as a DB scheme.The note added: “Whenever deficits arise in the scheme the established practice is that the parties engage with each other to agree arrangements to deal with such deficits.“The parties are fully agreed that should deficits arise in the scheme at any time in the future they will engage together in line with normal practice to seek agreement in relation to that matter.ESB did not reply to a request for comment, but following the announcement that the Commission would intervene, chief executive Pat O’Doherty said the company would do everything it could to avert a strike and resolve the situation. The Irish utility ESB has settled a dispute with unions over one of its pension schemes, accepting a settlement under which it will recognise the fund as a defined benefit (DB) arrangement.The Electricity Supply Board previously reclassified the ESB General Employees’ Superannuation Scheme from a DB to a defined contribution (DC) arrangement to “address the actuarial deficit arising on this scheme”, the company said in its most recent annual report.The Labour Relations Commission was asked to mediate in the dispute, with both parties coming to agreement over the weekend.In a statement, the ESB Group of Unions said: “The resolution is on the basis of the union mandate to protect the ESB Pension Scheme as a defined benefit pension scheme and to maintain existing agreements being fully met.
However, the division does not apply to the recent additional contribution of €150m by PostNL to improve the scheme’s funding by 2.5 percentage points.This also goes for the conditional pledge of €300m to plug a funding gap of no more than 1.25% of liabilities over the next four years.Last February, Peter van Gameren, chairman of the Pensioenfonds PostNL, told IPE sister publication FD-IPNederland that a limit to the premium or additional contribution at TNT Express was not applicable.“The obligation to plug funding gaps is unlimited,” he said.A number of investments, including property, will remain with the PostNL scheme, as a division of the ownership would not be desirable, the scheme said.Instead, the balance between both schemes would be settled in cash.The returns on investments between 1 January 2014 and the legal division of assets will be proportionally shared between the pension funds, PostNL added.The current pension fund PostNL has approximately 99,000 participants, of which 31,840 are active members and 23,935 are pensioners.The scheme’s funding was 112.4% at March-end. The €6.3bn pension fund PostNL is to split into two schemes – one for the postal service and a new one for packet delivery firm TNT Express.The development follows a new pension plan for workers of PostNL – in force since last January – which differs greatly from the pension arrangements for TNT Express employees.The pension fund said a single scheme could no longer provide both plans.For the new set-up, the assets will be proportionally shared between both pension funds, with approximately 5% allocated to the new scheme of TNT Express.
The €377bn Dutch asset manager APG has issued remuneration guidelines for the European listed companies in which it is invested with the view to creating long-term value.It said it would begin to engage with boards and their remuneration committees to encourage a balance between the efficient operation of assets and the efficient allocation of capital.APG – asset manager for the €325bn civil service scheme ABP and the €40bn pension fund for the building sector Bpf Bouw – said remuneration policy was an integral criterion for its portfolio managers’ investment decisions.APG said, rather than focus on maximising profits over the short term, it wanted to aim for long-term value creation, in order to better meet its clients’ liabilities. It called for a stable and consistent pay level, corresponding with a company’s business strategy, or a robust business case, taking a firm’s risk profile and risk appetite into account.It also said it favoured remuneration policies that encouraged executives to accumulate shares in the company over time, including for some time after they left a company.The asset manager said companies should consider non-financial measures, such as customer satisfaction, human capital, health and safety and sustainability, for long-term value creation as well.Pay policy, it argued, should be closely linked to the fundamental value drivers of a company, rather than on total shareholder return.APG added that it was concerned about overly complex incentives – or incentives that seem vulnerable to manipulation or corporate activity to improve payouts – and suggested the selection of peer groups against relevant criteria to counter this risk.The asset manager also indicated that it would oppose very high payouts, such as high level awards, uncapped arrangements or high multiple share plans.APG said it expected an improved engagement process with companies would free up time for other important aspects of corporate governance, such as board structure and appointments, as well as corporate performance and sustainability.It added that individual executive pay levels were particularly important where there were doubts over shareholder alignment, effective governance or corporate disregard to social responsibilities.
Switzerland’s smaller chamber of parliament, the Ständerat, has passed a pensions reform package that pits it against the lower chamber and, according to one industry observer, casts doubt over the fate of the government’s pensions reform project. One of the main points of contention of the Altersvorsorge 2020 (AV2020) reform package is how to compensate for a lowering of the minimum conversion rate.In September 2016, the Nationalrat, the lower and larger chamber, rejected doing this by means of a general increase to first-pillar pensions – by CHF70 (€65) a month – which was in the upper chamber’s proposal.The Nationalrat position, and of the pensions industry, is for a drop in future second-pillar pensions to be compensated solely within the occupational pensions framework. The advisory committee in the upper chamber has since in turn rejected the Nationalrat’s amendments and recommended re-introducing a top-up of first-pillar pensions (AHV) in the AV2020 reform draft.Last week, a majority of the Ständerat, the chamber of representatives of the cantons, adopted the committee’s recommendation, voting against alternative proposals from minority politicians in the chamber.The Swiss employer federation strongly criticised the Ständerat’s decision, saying the status quo would be better than the upper chamber’s proposal, while labour unions welcomed the vote.Last week’s vote is part of the Differenzbereinigung process, during which differences between the chambers are supposed to be ironed out.Peter Wirth, industry expert and author of a newsletter for the Swiss second-pillar group Vorsorgeforum, said the AV2020 reform package was in the middle of the Differenzbereinigung but also “in crisis”.He said the lower chamber would have another go at the reform package in spring next year.A mediation conference (Einigungskonferenz) will probably follow and then, ultimately, a final vote, “with a very uncertain outcome”, he added.He cited several reasons for the Vorsorgeforum’s scepticism, saying the upper chamber had not shown itself to be prepared to compromise, and that the lower chamber could also end up digging in its heels, with the different political make-up in the chambers also complicating matters.There are “significant” differences between the centre-left and the right on the AV2020 package, noted Wirth.In damning criticism of the behaviour of the majority in the upper chamber, he said that, after it failed to budge on its position, it was expecting the lower chamber to compromise.There will be renewed discussions and negotiations behind the scenes until March, he said, but, “unfortunately, at the moment, the chances of a sensible solution look slim”.The best one can hope for, according to Wirth, is a botch job.Hans Peter Konrad, director of ASIP, the Swiss occupational pensions trade association, told IPE it was possible that the entire reform initiative collapsed but that he was optimistic and that the association was continuing to work towards a solution being found in parliament.“We’re of the opinion that this reform is necessary and that it must not be allowed to fail,” he said. Not everyone in the second pillar in Switzerland believes the reform is needed, although one source recently expressing this view to IPE said his was a contrarian one.Konrad said that the question about the CHF70 first pillar top-up was political and that ASIP was neutral on this, focusing instead on the second-pillar aspects of the reform.It believes that solutions can be found for the lowering of the minimum conversion rate to be offset within the second pillar.The next steps in the law-making process are for the advisory committee in the Nationalrat to debate the upper chamber’s proposal, and then for the full lower chamber to do so.“After that, the reform package will go back and forth in session,” said Konrad, adding that he expected a few differences to remain, including over the CHF70, and that a mediation conference was likely. He expects that, at the end of the day, the politicians will “get their act together” to find a solution.“But I wouldn’t bet on it,” he said. The government’s envisaged timeline for the reform is for it to enter into effect in January 2018.This would require a final parliamentary decision to be made by the end of March, to allow time for a popular referendum to be held in September 2017.
He said interest rates were unlikely to increase to the level of past decades, but could climb to 1.5% or 2%. The main interest rate for the euro-zone has been 0% since March 2016.Tuch said almost 80% of German government bonds and more than 60% of Dutch government bonds traded against a negative rate. He added that he didn’t expect a profit could be made on government paper during “the coming years”, and argued that Germany’s low interest rate was “simply unsustainable”.The average duration of government bonds was increasing, Tuch added, with some governments issuing paper with an extremely long duration – sometimes 100 years.“Most pension funds will be exposed to this development through their index portfolio,” he added.According to Tuch, interest rates on credit and high yield bonds were also at historic lows, with owners also not prepared for a rate increase.In his opinion, pension funds should consider replacing their liquid bonds with illiquid fixed income investments.“These aren’t bought by the ECB, have a lower bubble potential, and deliver extra returns,” he argued.Tuch cited residential mortgages as an alternative, “as they produce considerably better returns than Dutch government bonds against an acceptable risk-return ratio”.Illiquid corporate loans as well as loans with a government guarantee would also be an alternative to government bonds, he said.Aegon was anticipating the ECB’s policy by going short on Italian interest-rate derivatives and regularly taking profits, Tuch said.Aegon had also cautiously switched to an underweight duration for government bonds, relative to the benchmark. He recommended pension funds follow this example and cash in when interest rates rise.Tuch also suggested that pension funds revise their interest rate hedges, arguing that central clearing of derivatives – as required by EMIR regulations – had “important advantages” relative to bilateral swaps. He said that Aegon AM had already fully switched to central clearing. However, he didn’t elaborate on the advantages.The last time the ECB raised its main interest rate was in 2011, when the rate increased by 25 basis points in April and July, reaching 1.5%. However, it was forced to reverse this move by the end of the year as several euro-zone economies struggled to pay off debt. Pension funds should start considering the impact of an interest rate rise and instruct their asset managers to make adjustments, according to Aegon Asset Management.Without changes, interest rate increases would cause considerable damage to schemes’ portfolios of euro-denominated government bonds, warned Hendrik Tuch, head of interest and money markets at Aegon AM.Speaking at the annual congress of IPE’s Dutch sister publication PensioenPro in Amsterdam last week, he said rates were likely to rise as a consequence of the European Central Bank (ECB) reducing its quantitative easing policy.According to Tuch, Aegon AM expected that the ECB would signal its intentions after the summer. Government bond yields would rise later this year as a result.
“We consider the company’s 2020 AGM as a good moment for Shell to demonstrate this,” said the investors.“This statement saves the entire sector years in discussions about which scopes, scenarios, metrics and methodologies are reasonable”Mark van Baal, Follow This The investors also said they expected all oil and gas companies to report on their targets and progress in line with the recommendations of the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures.Mark van Baal, of Follow This, said: “These six Dutch investors again take the lead in supporting oil companies to truly commit to Paris.“This statement saves the entire sector years in discussions about which scopes, scenarios, metrics and methodologies are reasonable.” The statement of expectations can be read here.NGOs set out expectations for investor coalitionNine campaign groups* have joined forces to call for Climate Action 100+, a major investor-led engagement initiative, to divulge more information about its activities.The groups also set out their expectations for how the investors involved should engage with companies, governments, and organisations like themselves, in a letter to the CEOs of the more than 320 investors backing the coalition, and to the organisations co-ordinating the initiative. Requests included that investors “adopt a consistent, outcomes-focused and transparent escalation process” and support climate resolutions filed by smaller shareholders and civil society organisations.The campaign groups also recommended that Climate Action 100+ publish a list of company targets and an annual statement detailing progress against them.The investor coalition had celebrated key achievements in recent months, the campaign groups noted, but “a lack of transparency makes it difficult to judge the impact that Climate Action 100+ is having at other companies”.In December, Shell announced it would set short-term emission reduction targets and link them to executive pay, a move that followed engagement with investors under the Climate Action 100+ banner. Climate Action 100+ has also encouraged developments at Glencore and BP. Catherine Howarth, chief executive of ShareAction, one of the nine campaign groups, said: “Climate Action 100+ is the investor initiative on climate change many were waiting for.“But success depends on action and real effort by all signatory investors, and so far, not all are stepping up. Tone from the top is critical, which is why we’ve written to the CEOs of signatory investors. It’s right that civil society demands accountability and determined action from Climate Action 100+ investors in every region of the world.”Stephanie Pfeifer, a member of the Climate Action 100+ global steering committee and CEO of the Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change, one of the five co-ordinating organisations, said: “We welcome today’s letter from civil society organisations. It is encouraging to see recognition and acknowledgement of all that Climate Action 100+ has achieved so far. The initiative and its investors are committed to results and [are] already delivering on its goals.“We value the input and look forward to dialogue with these organisations, many of whom we already work with closely, on a shared commitment to greater action on climate change.”Preventable Surprises, one of the nine civil society organisations behind the letter, had already issued a challenge to Climate Action 100+ investors upon its launch in 2017.*Australasian Centre for Corporate Responsibility, ClientEarth, Follow This, Greenpeace International, Just Share, Preventable Surprises, Rainforest Action Network, Sierra Club, ShareAction All oil and gas companies should demonstrate credible strategies to achieve greenhouse gas emissions targets in line with keeping global warming to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels, a group of six major Dutch investors has said.The group – comprising Achmea, Actiam, Aegon, Kempen Capital Management, MN, and NN Investment Partners – set out its expectations for the entire oil and gas sector in the wake of campaign group Follow This withdrawing its climate resolution from the agenda for Royal Dutch Shell’s annual general meeting.The campaign group did so following “intensive” discussions with the six Dutch investors, who considered Shell to be an industry leader for the steps it has taken towards aligning with the Paris Agreement climate change goals.The Dutch investors said they encouraged Shell to bring its long-term net carbon footprint ambition in line with the lower 2°C pathway from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the UN body for assessing the science related to climate change.
A new survey has found Australians would prefer their dream home to have a Hills Hoist than a balcony. Photo: Nicki Brokken.QUEENSLANDERS chasing the Great Australian Dream in 2018 want nice views instead of a pool, a Hills Hoist rather than a balcony and prefer a pet-friendly neighbourhood to a good school catchment.A new survey by HSBC reveals the aspiration for a single-storey house and backyard is still alive and well, but spare bedrooms, bathrooms and pools are no longer a priority.The survey of 2000 people investigated attitudes to home ownership in Australia, including what people want their dream home to look like. A new survey has found Australians still want a backyard and a Hills Hoist. Picture: Evan MorganIt found the perfect home would be Scandinavian in style, with high tech amenities, a big modern kitchen, marble bathrooms, entertaining areas and walk-in wardrobes.Even the traditional shed has lost its charm, with many men now preferring the ultimate man cave with a wine fridge or cellar. A new survey has found Australians still want a single-storey house with a backyard.HSBC Australia head of mortgages Alice Del Vecchio said the recent softening in home prices nationally and historically low interest rates could make the dream home more attainable.“Our customers continue to pursue their dream homes but are less eager to keep up with the neighbours and instead more determined to create a unique residence that reflects their personalities and lifestyle,” she said. A new survey has found many men would prefer a wine cellar to a shed.More from newsParks and wildlife the new lust-haves post coronavirus16 hours agoNoosa’s best beachfront penthouse is about to hit the market16 hours agoWhen given the choice between buying in a pet-friendly area or a sought-after school catchment, two thirds of those surveyed prioritised their pets over children.Four in five people will take nice views over a pool any day and the Hills Hoist is here to stay, with 57 per cent favouring it over a balcony.Social researcher Mark McCrindle said the research showed the Great Australian Dream was still deeply embedded in the national psyche. “Our homes are more than our abodes — they express our identity, highlight our aspirations, facilitate our lifestyle and are the hub of the priorities of family and friends,” Mr McCrindle said. Social researcher Mark McCrindle.One in four people are not proud of their home, although Queenslanders had the highest level of pride compared with residents surveyed in the other states and territories.The survey found people spend an average of $582 a year on home decor and $897 annually on fittings and fixtures to personalise their homes.
It is in an elevated position near Mt Coot-tha and is within the Stuartholme Estate.The large infinity-edge pool has a pool house and the property also has a floodlit tennis court on a separate title. Plenty of room for a swim at 247 Kent St, Teneriffe. Picture: realestate.com.auIt was designed by architect Dan Sparks and has multiple living areas, automated surveillance, blinds, C-Bus and commercial airconditioning.There is a gym downstairs and a 2000-bottle cellar. It is listed through Henry Hodge of McGrath Estate Agents. A Georgian-style home with an amazing pool at 17 Leatherwood Place, Brookfield. Picture: realestate.com.auInside, there’s a sweeping granite staircase in the entry.A kitchen overlooks the swimming pool area and the tennis court.It is listed via negotiation through Jason Adcock of Adcock Prestige.Just because you choose to live in the inner city doesn’t mean there’s no room for a welcoming pool.A four-bedroom house at 247 Kent St, Teneriffe, has a well placed lap pool, along a side of the block.The 13m long infinity-edge pool is solar heated and has a children’s “splash zone’’.Known as The Pavilion, the house was constructed using native Australian timbers, has an onyx feature wall and views. Enjoy a dip at 34 Satinwood Court, Bardon. Picture: realestate.co.m.auInside the house are multiple dining and lounge areas.The main bedroom has a cathedral ceiling and wide balcony. It is listed through Matt Lancashire of Ray White New Farm.If it’s cool bayside breezes you are after 526 Flinders Pde, Brighton, has plenty of that on offer.The five-bedroom home which goes to auction on November 17, has a year-round holiday vibe.The dual living property has a large deck on the upper level.Upstairs are hardwood polished timber floors, a kitchen and family room. The main bedroom and ensuite is also on this level in addition to two other bedrooms and a bathroom.On the lower level are multiple living area, a functional kitchenette and two bedrooms, one of which could be used as a multipurpose study room. It also has a separate lounge room, front deck, airconditioning, and a combined family bathroom and laundry. More from newsParks and wildlife the new lust-haves post coronavirus15 hours agoNoosa’s best beachfront penthouse is about to hit the market15 hours agoIt is listed through Christine Rudolph or Ray White New Farm.At Brookfield, a Georgian-style home at 17 Leatherwood Place, is on 6244sq m of land, which offers views across Mt Coot-tha, Brisbane CBD and Mt Tamborine.Known as Georganna, it has four bedrooms with ensuites and an in ground swimming pool surrounded by sandstone. How’s this for a water view? Plenty of cooling breezes at 526 Flinders Pde, Brighton. Picture: realestate.com.auIt’s hot out there already and all indications are it’s going to be a very warm summer.If the thought of a quick dip in a public pool along with the masses sends shivers down your spine, may be it’s time you invested in a home where it’s just you and your family taking a paddle or one where you can sit on the deck and capture cool water breezes.At Bardon, this home at 34 Satinwood Court has an amazing swimming pool. The house is on a 3519sq m of land and due for auction on November 17.
Inside the Southport house.He said care options for elderly parents might be too expensive so living together as a family was a cheaper alternative.He also said there was an “expectation issue” among younger generations, who wanted a three-bedroom house straight away instead of buying a smaller place first then upgrading in future as their parents did decades ago.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 agoThat was leading children to live at home longer so they could save more money.Liz Francis built a second house on her Tallebudgera property so her mother could live with the family. Mr Molloy said the reduced cost of living was appealing to many homeowners and he believed it would become a more popular housing option.LJ Hooker Mudgeeraba agent John Fischer said many people were even letting some of their dual living spaces out, particularly as holiday rentals on Airbnb.“There are a lot of people looking for that extra income,” he said. Video Player is loading.Play VideoPlayNext playlist itemMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 1:58Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -1:58 Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedCaptionscaptions settings, opens captions settings dialogcaptions off, selectedQuality Levels720p720pHD576p576p360p360p216p216pAutoA, 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 Rate1xFullscreenWhy location is everything in real estate01:59 This Southport house at 26 Loweana St also offers dual living on a lower level. Mrs Francis’ home at 16 Tyalla Court, Tallebudgera. The second living space.“We decided there was no better place for her to be than with us,” she said.She said living in separate houses on the same block meant they could spend plenty of time together as a family while her mother remained independent.“It just meant that she was very incorporated in our every day activities,” Mrs Francis said.“It was special for her and special for us.”Hope Island Resort Realty agent Evan Molloy had noticed the increased demand for dual living properties. Inside the extra dwelling.“I’ve got three properties (on the market) at the moment that are dual living,” he said.“The waterfront one was built with that in mind – it’s interesting we’re seeing it in new builds.”He said some families were selling multiple homes interstate so they could buy a much bigger residence on the Coast that would accommodate everyone.“We’ve had a good amount of people looking specifically for that purpose, particularly interstate buyers escaping Sydney and Melbourne (markets).”MORE: Beach vs Hinterland 1. 8 Timberlea Court, Helensvale This Helensvale property at 8 Timberlea Ct has a second self-contained dwelling, which was once the shed. 4. 16 Tyalla Court, Tallebudgera Liz Francis built an additional house on her block so her mother could live with the family. Pictured with Samara Seth, 5, Amy Seth and Olivia Seth, 3, at home in Tallebudgera. Picture John GassLONG gone are the days parents push their children out of the nest as soon as they reach adulthood.The Gold Coast property market is adapting to allow children to live with their parents long after they have grown up.Leading property valuation firm Herron Todd White’s November Month in Review report found there had been a “strong shift” toward multigenerational housing on the Coast with more properties now accommodating three generations. FOUR DUAL LIVING GOLD COAST HOMES The second house Mrs Francis built on her Tallebudgera block.“Many dwellings are being converted to form secondary living areas or multiple dwellings on one property,” the report said.“Generally speaking, it’s the older members of the family moving into the secondary areas.”Herron Todd White director Tod Gillespie said affordability was the obvious reason behind the shift but there were many underlying factors contributing to the trend.“We seem to be seeing more dual occupant houses being built, especially in the acreage areas, for family reasons,” he said. Outside the Southport house. 2. 26 Loweana St, Southport MORE: Fisherman’s hut going under the hammer 3. 11 Wisteria Court, Tallebudgera Valley
This post-war home at 43 Sydney Avenue, Camp Hill, sold for $1.062m to a phone bidder hours before the coronavirus inroom auction deadline.Millions exchanged hands this week as agents, buyers and sellers raced to beat the COVID-19 crackdown on inroom property auctions, while others embraced the start of livestreaming sales. In the final hours before the Wednesday midnight inroom deadline, a renovator home in inner Brisbane sold for $1.062m, with more than half of potential buyers bidding over the phone.Bidding opened at $650,000 for the post-war home at 43 Sydney Ave, Camp Hill, and continued for more than 50 minutes, sometimes rising in $1,000s and $5,000 lots before finally selling for $1.062m to a phone bidder.“It sold well above the reserve and the fact that we had seven bidders shows the fundamentals of real estate are still really strong, and with limited properties on the market there are opportunities for sellers because there are genuine buyers out there at the moment looking. We’re still listing and selling property,” Mr McCrea said.More from newsCOVID-19 renovation boom: How much Aussies are spending to give their houses a facelift during the pandemic3 days agoWhizzkid buys almost one property a month during COVID-197 days ago New digital inspections for renters and buyers to combat COVID-19 This is the living room of Brisbane’s latest million-dollar property, with 43 Sydney Avenue, Camp Hill, selling for $1.062m mid-week.Among the virtual sales last night (Thursday) were 10 conducted through Ray White Queensland chief auctioneer Mitch Peereboom on the Gold Coast.“These are online private auctions. Buyers register to bid, they are able to watch the auction live and bid via our platform. We are really excited about this creative solution because we know buyers want to buy and sellers want to sell. The property market is performing strongly and we welcome this new opportunity to deliver our clients the same outcomes (they would have achieved).”Stuart McCrea of Place Estate Agency in Coorparoo said the industry could work around the safety measures introduced to protect buyers and sellers from coronavirus.“The use of video walk-throughs, all these things, allow people to bid with confidence. When your dream home comes up you shouldn’t be worried about coronavirus.” Video Player is loading.Play VideoPlayNext playlist itemMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 3:08Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -3:08 Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedCaptionscaptions settings, opens captions settings dialogcaptions off, selectedQuality Levels720p720pHD540p540p360p360p270p270pAutoA, 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 Rate1xFullscreenHow will COVID-19 compare to other market downturns03:08 QLD property industry already adapting to new ways of operating 210 Long Street East, Graceville, sold for $855,000Ray White Sherwood and Graceville principal Cameron Crouch achieved almost $4m in property sales that were set to go to auction midweek, using virtual technology “with great success”.“We have set up a virtual auction theatre on our new rooftop auction space because it is central for our auctioneer Mitch Peereboom. Wednesday night we sold four from five properties and we have some 28 auctions on the board to be auctioned in coming weeks,” he said. Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced on Tuesday that all inroom auctions and group open homes would cease from midnight Wednesday, leading the industry to take the events fully digital, with bidding done online or over the phone. This week was on course to be the biggest of the year for auctions, with Brisbane volumes up 52.2 per cent, compared with the same time last year, with 172 homes listed to go under the hammer, according to the CoreLogic Auction Market Preview.“After the weekend, we should have a better idea on how this is going to impact the auction market going forward,” a CoreLogic spokesperson said. MORE: Sweeping changes for real estate after coronavirus restrictions 207 Long Street East, Graceville, sold for $705,000“We had 13 registered bidders last night. The first lot was a cracker at 210 Long St East, Graceville, which sold for $855,000. It went so crazy with a tonne of bids flying in. The elderly vendor was a bit nervous but still comfortable in the process and were committed to selling. We have technology processes in place to remain ‘business as usual’ in this new environment of private inspections, virtual inspections and weekly auctions.”Two of the properties sold under the hammer – 210 Long Street East, Graceville, for $855,000 and 207 Long Street East, Graceville, for $705,000. Two sold before auction and a fifth property was passed in. FOLLOW SOPHIE FOSTER ON TWITTER