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Real Estate Briefing - Archive | December, 2008

Property market tipped for major recovery

Posted on 30 December 2008 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Firstrungnow.com: The UK property market could soon be on course for a major recovery, it has been suggested. National Association of Estate Agents chief executive Peter Bolton King said that many members of the body have recorded house price falls of up to 20 per cent, but noted that some have also seen indications of the market bottoming out.

He predicted: “It seems possible to me that once the recovery begins, we could see a bounce as pronounced as the fall.”….. Full Article: Source

UK house price experts differ on depth of fall

Posted on 30 December 2008 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From FT: House prices in Britain are set to fall by an average of 10 per cent next year, according to forecasters, with some experts expecting the decline to bottom out after summer.

There is a wide disparity between the most optimistic forecasts – that the market will remain flat – and the most bearish predictions of a further 20 per cent fall in house prices….. Full Article: Source

Still opportunities to invest in property overseas

Posted on 30 December 2008 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Birminghampost.net: A Midland property specialist believes there are still opportunities to invest in overseas markets despite the plummeting pound bringing misery to thousands of people who invested in Spanish homes.

Britons who bought property in Spain in the last few years are experiencing the double-whammy effect of plummeting property prices combined with a severely debilitated pound….. Full Article: Source

London house prices hardest hit

Posted on 30 December 2008 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From BBC: House prices in London fell further than in any other part of Britain in 2008, according to new figures. A survey of more than 1,800 estate agents across the UK found that London house prices fell by 10.1%, compared with an 8.7% overall slump.

The survey, conducted for property information firm Hometrack, estimated that a further overall price drop of 12% is expected for next year….. Full Article: Source

Spain existing home prices fall in 2008

Posted on 30 December 2008 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Reuters: Spanish existing housing prices fell 7.22 percent in 2008, property website Facilismo.com said. “The year 2008 has been ominous for our economy and there is no doubt that the real estate sector has been the most punished,” said Facilismo.com operations director Juanra Doral.

“But against the backdrop of the global crisis, the year-end situation offers a window of hope, with the euribor declining and the possibility that banks might begin to facilitate mortgages,” he said….. Full Article: Source

Germany probes Hypo Real Estate

Posted on 30 December 2008 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Businessweek.com: Hypo Real Estate, the German mortgage lender that has received billions of euros in government bailouts, is being investigated for insider trading.

Just three months ago, the German government, the German central bank (Bundesbank) and several credit institutions agreed to provide HRE with €50 billion ($71.7 billion) in liquidity to prevent the bank’s collapse and a chain reaction that would have hit other German banks….. Full Article: Source

UK homeowners prefer to pay mortgage than spend

Posted on 30 December 2008 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Building.co.uk: Figures reveal negative housing equity withdrawal for second successive quarter. Official figures show that UK homeowners are no longer using their property equity to fund spending, the BBC reports.

Quarterly figures from the Bank of England for July to September have revealed that housing equity withdrawal has been negative for the second successive period, showing that homeowners are now concentrating on paying their mortgages instead of using their property to release cash for spending….. Full Article: Source

Russian giant PIK to get state support

Posted on 30 December 2008 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Propertyweek.com: Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has announced that the country’s biggest property developer can count on a range of state support after its shares fell 96% over the last six months.

PIK Group revealed that it had qualified for state aid to the Stock Exchange today….. Full Article: Source

Britons inject record equity into housing market

Posted on 30 December 2008 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Guardian.co.uk: Britons injected more equity into the housing market in the third quarter of this year than at any time since records began in 1970, Bank of England figures showed on Monday.

The figures highlight the extent to which credit is being restricted and will put further downward pressure on consumer spending….. Full Article: Source

Housing market faces ‘make or break’ 2009

Posted on 30 December 2008 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Choices.co.uk: The UK property market faces a “make or break” year in 2009, according to the National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA). The NAEA has predicted that houses prices will bottom out at some point during the next 12 months, while certain areas will start to see an increase in sales.

The association has also said that it expects to see the Bank of England cut interest rates further during 2009’s first quarter….. Full Article: Source

Buying up in Turkey

Posted on 30 December 2008 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Hurriyet.com: Financial Times is recommending its readers buy residential or holiday homes next year, selecting the 10 top locations, it has included Turkey’s Belek, Altınkum and Bodrum’s coasts, with an emphasis on the ’substantial and beautiful coastline’

Buying up in Turkey Turkey has been rated among the 10 top locations by the Financial Times, or FT, of places people can safely buy residential or holiday homes next year….. Full Article: Source

Scary property stats: South Africa vs the world

Posted on 30 December 2008 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Realestateweb.co.za: The combination of a decreasing property values with increasing interest rates has put the residential property market in a precarious position this year.

The South African housing market is in a bind - we have a historic housing shortage and thus huge demand at the entry level but that isn’t going to stop prices declining further….. Full Article: Source

Nigeria: Realtors predict bright prospects for 2009, differ on outgoing year

Posted on 30 December 2008 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Allafrica.com: The real estate sub-sector, which industry experts have described as the power base of a thriving economy, has received knocks for under performing in the outgoing year.

But some sections insist otherwise, saying that 2008 recorded a remarkable boom for investors. They were, however, unanimous in their projections for the New Year, stressing that the global economic meltdown notwithstanding; things would eventually turn out okay….. Full Article: Source

Ajman’s first ‘Green’ building launched

Posted on 30 December 2008 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Khaleejtimes.com: Modern Life Properties, a joint venture partnership company, in conjunction with Indiana Real Estate, unveiled The Habitat — the first ‘green’ building in Ajman, at a gala event held recently at the spectacular Grand Hyatt Gardens.

“The Habitat is a landmark project that perfectly combines the socially responsible and the financially logical elements that have become all the more important to the end-user in recent times,” said Nizar Al Zaidi of Modern Life Properties….. Full Article: Source

Rental property in Dubai still in high demand

Posted on 30 December 2008 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Shelteroffshore.com: There’s something of a stalemate situation going on in Dubai at the moment – on the one hand rental property in Dubai is still in extremely high demand with more expatriates arriving every month and seeking accommodation. And on the other hand, there are fewer investor buyers acquiring property to let out.

This means that the intense pressure that has existed in the rental market for some time is not easing – if anything it is intensifying….. Full Article: Source

Ajman’s property sector shows robust figures despite finance crisis

Posted on 30 December 2008 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Gulfnews.com: Investments into Ajman’s property sector have crossed the Dh400 billion mark, according to reports. Despite deflated markets around the world and also here in Dubai, such robust figures mark a good year ahead for Ajman and its investors.

Property prices also saw an overall appreciation of 40 per cent in 2008….. Full Article: Source

Bulgarian property and real estate market 2009

Posted on 30 December 2008 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Questbg.com: It’s not really going to do any harm to do a little crystal ball gazing about the Bulgarian property market for 2009, after all the world’s financial and property experts have got it totally wrong for more than a year now, so we can’t do any worse.

A brief scan of the Bulgarian property market during 2008 shows that, the market has slowed but is still growing. Q1 brought large price increases of more than 20%, but eventually, as the global financial crisis impact started to be felt, Q3 brought rises of only 3%…… Full Article: Source

Indian real estate players bank on commercial papers

Posted on 30 December 2008 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Business-standard.com: Indian real estate and other manufacturing companies have stepped up borrowings through issuances of commercial papers (CPs) after the country’s central bank injected liquidity by cutting cash reserve ratio and as banks continue to shy away from extending loans.

Cash-strapped real estate firms are resorting to short-term borrowings of funds to complete ongoing projects as the economic slowdown has virtually halted demand for properties, freezing cash flows….. Full Article: Source

Shanghai issues new measures to boost property mkt

Posted on 30 December 2008 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Reuters: Shanghai, China’s financial hub, has issued new measures to make it easier for people to buy their second homes in a bid to help its ailing property market.

Shanghai citizens will now be allowed to buy second homes on the same preferential mortgage terms enjoyed by those buying their first homes, the city government said in an announcement posted on its official website (www.shanghai.gov.cn)….. Full Article: Source

China to avoid drastic price decline in property market

Posted on 30 December 2008 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From China Knowledge: China should avoid sharp fall in housing price, though a modest fall in housing cost may help sustain a healthy property market in the long run, sources reported, citing Zhang Mao, the vice minister of the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), China’s top economic planning body.

According to Zhang, drastic fluctuations in real estate market may have severe negative impacts on the nation’s economy, and a drastic price decline should be prevented….. Full Article: Source

Year when slowdown burst the real estate bubble

Posted on 30 December 2008 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Expressindia.com: After years of riding high on a boom that took housing beyond the reach of the common man, the unreal realty market got to feel the heat of the economic meltdown.

The year began with builders offering cosmetic discounts like free parking, furniture and electronic goods to woo customers. These builders did everything but bring down their astronomical prices….. Full Article: Source

Indian real estate market a safe bet, say consultants

Posted on 30 December 2008 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Offplanpropertyexchange.com: Affinity Solutions said putting money into property was one of the most secure ways of protecting against the global recession. People now have become “quite sceptical” over investing and dealing with shares, meaning real estate was now seen as safer, the company added.

Affinity specialises in helping investors buy and sell in Indian cities like Noida, greater Noida and Gurgaon….. Full Article: Source

Vietnam: No real estate recovery in sight

Posted on 30 December 2008 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Thanhniennews.com: The Vietnamese real estate market could remain in limbo next year because of the global economic slowdown, property industry executives and other experts said at a recent conference in Hanoi.

Dang Hung Vo, the former deputy minister of natural resources, said property prices could continue to fall if there are no measures to attract more capital into the industry.
“It will be difficult for the market to recover in the coming year.”….. Full Article: Source

Australia: The great house price myth

Posted on 30 December 2008 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Businessspectator.com: Few subjects elicit more emotive debate than house prices. And rightly so given that the average Australian family has 60-70 percent of all their wealth in the world invested in their home.

Understanding whether house prices are moving up, down or sideways is of vital importance to us all. Yet as the co-producer of one of Australia’s most frequently referenced house price indices, I have been amazed at the number of times individuals have expressed disbelief at the remarkable resilience displayed by the median Australian house price during the last 12 months….. Full Article: Source

US real estate market needs caution, expert warns

Posted on 30 December 2008 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Offplanpropertyexchange.com: The US real estate market is set to improve in the long run, but investors should avoid making “hasty decisions” a financial expert has said. Michael Lombardi released a Christmas Eve report saying he was cautiously optimistic for the future of the US economy and gave thumbs up to interventions by the Federal Reserve.

But he warned against buying property or shares at the wrong time, noting there was more bad news to come from the current downturn….. Full Article: Source

The great real estate bust of 2008

Posted on 30 December 2008 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Guatemala-times.com: What brought on the collapse of home prices in 2008 that is the root of the financial crisis now enveloping much of the world?

Home prices in the United States, as measured by the Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices, have plummeted more than 40% in real inflation-adjusted terms in some major cities since the peak around the beginning of 2006. Nationally, including all cities, the fall is over 25%….. Full Article: Source

Canada: No end in sight yet for housing price sag

Posted on 30 December 2008 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Toronto.ctv.ca: The big question for any Toronto property owner is this: Will my home be worth more or less by this time in 2009? And for any aspiring property owner, the big question is: Is this the right time to buy — assuming I think can keep my job through this economic turbulence?

The answer in both cases is: No one knows….. Full Article: Source

REIT review for 2008

Posted on 30 December 2008 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Investopedia.com: Real estate investment trusts (REITs) had a rough year along with most of the market in 2008. The worst ride for the group had to be for those that owned shopping malls, as the combination of the credit crisis affecting commercial borrowing and the consumer slowdown in shopping provided a one-two whammy that punished the stock prices as the underlying businesses struggled.

If you were at a mall this year, and from the numbers, not enough shoppers were, you probably noticed the growing number of empty and vacant stores….. Full Article: Source

Doing right by REITs

Posted on 30 December 2008 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Barrons.com: Real Estate Investment Trusts aren’t insulated from the rest of the economy; their shares are down 40% to 45% this year. But, ironically, says Tony Edwards, executive vice president and general counsel of the National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts, REITs are performing pretty well operationally.

They’ve fallen so much, in his view, simply because of the credit crunch. “The market is not convinced that REITs will be able to refinance the debt coming due over the next three years,” he adds…… Full Article: Source

A wish list for U.S. commercial real estate

Posted on 29 December 2008 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From IHT: Before Christmas this year, as the U.S. government scrambled to fix a recalcitrant economy, some businesses received early holiday gifts. There was $100 billion for the American International Group, the insurance giant; $250 billion for banks; and at least $13 billion for automakers.

President-elect Barack Obama has also signaled that he would spend more than $700 billion on infrastructure projects to help create jobs, while the Treasury Department has an additional $350 billion available from the rescue funds authorized by Congress in September. …. Full Article: Source

2009 real estate forecast: troubles spread

Posted on 29 December 2008 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Dailynews.muzi.com: 2008 was the year that subprimes borrowers and speculators got hurt by the real estate crisis. 2009 could be when everyone else gets hit.

Until now, the nation’s most serious home price declines have been in low-cost markets that were dominated by subprime mortgages, and in overbuilt markets such as Florida, California, and Las Vegas, where residential values are sliding fast toward pre-housing boom levels….. Full Article: Source

New York City sees USD 5 bln of property projects stalled

Posted on 29 December 2008 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Propertywire.com: The ever changing New York skyline is likely to remain static for the next few years as developers simply do not have the money to undertake any kind of construction work.

Almost $5 billion worth of property projects in New York City have been delayed or cancelled because of the economic crisis, according to research….. Full Article: Source

Canada: Office Market positioned to survive a bruising recession

Posted on 29 December 2008 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Commercialpropertynews.com: As a deep recession looms around the world, there is a country where a conservative investment community has resisted speculative office construction, enabling vacancy rates to fall to historically low levels and rents to continue rising through the third quarter of 2008.

Where is this magical land? Canada. According to an analysis of the office markets in six major Canadian cities by Toronto-based Colliers International in Canada, the Canadian office market will finish 2008 well positioned to withstand the recession….. Full Article: Source

Brazil - a stable market for residential and commercial real estate

Posted on 29 December 2008 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Propertywire.com: South America, and Brazil in particular, is a more inviting and stable option for property investors than other parts of the world, according to an analysis looking forward to 2009.

Growth in consumer spending and homebuying, expanding retail activity and job creation all point to economies in the region being in a better position to cope with the global downturn…. Full Article: Source

UK banks face GBP70bln property bombshell

Posted on 29 December 2008 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Telegraph: Britain’s banks face up to £70bln of losses on commercial property loans, enough to force some of them into a further round of taxpayer bail-outs.

Investment bank Close Brothers forecasts massive writedowns in light of its forecast 50pc-60pc slump in commercial property values by the end of 2009 compared to the market’s 2007 peak. Most property experts believe such values have already dropped 30pc this year. …. Full Article: Source

Bulgaria, is this the worlds next property hotspot?

Posted on 29 December 2008 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Potterworldonline.com: For a whole number of reasons, foreign investment capital at the moment is streaming into Bulgaria with a vengeance and one of the prime reasons for this influx of Western capital are the huge gains to be made in the Bulgarian property market.

At present in Bulgaria’s capital Sofia, in the residential sector remains the most dynamic segment in the real estate market. Currently demand is outstripping supply of about course is driving the market….. Full Article: Source

House price forecasts for 2009 – how far can they fall?

Posted on 29 December 2008 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Hip-consultant.co.uk: Will house prices continue to fall in 2009? Undoubtedly they will; it bears remembering that the current trend of falling house prices did not begin this year, as the first signs of an impending crash were seen in many quarters in the latter part of 2007.

In the year that followed the market took blow after blow, and construction companies halted progress on new sites and put new plans on the back-burner as sales dried up….. Full Article: Source

Is it time to get back into property?

Posted on 29 December 2008 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Times Online: Millions of investors waiting out the slump in commercial-property funds run by the likes of Norwich Union and New Star — which have lost 21% and 22% respectively — will be hoping he is right.

The outlook for the residential market in 2009, on the other hand, suggests more pain to come. Analysts predict prices have between 10% and 20% further to fall, having dropped about 15% since October 2007, according to nationwide building society….. Full Article: Source

Why no one predicts an end to the property gloom next year

Posted on 29 December 2008 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Guardian: Estate agents, house builders and analysts are unanimous - 2009 will be a grim year for the housing market. Most pundits have come into line with predictions made by estate agency Savills in the spring that prices will continue falling throughout next year.

“The mainstream market will bottom-out at the end of 2009, or the beginning of 2010, having fallen 25% from its peak,” says Savills’ research Chief Yolande Barnes. That means a further 10% fall in 2009, given the 15% drop recorded by many indices so far….. Full Article: Source

Billionaire tycoon Caudwell scents property opportunity

Posted on 29 December 2008 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Telegraph: Billionaire tycoon John Caudwell, who founded the Phones4u retail chain, is piling into Britain’s beleaguered commercial property market in a sign that some investors believe that prices may be bottoming out.

Caudwell has spent about £80m of his money on commercial property in London and elsewhere during the last three months as prices nosedived in parts of the country….. Full Article: Source

Europe’s once-hot property goes cold

Posted on 29 December 2008 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From WSJ: European commercial property is in free fall and there isn’t any sign of a parachute. Capital values have plummeted, leaving funds facing high redemptions as investors clamor to withdraw their cash. Property companies risk breaching loan covenants.

And rents, which have hitherto provided the consolation of a steady income stream, are starting to fall as well. There still is a way to go to the bottom….. Full Article: Source

UK: Up to one in four homes on market still unsold after a year

Posted on 29 December 2008 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Independent: Up to one in four properties have remained unsold for a year in some parts of Britain, according to a new assessment of stagnation in the housing market.

In Rochdale, Lancashire, as many as 26 per cent of properties for sale have languished on the market since the beginning of 2008……. Full Article: Source

Property pain hits homeware outlets

Posted on 29 December 2008 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From FT: Shops whose fortunes are linked to the strength of the housing market have been the worst hit. Several high street names such as furniture chain MFI have already gone into administration, and sales of big electrical goods and items for the home have seen sales fall most sharply.

Consumers have held off on these expensive items as they feel increasingly strapped for cash, unwilling to invest more in houses that are already taking up too much of their income, and also move house less often - flattening demand for big purchases often reserved for a new home….. Full Article: Source

Few signs of light in gloomy housing market

Posted on 29 December 2008 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Independent: ‘It’s always darkest before the dawn” is a well-worn phrase, and those involved in the UK property market – estate agents, developers and sellers – hope that it proves true as they prepare to bid goodbye to 2008. The housing market, it seems, has never been in such a parlous state.

Officially, prices are about 15 per cent lower than they were a year ago but the reality on the ground is probably more akin to a quarter knocked off property values since their height in the third quarter of 2007….. Full Article: Source

UK house prices ’set to fall by 12%’

Posted on 29 December 2008 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Ukpress: House prices fell by an average 8.7% in 2008 and have a further 12% to fall next year, property information firm Hometrack said. Properties in London, East Anglia and the South-East have been hit hardest this year, according to its survey of more than 1,800 estate agents and surveyors across the UK.

There were some signs that the housing market could be edging towards a bottom with a 0.9% monthly decline in December, compared to a 1.1% fall in November….. Full Article: Source

Real estate sector in Kuwait sees turnaround as sales volumes rise

Posted on 29 December 2008 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Business24-7.ae: Kuwait’s real estate market witnessed a turnaround in November as sales volumes of transaction reached the highest level since July.

A total of 515 transactions were registered at a value of KD136.6 million (Dh1.82 billion), while transactions rose 77 per cent month-on-month(MoM). Sales volumes rose 43.8 per cent MoM compared to a year ago, a report by National Bank of Kuwait said. …. Full Article: Source

UAE property sector set to defy global credit crunch

Posted on 29 December 2008 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Business24-7.ae: The UAE property sector is set to defy a global economic downturn and maintain positive growth through 2009 despite an expected drop in demand because of the liquidity crunch, according to local real estate leaders.

While growth could be slower next year, the sector will still expand in real terms as most property developers are pushing ahead with their projects, aided by falling commodity prices and lower construction costs. …. Full Article: Source

Developers urge financial firms to pour more funds into sector

Posted on 29 December 2008 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Business24-7.ae: With the UAE Government taking several measures to create liquidity in the market, the country’s financial institutions now need to reciprocate this by releasing some of the equity back into the real estate sector, according to developers.

“There are many genuine end-user buyers that need financing today and it would help if the government took measures to ensure liquidity reaches them,” said Gurjit Singh, Chief Property Development Officer for Sorouh Real Estate Company. …. Full Article: Source

Dubai: Realty broker licensing planned

Posted on 29 December 2008 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Gulfnews.com: No more freelancers will operate in Dubai’s property sector as all real estate licensing procedures are now set to be operated under one, uniform system, according to an agreement signed by the Department of Economic Development (DED) and Dubai’s Real Estate Regulatory Authority (Rera).

As real estate plays such a big role in Dubai’s economy, the introduction of a new system will make licensing more transparent and easier for all those involved in the process….. Full Article: Source

The Asia-Pacific property market downward over the next 12-24 months.

Posted on 29 December 2008 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Nationmultimedia.com: The Asia-Pacific property markets are entering a downward phase that will continue over the next 12-24 months, according to research by international property agency Jones Lang LaSalle Asia.

Rental and capital values will decline across most of the region on the back of slower occupational and investor demand together with the rapid runup seen in recent years. …. Full Article: Source

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