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Real Estate Briefing - Archive | August, 2009

Real estate market worldwide is recovering

Posted on 31 August 2009 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Examiner.com: There are strong new reports that the global real estate market is hitting the bottom and some impressive positive news is coming from real estate markets around the world. In the U.S., the real estate market has yet to hit the bottom, but at least it is very close. There are 2 factors that would determine recovering the real estate market:
One is when job losses stop and new jobs are created and secondly when the real estate prices are realistic reflections of what people can afford to buy…………..Full Article: Source

Commercial real estate lurks as next potential mortgage crisis

Posted on 31 August 2009 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From WSJ: Federal Reserve and Treasury officials are scrambling to prevent the commercial-real-estate sector from delivering a roundhouse punch to the U.S. economy just as it struggles to get up off the mat.

Their efforts could be undermined by a surge in foreclosures of commercial property carrying mortgages that were packaged and sold by Wall Street as bonds. Similar mortgage-backed securities created out of home loans played a big role in undoing that sector and triggering the global economic recession…………..Full Article (Subscription Required) : Source

US housing market shows signs of recovery as prices rise‎

Posted on 31 August 2009 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Chron.com: The worst U.S. housing market since the Great Depression may be on the mend after prices rose in 18 of 20 U.S. cities in June, existing home sales hit a two-year high, and new-home sales gained for a fourth consecutive month.

“The sense that something is changing is definitely in the air,” said Robert Shiller, the Yale University professor who, with economist Karl Case, created home price indexes in the 1980s now used by Standard & Poor’s. “After three years of decline, we might be seeing a turnaround.”………….Full Article: Source

Europe: Upturn in small deals in July

Posted on 31 August 2009 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Propertyeu.info: Persistent reports of renewed interest among investors in UK and European real estate failed to translate into more large transactions in July. PropertyEU’s research team recorded just 16 deals in which transaction volumes of EUR 50 mln-plus were reported in July.

The total volume came to EUR 1.9 bn - a shadow of the EUR 10.8 bn total volume of the 24 large deals in the same period last year when the credit crunch had already locked its jaws on the market and was choking off investment activity…………..Full Article: Source

U.K. House prices post first gain in two years, Hometrack says

Posted on 31 August 2009 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Bloomberg: U.K. house prices rose for the first time in two years in August as a dearth of homes for sale pushed up prices in London and the southeast, Hometrack Ltd. said.

The average cost of a home in England and Wales rose 0.1 percent from July to 155,800 pounds ($253,000), the London-based property research company said in an e-mailed statement today…………..Full Article: Source

UK: Prices might be going up, but the new homes aren’t

Posted on 31 August 2009 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Guardian: Estate agents may be feeling more optimistic, but better news from the market conceals the truth of Britain’s chronic failure to build new homes and keep the dream of ownership alive.
The great British housing crash largely passed Andrew Pratt by. Managing director at Grainger Trust, the UK’s largest listed residential landlord with £2.3bn of assets, Pratt has just completed a 212-unit housing development in the shadow of Arsenal’s Emirates stadium in north London…………..Full Article: Source

Is the UK corporate property sector turning?

Posted on 31 August 2009 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Financialadvice.co.uk: News that the China Investment Corporation has invested around £800 million into Songbird, the company which owns Canary Wharf, has been welcomed by many investors as a potential turning point for the UK corporate property sector.
The £800 million deal is by far and away the largest in the sector for some time and the fact that Chinese investors appear interested in UK property again is certainly a reason to cheer…………..Full Article: Source

UK: House prices rise ‘but no recovery’

Posted on 31 August 2009 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From UKPA: House prices edged ahead by 0.1% during August as the market continued to be supported by a shortage of homes for sale, research has showed.

The increase in England and Wales was the first recorded by property intelligence group Hometrack since July 2007, and followed three consecutive months in which prices had remained unchanged…………..Full Article: Source

London’s luxury homes sell at the fastest pace since July 2007

Posted on 31 August 2009 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Bloomberg: London’s luxury homes this month sold at the fastest pace since the market started to slide more than two years ago as overseas buyers took advantage of a weakening pound, Knight Frank LLP said.

About 250 homes and apartments costing more than 1 million pounds ($1.6 million) were sold during August, compared with about 75 a year earlier, said Liam Bailey, head of residential research at the London-based broker…………..Full Article: Source

German funds see EUR 400mln outflows in July

Posted on 31 August 2009 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Propertyeu.info: Germany’s open-ended property funds registered average outflows of just over EUR 400 mln in July, according to new figures from fund industry body BVI.

However, strong inflows over the first six months of 2009 as investors rushed back into the funds on hopes of recovery in European property markets bring net inflows over the first seven months to EUR 2.7 bn. Net new investment in the funds in the first half amounted to EUR 3.1 bn…………..Full Article: Source

Turkish property highlighted for mid-long term investment

Posted on 31 August 2009 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Write-about-property.com: Turkey has been highlighted for its mid-long term property investment potential. Julian walker, director of Turkey property specialists Spot Blue believes that demand for property will outstrip supply by a growing margin over the next 5-10 years, and that this will put continued upward pressure on prices.

“Despite the fact that we are enduring one of the worst recessions the world has ever seen, the numbers of people buying property in Turkey continues to grow, and prices are increasing (on quality property in popular locations),” he said…………..Full Article: Source

Estonia: Prices continue to plunge

Posted on 31 August 2009 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Homesoverseas.co.uk: The volume of compulsory Estonian property sales continues to increase in the capital of Tallinn, according to a new report issued by Ober Haus Kinnisvara.

The study shows that the number of repossessed real estate transactions in the city doubled in the second quarter of this year, compared to the corresponding period in 2008…………..Full Article: Source

UAE: Developers revisit strategy to offset tight cash flow

Posted on 31 August 2009 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Business24-7.ae: The cash position of private developers in the UAE is tight and those with a “build to sell” model will likely see a lot of their equity erased if the investment market does not improve significantly in the country, said analysts and executives in the sector.

“Profitability of master developers too is down 70 per cent to 80 per cent year-on-year owing to a lack of land sales and unsold inventory,” said Chet Riley, Analyst at Nomura Real Estate…………..Full Article: Source

Mortgage lending in the UAE grew 25 pct in Q2 2009

Posted on 31 August 2009 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Kippreport.com: Ever since the Dubai real estate market crashed in September 2008, property investors have been waiting for news of a recovery. It’s been almost a year of price drops and sagas, all of which compounded the panic investors suffered since the crisis crippled the property market.

Naturally, investors are looking for glimmers of hope; in August, they received a glimmer, albeit a dim one: HSBC published a report recently on the lending market, claiming that mortgage lending in the UAE rose by 25 percent in the second quarter of 2009 compared with the same period in 2008…………..Full Article: Source

Abu Dhabi Finance launches expatriate mortgage scheme

Posted on 31 August 2009 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Thenational.ae: Overseas property investors are the target of a new mortgage product launched by Abu Dhabi Finance, a home loan provider established last year.

Abu Dhabi Finance’s new mortgage tailored for buy-to-let investors residing outside the UAE is intended to sweep up demand from foreign investors keen to tap into the country’s property market…………..Full Article: Source

Dubai’s vow of silence over stalled developments seems to be working

Posted on 31 August 2009 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Telegraph: Dubai’s “build it and they’ll come” philosophy is famously eye-popping. You have the symbols of excess: the palm-shaped villa compounds in the sea, or the planet’s tallest skyscraper.
But those are as nothing compared with plans that have yet to take shape…………..Full Article: Source

Qatari Diar launches Tajikistan real estate project

Posted on 31 August 2009 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Arabianbusiness.com: State-owned investment firm Qatari Diar has launched a luxury real estate project in Tajikistan worth at least $150m, the Qatari News Agency said on Saturday.
The Dushanbe Diar project in the Tajik capital Dushanbe will include residental towers, a five-star hotel, shopping malls, conference centres and gardens when finished in 2012 at a cost of between $150m and $180 million, the agency said…………..Full Article: Source

Residential property powering sales in Asia

Posted on 31 August 2009 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Thestar.com.my: Asia’s property market is making a strong comeback with renewed buying interest for residential property powering sales on expectation that the economic downtrend is bottoming out.

However, the commercial property market, including office and retail space, is still quite soft as easing demand has resulted in rental and occupancy rates sliding…………..Full Article: Source

Chinese real estate enters a twilight zone

Posted on 31 August 2009 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Chinastakes.com: China’s real estate market is entering a biding time after this year’s surge. A large number of developers are still purchasing land and arranging finance, preparing for a new round of increases, but prices could also fall depending on the government’s credit policy.

In the first half of this year, the significantly rising prices and increasing volume in major cities’ commercial housing prices was due mainly to relaxed credit policies and tax relief…………..Full Article: Source

India: Realty players return to land acquisitions

Posted on 31 August 2009 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Dnaindia.com: Following a slew of new launches in the affordable housing segment in the past few months, real estate developers in the country are once again showing interest in land acquisition.
They are now also expecting “some price escalations” for residential properties, with easier liquidity and overall positive market environment in the second half of the year…………..Full Article: Source

Are Indian REITs losing business to overseas markets?

Posted on 31 August 2009 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Indiatimes.com: In a scenario where real estate is becoming out of reach for small investors, to invest and reap profits, real estate investment trusts (REITs) are a good way for the investor class to invest in the sector.
It also benefits developers, as more funds are pumped into real estate. REITs/REMFs offer an innovative option for investors to buy and trade shares in the real estate sector and collect dividends from capital appreciation and rental incomes, explains Atul Modak, head, Kohinoor City Project…………..Full Article: Source

Korea: `Sweet home` program to shake up real estate market

Posted on 31 August 2009 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Donga.com: In the wake of the government plan to provide lots of homes for low-income families in the Seoul metropolitan area, construction companies are jittery after having had high expectations of a sales rebound in fall.

With potential homebuyers drawn to housing units to be provided under the government’s “sweet home” project, they are likely to delay applying to buy more expensive houses made by private builders…………..Full Article: Source

Australian property trusts hit hard by US crash

Posted on 31 August 2009 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From News.com.au: Listed Australian property companies wrote off more than $8.5 billion from their ill-fated US investment adventures during this reporting season.

The crash in American asset values, and to a lesser extent, those in Japan and Europe, has sent many Australian companies scurrying back to home base, cutting their losses on the way…………..Full Article: Source

NZ: Commercial property returns plummet to 16-year low

Posted on 31 August 2009 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Nzherald.co.nz: Commercial investment property has posted its lowest returns in 16 years, according to the Property Council.

The organisation has released its index of returns, which measures the money being made on 327 properties in 14 portfolios worth $8.2 billion at the end of March…………..Full Article: Source

Two more REITs file for IPOs

Posted on 31 August 2009 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Reuters: Two real estate investment trusts filed for initial public offerings on Friday, bringing to eight the number of applications since early July by REITs created by real estate companies seeking to take advantage of the distressed commercial property market.

Brookfield Realty Capital Corp, will originate, invest in, and manage, a portfolio of commercial mortgage loans and is seeking to raise up to $500 million in a deal to be managed by Goldman Sachs, according to a prospectus filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission…………..Full Article: Source

Why real estate ETF recovery could be slow

Posted on 31 August 2009 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Etftrends.com: The real estate sector and its related exchange traded funds (ETFs) appear to be making a recovery, but there are still some potential stumbling blocks the sector could likely face in the coming months.
Principal forgiveness means that a loss has to be taken by someone. Adjust the rate, adjust the term, adjust the amortization – it is all tinkering, even if it lowers the payment slightly, because the owner is still inverted on his mortgage…………..Full Article: Source

America’s most expensive ZIP codes

Posted on 28 August 2009 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Forbes: Once, if a neighborhood made Forbes’ list of America’s 500 Most Expensive ZIP Codes, it meant buyers were prepared to spend big bucks to call it home.

But in 2009, even in these exclusive enclaves, home prices took major hits. Though Alpine, N.J. (07620) tops our list with a median asking price of $4.14 million, prices there fell 23% over the past year…………..Full Article: Source

Commercial real estate continues to cast shadow over US banks

Posted on 28 August 2009 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Dow Jones: Problems in the U.S. commercial real-estate market are increasingly weighing on bank balance sheets, and regulators worry the trend could continue even if the economy turns around.

“Overall, there’s going to be a lag in the timing. We expect to see more deterioration,” said John Corston, acting deputy director of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp’s complex financial institutions unit…………..Full Article: Source

U.S. mortgage rates rise slightly: Freddie Mac

Posted on 28 August 2009 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Reuters: U.S. mortgage rates rose slightly in the latest week but still remained at historically low levels that should spur home loan demand and help the hard-hit U.S. housing market recover.

Interest rates on U.S. 30-year fixed-rate mortgages averaged 5.14 percent for the week ending August 27, up from the previous week’s 5.12 percent, which was the lowest level in three months, according to a survey released on Thursday by home funding company Freddie Mac…………..Full Article: Source

Housing data point to recovery that may help economy

Posted on 28 August 2009 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Bloomberg: The worst U.S. housing market since the Great Depression may be on the mend after prices rose in 18 of 20 U.S. cities in June, existing home sales hit a two-year high, and new home sales gained for a fourth consecutive month.

“The sense that something is changing is definitely in the air,” said Robert Shiller, the Yale University professor who, with economist Karl Case, created home price indexes in the 1980s now used by Standard & Poor’s. “After three years of decline, we might be seeing a turnaround.”………….Full Article: Source

US: Surge in new home sales surprises everyone

Posted on 28 August 2009 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Cpexecutive.com: “Uptick” isn’t the word for the latest increase in new home sales–”surge” is more like it. The U.S. Department of Commerce reported on Wednesday that sales rose 9.6 percent from June to July, to an annual pace of 433,000. It’s the fourth month in a row that new home sales have increased, though the July 2009 pace was still 13.4 percent lower than that of July 2008.

The South reported a large jump in new home sales, up 16.2 percent, while the Northeast really saw a surge–up 32 percent. The West’s gain was small: 1 percent. The Midwest saw a decrease of 7.6 percent…………..Full Article: Source

Where optimists meet pessimists in US property investment

Posted on 28 August 2009 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Assetz.co.uk: In the US, the good news seems to be coming thick and fast. A week that had seen the National Association of Realtors report an increase in sales and the S&P/Case-Shiller home-price index reveal a jump in values might be regarded as a rather good week even without more positive information.

Yet there is more. The US department of commerce has revealed that sales of one-family homes have risen, up 9.6 per cent from June’s tally of 395,000 to July’s 433,000…………..Full Article: Source

Canada home prices seen rising, sales stabilizing

Posted on 28 August 2009 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Reuters: Canadian resale home prices are likely to rise, not fall, and sales will nearly match those of last year, the Canadian Real Estate Association said in a revised forecast on Thursday.

A much stronger showing in the second quarter, and a solid start to the third quarter, prompted CREA to predict a dramatically smaller decline in sales of previously owned homes for 2009, and for prices to edge up…………..Full Article: Source

US investors absent from European property market, says CBRE

Posted on 28 August 2009 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Propertyfundsworld.com: One of the most significant changes in the structure of the European commercial real estate market over the last two years has been the withdrawal of US buyers from the market since the credit crunch took hold, according to research from CB Richard Ellis.

Two years ago, at the peak of the market, US investors were the largest single player in the European commercial property market, making over EUR20bn of acquisitions in the first half of 2007 alone. Although they were also active traders and generated over EUR9.5bn in sales in H1 2007, this still made them very substantial net buyers in Europe…………..Full Article: Source

U.K. home prices extend rise

Posted on 28 August 2009 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From WSJ: U.K. house prices posted their strongest monthly rise in more than two and a half years in August, the latest sign that the market is recovering from the credit crisis, data released Thursday showed.

The price of a typical home rose 1.6% on a seasonally adjusted basis in August to £160,224 ($260,315), the strongest monthly rise since December 2006, the Nationwide Building Society said. That leaves prices 2.7% weaker than in August last year…………..Full Article (Subscription Required): Source

Housing revival puts pressure on lenders for easier mortgages

Posted on 28 August 2009 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Timesonline.co.uk: The unexpected revival in the housing market continued in August with prices rising by an average 1.6 per cent over the month and housebuilders returning to sites in some of the country’s worst-hit regions.

Nationwide’s latest index showed that the average house price rose from £158,871 to £160,224 in the past month, bringing the total increase since the start of the year to 3.2 per cent…………..Full Article: Source

Segro sees sustained property recovery in UK

Posted on 28 August 2009 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Reuters: Europe’s largest listed industrial landlord, Segro, said on Thursday it is confident signs of recovery in the UK commercial property market can be sustained, as values continue falling on the continent.

The rate of decline in British commercial property values has slowed after falling about 45 percent since a peak in mid 2007. Segro said it is encouraged by the moderation amid signs of a bottoming out in the investment market…………..Full Article: Source

Savills: Property market improving

Posted on 28 August 2009 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From UKPA: Property group Savills has said the London market is showing signs of life as house hunters compete for upmarket homes in short supply.

The group said foreign and domestic cash buyers were driving a marked improvement in activity seen since the first quarter…………..Full Article: Source

Rockspring seeks to raise $800 mln U.K. real estate fund

Posted on 28 August 2009 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Bloomberg: Rockspring Property Investment Managers Ltd. plans to raise 500 million pounds ($809 Million) to buy U.K. assets after values fell 44 percent.

London-based Rockspring is seeking 350 million pounds of equity from institutional investors, and will borrow about 150 million pounds, Richard Baines, manager of its U.K. Value Fund, said in an interview…………..Full Article: Source

Is it safe to buy property in Spain now?

Posted on 28 August 2009 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Kyero.com: The problem that many Britons are facing is that the high value of the euro in relation to the pound has eroded the benefits that they could otherwise have gained from the falling Spanish property market.

What’s more, others are worried about how safe an investment made into Spanish bricks and mortar is, bearing in mind how spectacularly the market in Spain has crashed recently…………..Full Article: Source

Turkish market ‘bottoming out’ for international property investors

Posted on 28 August 2009 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Halifax-international-expats.com: The Turkish property market is being increasingly recognised as having hit the bottom, it has been stated.

Lifestyle and investment magazine Quest Turkey has noted that while some people are looking to delay their purchases of property in the country in the expectation of prices falling further, others recognise now as the best time to buy with prices “bottoming out”…………..Full Article: Source

Dubai sees rise in mortgage money transfers

Posted on 28 August 2009 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Hifx.co.uk: The number of investors transferring money to assets in the Middle East has increased, according to recent research.

Dubai Land Department figures have revealed that mortgage lending increased to £1.14 billion in the second quarter, up from the first quarter’s £1.04 billion…………..Full Article: Source

Dubai market for those moving abroad

Posted on 28 August 2009 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Halifax-international-expats.com: The Dubai property market is gaining confidence, it has been stated, which may be good news for those seeking property abroad.

Chief executive of property portal Homesgofast.com Nick Marr said that it is “difficult” to be too optimistic about mortgages because lending to non-nationals is “restrictive”, but noted that rates are on the way down…………..Full Article: Source

Signs of life in South Africa’s property market

Posted on 28 August 2009 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Engineeringnews.co.za: The economic slowdown, higher interest rates and tougher lending criteria have all led to a huge drop-off in the property development industry.

Selected building statistics of the private sector, as reported by local government institutions and released by Statistics South Africa in May, this year, indicated that the value of recorded building plans passed by the bigger municipalities (at current prices) from January to the end of May 2009 decreased by 24,4% (R8 525,4-million)…………..Full Article: Source

Opportunities for investors in Asian REITs amid rebound

Posted on 28 August 2009 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Channelnewsasia.com: Asian real estate investment trusts (REITs) have bounced back strongly in the first half of 2009, according to a recent analyst report by property consultancy CBRE. Their total market capitalisation rose 14.3 per cent for the period.

Analysts said on Thursday this performance was driven by improving credit conditions, government support for re-financing – especially for Japan REITs (J-REITs) – and successful rights issues as recently seen for Singapore REITs (S-REITs)…………..Full Article: Source

India: Affordable housing: An idea whose time has come

Posted on 28 August 2009 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Knowledge@Wharton: Affordable housing is the Indian government’s new mantra. President Pratibha Patil mentioned it in her speech on Bharat Nirman, a project that plans to double the construction of low-cost houses to 12 million units.
This move, it is hoped, will cascade into more demand for steel, cement and construction material. For this to happen, the government is banking on public-private partnerships. Affordable housing is the Indian government’s new mantra…………..Full Article: Source

China: Property market to face adjustment

Posted on 28 August 2009 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Cctv.com: China’s top banking regulator is again stressing that lenders should strictly execute the credit policy.

This means property loans will not be as easy to attain in the second half of the year. So, how will the housing market react to the credit policy adjustment?………….Full Article: Source

China plans to let funds, brokers launch REITs

Posted on 28 August 2009 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Btimes.com.my: China plans to allow fund houses and brokerages to launch real estate investment trusts, or REITs, that would be publicly traded on the Shanghai and Shenzhen stock exchanges, two people with direct knowledge of the proposal said.

REITs should be launched in the form of closed-end funds via special asset management firms, in which property developers can also own a stake, according to draft rules issued by The China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC) for consultation, the people said…………..Full Article: Source

Despite slump, Hong Kong real estate remains strong

Posted on 28 August 2009 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Nytimes.com: Even by the standards of Hong Kong’s skyscraper-studded skyline, the new International Commerce Center is big. Very big. And, despite the global economic slump, it is already nearly fully rented — a testament to the strength of one of the world’s hottest property markets.

At 490 meters, or 1,608 feet, the gleaming, nearly complete tower, which has been mushrooming its way into the record books over the past five years, is now the tallest building in Hong Kong, with views of the Chinese mainland and the islands off its coast…………..Full Article: Source

Korea expands housing supply for the poor

Posted on 28 August 2009 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Koreaherald.co.kr: The government will support the construction of 320,000 new affordable housing units for low-income families on greenbelt land by 2012, officials said yesterday.

According to the Ministry of Land, Transport and Maritime Affairs, the government will lift regulations on development of greenbelt areas in Seoul and surrounding cities to provide 80,000 affordable homes annually over the next four years…………..Full Article: Source

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