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US: Can housing power the economic recovery?

Posted on 05 April 2013 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Economic recoveries usually begin at home. Even though the housing construction has historically only accounted for roughly 5% of America’s economic activity, that number tends to rise following recessions, placing a disproportionate burden on the housing sector to lead the economy to recovery.
Why is this? There are several reasons. First of all, since a new home is usually the biggest purchase any of us will make, we tend not to do it during recessions. Recessions cause housing demand to become pent up and then released once a recovery begins. Secondly, investment in a new home usually necessitates many other big ticket purchases like furnishing and appliances. ……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Investors widen U.S. rental search as home costs rise

Posted on 05 April 2013 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Landlords seeking the highest returns for single-family homes should hit the road as rental rates weaken in Atlanta, Phoenix and Las Vegas, where institutional investors have flooded the market.
The best deals, measured by leases and the cost of becoming a landlord, are in Memphis, Tennessee, Saginaw, Michigan and Toledo, Ohio, according to a report today by RealtyTrac, a real estate data provider………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Paulson says US is on its way to another housing market crash

Posted on 05 April 2013 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

If it does not reform Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the state-backed lenders that guarantee mortgages and were implicated by economists in the financial crisis, the US may face another housing crash, former Treasury secretary Hank Paulson said.
“Today, the government is guaranteeing 90 per cent of the mortgages,” Paulson will say. “If the government keeps doing this, and markets aren’t allowed to work, we’ll be right back where we were in 2007 and 2008.” Paulson called for reform, saying that the fact Fannie and Freddie have swung into profit should not blind policymakers to the dangers of a lender not restricted by market rigour………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Is Wall Street creating another U.S. housing market bubble?

Posted on 05 April 2013 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Where there’s smoke there’s fire. When it comes to rising home prices, the question is whether the on-fire price increases are a healthy sign of a housing recovery or a smoke screen masking another investor-led real estate bubble. The answer is it’s both.
So, the real question is: are the two compatible and is the trend sustainable. The answer to that compound question is “yes” and “no,” in that order. On the surface, everything is coming up roses. According to closely followed real estate data provider CoreLogic, U.S. home prices jumped in February by the largest amount in seven years. They rose 10.2% compared to a year ago, and were up 0.5% from January to February………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Dubai property market still benefiting from Arab Spring, Euro and Cypriot crisis

Posted on 05 April 2013 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

All residential developments in Dubai, especially those with quality buildings or those in prime areas, have continued where they ended 2012 with a strong Q1 2013 performance. Apartment sale prices grew on average by 12% in the three months to the end of March 2013, standing at 27% year-on-year growth. In comparison, although average villa sales prices only climbed 5% in Q1 2013, growth averaged 24% over the past 12 months.
The performance of rental rates was also impressive, average apartment and villa rents grew by 3 and 4% compared to Q4 2012, but still managed to climb 19 and 21% respectively over the past year………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Indian expatriates drive Dubai’s property growth

Posted on 05 April 2013 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Indian expatriates are among the top investors in Dubai’s property market, which is expected to grow 10-12 per cent this year, company officials and analysts say.
“Expatriates, mainly from India, Russia and Saudi Arabia, are leading the growth. Indians are among the top five investors in Dubai’s property market,” Ziad El Chaar, managing director of Dubai-based Damac Properties, said. He said Dubai’s real estate sector witnessed around 10 per cent growth in 2012 and this was likely to further accelerate this year………………………………………..Full Article: Source

India: Realty projects on a roll, despite slowdown

Posted on 05 April 2013 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

“Save lakhs by buying a pre-launch flat…excellent location, reputed builder, metro connectivity”… “Holi offer: Plot in just Rs 12 lakh before Holi, rate revising soon”… “Last chance to grab personal suites, pay 15 per cent now, no EMI till 18 months”… “Most awaited project launching at Rs 6,550 per sq ft, next rate Rs 7,550 after this week, book profit”.
These are among the hundreds of promotional messages which have flooded the inbox of mobile phones over the past few months, more so since the beginning of 2013, after a longish lull. But even as developers are on a spree to launch residential projects, it may not mean the end of trouble for the sector………………………………………..Full Article: Source

American housing market ‘roars back’

Posted on 04 April 2013 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Home prices in the United States surged at their quickest annual pace in seven years in February as the housing market defied signs of cooling growth elsewhere in the economy. A report by CoreLogic showed that property values rose by 10.2 per cent, the fastest since March 2006, when the sub-prime fiasco was in its infancy.
However, the report was overshadowed by separate data suggesting that there had been a pause in recruiting by construction companies and a slowdown in services growth last month amid concern about the impact of government spending cuts………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Downtown NYC office vacancies fall on technology demand

Posted on 04 April 2013 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Lower Manhattan office vacancies fell in the first quarter to the lowest since 2008 as technology and creative firms priced out of the midtown south area spilled into the market, Cushman & Wakefield said,
The vacancy rate downtown, home to the city’s financial district, declined to 8 percent from 9.2 percent a year earlier, the New York-based real estate services firm said in a report today. More than 20 percent of leasing below Canal Street in the first quarter was by technology and media firms, Cushman said………………………………………..Full Article: Source

India: Why the real estate market could crack in 2013

Posted on 04 April 2013 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

For middle class Indians, investing in property has been the surest bang for the buck. On an average, property values have quadrupled in the last decade.
But now there are increasing signs that the dream run that real estate has enjoyed over the last decade could be coming to an end. Real estate practitioners point to slowing sales and rising inventories. As this story in The Economic Times explained, there is a glut of independent homes in south Delhi. Around the country, in separate micro-markets, the story is no different………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Immigrant dreams to keep sparking U.S. housing recovery

Posted on 03 April 2013 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Efforts to revamp U.S. immigration laws may bring at least one unintended benefit for the economy: The nascent housing recovery will probably get an added boost. The number of foreign-born homeowners will increase by 2.8 million in the decade ending 2020, compared with a 2.4 million gain in the previous 10 years, according to a Mortgage Bankers Association study that didn’t assess the potential impact of any new legislation.
Research by a group of Hispanic real-estate agents concludes the increase could be even bigger if undocumented workers were put on a path to citizenship………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Boston office market shows signs of recovery

Posted on 03 April 2013 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Office space vacancies in downtown Boston fell below 10 percent in the first months of 2013 for the first time since 2009. High employment in the high-tech sector and life sciences are the industry’s major drivers in the region’s recovery, growing at 9.8 percent and 5.0 percent year-over-year, respectively, according to new data from Jones Lang LaSalle.
Businesses are increasingly making the move into the downtown area, creating a shortage of space, the consultancy said. The vacancy rate is evidence that the market is “officially in full recovery,” the firm announced in its latest report………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Property prices and rents increase in Dubai

Posted on 03 April 2013 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Demand for property in sought after locations in Dubai is increasing and pushing up prices, according to the latest research report from property company Asteco.
The figures show that the average cost of an apartment in Dubai increased 12% in the first three months of 2103 and prices have now risen 27% year on year………………………………………..Full Article: Source

A housing bubble threatens China

Posted on 03 April 2013 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

With Beijing’s notoriously cold winter behind us, those living in the Chinese capital are looking forward to warm weather and perhaps a wind of change in the second quarter. Now that the country has new leaders, everyone is watching to see if President Xi Jinping and his administration will start pushing through much-needed economic reforms.
Many in the public are hopeful that Xi will make good on his pledges to set the country on a new path and help over 1.3bn achieve what he described as the China dream. Investors are waiting for signs the government will take serious steps to put more money in the pockets of its people and improve access to China’s vast consumer market………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Hong Kong businesses vanish as rents soar: Real estate

Posted on 03 April 2013 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Over the past decade, car-repair shop owner Benny Chan has seen more than 70 percent of his small-business peers disappear as his Hong Kong neighborhood fills up with high-end Western bars and Japanese restaurants.
“Rents here are going up multiple times,” said Chan, who’s been in business since 1985 in the Tai Hang area, just east of the ritzy Causeway Bay shopping district. “We’ll all be out of here in the next four to five years.”……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Canada: Housing bears need to relax and take the long view

Posted on 02 April 2013 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Back in 2009 and 2010, I was quite worried about Canadian house prices sliding down a slippery slope. But the more I looked into the specifics of the Canadian situation, the more it appeared I had a case of “recency bias.” I believe the same can be said of the housing bears who are still voicing their worries.
The collapse in U.S. house prices was traumatic and it gets a lot of weight when people reflect on the Canadian market. Too much, it would seem: busts of such magnitude are exceedingly rare historically, especially in reflationary environments where printing presses are going into overdrive………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Construction spending in U.S. rises on gain in home building

Posted on 02 April 2013 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Construction spending in the U.S. rose in February, paced by the highest level of home building in more than four years. Outlays climbed 1.2 percent to an $885.1 billion annual rate, following a 2.1 percent decrease in January, the Commerce Department reported today in Washington. The median forecast of 41 economists surveyed by Bloomberg called for a 1 percent rise.
Near record-low borrowing costs and an improved outlook for jobs are lifting demand for residential real estate, giving a boost to homebuilders including KB Home. (KBH) Faster hiring would ensure a more sustained rebound in the industry, allowing for bigger gains in construction spending………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Americans can move house again

Posted on 02 April 2013 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

One of the biggest obstacles to improvements in the US job market since the Great Recession struck has been the fact that many Americans were stuck geographically, weighed down by an inability to sell houses that were “underwater”—that is, worth less than the mortgage on them.
That effects the efficiency of the economy. Put simply, a car mechanic with a family and an underwater house in Schenectady, New York is going to have a tough time getting one of the plentiful jobs in the North Dakota gas fields, even if his skills are somewhat transferable, because he can’t move his family. But that’s changing………………………………………..Full Article: Source

UK: Commercial property: Turning a corner?

Posted on 02 April 2013 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Investors seeking income are looking again at commercial property as returns from cash and bonds continue to fall. But experts are divided over whether now is the right time to get back into bricks and mortar.
While commercial property funds used to be a popular option for a stocks and shares individual savings account (Isa), investors have largely steered clear of the sector following the big price falls seen in the aftermath of the credit crisis. Many funds were forced to close in 2008 as savers flocked to withdraw their money………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Dubai property ‘recovering strongly’

Posted on 02 April 2013 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Dubai’s property market is strongly recovering after reaching its lowest point since the 2008 global fiscal distress although the recovery remains uneven through the emirate’s various areas, according to a key Saudi bank.
Indications point to a continued recovery in this sector, a key component of the emirate’s GDP, but the momentum could be hampered by supply overhang and government plans to introduce caps on mortgage credit to individuals, the Saudi American Bank Group (SAMBA) said in its monthly bulletin………………………………………..Full Article: Source

South Korea introduces property market relief

Posted on 02 April 2013 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

South Korea introduced a package of measures on Monday to boost home sales, as prices in greater Seoul continue to fall and transactions have hit their lowest ebb on record. The measures come just a month after President Park Geun-hye’s inauguration, as she moves quickly to meet a campaign pledge to reduce household debt—most of which is related to homeownership.
The new measures—announced in statement from the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport, together with other government ministries—range from cutting the supply of public housing, to tax breaks for first-time home buyers, to relief for the “house-poor,” those who are struggling to pay off the principle on their mortgage as the value of their home declines………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Did you miss out on the housing rebound?

Posted on 28 March 2013 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

For years, it seemed like the housing market would never turn around. However, recent data indicates that the U.S. is finally in the midst of a housing recovery. But have investors missed out?
Pointing to a recovery: New home purchases recently spiked to numbers we’ve not witnessed since 2008. Builders are constructing new homes at a pace not seen since five years ago, and building permits, considered a leading indicator of construction, are nearing a five-year high………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Home prices poised to move higher as fear of losses has dissipated

Posted on 28 March 2013 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Remember that mob psychology dominates all asset purchases. It doesn’t matter if you are buying stocks bonds, precious metals or real estate. Last year Apple could do no wrong. If you didn’t own it, well, you were missing the most amazing stock. How could you not own it? The drumbeat was constant creating a bubble.
Then, abruptly, the music stopped as the hedge funds who were supporting Apple into their fiscal year end on October 31st, began to bail out. Right now the debate is over how low might Apple fall, how well can Tim Cook run the company and will they ever have another good idea. The asset class matters little. It’s all about human nature and not wanting to miss out on easy money………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Australia to continue as commercial property investment hotspot in 2013: Jones Lang LaSalle

Posted on 28 March 2013 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Nearly half (45%) all real estate investment into the Asia Pacific region is flowing into Australian commercial property markets. This is double the next biggest markets of Japan (19% of investment) and China (18), according to Jones Lang LaSalle, with investors attracted to Australia by its transparent markets, efficient regulatory regimes supported by solid economic fundamentals and relatively high yields.
Offshore buyers of Australian commercial property are now around four times greater than those selling their investments, a trend that commenced in 2007 and which has grown more pronounced in the last three years………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Home prices growing as fast as before rhe housing collapse: Case-Shiller

Posted on 27 March 2013 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

With the Federal Reserve firmly in support the housing market continues to show signs of substantial improvement. The most widely followed measure of home prices, the S&P/Case-Shiller indexes, rose at its fastest rate since the summer of 2006 in January, data released Tuesday showed.
While prices remain nearly 30% off their pre-housing bubble peaks, a drawing down of the shadow inventory and a continued positive trend in home sales point to further strength ahead, with Barclays’ economic research team estimating home prices will gain between 6% and 7% this year………………………………………..Full Article: Source

US housing recovery becoming more widespread, latest index suggests

Posted on 27 March 2013 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

US home values nationwide rose for the sixteenth straight month in a row in February as the real estate market recovery gathered pace, according to the latest index from Zillow. Its Home Value Index rose to $158,100 and all 30 of the largest metro areas covered by the index registered both monthly and annual appreciation in advance of the traditional spring home shopping season.
Overall values increased by 0.1% compared with January and were up 5.8% up year on year, the second largest annual gain since August 2006, exceeded only by January’s 6% year on year jump. The last time national home values were at this level was in June 2004………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Housing recovery: Where do we stand?

Posted on 27 March 2013 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

After years of withering on the vine, the nation’s housing market finally is showing signs of new life. Home prices are up while mortgage rates are at historic lows, and bidding wars have broken out in some formerly down-and-out locales.
William Hardin, director of real estate programs and Tibor and Sheila Hollo research fellow at Florida International University in Miami, says that while housing prices will recover in nominal terms, a “real” recovery will take “much longer.” In the interview below, he outlines his thoughts about the challenges facing today’s buyers, sellers and homeowners………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Fewer Canadians plan to buy a home as housing market cools

Posted on 27 March 2013 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Fewer Canadians are planning to purchase a home in the next two years, but more than a third of those will be first-time homebuyers, according to a study released Tuesday.
The annual poll by Royal Bank found that 15% of those surveyed say they’re likely to buy in the next two years, a drop from 27% from the previous year. Among those with buying intentions, 40% say they’ll be signing a mortgage for the first time………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Swiss property boom hasn’t led to imprudent lending - Finma

Posted on 27 March 2013 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Switzerland’s market supervisory authority Finma said Tuesday it had found no evidence of “any large-scale imprudent” mortgage lending by banks despite the Alpine country’s buoyant property market. The recent price gains in the Swiss real estate market–driven largely by historically low interest rates and the influx of cash-rich migrants–has shored up the country’s economy, but at the same time has spurred demand for residential property, Finma Chief Executive Patrick Raaflaub said at a briefing Tuesday.
“The Swiss mortgage market was, and still is, one of the main issues we have addressed in the recent past, and our stress tests analyze on an on-going basis whether mortgage loans are backed by enough equity,” Mr. Raaflaub said………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Cairo property improves, despite country instability

Posted on 27 March 2013 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

As the Egyptian government struggles with political and economic instability, the Cairo real estate market reports improvement in all sectors. Vacancies in Grade A office buildings slid to 20 percent for the first quarter, a decrease from 29 percent in the fourth quarter of 2012, according to a new report from Jones Lang LaSalle.
New Cairo, a satellite city of Cairo created in 2011, witnessed the completion of a new 6,700-square-foot Grade A office project in the first quarter of 2013, bringing the total stock in Cairo to approximately 791,000 square feet, JLL reports………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Investors pile into housing, this time as landlords

Posted on 26 March 2013 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

U.S. housing recoveries almost always have been ignited by rising demand from families and individuals looking for a place to live. This recovery is different. Investors—including some big Wall Street players—are leading the way, say industry executives and analysts. Their role is noteworthy given that flippers and speculators were blamed for helping to inflate the housing bubble of the past decade.
Today’s investors are mostly buying with the intention of holding on to the homes and renting them out. ……………………………………….Full Article: Source

This housing recovery is different: Investors are now big buyers

Posted on 26 March 2013 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

There’s no doubt that housing is recovering. Existing home sales—which account for the bulk of the market—have topped year-ago levels for 20 months in a row and existing home prices have bested year-ago levels for 12 consecutive months. In addition, inventories of those homes have dropped to a 4.7 month supply — far below the more normal 6 months.
But unlike past housing recoveries, this one is heavily supported by investors — big and small. They account for about a third of home purchases in the existing housing market, according to the National Association of Realtors………………………………………..Full Article: Source

India: Slowdown in IT space hits commercial real estate sector

Posted on 26 March 2013 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Slow uptake of office space by information technology firms in India is beginning to cast a shadow over the country’s commercial real estate sector, data from property consultancy firms indicate.
Figures provided by two property consultants — Cushman & Wakefield and DTZ — show that absorption of office space in 2012 across the top eight Indian cities stood at 29.05 million sq ft, a 23% decline over the previous year. Of this, the share of the IT sector, which accounted for 64% of the commercial space absorbed in 2009, dropped to 44% in 2012 at 13.22 million sq ft. It was 16.08 million sq ft in 2011………………………………………..Full Article: Source

China: Property lures investors

Posted on 26 March 2013 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

China may see an increase in property transactions involving international investors in 2013, fueled by the economic recovery and the rosy outlook of China’s commercial properties, industry experts said.
“On one hand, a number of deals are in the pipeline after lots of negotiations were conducted last year. On the other hand, the top management of international real estate funds are also under pressure because few deals were concluded last year,” said Andy Zhang, managing director of Cushman & Wakefield China………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Japan property market gaining investor interest

Posted on 26 March 2013 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

With land prices stabilizing, Japan’s troubled property market is gaining investor interest as the market improves. Land prices fell by 1.8 percent in 2012, the smallest decline since 2008, according to a recent government report. The slowdown in land pricing drops and expectation of government action to improve the economy are viewed as positive signs for investors, according to a Wall Street Journal report.
“In the next year or two, nationwide land prices may start to gain, led by the metropolitan areas,” Takashi Ishizawa, chief real-estate analyst at Mizuho Securities Co. told WSJ………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Housing is back on track

Posted on 25 March 2013 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

“Real estate is back!” exclaimed a talking head on a financial network last week. The cause of the enthusiasm was the surprisingly strong Housing Starts report. In case you missed it, starts were up a better-than-expected 0.8 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 917,000 from February.
Building permits, an indication of future demand, were up 4.6 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 946,000, the highest rate since June 2008………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Conditions align for Australian property “perfect storm”

Posted on 25 March 2013 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

After almost a decade of relentless foreign investment, the bang of Australia’s mining boom may have finally popped – and as the smoke clears, a resurgent property market has revealed itself as the next quarry for foreign investors. The strength of Australia’s housing market has amazed observers, resolutely standing tall, while competitors such as France and the United States have been battered by the global financial crisis.
According to China-based property analyst Marcus Lin with Sunrise Property Group (SPG), Australia avoided a similar fate due to critical structural factors that will only strengthen in the medium to long term………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Freddie Mac failing homeowners, watchdog says

Posted on 22 March 2013 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Freddie Mac and its regulator are not doing a good enough job bird-dogging complaints by homeowners about the companies handling their mortgages, a federal oversight official said Thursday.
The mortgage giant’s eight largest mortgage servicers resolved more than 25,500 “escalated” complaints from homeowners between October 2011 and November 2012, but failed to take care of 21% of them within the required 30-day window, according to a report from the inspector general overseeing the Federal Housing Finance Agency………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Canada real estate remains promising for foreign investors

Posted on 22 March 2013 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Mortgage and housing market expert, Marcus Arkan, who also works as the CTO of Syndicate Mortgages, has recently presented his view on opportunities available for foreign investors in Canada’s housing market. According to Mr. Arkan, local housing markets are not only filled with plenty of diverse opportunities, but investment does not require going through a hefty and complicated process.
Mr. Arkan’s opinion is backed by New York Time’s international real estate article that also highlights the investment opportunities for foreign investors, especially from the US………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Sudden rise in home demand takes builders by surprise

Posted on 21 March 2013 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

After six years of waiting on the sidelines, newly eager home buyers across the country are discovering that there are not enough houses for sale to accommodate the recent flush of demand.
“In my 27 years I’ve never seen inventories this low,” said Kurt K. Colgan, a broker with Lyon Real Estate in the Sacramento metropolitan area, where the share of homes on the market has plummeted by one of the largest amounts in the nation. “I’ve also never seen a market turn so quickly.”……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Canada housing to slow, stagnate, but not crash: Scotiabank

Posted on 21 March 2013 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

A slowdown in Canada’s housing market will continue through 2013 and years of stagnation may follow, but no crash is likely because demographic trends will support demand in the medium term, a report by Scotiabank said.
The report by Canada’s third-largest bank said that home sales have already dropped more than 10 percent from spring 2012, with prices leveling off but not yet falling except in particularly hard-hit markets………………………………………..Full Article: Source

US: Fastest growing boomtowns

Posted on 20 March 2013 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Rising oil and gas prices have brought big oil, plenty of workers and lots of housing headaches to the nation’s fastest-growing boomtowns. Williston, N.D.: The small city of Williston, N.D., was once a sleepy farm town — until oil companies discovered ways to tap the vast Bakken formation believed to hold as many as 24 billion barrels of oil.
Dickinson, N.D.: Located on the southern edge of the Bakken formation, Dickinson is going through similar growth as Williston. In fact, out of all metro areas — large and small — last year, Williston is the only place in the country where the population grew faster………………………………………..Full Article: Source

The U.S. housing bubble is back

Posted on 20 March 2013 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Has the U.S. housing bubble begun to reinflate? In the past several months, there has been a lot of speculation to that effect, but so far, no one other than David Stockman has really come out and committed to an affirmative answer. And even Stockman didn’t specify when such a new bubble in the U.S. housing market might actually have begun.
But what really sparked our interest in this topic today is the unexpected strength in the number of initial unemployment insurance claims being filed during the last several weeks, which along with the strength of the construction industry cited in the latest employment situation report, suggests that the U.S. housing industry is finally showing signs of robust growth, at least as measured by rising sale prices for homes………………………………………..Full Article: Source

London drives yearly UK house price growth of 2.2pct

Posted on 20 March 2013 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

British house prices rose by an average 2.2pc to £234,000 in the year to January, as London’s booming property market grew still more split from the rest of the country. The headline UK price growth represented a slowing of the 3.3pc rate seen in the year to December, due to a 0.7pc monthly price fall in January alone, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).
Monthly movements can be volatile and the ONS said house price growth remains “relatively stable” across most of the UK. House prices are now at similar levels to mid-2008 prices, although they remain below their pre-crisis peak………………………………………..Full Article: Source

S.Africa: Demand for houses on the rise

Posted on 20 March 2013 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Demand for residential property increased in the first quarter of 2013, according to the FNB Estate Agent Survey released on Tuesday. The indicator for demand in the survey rose from the previous 5.89 to 6.57, FNB household and consumer strategist John Loos said.
“This is the highest level since the first quarter of 2007, which was just prior the big slump in the residential property market,” he said. On seasonally adjusted data, the demand rating also rose from a previous quarter’s six to 6.26 in the first quarter of 2013, the highest level since the first quarter of 2007………………………………………..Full Article: Source

UAE: Growing investor interest in health care real estate

Posted on 20 March 2013 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Property and retail markets could stand to benefit from growing investor interest in the UAE’s niche healthcare real estate segment, analysts and developers say. “It’s a sector of the market that traditionally has not been catered for by real estate investors but now there’s more investor interest in this segment,” said Craig Plumb, head of research for Mena at Jones Lang LaSalle.
A combination of government spending and a crowded traditional property market in the region is prompting investors to seek opportunities in healthcare real estate, which includes hospitals, clinics, medical universities and medical towers, he said………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Upcountry realty offers challenges, chances

Posted on 20 March 2013 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

The stellar growth in residential real estate last year was driven by strong demand. Thanks to favourable drivers including solid consumption, momentum from housing purchases after the great flood, tax incentives for first-time home buyers, and access to consumer credit, the real estate market has been upbeat.
The residential real estate market size in Bangkok and its vicinity now surpasses 300 billion baht, or a compound growth rate of 10% a year over the past five years. Nonetheless, various Bangkok-based developers are eyeing opportunities beyond Bangkok, raising interesting points: why do Bangkok-based developers need to expand to the provinces and will they be successful in establishing their franchises?……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Future of the housing market is ‘a great unknown’: Robert Shiller

Posted on 19 March 2013 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

There’s no doubt the housing market is recovering. New and existing home sales are well above the levels of a year ago and inventories are at their lowest level in 13 years. Plus, home prices are 7% higher than they were a year ago, according to the latest S&P/Case-Shiller report.
But along with this good news are growing concerns that another bubble is forming in the housing market. Feeding those fears is a growing number of all-cash purchases for homes—primarily by speculators. They account for 27% or more of existing home sales every month over the past year, according to the National Association of Realtors………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Commercial property the ‘belle of the ball’

Posted on 19 March 2013 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Perhaps it sounds like a broken record at this point: Economically, Canada is in a good spot. Just look at the bustling commercial real estate market. A wall of capital is waiting to be placed, and its investors are fighting over core assets in Canada, experts say.
High-quality commercial real estate has become a good alternative to bond investments for a large pension fund, or other investment vehicles, says Ian MacCulloch, national research director with Colliers International, a real estate investment advisory company………………………………………..Full Article: Source

China: Housing prices rise in more cities

Posted on 19 March 2013 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

New home prices rose more steeply in more Chinese cities in February, putting the government in an increasingly complex situation of regulating the bubble-ridden market, official data showed Monday.
Of a statistical pool of 70 major Chinese cities monitored by the National Bureau of Statistics, 66 cities saw home prices increase within 3.1 percent in February from a month earlier, while three saw prices remain unchanged and only one reported price falls………………………………………..Full Article: Source

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