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Canadian house prices edge higher in April

Posted on 15 May 2013 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Canadian home prices rose in April from March as three strong cities in Western Canada more than offset weak showings elsewhere, while the annual gain in prices slowed, the Teranet-National Bank Composite House Price Index showed on Tuesday.
The index, which measures price changes for repeat sales of single-family homes, showed overall prices rose 0.2% in April from a month earlier, but the weakest April gain in 15 years except for the 2009 recession. The index was up 2.0% from a year earlier, the smallest 12-month gain since November 2009……………………………………Full Article: Source

Trulia: It’s still a housing rebound, not a bubble

Posted on 15 May 2013 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Home prices today are rising nearly as fast as they did during the peak bubble years of 2005 and 2006. Since that bubble helped push us into the Great Recession, we should all be on high alert for the next housing bubble.
To track whether home prices are in or nearing bubble territory, today we introduce Trulia’s Bubble Watch, which is based on the most recent price data from the Trulia Price Monitor and other data sources. So are we in bubble territory? No. bubble-phobes can rest easy. Even with recent sharp home price increases, prices are still low relative to fundamentals and are far below bubble levels……………………………………Full Article: Source

Housing improvement may herald return of U.S. workforce mobility

Posted on 14 May 2013 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

While far from their 2006 peak, home prices in major metropolitan areas have been rising since early 2012. If that persists, it should make it easier for Americans to move and for employers to match job seekers with available jobs, lowering the jobless rate and increasing overall economic productivity and growth.

“Until the real-estate market picked up, people wouldn’t even consider a move without the certainty that they could sell their homes,” said Jerry Funaro, vice president of global marketing for TRC Global Solutions, a domestic and international relocation service based in Milwaukee…………………………………………Full Article: Source

German asset managers join forces to launch US property boutique

Posted on 14 May 2013 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

A German asset management boutique and a US property investor, both based in Germany, have launched a joint venture to create a new company targeting institutional and private clients looking to invest in US real estate.
The Feri group, based in Bad Homburg near Frankfurt, and US Treuhand, based in Darmstadt, will form new company UST Immobilien GmbH. US Treuhand manages at present a multi-billion euro portfolio through a third-party firm, Florida-based Estein & Associates USA, that oversees the buying and selling of US properties………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Spain home expropriation plans seen violating EU bailout

Posted on 14 May 2013 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Spanish politicians trying to cushion the blows of austerity plan to seize foreclosed homes to house the needy, discouraging foreign investment and threatening to violate terms of the European bailout of the country’s banks.
The regional governments of Andalusia, with the most vacant properties in the country, and the tourist destination of the Canary Islands, are planning to expropriate foreclosed properties for as long as three years to house displaced families………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Turnover of real estate market in Azerbaijan grew by 40pct up to AZN 900 mln for past quarter

Posted on 14 May 2013 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

The Central Bank of Azerbaijan reports that turnover of country’s residential property market for 1st quarter of 2013 increased by 40.1% against the same term of 2012. In 2012 the index grew by 24.86% against 2011.
According to the CBA, turnover of residential property (the cash flow of notary’s offices) reached AZN 882.75 bn by 1 April 2013 versus AZN 629.947 million a year earlier………………………………………..Full Article: Source

18.3pct price increase puts Dubai among world’s hottest property markets

Posted on 14 May 2013 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Property prices in Dubai rose 18.3 per cent in the past one year (March 2012 to March 2013), with the emirate maintaining it’s position among the top five best performing real estate markets in the world, according to a new report.
According to Knight Frank’s first quarter 2013 Prime Global Cities Index, the emirate is ranked fourth in the list of 29 global cities. Prices rose 5.4 per cent in the last three months (December 2012 to March 2013), the third highest in among the global cities compared………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Is this the spring for real estate?

Posted on 10 May 2013 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Real estate enthusiasts are well aware of the seasonal strength usually seen in the business in the springtime. However, so far this season it has been hard to find sign of a spring fling, save perhaps in the performance of the iShares Dow Jones US Real Estate ETF (IYR), up 16% year-to-date through May 8.
As far as real estate data are concerned, we have seen only weak indications of better activity thus far. Perhaps the most compelling evidence so far came this past Wednesday, but it was a questionable sign at that. Real estate remains in need of confirmation from its monthly measurements………………………………….Full Article: Source

Dubai: Delinking valuations from real estate cycles

Posted on 10 May 2013 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Valuations should be based on solid surmises rather than led by demand spikes. “It usually takes five or six years to recover from a downturn” — such a statement was repeatedly used by many after the Dubai property market’s decline in 2008… and they were right.
Dubai’s real estate market cycle shows strong signs of reversal for the first time since then and many stalled developments have resumed. Dubai is now gearing up for the next boom………………………………….Full Article: Source

Australia: Confused by reports on what the property market is doing? You’re not alone

Posted on 10 May 2013 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Did city prices stagnate in the March quarter? Or did they show moderate growth? Or perhaps they rose strongly? All three interpretations are possible, depending on which information source you choose to highlight.
The publication this week of the house price indexes from the ABS highlight how important it is for reporters to do more than simply parrot the figures from that single source, with their own inexpert interpretation. Data released earlier from other sources contradict those interpretations………………………………….Full Article: Source

Stronger housing market raises financial risk for NZ - RBNZ

Posted on 09 May 2013 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

A surging New Zealand housing market is raising the risks to the country’s financial system, prompting a move to tighten lending rules for major banks, while an overvalued currency is hindering the rebalancing of the economy, the central bank said on Wednesday.
The Reserve Bank of New Zealand (RBNZ) repeated warnings that house prices are overvalued in some areas and banks have loosened their lending rules, which is leading to households becoming more indebted and more vulnerable………………………………….Full Article: Source

Another U.S. housing market crisis on the horizon?

Posted on 08 May 2013 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Home prices are heating up, as the flow of new homes and permits continue to steadily increase and the attraction of historically low mortgage rates motivates buyers. The buyers that are driving up the housing market are not only the buyers of principal homes, but also the investors who are attracted to the relatively lower home prices and cheap financing.
What is interesting is that we are seeing major buying from not only the smaller investor who may dabble in an investment property, but also the large institutions and hedge funds that are getting into the swing of things, gobbling up hundreds and thousands of properties at lower prices………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Canadian housing - bursting bubble or gentle landing?

Posted on 08 May 2013 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

It’s looking like an unsettling spring in Canadian housing, a market that has proven far more even-keeled and less scary for investors in recent years than in the United States.
In what is traditionally the best season of the year for real estate agents, Toronto agent Ecko Jay says the industry is seeing far fewer buyers, a result of tighter lending rules, high prices and fear of a bubble. In Toronto alone, sales dropped 40 percent in the first quarter from a year earlier, making homeowners and investors jumpy………………………………………..Full Article: Source

London property prices continue to outperform

Posted on 08 May 2013 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

According to HM Land Registry All Transaction Data, prices in the area rose 25% across the year to reach an average of £1,186,817. LCP said this price increase is equivalent to earning £122 an hour for a working week, 14 times the London Living Wage (£8.55).
Two years down the line from the 2011 Budget, headline results show a complete recovery from the rise in Stamp Duty from 4% to 5% for purchases above £1m. The bunching in sales under £1m, which occurred following the 2011 stamp duty increases, has now burst through and the £1m - £2m price band has seen a staggering increase in transactions of 84% since last March………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Stamp duty chokes sales of Hong Kong commercial property

Posted on 08 May 2013 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Commercial property deals in the city fell sharply over the past three months as short-term investors shied away after the doubling of stamp duty on the purchase of both residential and non-residential properties.
“Buyers held off in the hope that vendors would cut their asking prices to compensate for the increased investment cost caused by the doubled stamp duty,” the executive director of Asia investment services at agency Colliers International, Antonio Wu, said. “But vendors were reluctant to cut the prices as they are still enjoying high rental yields.”……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Singapore luxury property – A dormant market worth exploring

Posted on 08 May 2013 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

With personal income tax capped at a modest 20% and no capital-gains tax, it’s unsurprising that Singapore has become a magnet for wealth around the region. In a recent survey of 1,000 mobile millionaires, Singapore was deemed the most desirable place to call home in Asia – billionaires Richard Chandler and Eduardo Saverin are amongst the notable individuals who have chosen Singapore as their home-away-from-home.
According to Boston Consulting Group’s 2012 Global Wealth Report, Singapore has the world’s highest density of millionaire households at 17.1% or 188,000 households………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Swiss property market slows in first quarter, says UBS

Posted on 07 May 2013 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

The rate of increase in Swiss house prices slowed in the first quarter, research showed on Friday, suggesting moves by the government to deflate a property bubble are starting to take effect.
The UBS real estate bubble index rose 0.06 points to 1.17 points, lower than the average quarterly rise of 0.11 points over the past four years. A reading between 1.0 and 2.0 on the index means the market risks a correction, while anything over 2.0 indicates a bubble………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Canadian housing: Bursting bubble or gentle landing?

Posted on 03 May 2013 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

It’s looking like an unsettling spring in Canadian housing, a market that has proven far more even-keeled and less scary for investors in recent years than in the United States.
In what is traditionally the best season of the year for real estate agents, Toronto agent Ecko Jay says the industry is seeing far fewer buyers, a result of tighter lending rules, high prices and fear of a bubble. In Toronto alone, sales dropped 40 percent in the first quarter from a year earlier, making homeowners and investors jumpy………………………………………..Full Article: Source

World’s most expensive property prices set to grow by 27pct in next five years

Posted on 03 May 2013 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

The value of residential property purchases over £10 million in the world’s top financial hubs of London, New York, Hong Kong and Singapore is set to grow by 27% in the next five years according to a report released today by developers Candy & Candy.
The research, which has been produced by Candy & Candy, Savills and Deutsche Bank and examines the recent and immediate future of ultra prime property markets in these four cities which are regarded as being at the forefront of global private wealth flows………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Canada: The real cost of home ownership

Posted on 02 May 2013 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

The sucker’s analysis of whether it’s affordable to buy a first home is to compare the cost of rent and a mortgage payment.
Any veteran homeowner can tell you that mortgage payments are only a portion of what it costs to own a home. First-time buyers may be familiar with additional costs such as property taxes, but there’s a whole range of other expenses that are sporadic and thus hard to quantify………………………………………..Full Article: Source

First people to buy through UK’s help to buy scheme move in

Posted on 02 May 2013 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

The first people to buy their home under the UK’s new £4.5 billion Help to Buy scheme have the keys to their new three bedroom semi detached house. The first time buyers have moved into their Taylor Wimpey home in Liverpool after securing a 20% loan under the government scheme which then enabled them to obtain a 75% loan to value mortgage. They put down a 5% deposit.
It means that former Queens Guardsman Nikolai Invanovic, 25, and nurse Catherine McClean, 26, who have moved from Northern Ireland, will now benefit from lower monthly payments while they progress their careers………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Is Hong Kong’s property bubble about to burst?

Posted on 02 May 2013 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

It’s one of the big questions in global finance these days. Hong Kong has the highest home prices among major global cities, including London, New York and Tokyo, according to a report by the international property consultancy Savills.
Many believe the market is ripe for a setback, although opinions differ on how serious………………………………………..Full Article: Source

How to fix the great real estate after-bubble

Posted on 26 April 2013 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

There’s an additional reason the Wall Street property grab will injure struggling homeowners: Single family homes make a truly lousy absentee investment. Many of us who have become accidental landlords — after moving or the death of a parent — have learned that management easily becomes a nightmare. The very nicest people can turn into “tenants from hell” — such as drug addicts.
Then there’s the rent. “My check bounced? Are you sure? I promise I’ll get you another check as soon as my paycheck comes in.” Worse, there’s maintenance. “I know it’s three AM, but my toilet is plugged up and overflowing.” “Have you tried using the plunger?”……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Spanish real estate prices near bottom, Santander CEO Saenz says

Posted on 26 April 2013 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Banco Santander SA (SAN)’s decision to “retract” as much as 1 billion euros ($1.3 billion) of provisions to cover property price declines may show Spain’s real estate market is close to its lowest point, Chief Executive Officer Alfredo Saenz said.
Santander, Spain’s biggest bank, set aside the funds for for this year to cover the risk that price declines would accelerate. The bank is “retracting” the provision because it now doesn’t expect it will be needed, he said……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Inside China’s economy: ¥710bln lent to property market in Q1

Posted on 26 April 2013 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Chinese banks lent ¥710.3 billion to the property development in Q1 2013, ¥466.7 billion more than a year earlier, according to a report released by the central bank. Property loans represented 27% of total lending in Q1 2013. Outstanding loans taken out by the real estate sector, including those issued by foreign banks, amounted to ¥12.98 trillion as of the end of March 2013, up 16.4% from a year earlier, the People’s Bank of China said.
Total outstanding loans rose 14.9% from a year earlier to ¥65.76 trillion as of the end of March 2013 after ¥2.76 trillion, ¥294.8 billion more from a year earlier, were lent during Q1 2013. Outstanding loans for small and midsized businesses rose to ¥11.78 trillion as of the end of March 2013, up 13.5% from a year earlier………………………………………..Full Article: Source

China’s Q1 outstanding property loans up 16.4pct

Posted on 26 April 2013 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

China’s outstanding real estate loans in the first quarter rose 16.4 per cent from the same period a year ago, even while overall industrial lending slowed, providing new evidence that the property market in Asia’s largest economy is still heating up.
Banks in China had 12.98 trillion yuan (S$2.6 trillion) in loans to the property sector by the end of March, according to data posted yesterday on the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) website. The rise in outstanding loans in local currency compares with a year-on-year increase of 12.8 per cent at the end of the fourth quarter last year………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Australia: Property values to double?

Posted on 26 April 2013 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

The S&P/ASX 200 has made significant gains this year on the back of heavy investments made in blue-chip stocks. Recent turbulence in the mining industry and overseas markets has left many investors wondering whether the share market has run its race, and whether now may be the time to take their profits and seek gains elsewhere.
The solution that those investors are looking for may have been answered by RP Data, which released results suggesting that the value of Australian properties are set to soar. According to the results, a total of 263 suburbs in Australia have recorded an average annual growth rate of above 7.2% over the past five years – 68 of which are located in Melbourne………………………………………..Full Article: Source

UK: Banks report housing market boost and predict increase in first-time buyers

Posted on 25 April 2013 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

There was a faint whiff of possible good news for homeowners in the latest mortgage statistics published on today. Mortgage approvals climbed slightly in March, suggesting government moves to bolster the property market may be beginning to be successful.
Some 31,227 home loans worth £4.8bn were approved in the month, according to the British Bankers’ Association, up from a seven-month low of 30,579 in February.The BBA said the February slump was because of a seasonal winter slowdown, but it was cautious about signalling a recovery………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Is there a Chinese housing bubble?

Posted on 24 April 2013 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Shanghaiist is pleased to present this exclusive excerpt from Landed China: Key Local Knowledge You Need When Buying Property, by Christopher Dillon. Christopher is an award-winning author who has previously written about buying property in Hong Kong and Japan.
As this book went to press, many people were debating whether China was in the middle of a real estate bubble. The answer to that question is complex and a lot is riding on it………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Korea’s household debt-to-income ratio hits 9-year high in 2012

Posted on 24 April 2013 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

The ratio of South Korea’s household debt against disposable income rose to the highest level in nine years in 2012 as debt grew at a faster pace than income amid the economic slowdown, central bank data showed Wednesday.
The ratio of households’ debt against their disposable income came in at 136 percent in 2012, slightly up from 134 percent in the previous year, according to data by the Bank of Korea (BOK)………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Home prices up 12 pct as investors bet on real estate

Posted on 23 April 2013 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Prices of existing homes in the US rose 12 percent in March from the same month last year, as the real estate market continues to bounce back, providing much-needed help to the nation’s economy.
A key factor in housing’s recovery is strong demand from major corporate investors, who see profit in the combination of still-depressed real estate prices, near-record-low interest rates, and strong demand for rental housing………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Inside America’s billionaire housing boom

Posted on 23 April 2013 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Stocks have been sliding. Goldbugs are reeling. China’s growth is slowing. Speculation is flying that France and Germany may face credit downgrades. And the hefty offshore accounts of rich investors, particularly Russians, face seizure in Cyprus as bailout looms.
But one market continues to thrive on the steadfast barrage of economic uncertainty: luxury housing………………………………………..Full Article: Source

The future of housing – Less government, more private capital

Posted on 23 April 2013 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Our nation’s housing finance system is broken. Yes, it looks as if the housing market is slowly beginning to recover from the recession. And, yes, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac turned a sizable profit last year. But these positive developments cannot mask the fact that far too many Americans still cannot buy or refinance a house.
The solution is not to be lulled into a false sense of complacency, but rather to refashion the system to preserve access to long-term credit for working families.Today, the federal government is effectively the sole credit allocator for housing finance, backing about 90% of new single-family loans…………………………………………Full Article: Source

Macau: High prices strangling second-hand market: Realtor

Posted on 23 April 2013 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

The second-hand real estate market is being negatively impacted by a mismatch between the prices asked by sellers and bank valuations, Centaline (Macau) Property Agency Ltd writes in its latest market review.
The realtor’s March review says bank valuations of second-hand homes are far from the prices asked by sellers, adding to the buyers’ down payment costs, our sister publication Business Daily reports………………………………………..Full Article: Source

London luxury property market price growth unsustainable: Grosvenor Group

Posted on 22 April 2013 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

The luxury property boom in London is unsustainable, according to Grosvenor Group, the £5.8 billion investment group. It told Reuters that the rate of luxury home price growth in London looks shaky after years of foreign investment in the safe-haven market.
Luxury home prices there have increased 53% since 2009 compared to 25% in the rest of Greater London, according to Knight Frank………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Abu Dhabi rents slip 3pct in Q1, says CBRE

Posted on 22 April 2013 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

An Abu Dhabi government ruling for its employees to live in the emirate is starting to have an impact on the local property market, CB Richard Ellis has said in a new report.
The real estate firm said the initiative had lifted leasing volumes in the emirate although residential rents still fell by an average of three percent in the first quarter of 2013 compared to the previous quarter.CBRE said it expected to see further government-led interventions to take place to stimulate the market in the future but did not elaborate on what they might be………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Property needs to be viewed as investment class asset

Posted on 22 April 2013 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Property needs to be seen as an investment class asset to ensure self-managed super fund (SMSF) trustees are receiving adequate advice.
Following the release of the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) taskforce into SMSF advice last week noting property spruiking activities in the sector, Property Investment Professionals of Australia (PIPA) chair Ben Kingsley told InvestorDaily that activity was the result of the area not being regulated as an asset class. “It’s this area that continues to remain a problem child, which is that property investment is not an investment class asset,” Mr Kingsley said………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Sydney property prices regain all lost ground

Posted on 22 April 2013 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Property prices in Sydney have regained all their losses since the property slump in 2010 making it the first Australian city to do so whilst Melbourne has maintained steady prices despite predictions that prices would fall further.
According to RP Data Rismark, property prices in Sydney rose 1.5 per cent in March making it the first city in Australia to regain all the ground lost over the last three years………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Inside America’s billionaire housing boom

Posted on 19 April 2013 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

“The U.S. is just coming out of a housing downturn and it’s become a global safe haven for investors,” says Jonathan Miller, chief executive of Miller Samuel, a New York-based real estate appraisal firm. “But this time it’s not carpenters and nurses quitting their jobs to become mom-and-pop investors; it’s billionaires looking to sink money into unique properties.”
Miller believes these unique properties have become a “new global currency,” as investors view prime trophy real estate as a safe, relatively low-risk place to park cash that hedges against inflation while diversifying an investment portfolio………………………………………Full Article: Source

S.Arabia: Real estate experts expect the housing bubble to burst soon

Posted on 19 April 2013 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

The royal order related to land grants and construction loans will lead to a reduction in the Kingdom’s current exorbitant rents and property prices, a spokesman for the Ministry of Housing was quoted as saying in local media.
Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah has ordered the Ministry of Municipal and Rural Affairs, municipalities and localities, to hand over all developed pieces of land and plots ready for construction to the Ministry of Housing which will, in turn, distribute them to citizens with loans. Real estate experts say the king’s ruling will see a drop in real estate prices. Some expect a huge decline in rents because the land will be available to citizens within a year………………………………………Full Article: Source

King orders land and home loans for Saudis

Posted on 18 April 2013 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah has issued orders to grant citizens plots of land that have already been developed to build houses, and loans to construct houses on that land. The directive follows an earlier order of the King allocating SR250 billion to build 500,000 housing units for citizens without a home throughout the Kingdom.
Minister of Housing Dr. Showaish Al-Dhuwaihi said that the King’s new order shows his keenness to make available adequate housing facilities for citizens. King Abdullah ordered the Ministry of Municipal and Rural Affairs to immediately hand over all government land designed for housing purposes to the Ministry of Housing…………………………………..Full Article: Source

China local authority debt could be worse than US housing market crash

Posted on 18 April 2013 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

China can face a similar or even bigger financial crisis than the United States if the local Government debt remains out of control for long, says a Senior Chinese auditor Zhang Kew Hoc, who is also the vice chairman of China’s accounting association, report CNBC.
Zhang Ke said that his accounting firm Shine Wing, due to mounting concerns, is not signing off on bond sales by local governments. Zhang said that they audited local government bond issues, which was full of risks. “Most don’t have strong debt servicing abilities. Things could become very serious” he said………………………………….Full Article: Source

Forget the housing crash, this market has been booming

Posted on 17 April 2013 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

The housing crash of 2007-2008 that spilled into the great financial crisis is not news to any investor. Many are familiar with the devastating effects that collapse of the over-leveraged housing market had on the lives of individuals around the country.
However, despite all of the negativity in the nationwide housing market, one city has been booming in particular. With average capitalization rates form buildings near 20 year lows and new development around the city, this location has been a developers dream city. But this dream may become a nightmare very quickly… Which city is this that is booming so rapidly, that is attracting hot money from big developers all around the country? No, it is not New York or San Francisco, and it’s not some glitzy suburb of silicon valley……………………………………Full Article: Source

China property prices climb as cities defy government policies to cool housing market

Posted on 17 April 2013 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

All real estate markets are local, says the industry axiom, one that China’s central government is painfully aware of as its efforts to rein in home prices are undermined by uncooperative municipal authorities.
Former Premier Wen Jiabao, in his final endeavour to make housing affordable, set an April 1 deadline for higher down payments and interest rates for second-home loans in cities with “excessively fast” price gains and ordered stricter enforcement of taxes on sales. Thirty-five provincial-level cities responded with measures insufficient to curb prices that climbed 150% from 2003 to 2012……………………………………Full Article: Source

Neediest homebuyers in U.S. lifted by Japan: Mortgages

Posted on 15 April 2013 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

U.S. homebuyers are getting an unexpected boost from the Bank of Japan. As Governor Haruhiko Kuroda’s efforts to spark inflation by doubling the central bank’s bond purchases shrinks the available debt in his country, traders are betting that will bolster demand for U.S-owned Ginnie Mae’s mortgage securities, pushing up prices and lowering yields that guide home-loan rates.
Japanese investors venturing into the U.S. home-loan market typically favor debt from Ginnie Mae, which helps finance borrowers with down payments as low as 3.5 percent, because it carries an explicit government guarantee, unlike Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac notes………………………………………..Full Article: Source

UK ‘dependent’ on property market

Posted on 15 April 2013 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

The UK will be “heavily dependent” on the property market this year, with one million house transactions set to offset continued eurozone woes. The Ernst & Young Item Club’s spring forecast warns that the UK will have to wait until 2015 before exports start contributing positively to growth.
It expects GDP to expand by just 0.6% this year and that, with the rebalancing of the economy on hold, the UK will again have to rely on the consumer. This year’s forecast 7.5% rise in housing transactions comes as mortgage costs start to fall due to the Government and Bank of England’s Funding for Lending scheme. And in last month’s budget, Chancellor George Osborne announced plans to underwrite £130 billion of mortgages from next year………………………………………..Full Article: Source

The Boomer housing bust: coming to Australia?

Posted on 15 April 2013 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

They’re calling it the great “senior sell off” and it’s scaring suburban America. Still recovering from the housing market crisis of 2007-09, America’s latest concern is a looming glut of unsellable suburban homes as ageing baby boomers seek to downsize.
Respected demographer Arthur C. Nelson, Director of the Metropolitan Research Centre, University of Utah, has analysed data from the American Housing Survey, finding that over the past 30 years, 80% of new homes built in the US were detached single family dwellings. Much of this new construction was of the McMansion variety, exceeding 230 square metres in size, as the post war baby boomers (born in between 1946-1968) raised their families………………………………………..Full Article: Source

U.S. housing regulator extends popular refinance program

Posted on 12 April 2013 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

The top U.S. housing regulator on Thursday extended by two years a popular federal refinancing program to allow more borrowers with government-backed loans to lower their monthly mortgage payments.
The Home Affordable Refinance Program, or HARP, allows borrowers with loans backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to cut loan payments by refinancing at record low interest rates even if their homes have lost value. The Federal Housing Finance Agency, which oversees Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, said it would extend the program until the end of 2015. It had been set to expire at the end of this year………………………………………..Full Article: Source

US: Can we afford another housing boom?

Posted on 12 April 2013 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Fannie Mae put an exclamation point on the housing rally with last week’s announcement of its largest-ever annual profit. The news comes soon after Fannie’s cousin, Freddie Mac, announced its own record high. These results may seem like cause for celebration after years of losses at the two taxpayer-backed mortgage giants.
But they also underscore the urgent need for reform to ensure that the next real estate boom doesn’t end as badly as the last one………………………………………..Full Article: Source

UK: One in two people expect house prices to rise in the next 12 months – the highest level in two years

Posted on 12 April 2013 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

The number of people who believe property prices will increase over the next year is at highest level for at least two years, a study has found. Almost half – 45 per cent – expect prices to rise over the next 12 months while just one in eight predict declines, according to the research by Halifax.
The latest findings show the strongest overall sentiment that house prices will increase since the quarterly study began in April 2011, and add to a string of recent reports pointing to signs of optimism creeping back into the market………………………………………..Full Article: Source

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