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Real Estate Briefing - Archive | March, 2009

BRIC real estate may lead Europe, US in recovery

Posted on 31 March 2009 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Thanhniennews.com: Real estate markets in Brazil, Russia, India and China may recover faster than those in Europe and the US, helped by faster economic growth, said Colin Dyer, chief executive officer of Jones Lang LaSalle Inc.

Among the four so-called BRIC nations, India and China will lead the way, the chief executive of the Chicago-based commercial real estate broker, said in an interview in Mumbai Saturday. India’s export of knowledge-based services has remained robust even as exports of Chinese goods fell as much as 40 percent, Dyer said…..Full Article: Source

Cheap valuations bringing down property values in US

Posted on 31 March 2009 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Propertywire.com: Cheap property valuations in the US could be artificially depressing real estate prices, it is claimed. Broker Price Opinions, or BPOs as they are called in the trade, are increasingly popular because they are cheaper than valuations carried out by registered property appraisers.

But there is growing concern that real estate agents who carry out BPOs are setting values extra low to ensure quicker sales…..Full Article: Source

Property opportunities - Is Brazil the final market to profit from?

Posted on 31 March 2009 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Themovechannel.com: With a population of 180 million, Brazil’s domestic market is huge and its wealth is rocketing as it remains largely unaffected by the credit crunch, making it a property investment hotspot…

One of the BRIC economies (Brazil-Russia-India-China) - which Goldman Sachs says will become superpowers - Brazil currently has the tenth biggest economy in the world ahead…..Full Article: Source

Recession woes interrupt Brazil’s housing boom

Posted on 31 March 2009 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Globalpropertyguide.com: Brazil’s massive housing boom has stalled, through no fault of its own. Consumer demand is weakening and export commodity prices are falling, due to the global slowdown. Brazil’s economy contracted 3.6% in Q4 2008 from the previous quarter.

From 2006 to mid-2008, property developers in Brazil witnessed enormous increases in launches and sales. Strong lower and middle class residential property demand fuelled a construction boom…..Full Article: Source

Catalyst Capital closes first dedicated European fund

Posted on 31 March 2009 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Propertyeu.info: Catalyst Capital, the pan-European investment, asset management and development group, has closed its first dedicated European fund, the Catalyst European Property Fund with a total of €228.5 mln (EUR246 mln) of committed capital. ‘Despite the current turbulent global economic environment, Catalyst has found substantial support from institutional investors from both Europe and North America,’ the company announced Monday in a press release. Investors include pension funds, endowments, foundations and charitable trusts.

Catalyst said the fund would focus in particular on opportunistic investment opportunities in the UK, France, Germany, Italy, Belgium and selected markets in Central Europe…..Full Article: Source

EU Parliament: Spain guilty of property abuses

Posted on 31 March 2009 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Kyero.com: The European Parliament today approved a report slamming Spain for all manner of evils relating to the Spanish property sector, including the ‘land grab’ and Ley de Costas scandals that have created so much misery for home owners in Spain.

The report, by Danish MEP (Greens) Margrete Auken, paints a depressing picture of developers and corrupt politicians trampling over private property rights and the environment in pursuit of their own enrichment, whilst the authorities look the other way…..Full Article: Source

UK: Signs of life in buy-to-let

Posted on 31 March 2009 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From FT: Landlords are buying more properties than they are selling for the first time in two years, suggesting that activity could be picking up in the buy-to-let sector, according to the body that represents UK letting agents.

More than double the number of estate agents reported that landlords were buying properties in the first quarter of 2009 compared with the previous three months, according to the Association of Residential Letting Agents (Arla), which suggested that sentiment in the buy-to-let market seemed to be improving. A lower number of Arla members said landlords were selling properties…..Full Article: Source

House market ’showing signs of recovery’

Posted on 31 March 2009 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Telegraph: The average home in England and Wales lost 0.6% of its value during the month, down from drops of 0.8% in February and 1% in January, according to property intelligence group Hometrack.

The group said the fall was the lowest it had recorded for 10 months, and was likely to reflect increased optimism among estate agents on the back of a rise in both the number of potential buyers in the market and properties sold…..Full Article: Source

Why house prices have further to fall

Posted on 31 March 2009 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Lovemoney.com: There is one simple reason why house prices need to drop: for decades, they have risen many times faster than wages. According to the Land Registry (which records all residential-housing transactions in England and Wales), the price of the average house dropped by 2% in February.

Over the past twelve months, the Land Registry’s house-price index has fallen by almost a sixth (16.5%). The Land Registry calculates that the average property in England and Wales is now worth £153,862. This equates to a drop of £30,361 in one year, or over £2,500 a month. After eighteen months of falls, property prices have been rolled back to a level last seen in September 2004…..Full Article: Source

UK: House prices fall at record annual rate in March

Posted on 31 March 2009 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Reuters: House prices in England and Wales are a record 10.3 percent lower than a year ago, even though the prices fell at their slowest pace for 10 months in March, property data company Hometrack said on Monday.

March’s annual fall was the biggest yet in Hometrack’s monthly survey of estate agents and surveyors, which started in 2000 and has persistently reported lower price falls than official government data and that from mortgage lenders…..Full Article: Source

UK real estate: Got dollar?

Posted on 31 March 2009 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Nuwireinvestor.com: For dollar rich Americans who have been lusting after property in Britain now is the time to buy. Two separate economic trends work in their favor. Over the last year, the pound has made a steep drop against the dollar and real estate prices in the UK have fallen sharply.

These two market forces combined translate into a deep discount for Americans who want to buy in the UK…..Full Article: Source

Russian Real Estate market devastated by falling commodity prices

Posted on 31 March 2009 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Nuwireinvestor.com: For much of 2008, Russia’s housing market has seemed insulated from the global financial meltdown. However, the situation turned nasty during the last quarter of 2008. Property prices fell, transactions and sales plummeted, projects were canceled or shelved, and what limited mortgage lending there was available dried up.

At the end of H1-2008, the average price of re-sale flats in Moscow was US$24,840, up almost 30 percent from a year earlier, according to Knight Frank…..Full Article: Source

Developers insist UAE real estate plan unaffected by downturn

Posted on 31 March 2009 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Offplanpropertyexchange.com: A flagship UAE real estate project should be finished on time despite “challenges” caused by global economic upheaval, developers have said. Sweet Homes delivered a progress report on the AED 3 billion ($817 million) Ajman Uptown scheme, saying construction was in full swing.

Executives said the aim was to step up a gear with the building of the project, in an effort improve investor confidence…..Full Article: Source

U.A.E. property stocks drag indexes lower on exodus speculation

Posted on 31 March 2009 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Bloomberg: United Arab Emirates real-estate shares declined on speculation property prices and rents may fall further in the summer as expatriates who lost their jobs return to their home countries once the school year ends.

Emaar Properties PJSC, the country’s biggest developer, dropped to its lowest in a week. Aldar Properties PJSC, the developer of Ferrari and Warner Bros.-branded theme parks in Abu Dhabi, fell the most in more than two weeks. Arabtec Holding PJSC also retreated…..Full Article: Source

Dubai prices to drop further

Posted on 31 March 2009 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Hurriyet.com: Dubai residential property prices, down 34 percent from their peak last year, are likely to fall a further 20 percent amid a decline in the emirate’s population, EFG-Hermes Holding SAE said in a report.

The number of people living in Dubai will fall 17 percent this year to 1.49 million, EFG-Hermes analysts said. The number working in construction may drop 30 percent as real estate and building projects are canceled or put on hold…..Full Article: Source

Nigeria: Investment in Real Estate will cushion meltdown

Posted on 31 March 2009 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Allafrica.com: As the financial meltdown continues to take its toil on the world economy, a Lagos-based mortgage practitioner has put forward ways to alleviate the effect.

In the light of the crash of the stock market and the fall in value of the naira in the foreign exchange market, Managing Director of Centage Mortgage Finance Limited, Mr. Gabriel Johnson Ndukwe, has urged Nigerians to look in the direction of the real estate sector as a refuge against the prevailing economic downturn…..Full Article: Source

Carlyle raising $1 billion Asia property fund

Posted on 31 March 2009 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Reuters: The Carlyle Group is raising its second Asia real estate fund with a target of $1 billion in a move to tap more property deals in key markets like China and Japan, sources with direct knowledge of the plan said on Monday.

More than half of the capital, or over $500 million, for the fund, which will be called Carlyle Asia Real Estate Partners II, has been committed by its global institutional investors, the sources told Reuters…..Full Article: Source

Asia-Pacific companies looking for sustainable space

Posted on 31 March 2009 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Monstersandcritics.com: Up to 60 per cent of the real estate executives in the Asia-Pacific are willing to pay a 10 per cent premium for ’sustainable space,’ higher than their counterparts elsewhere, a survey revealed Monday.

According to a survey conducted by CoreNet Global and Jones Lang LaSalle, an international property consultant, 60 per cent of respondents in Asia Pacific would pay up to 10 per cent more rent to occupy a sustainable building, an increase from 55 per cent in 2007…..Full Article: Source

Crunch time for Asia Pacific cities with office occupancy costs forecast to fall in 2009

Posted on 31 March 2009 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Property-report.com: Amid fears of a long global economic downturn, office occupancy costs are expected to decline globally in 2009, led by further contraction in occupier demand, said DTZ in its latest research on global occupancy costs, published today.

Although several of the largest North American business districts at the heart of the financial turmoil will see occupancy costs decline in 2009, many other markets across this region are expected to remain fairly stable…..Full Article: Source

Hundreds of wealthy Chinese property investors taking buying tours to the US

Posted on 31 March 2009 by admin  |  Email |Print

From Propertywire.com: Wealthy Chinese property investors are taking real estate buying holidays in the US as their appetite for buying increases.

Two major companies are organising house hunting tours and newspaper and television reports are claiming that rich Chinese investors are helping to save the US property market…..Full Article: Source

Chinese city turns cadres into real estate agents

Posted on 31 March 2009 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Reuters: A local government in an eastern Chinese city has taken its efforts to prop up the economy to new heights, ordering cadres to act as real estate agents with a quota of selling — or buying — at least one flat each.

The order by Hanting District, in the city of Weifang in Shandong province, marks one of the more extreme measures that local officials have come up with as they try to tackle the economic slowdown…..Full Article: Source

Japan condo developer Azel to file for bankruptcy

Posted on 31 March 2009 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Reuters: Japanese condominium developer Azel Corp said on Monday it would file for bankruptcy, hit by the property market slump and credit crunch.

It is the latest in a growing list of Japanese real estate companies going under as the world’s second-largest economy falls deeper into recession…..Full Article: Source

Japan’s property market: The lost quarter century

Posted on 31 March 2009 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Seekingalpha.com: Despite the fact that Japanese Finance Minister Kaoru Yosano said Friday that February’s fall in the so called “core-core” consumer price index doesn’t mean Japan is back in deflation, few are ready to accept his judgement.

Indeed, if you look at the core-core line in the chart below, it is at least debatable whether the Japanese economy was ever out of it in the first place…..Full Article: Source

Vietnam property market shows signs of recovery

Posted on 31 March 2009 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Property-report.com: As gloom continues to descend over South East Asian property markets, is Vietnam, which oversaw one of the fastest growing and then most rapidly descending markets going to be the first to bounce back?

Following a year long cycle of decline, the Vietnamese property market is beginning to show signs of life again and they are signs that prices might start to recover in both Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi…..Full Article: Source

Too soon to bank on Real Estate funds

Posted on 31 March 2009 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Thestreet.com: Exchange traded funds that invest in real estate jumped 4% last week amid early signals of a potential housing recovery and optimism generated by the government’s plan to buy $1 trillion of troubled bank assets.

While these positive developments suggest that happy times are here again, investors might be wise to wait for stronger signs that real estate is on the upswing. Homebuilders, which rely on sales of newly constructed homes, might face a prolonged recovery as the glut of cheap properties for sale shrinks. In addition, cut-rate prices will reduce revenue and put downward pressure on margins…..Full Article: Source

AIG delays funds to some real-estate ventures

Posted on 31 March 2009 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Reuters: American International Group (AIG.N) has cut or delayed payments to some of its real-estate ventures, potentially leaving the developers and their bankers in the lurch, the Wall Street Journal reported.

The paper, citing people familiar with the matter, said the insurer had halted payments to Alabama shopping-center developer Alex Baker, putting some 15 banks at risk of exposure to soured loans…..Full Article: Source

FTSE launches Epra/Nareit real estate indices for developed and emerging markets

Posted on 31 March 2009 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Propertyfundsworld.com: Index provider FTSE Group has announced the launch of the new FTSE Epra/Nareit global indices, which represent a composite of both developed and emerging subsets.

As part of this continued expansion, the following new regional indexes have been added to the FTSE Epra/Nareit Global Real Estate Index Series: Global Index; Global ex US Index; Americas Index; Asia Pacific Index; EMEA Index; Europe Index; Middle East and Africa Index; and Developed EMEA Index…..Full Article: Source

Who’s still investing in Real Estate?

Posted on 31 March 2009 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From WSJ: The share of homes purchased as vacation residences or investment properties dropped to 30% of all sales in 2007 from 33% in 2008, according to the National Association of Realtors. However, amid continued gloom in the housing market, it raises the question of who still is investing in real estate.

Vacation-home buyers appear to be taking advantage of reduced prices, and are more interested in long-term value than investment…..Full Article: Source

Funds wary of risk in China real estate

Posted on 30 March 2009 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From WSJ: Executives from some of the world’s biggest property investment funds said China’s real-estate market remains risky and unattractive for foreign investors despite recent signs of improving conditions.

The foreign executives, attending a major real-estate conference last week in Shanghai, said that financing for property deals in China remains nearly impossible to obtain, and that building prices need to fall further to justify new activity…..Full Article: Source

European property investors buffeted by the global storm

Posted on 30 March 2009 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Fly-2let.co.uk: With house prices falling across all European markets by the end of 2008 and prospects for 2009 even gloomier, the revival of European housing relies now on the ability of European governments to cope with the mortgage credit shortage and on the scale and duration of the economic recession, says the RICS European Housing Review 2009, published at the beginning or March.

Significant reductions in mortgage lending, due to the credit crunch, coupled with the global economic downturn, have depressed demand for residential property in Europe…..Full Article: Source

U.K. House-Price declines slowed in March, Hometrack says

Posted on 30 March 2009 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Bloomberg: U.K. house prices fell at the slowest pace in 10 months during March, suggesting the housing slump may be reaching a bottom, Hometrack Ltd. said.

The average cost of a home in England and Wales declined 0.6 percent from February to 156,100 pounds ($224,000), the London-based property researcher said in a report today. Prices dropped 10.3 percent from a year earlier…..Full Article: Source

UK House price decline accelerates

Posted on 30 March 2009 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From BBC: House prices are falling even faster than before in England and Wales, according to the Land Registry. Prices dropped by another 2% in February, pushing the annual rate of decline from 15.1% to 16.5%.

It means the average property is now worth £153,862, down by £30,361 in the past year, and back to the level last seen in September 2004…..Full Article: Source

Has the housing market finally bottomed-out?

Posted on 30 March 2009 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Dailyexpress.co.uk: House prices fell another two per cent in February, pushing the annual rate of decline up to a new record of 16.5 per cent, figures showed today.The latest fall pushed property values back down to a level last seen in September 2004, at an average of £153,862, according to the Land Registry.

But experts claimed there were signs that the housing market was finally starting to bottom out - with an increasing number of mortgages approved and more buyers registering with estate agents…..Full Article: Source

Price fall slows for expensive homes in London

Posted on 30 March 2009 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From FT: The rapid fall in the price of prime properties in London has slowed over the past three months as new buyers have begun to emerge in the expectation that the market will soon find a floor.

Average values fell 4.2 per cent in the first quarter of 2009, a halving of the rate of fall seen in the final quarter of 2008, helped by the fact that transaction levels for March were the highest for 12 months…..Full Article: Source

An update on the Irish property market

Posted on 30 March 2009 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Shelteroffshore.com: The rise of the Celtic Tiger has been spectacular and the Irish property market has soared alongside the growth of this European nation. Following on from an IMF report in 2000 that stated that Irish property prices were unlikely to continue to grow strongly for long, house prices actually went on to triple between 2000 to 2006.

However, the beginning of 2007 saw demand for residential property begin to fall, and as a whole 2007 saw prices falling by 7.3% on average across the whole nation. During 2008 prices of residential property in Ireland continued to slide, and at the end of 2008 average house prices had dropped by a staggering 9.1%…..Full Article: Source

Severe adjustment in Spanish property market likely to continue

Posted on 30 March 2009 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Propertywire.com: The residential property market in Spain is continuing to suffer a severe adjustment with property prices falling, rental demand down and real estate that is selling is doing so at a heavy discount, according to analysts.

The economic crisis, unemployment and mortgage loan restrictions mean that recovery is unlikely soon with the lack of financing being the biggest obstacle to recovery, according to a report from CB………..Full Article: Source

Ukraine: Investments in realty 28% down

Posted on 30 March 2009 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

The total volume of investments in Ukraine’s commercial property in 2008 fell down by 28% from 2007, to USD 413 million.

“The sharp reduction may be attributed to the expanding liquidity crisis. It has led to a weakening of the positions of investors, who use borrowed funds, having left active the players who invest their own capital and thus are more careful and selective,” says a report by the CB Richard Ellis company…..Full Press Release: Source

MENA Housing market shows signs of recovery

Posted on 30 March 2009 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Khaleejtimes.com: The Middle East and North Africa’s (MENA) housing market is showing signs of recovery, but is likely to see further price decline in the next 6 to 12 months, according to real estate consultancy firm Jones Lang LaSallee.

However, the recovery of the market across the region will be dependent on the rate at which potential investors become confident that the market are close to bottom — and they are no longer faced with the prospect of further decline…..Full Article: Source

Dubai property prices plunge up to 70pc; may recover by 2011

Posted on 30 March 2009 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Khaleejtimes.com: Freehold property prices in Dubai have plunged by as much as 70 per cent since March of last year but are poised to bottom out in another six months, real estate brokers said on Sunday.

Dubai’s once-booming property sector will see its ongoing sharp correction continue until the start of this year’s fourth quarter. Prices will remain flat through 2010 but show signs of recovery by 2011, these brokers said…..Full Article: Source

Oman keen on property investment, says expert

Posted on 30 March 2009 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Axiafx.com: Oman may not traditionally be considered a hive of investment activity, but one expert has suggested the country could prove rewarding for property investors.

According to the investment firm Obelisk, the Middle Eastern state is doing much to attract overseas finance, knowing that its oil reserves will not last forever, such as encouraging foreign nationals to buy property…..Full Article: Source

Dubai: Property remains long-term financial security

Posted on 30 March 2009 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Khaleejtimes.com: Property has been traditionally considered as the safest choice for those who are after long-term investment. And even with the slowdown, people continue to see property investment as a stable provider of long-term financial security.

A random poll was conducted by Zurich International Life, involving a cross section of population in the UAE and Bahrain…..Full Article: Source

Australia: Foreign banks cut property lending

Posted on 30 March 2009 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From The Australian: Dexia SA, Bank of Tokyo Mitsubishi, BOS International, ING and Merrill Lynch have been named as some of 23 foreign banks that are withdrawing or have signalled plans to scale back their commercial property lending in Australia.

In a briefing document to federal political parties, the Property Council of Australia has warned there is “clear evidence that foreign financiers are leaving the Australian market at an accelerating pace”…..Full Article: Source

Crunch time for Singapore Reits

Posted on 30 March 2009 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Straitstimes.com: Singapore Reits are facing its worst crisis since its debut eight years ago. Property experts said on Friday that although real estate investment trusts (Reits) will eventually survive the current turmoil in the global economy, some Reits could fail before that, and the industry will see further consolidation.

‘S-Reits have been undergoing the most challenging and difficult times since its inception,’ said property giant City Development’s group general manager Chia Ngiang Hong…..Full Article: Source

Malaysia property: Waiting out the crisis

Posted on 30 March 2009 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Asiaone.com: The Malaysian property market was relatively bullish at the start of last year, but as economic problems in the United States mounted and spread, interest headed south.

Many launches were put on ice. In the popular Klang Valley, for example, the launch of new residential units declined by 57 per cent from 2007 to 6,747 units in 2008. Holding back made sense given the over-supply - especially in the luxury and serviced condominium segments, noticeably in the prime Kuala Lumpur City Centre (KLCC) and Mont Kiara areas…..Full Article: Source

China property sector improving

Posted on 30 March 2009 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Nationalpost.com: Signs of life are emerging in China’s moribund property sector. Authorities put the knife to property speculation last year by hiking interest rates and choking off loans to home buyers. Property developers were hung out to dry in an ill-timed move by authorities given the early signs of problems in the developed economies.

Authorities have been directing funds to the property sector in a 180 degree policy turn since last year, and early signs are encouraging…..Full Article: Source

China Life may invest in realty

Posted on 30 March 2009 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Chinadaily.com: China Life Insurance Co Ltd, the nation’s largest life insurer, plans to test the property market waters to diversify its investment portfolio, the company’s Chairman Yang Chao said yesterday.

“China Life will seek investment opportunities in infrastructure, equity, fixed-income securities and the property market,” Yang said…..Full Article: Source

China´s property market show signs of recovery

Posted on 30 March 2009 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Cctv.com: The Chinese new year seemed to be a turning point for the country’s real estate market, as property sales began to surge after the festival. In the first 20 some days of March, property sales volume in Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen has already surpassed last month’s total.

This is a property project in south Beijing. A salesman says business was sluggish last year, as they sold only 3 or 4 apartments a day. But after the Spring Festival, they are selling at least ten units every day…..Full Article: Source

Private Equity players: Distressed asset deals start making sense

Posted on 30 March 2009 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Nreionline.com: The commercial real estate market has reached a point at which acquisitions of distressed assets are beginning to make sense, according to participants at the second Real Estate Private Equity Summit, which took place in New York this week.

The buying spree that’s likely to result from sales of discounted properties in the current cycle will be very different from the investment sales boom of the mid-2000s, attendees warned. Back then, investors cared primarily about valuation and treated commercial real estate as a commodity…..Full Article: Source

Fund launched to capitalise on US property investment opportunities

Posted on 30 March 2009 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Propertyfundsworld.com: US property investor LandBaron Investments has announced the launch of its first dedicated fund aimed at European investors.

It offers the opportunity to participate in the high returns possible through judicious investment in the US property sector by taking advantage of the significant dislocation that exists between current land prices and their mid-term realisable value…..Full Article: Source

Spain’s Inverseguros property fund suspends payments

Posted on 30 March 2009 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Reuters: Spanish property fund Segurfondo Inversion, owned by fund manager Inverseguros, said on Friday it plans to delay reimbursing subscribers for two years due to a lack of liquidity.

In a statement to the stock market regulator CNMV Segurfondo Inversion said it had received reimbursement petitions to the tune of 585 million euros ($784.1 million), equivalent to 96.8 percent of the fund’s total value…..Full Article: Source

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