In response, investors are calling on companies to act.A coalition of 50 institutional investors has co-filed shareholder resolutions asking BP and Shell to disclose more information about how they could participate constructively in the transition to a low-carbon economy. Other institutional investors are expected to declare their voting intentions ahead of the BP and Shell AGMs in March and April. This action runs parallel to an engagement programme being undertaken by global investors that are challenging fossil fuel companies worldwide about their future business plans.These investors have been pressing senior executives face-to-face on a series of issues, guided by a new set of expectations, set out at the end of last year in a paper published by the global investor groups called Investor Expectations: Oil & Gas Company Strategy. They have been asking the largest fossil fuel companies to disclose how high the price of oil needs to be for their most expensive projects to break even, to “stress test” their business models against a range of future scenarios, and to ensure consistency between their public positions on climate policy and lobbying undertaken on their behalf.The risks to a ‘business as usual’ approach by fossil fuel companies will only grow. By the end of this month, leading countries will submit the emissions pledges that will contribute to a global climate agreement in Paris in December. The UN has placed significant emphasis on the role of non-state actors in helping deliver this deal and drive the low-carbon transition. Many investors have made it clear where they stand. Three hundred and sixty-five investors with assets totalling $24trn have now signed a statement calling for stronger climate policies, a global deal, carbon pricing and an end to fossil fuel subsidies.And as well as engaging with companies and pushing policymakers to act, investors are actively decarbonising portfolios. From divesting some fossil fuel company stocks, to tilting portfolios away from carbon-intensive sectors and pursuing “best in class” strategies, investors are taking a variety of approaches to reduce climate risk. They are also investing in new low-carbon opportunities.A fossil fuel-dominated future would result in fundamental threats to the global economy. Faced with this prospect, investors believe fossil fuel companies can do more to manage the risks of climate change and contribute to a low-carbon future. Through engagement and allocation decisions, investors are determined to deliver a sustainable – and low carbon – future.Stephanie Pfeifer is chief executive at the Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change, which represents more than 100 European investors with combined assets of €10trn Institutional investors are calling on companies to act now, says the IIGCC’s Stephanie PfeiferUncertain fossil fuel demand, emerging technologies, falling renewable costs and policy interventions are shaping a new landscape in favour of low-carbon energy sources. Renewable energy already produces 22% of the world’s electricity, and this is expected to rise rapidly. An energy transition is taking place, especially in the power sector. And it’s entirely possible new patterns of urbanisation and technology breakthroughs could enable oil demand to peak in the timeframe required to meet the 2 °C target.In the face of this transition, investors are concerned the business plans of some oil and gas companies are not sustainable over the longer term. Investors are especially concerned by spending to develop new fossil fuel reserves, which rely on consistently high fossil fuel prices, rising demand and supportive policies.It is estimated that more than 60% of the world’s reserves must stay in the ground to avoid dangerous climate change. In light of this, the Bank of England recently warned investors could suffer “a huge hit” from a move to alternative energy sources and stronger action on climate change. Impacts from market shifts are already being felt. More than $200bn (€189bn) in projects have been cancelled or delayed since the start of 2014, according to research firm Sanford C Bernstein.
Ireland’s sovereign development fund is to target real estate, renewables and the agricultural sector as it aims to deploy nearly €6bn domestically by 2020.The Ireland Strategic Investment Fund (ISIF) – seeded from the remnants of the National Pensions Reserve Fund – said it would aim to invest across a wide range of sectors, including water, transport and energy infrastructure, venture capital and private equity.Releasing its investment strategy, the €7.4bn fund said it expected it would take 3-5 years to redeploy its capital – of which nearly €1.7bn had been committed at the end of March, and with which it was targeting a return of 4%.It highlighted real estate as one of the key sectors in which it would participate, helping fund residential developments and social and student housing opportunities. But it also noted the need to fund transport and educational infrastructure “to enable business investment and housing development” and said its activities in the energy sector would involve a “significant” exposure to renewable energy.The strategy also noted Ireland’s sizeable agricultural sector and said changes to European Union dairy quotas would offer opportunity for growth in that area.Offering an indicative breakdown of its portfolio, ISIF speculated that its largest exposure would be to real estate-based businesses and so-called ‘big idea’ investments – projects that go “above and beyond the reach and scope of other operators investing in the Irish market”.In addition to the €1bn each allocated to the above areas, ISIF said it imagined around €700m would be invested in water and water-related projects – which would potentially involve working with Irish Water, the utility established in 2013 – and another €800m in energy projects.In line with its existing commitments to fund domestic small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), the fund said it would be likely to allocate €900m to SME equity and debt projects.Most of the SME activity is likely to be overseen by external asset managers, similar to the existing commitments to SME credit and equity funds managed by BlueBay Asset Management and Carlyle Cardinal.It has also previously considered peer-to-peer lending portals as a means of funding SMEs.ISIF said it would be likely to cap direct investments at €10m, limiting its share to 25% of project capital where possible, while investments under €10m would be overseen by third parties.Despite ISIF director Eugene O’Callaghan previously saying the fund would be “very interested” in public/private partnerships (PPPs), the new strategy said ISIF was unlikely to be very active in the area “on account of the significant renewed private sector interest”.In line with previous comments that the fund would grade projects based around low or high economic impact, the strategy said it hoped to have a balance of 80% high-economic-impact projects and 20% low-impact projects.It said the lower-economic-impact investments would be considered where there was a short-term boost to employment, or help normalise Irish capital markets.With the €1.7bn committed to date, ISIF estimated it has generated 1,152 jobs per €100m invested and said it would also measure the turnover and profitability of companies benefiting from its assets, as well as net exports generated.Broken down across Ireland, 48% of investments were based in Dublin and the remaining 52% evenly spread across four regions outside the capital.,WebsitesWe are not responsible for the content of external sitesLink to ISIF investment strategy and economic impact report
The Dutch regulator has ordered the liquidation of Alcatel-Lucent’s €711m local pension fund due to underfunding at the closed scheme at the time the sponsor terminated its contract in 2012.The pension fund should have been liquidated at the time, in accordance with the Pensions Act; however, it was allowed to postpone the liquidation after it sued its former sponsor for recovery payments.Last March, Cor Zeeman, the pension fund’s chairman, said the scheme wanted to place its assets within a new ‘general pension fund’, or APF.At the time, he pointed out that participants were too young for the pension fund to join an insurer, as indexation would no longer be granted. He also pointed out that merging with another pension fund would entail a rights cut, due to the scheme’s relatively low funding of 101%.In the meantime, the introduction of the APF was postponed from 1 July 2015 to 1 January 2016.In its 2014 annual report, the scheme said the regulator rejected giving the pension fund any additional “leeway”.According to the pension fund, the regulator also argued that joining an APF would fail to improve the scheme’s risk profile.The pension fund declined to comment while talks with the regulator were still ongoing, while the regulator, as a matter of policy, does not comment on individual pension funds.The scheme’s annual report made clear that the Pensioenfonds Alcatel-Lucent had already been in touch with insurers and industry-wide pension funds.It is still awaiting the outcome of an appeal regarding recovery payment from its former sponsor.The pension fund’s coverage ratio now stands at 98%.At year-end, it had 4,168 participants.
India needs to focus on building a mature market economy, writes Joseph MariathasanChina’s growth rates have been the envy of many countries for the past couple of decades, but that period may have come to an end. India has now become the fastest-growing economy in the world, with the latest figures showing a growth rate of 7.3% in the fourth quarter of 2015 compared with the same period in 2014. India has been perhaps the biggest beneficiary of the collapse in oil prices, and, with no prospect of oil prices bouncing back for perhaps years to come, it will continue to see the benefits.India and China are often seen as regional rivals, yet there has always been a flow of goods and ideas between the two countries – the prevalence of Buddhism in China’s history attests to that. Today, of course, trade between the two Asian superpowers could certainly be much greater. But China’s rise and its impact on the global economy have certainly had major repercussions in India. That also means China’s slowdown will have an impact, too.The slowdown in China is hurting prices and profitability in markets where Chinese companies are significant players. Indian economist and free market advocate Ajay Shah sees two interesting aspects to this for India. First, the problems in China will exert a drag on global tradeable goods prices, which will hit the profitability of tradeable-goods producers in India, while benefiting buyers. Second, Shah asserts that the “China model” will now command less respect in India, which he sees as possibly helping to improve policy formulation in India itself. The first point is that India will get a surge of protectionist lobbying by tradeable-goods companies. This could threaten the 25-year movement towards greater openness to trade. Reduced profitability in tradeable goods will also reshape the contours of the emerging balance-sheet crisis in the Indian private sector. At the same time, companies and industries that buy these cheap tradeable goods will do well. For people with long time horizons, this is a good time to stock up on tradeable goods. As an example, if a company plans to build an assembly line populated with Chinese machine tools, this is a good time to accelerate those plans, as prices for these machine tools will be favourable in 2016-17.The second point is through the space of ideas. India has always had a strong vein of socialist thinking, which guided government policies from independence to the 1990s. There is still substantial support for socialist policies among many parties. As Shah states, for many years, China’s success encouraged this socialist streak in Indian policy thinking. But, he adds, China’s success also seemed to suggest there was an alternative to liberal democracy and a market economy. Chinese policy strategies were held up as a model for what India should be doing. Numerous bad ideas in the Indian economic policy discourse are sold on the grounds that “China does it”.But this was a distraction from the main track India is on: the construction of a liberal democracy, characterised by the rule of law, and a well-functioning market economy. For that, India needs to focus on building a mature market economy. This involves narrowing the work of the state to addressing market failures, embracing the Constitution and the rule of law, and the construction of state capacity for addressing market failures. This involves retreating from government intervention and emphasising the subtlety of policy frameworks that reshape incentives. Shah believes India’s journey is about freedom, the rule of law, institution building and state capacity.The two-way trade of goods between India and China will surely only increase in the years ahead, as will the exchange of ideas. India’s demographic advantage over China may, however, mean its growth rates going forward may persist in being higher. Deciding on which country offers better investment opportunities for foreign investors, though, is not so easy. Joseph Mariathasan is a contributing editor at IPE
The Pensions Regulator (TPR) has intervened in the sale of assets by a manufacturing company to ensure the proceeds have been given to the company’s pension funds.Coats Group, a US textiles group, has agreed to pay £255m (€304.5m) into two of its UK pension funds following “anti-avoidance action” from TPR.Nicola Parish, executive director of frontline regulation at TPR, said it was a “substantial settlement”, adding: “It shows we can and will use our existing powers against a solvent employer if that is the right thing to do… In this case, the settlement will substantially improve the funding of the two schemes and also strengthen the employer covenant supporting those schemes.”Coats Group said in a statement that, on top of the £255m payment, it would make annual deficit-reduction contributions of £14.5m to the schemes. The two schemes account for 90% of the company’s Total UK pension membership.In addition, a third scheme sponsored by Coats has been offered a £74m upfront payment and £3m a year thereafter.The trustees are yet to accept the offer, Coats said, and a TPR investigation into this scheme remains open.TPR sent warning notices to Coats in 2013 and 2014 setting out its case for intervening to secure cash for the pension schemes.Defined contribution (DC) pension providers have made “significant progress” on reducing fees charged to members, according a joint report from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).An independent project board was set up in 2013 to address poor value for money in DC schemes.More than 1m DC savers are now paying less than they were three years ago, the report said.However, progress was “unsatisfactory or unclear” for 16% of assets in contract-based schemes, and 15% of assets in trust-based schemes, the FCA and DWP said.Richard Harrington, pensions minister, said: “I am pleased that more than 1m pension savers will benefit from our push to curb excessive charges in legacy schemes. Nevertheless, some people are still at risk of high charges, so I shall be seeking assurances from the providers of those schemes that they will be taking steps to resolve this issue.”Andrew Bailey, chief executive at the FCA, said the regulator would be contacting providers yet to take sufficient action.“We expect them to act swiftly to ensure good value for customers,” he said.Elsewhere, the Merchant Navy Officers Pension Fund (MNOPF) has claimed it saved its sponsors roughly £300m in contributions over four years through the success of its investment strategy.MNOPF has a large portion of its assets in a liability-hedging strategy, which was a “significant contributor” to its performance since March 2012, the pension fund said in a statement.Willis Towers Watson runs MNOPF’s investment portfolio in a “delegated CIO” fiduciary management arrangement.In the four years since, MNOPF has improved its funding ratio from 68.9% to 81%.The trustees are targeting a 103% ratio by 2025.
UK defined contribution (DC) master trusts are taking too much risk for their older members as they near retirement, according to Hymans Robertson.The consulting group also argued that some were taking too little risk in portfolios for younger members, which could lead to “poorer outcomes”.Hymans Robertson analysed the performance of default investment portfolios run by the UK’s biggest DC master trusts, including NEST, The People’s Pension, and trusts run by Legal & General and Standard Life.Positive investment returns generated by such funds were “largely as a consequence of supportive markets and unusually low levels of volatility”, the consultancy argued. Anthony Ellis, head of DC proposition at Hymans Robertson, said: “In assessing performance, the sole focus mustn’t be on returns. It’s also vital to look at the amount of risk being taken at different stages of the savings lifecycle to ensure it’s appropriate throughout.”The consultancy found that trusts taking a higher risk approach to the early-stage “growth phase” of investing saw better results than lower risk portfolios.The master trust market “delivered very strong returns for members close to retirement” on a one- and three-year basis, Ellis said.However, he argued that “the majority of providers have carried too much risk in this phase”.“At this stage investment risk should de dialled down significantly and the investment strategy should be consistent with the member’s decision at retirement,” Ellis said.“Over 53% of DC pension pots accessed at retirement are fully withdrawn, and 90% of these pots are less than £30,000 [€34,000] in size. In this context it raises a question mark over exposing DC investors to market risk and market falls.”In the “consolidation phase” – defined as five years from retirement – Ellis said the picture for performance and risk was “mixed” across the report’s sample set.More than a third – 35% – of members of workplace pension schemes were enrolled in some form of master trust, Hymans Robertson said. In total more than 7m participate in such schemes.“Until now there has been no recognised method of comparing relative value between the different master trust providers,” Robertson said. “Employers, and more importantly their people, should be able to clearly see that value.”The consultant also claimed that the DC master trust market could control as much as £300bn worth of assets within 10 years.
Source: Pension Protection Fund Mistry’s appointment is the latest in a series of hires for the PPF as it continues to expand its in-house investment capabilities. It had already stated its intention to bring onboard part of its credit portfolio in the 2018-19 financial year.“We may also look to insource other asset classes in the future when we have the necessary resource and expertise in place to do so,” the fund stated in its annual report, released in July.The investment team, led by CIO Barry Kenneth, recently moved from the PPF’s headquarters in Croydon in south London to a central London office in an effort to be closer to the fund’s investment managers and improve its chances of attracting and retaining staff.Last year the fund brought in Tim Robson as head of alternatives and Purna Bhudia as head of credit. In 2015 it hired Trevor Welsh to lead its liability-driven investment strategy, and Ian Scott joined from Barclays in 2016 as head of investment strategy. #*#*Show Fullscreen*#*# The UK’s £30bn (€33.8bn) Pension Protection Fund (PPF) has appointed Sanjay Mistry to lead its alternative credit investing.Previously in the private debt team at consultancy Mercer, Mistry will be responsible for managing the PPF’s existing alternative credit positions as well as sourcing, undertaking due diligence and structuring new investments.The UK lifeboat fund’s line-up of alternative credit managers includes Apollo Management, Ares Management, and Oaktree Capital.According to its latest annual report, the PPF had £3.5bn allocated to ‘other debt’ – outside of its investments in listed government and corporate bonds – at the end of March 2018. Almost three-quarters of its investment portfolio is invested in some form of fixed income.
However, it experienced strong business growth during the year, with total contributions rising 6% to DKK20.1bn.Labour-market pension fund Industriens Pension reported an overall loss of 1.4% for market-rate pensions in 2018, down from its 8.5% positive return in 2017.CEO Laila Mortensen said no one could avoid being hit when equities and other listed asset classes fell as sharply as they did 2018.“But in spite of everything, we can be pleased that our large unlisted investments and focus on spreading risk pulled us in the other direction,” she said.Among individual asset classes, private equity turned in the strongest performance for Industriens with a 12.2% gain last year, while Danish listed shares ended with the biggest loss, dropping 9.3%.LD cut risk to protect portfolioMeanwhile LD Funds – which manages a gradually diminishing pension fund based on cost-of-living allowances granted to Danish workers decades ago – reported a loss of 2.5% on investments in its main balanced product, LD Vælger, in 2018.However, investments had been saved from worse losses, LD said.“At the end of 2017, LD Funds made a decision to reduce the risk in the investment portfolio, and so LD Vælger’s equities allocation was reduced,” it said.The pension provider, which is now preparing to run a potentially huge new pension fund based on one-off holiday allowances, added that investment gains in the early part of this year had already amounted to 2.9%.Danish performance, rankedWillis Towers Watson in Denmark reported that, while falling stock prices last year hit the country’s pension providers, not all were hit equally hard.Comparing the country’s main commercial pension providers, the consultancy said PFA and Velliv had been best last year at limiting the damage to the customers with a long way to retirement, while AP Pension delivered the best protection to customers close to pension age.Meanwhile, Danica, SEB and Skandia generally performed worst among peers in both the short and long term, it said.Morten Linde, head of savings at Willis Towers Watson, said: “Danica underweighted growth shares and thus missed out on the growth delivered… in the second and third quarters.“Velliv, which performed better, had an overweight of growth shares in the first half of 2018 and reduced this proportion during the year, which is part of the explanation for their better result.“At the beginning of the year, SEB had underweight of US equities and overweight of Japanese equities and therefore lost ground, which they did not manage to catch up later in the year.”In the consultancy’s table of comparable pension fund returns, Willis Towers Watson published returns for balanced market-rate pension products containing 50% equities and 50% bonds. On this basis, PFA, Velliv and AP Pension had the slimmest losses.Danish unit-linked pension providers’ 2018 investment performanceChart Maker Denmark’s main pension providers have reported investment losses across their market-rate, or unit-linked, products for 2018.Most companies, however, have emphasised the success of downside protection strategies, including allocations to stronger performing asset classes and protective portfolio action taken earlier in the year.Velliv, which changed its name from Nordea Liv & Pension last year, reported a return related to market-rate products of 4% for 2018, down from a 10.2% gain in 2017.Total assets fell to DKK219bn (€29bn) by the end of December 2018, it reported, from DKK226bn the year before.
Willis Towers Watson (WTW) – The global advisory firm has appointed Matt Scott as a senior director in its Climate and Resilience Hub. Scott played an integral role in the Bank of England’s climate team under Governor Mark Carney from 2014 and led delivery of UK government’s landmark Green Finance Strategy in 2019. In his new role, Scott will spearhead advice on policy, financial regulation and green finance as part of a growing climate business, helping clients manage risk and seize opportunities of the transition to a low carbon, resilient economy.Scott brings more than two decades of experience at the intersection of climate, finance and sustainable business. At the Bank of England, he created the formative physical, transition and liability framework for climate related financial risks and led the bank’s Climate Hub under executive director Sarah Breeden. He also supported the international agenda through the Anglo-Chinese chaired G20 Green Finance Study Group and Central Bank and Supervisors Network for Greening the Financial System (NGFS). In 2018 he was seconded to government, where he led the development and launch of the UK’s Green Finance Strategy which set expectations for mainstream TCFD disclosure by 2022.Cardano Group – The pensions risk and investment management specialist has appointed Marino Valensise as group chief investment officer. In his role as CIO, Valensise will oversee investment strategies and portfolio construction for all clients across the group. Based in the UK, he will work closely with Keith Guthrie, deputy CIO, and Tom Rivers, head of strategy. In the Netherlands, Valensise will work with the group’s LDI team led by Rik Klerkx. Valensise is expected to join the firm on 1 June.Valensise has worked in the investment industry for more than 30 years. He has spent the last 20 years at Baring Asset Management in several roles, including CIO for seven years. Most recently, he was Barings’ head of the multi-asset group and chair of the strategic policy group. He also co-managed the Baring Dynamic Allocation fund. EIOPA, Willis Towers Watson, Bank of England, Cardano, APG, DWS, ERAFP, Isio, Carmignac, HarbourVestEIOPA – Else Bos has been elected to the pension and insurance supervisor’s management board alongside Åsa Larson. Bos is executive board member of chair of prudential supervision at the Dutch regulator De Nederlandsche Bank, and was CEO of PGGM before that. Larson is executive director for insurance at Swedish regulator Finansinspektionen.The women were elected to the board by the voting members of EIOPA’s board of supervisors, on which Bos sits. Their mandates are for two-and-a-half years, with the possibility of one extension. Larson was appointed to the board with effect from 30 January, and Bos with effect from 30 March, according to an announcement from EIOPA today. The management board is chaired by EIOPA chairman Gabriel Bernardino. Anne-Marie Le Doux at APGAPG – Dutch asset manager and pensions provider APG has appointed Anne-Marie Le Doux as head of its Growth Factory as of 1 May. She is to succeed Inge Murrer, who has moved on to become value stream manager for IT platform services at APG. Currently, Le Doux is head of APG’s Agile Center for Enablement. Prior to this, she worked in IT and human resources, also at APG.APG, the asset manager and provider for the €465bn civil service scheme ABP, said it will shift the Growth Factory’s focus from long-term technological innovations to mid-term experiments aimed at increasing business value for its clients. It specifically cited expected changes in the new pensions contract, as part of pensions reform.APG established the Growth Factory in 2015.DWS – Bjoern Jesch is to join the asset manager in July as global head of multi-asset and solutions to succeed Christian Hille, who has decided to leave DWS for personal reasons after 13 years with the firm. Multi-asset and solutions is one of DWS’ three targeted growth areas. Jesch will be responsible for a team of 82 investment professionals and assets under management of €58bn as at 31 December 2019.Jesch was most recently global head of investment management within the international wealth management division at Credit Suisse, and has also worked at Union Investment, where he was chief investment officer and head of portfolio management, and Deutsche Bank and Citibank.ERAFP – Jean-Christophe Lansac has been named vice-president of the country’s pension fund for civil servants. A specialist in pensions and public finance, he has been on ERAFP’s board of directors since 2015 as a representative of trade union Force Ouvrière (FO). He is also a member of the board of directors of Préfon, a voluntary insurance-based pension scheme for French civil servants.Isio – The newly launched UK pensions advisory firm, spun out of KPMG, has appointed Vito Faircloth to the newly created role of head of digital solutions. He joins Isio from Mercer, where he was UK digital solutions leader. Previous roles also include a financial planner for Attivo Financial Planning and a wealth manager for Investment Quorom.In 2016 Faircloth became the youngest fellow in the history of the Personal Finance Society. He is committed to advising and supporting younger people on financial literacy and planning, having co-founded Excelerate Mentoring, a non-for-profit group focused on supporting, developing and mentoring the next generation.Carmignac – The French asset manager has appointed Gautier Ripert as chief operating officer. He will also join the firm’s strategic development committee. Ripert was most recently global head of operations at AXA Investment Managers, where he worked for 16 years. HarbourVest Partners – Tadasu Matsuo has joined the firm, a global private markets asset manager, as a managing director and co-head of the firm’s Japan office. He will be responsible for enhancing and building relationships with institutional investors and general partners in Japan.Prior to joining HarbourVest, he was head of alternative investments at Japan Post Insurance, where he oversaw their global alternatives investment programme, which included private equity, infrastructure and real-estate funds, as well as hedge funds.To read the digital edition of IPE’s latest magazine click here.
30 Yarrawonga Drive, Castle Hill 26 Cleveland Terrace, Townsville CityTwo of the three homes that recorded the most expensive sales were in the suburb of Castle Hill.The median house price in Castle Hill is $970,000, well above the Townsville-wide average of $335,000.Smith and Elliott principal Sally Elliott, who sold the home at 30 Yarrawonga Drive, said the house was on a large usable block, which was rare for Castle Hill. 26 Cleveland Terrace, Townsville CityJanice Gallagher, owner of Janice Gallagher Real Estate, sold 5 Arundel Court and said its magnificent views and luxury appointments helped it attract the record price. “It has one of, if not the best view in Townsville,” she said.More from news01:21Buyer demand explodes in Townsville’s 2019 flood-affected suburbs12 Sep 202001:21‘Giant surge’ in new home sales lifts Townsville property market10 Sep 2020“Because of where it’s situated you can see right around to Mount Louisa.“I think things are also picking up and we’re seeing more sales happening in that high range.”The Cleveland Terrace home, on Melton Hill, also enjoys ocean views out to Cleveland Bay.The historic home is named the Warringah and was built in 1912.It’s set on 1879sq m of land and has generous wrap- around verandas, a swimming pool, five bedrooms and two bathrooms. 5 Arundel Court, Castle Hill.A CASTLE Hill home with an indoor swimming pool has recorded the highest residential sale in Townsville of the past financial year.The home at 5 Arundel Court sold in February for $2.4 million to a couple from regional Queensland. 30 Yarrawonga Drive, Castle Hill“It’s got 1500sq m of usable space,” she said.“I think the fact that nothing had to be done to the house and it was presented in immaculate condition made it very attractive and it also had great views. People are starting to see the value in land so we’ve been getting a lot of interest on good blocks that are easily accessible.” 5 Arundel Court, Castle HillIt has six bedrooms, four bathrooms and 270-degree views of Mount Louisa, Palm Island and the Port of Townsville. Entry is over a boardwalk suspended above a water feature with living fish.The second most expensive home was 26 Cleveland Terrace, Townsville City, which sold for $1.9 million in March, and 30 Yarrawonga Drive, Castle Hill, rounded out the top three by selling for $1.35 million.