By Dialogo December 20, 2012 Colombian Minister of National Defense Juan Carlos Pinzón, and the recently appointed Commander of the U.S. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM), General John F. Kelly, met during the U.S. high-ranking official’s first visit to Colombia, on December 17. During the meeting, both officials analyzed the cooperation mechanisms that Colombia has been boosting with other countries as the main player in hemispheric security concerns. Likewise, they discussed the country’s participation in regional security missions, as well as the security improvements that the nation has achieved. “Colombia has proven to be an important partner, committed to the security of the Western Hemisphere and the international community through its important participation in regional security missions, such as ‘Operation Martillo’”, Gen. Kelly assured. The general, who assumed his position on November 19, highlighted the admiration that other countries in the continent have for Colombia’s courage and strength in the fight against narcoterrorism and transnational organized crime. At the same time, he honored the Armed Forces for their efforts to preserve Colombian democracy and reach an enduring peace in the country. Gen. Kelly also mentioned that U.S. authorities are determined to strengthen the cooperation between SOUTHCOM and Colombia. Finally, Minister Pinzón and Gen. Kelly agreed on the need to keep reinforcing actions aimed at confronting new security challenges, as well as working closely to help seriously injured soldiers in the country’s internal conflict.
Bruce Goddard, the director of Place Projects, said that although developers remained reasonably positive there would no doubt be a drop in inquiries. However, those they did receive were solid leads.“Any inquiries we are getting in these conditions is a quality inquiry, there’s no flippant buyers,” Mr Goddard said.“It’s an opportune time to come in, with fewer buyers in the market, low interest rates and stock market issues,” Mr Goddard said.He said Australian property was appealing to the offshore market, especially among expatriates, who consider home soil as a good place to come back to. Developers will carry on with projects under construction such as Queens Wharf where a multimillion dollar penthouse sold this week. Photo: AAP/David Clark“We are affordable for the offshore market and developers are taking advantage of that,” Mr Goddard said.Peter Chittenden, managing director of residential at Colliers International, said that on a national level the company has had a sharp increase in online inquiries, but foot traffic had dropped.He said that the appetite for investment in residential apartments remained, and people were still selling, but the employment issue was a concern for many. “The reality is that anyone who bought during the GFC and 9/11 events saw that after three years the market lifted and they were rewarded. It didn’t happen immediately.”He agreed there was renewed interest from the offshore marrket, an increase of up to 15 per cent, from buyers wanting to take advantage of the exchange rate.NGU Corp property developer Emil Juresic said he still had properties under construction.His latest development, a five-bedroom, six-bathroom home in Ascot will be launched to the market in April, priced at more than $3.5 million.Mr Juresic said: “A lot of developers are full-steam ahead with projects, but they see a three to five-month hurdle in front of them. We hope by that time coronavirus will be gone.“You don’t build in one month, it takes time,” he said. “I don’t think (COVID-19) will have a massive impact on development at this stage. “But yes, developers will be more cautious because we don’t know how long these times of uncertainty will last. We don’t know what we are dealing with.”Despite this, Mr Juresic said he was about to kick off two new development schemes.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“We will keep building and selling, but how much we expose ourselves in borrowing and the risks we take is still unfolding.”Tony Pennisi, the owner of Hub Projects Beenleigh, said he has received a growing number of inquiries for acreage blocks over the past couple of weeks. There has been a spike is in interest in acreages such as those at Evergreen Ridge in Jimboomba by the developer Terry McKinnon.Mr Pennisi, who is marketing lots at Evergreen Ridge in Jimboomba, attributed the spike of inquiries to COVID-19, saying people were keen to find either vacant land or a house on a large block of land. “People are definitely keen to put space between themselves and their neighbours. Self-isolation makes people think about the important things in life and being confined in suburbia is not their focus now,” Mr Pennisi said.“Acreage gives people more options for a self-sufficient lifestyle, where families can live in larger homes. They can grow food and have space to park their boat or caravans on the block or build a bigger shed.”He said a lot of the inquiries were from the greater Brisbane area and mostly via Facebook and their website. Destination Brisbane Consortium project director Simon Crooks said their contractors were onsite and working safely and tirelessly to progress the construction of Queen’s Wharf Brisbane. “Our workforce is strictly following government guidelines, but otherwise its business as usual as concrete continues to be poured onsite to build the basements of the integrated resort,” Mr Crooks said.“Interest in the residences remains strong and following government guidelines we have introduced additional measures such as adopting a one appointment only at a time at our display suite.” QLD property industry adapts to new ways of buying and selling amid COVID-19 crisis NGU Corp’s new-build project, a five-bedroom, six-bathroom home in Ascot, will launch to the market in April, priced at more than $3.5 million.Brisbane developers are lapping up opportunities to sell new homes and off-the-plan apartments, particularly to offshore buyers, before the COVID-19 crisis takes full effect.A multimillion-dollar penthouse was sold last week at Queens Wharf Residences and inquiries have been strong from multi-generational families looking to build a “family compound”. MORE CORONAVIRUS NEWS: Millions in home sales as virtual reality auctions kick off What next for our housing market?