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Real Estate Briefing - Archive | September, 2009

U.S. housing prices rise as market shows signs of stability

Posted on 30 September 2009 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From New data released in the S&P/Case-Shiller home-price index on Tuesday show prices of U.S. houses rose for the third straight month in July, suggesting the housing slump that led to the worst economic meltdown since the Great Depression is stabilizing.

The widely watched index of 20 metropolitan areas gained 1.2% from June to July, the largest jump in almost four years, the group said today in New York…………………Full Article: Source

US: Credit woes to threaten housing recovery?

Posted on 30 September 2009 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Nearly two-thirds of single-family home builders are reporting a severe lack of credit for housing production, threatening the fragile housing recovery before it has time to take hold, according to a new builder survey of acquisition, development and construction (AD&C) financing conducted by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB).

“Across the country, home builders and developers are reporting a deterioration in credit availability and intensifying pressure on borrowers with outstanding loans,” said NAHB Chairman Joe Robson, a home builder from Tulsa, OK…………………Full Article: Source

Connecting the dots to the U.S. housing market recovery

Posted on 30 September 2009 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From There is a “shadow market” of 2.7 million homes that are technically in foreclosure but are yet to be reclaimed by the lender, says a Wall Street Journal study today.
While it’s no secret banks are kicking the can down the road on finalizing foreclosures (and consequently accepting the mortgage loan as a loss) this is the first guess at the total number of such homes that we’ve heard:………………..Full Article: Source

Property market surges in Canada as commitment to low interest rates boost real estate sector

Posted on 30 September 2009 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From An unprecedented property recovery is underway in Canada with a combination of low interest rates and sensible pricing creating an overall sense of optimism for the coming months.

The Canadian Real Estate Association announced that it has revised its forecast for sales and prices for the rest of this year and into 2010 as a result…………………Full Article: Source

Brazil property investment – Downhill all the way

Posted on 30 September 2009 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Since May, political and economic analysts have been predicting that Brazil will be one of the first countries to emerge from recession. Now, it’s official. Figures just released for Q2 GDP growth for the Latin American giant confirm that Brazil is growing again.
Music to the ears of those planning property investment in Brazil or who have already purchased Brazil real estate…………………Full Press Release: Source

Europe: Real-estate slump upends property funds

Posted on 30 September 2009 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From WSJ: In the wake of the steep drop in values in European property markets, investors are reassessing their relationships with property-fund managers and other asset managers.

Institutional investors in private-equity funds are rebelling and in some cases are forcing managers to hand over responsibility for property funds or direct assets to new fund managers, also known as general partners, who have the investors’ confidence…………………Full Article (Subscription Required): Source

Tide turning on institutional interest in UK commercial property

Posted on 30 September 2009 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From More than half of the UK’s institutional pension funds are planning to increase their commercial property investment allocation - despite the dramatic falls in values since 2007, according to new research published on Monday by global real estate investment manager Prupim and the Pensions Management Institute (PMI).

A survey of leading pension fund managers and trustees, managing an estimated £140 bn (EUR 153 bn) in assets revealed that 52% expect to increase their investment in commercial property in global and domestic markets between now and 2012…………………Full Article: Source

Short-term dip in UK housing market

Posted on 30 September 2009 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Figures from UK Land Registry are disappointing on the face of it with a 0.1% reduction in UK property prices between July and August.
However, when you consider the traditional summer lull which occurs nearly every year, the situation is perhaps nowhere near as bad as some people would have you believe…………………Full Article: Source

London office market heading out of recession - C&W

Posted on 30 September 2009 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From The third quarter ending on 30 September will be the best for the London office letting market since the collapse of Lehman Brothers, according to a report from real estate advisor Cushman & Wakefield.

In the three months to end-September, take-up of office space across the capital’s main West End, City & Docklands markets will have increased by 64% on Q2 to 1.86 million square feet (170,000 m2), Cushman & Wakefield predicts…………………Full Article: Source

Norwegian property to cut debt, may sell assets as rents drop

Posted on 30 September 2009 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Bloomberg: Norwegian Property ASA, the biggest owner of commercial real estate in Oslo’s main financial district, plans to cut debt and may sell assets to ride out falling rents.

“We’re no longer seeking to be such a highly geared company,” Chief Financial Officer Mari Thjomoe said in an interview at her company’s headquarters in Oslo. “At some point we will reach that lower debt level and will hopefully be even more attractive to investors.” ………………..Full Article: Source

Danish house market near bottom, no 2010 growth, Bernstein says

Posted on 30 September 2009 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Bloomberg: Denmark’s housing market is nearing the bottom as the Scandinavian nation’s economy emerges from recession, though property prices will stagnate through next year, central bank Governor Nils Bernstein said.

“Maybe in the third or fourth quarter the housing market will trough,” Bernstein said in an interview in Copenhagen on Sept. 28. “It will be flat in 2010, we don’t have big expectations that it will suddenly start to rise.”………………..Full Article: Source

Spain: High LTV mortgages are back

Posted on 30 September 2009 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From International Mortgage Brokers have announced that they are now offering Spain property loans of up to 90% loan-to-value (LTV) with rates starting from just 2.45% and low arrangement costs, when purchasing selected Spanish property owned by the banks. There are also 95-100% finance options available.

Most mortgages to buy property in Spain are normally limited to 70% of the purchase price so, making this a seemingly attractive product…………………Full Article: Source

France ‘remains stable’ for property buyers

Posted on 30 September 2009 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From The French property market has retained a high level of stability due to the way French banks have gone about their lending policies.

Director of overseas mortgage brokers Conti Clare Nessling told the Independent that this has led to loans for buying homes being more readily available…………………Full Article: Source

Good Cyprus property prospects

Posted on 30 September 2009 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Prospects for the Cyprus property sector look sound in comparison to most property markets in Europe, according to Cypriot government.

In an interview with the Financial Mirror, Cyprus’ interior minister Neoclis Sylikiotis said: “property investment is much safer in Cyprus than anywhere else.”………………..Full Article: Source

Tel Aviv property market teeming with purchasing groups

Posted on 30 September 2009 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From The real estate market in the Tel Aviv area has changed dramatically in recent years, with investment groups almost completely overrunning it, according to a study conducted by the State Revenues Administration at the Finance Ministry.

According to the study, between 2005 and 2007 there was a 168% increase in the value of land purchased by private investors, most of whom were organized in a purchasing group, while the value of land purchased by contractors remained more-or-less stable…………………Full Article: Source

China Insurance Regulatory mulls Reit and PE property fund investments

Posted on 30 September 2009 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From New draft real estate investment regulations are soon to be released by the China Insurance Regulatory Commission (CIRC). Investment managers for the country’s Rmb3.8 trillion ($562.5 billion) in insurance capital will then officially dip their toes into the world of property investments for the first time in history.

Of course, many Chinese insurers already hold real estate projects that they invested in before the CIRC required them to clean up their books in 2003 — and many of these assets are non-performing…………………Full Article: Source

Indian realty cos line up IPOs

Posted on 30 September 2009 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Buoyed by positive market sentiments and demand revival in housing, four real estate companies — Emaar MGF Land, Lodha Developers, Sahara Prime City and Ambience Ltd — are looking to mop-up over Rs 11,000 crore through public offerings.

The four realtors on Tuesday filed their preliminary draft prospectus with market regulator SEBI and, according to industry observers, at least a dozen more realtors may be lining up to tap the capital market in the coming months…………………Full Article: Source

India: IPO filings by real estate firms signal recovery

Posted on 30 September 2009 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From India’s real estate business is celebrating a revival of fortunes after plumbing the depths during the economic slowdown with a tentative return to the initial public offerings (IPO) market.

Taking the plunge are Emaar MGF Land Ltd, Lodha Developers Ltd and Sahara Prime City, all of which filed their draft red herring prospectuses on Tuesday with the stock market regulator, Securities and Exchange board of India (Sebi), to raise a total of around Rs9,800 crore…………………Full Article: Source

Korean fund set to swoop on HSBC tower

Posted on 30 September 2009 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From South Korea’s $200 billion (£125 billion) state pension fund would be “interested” in buying the Canary Wharf headquarters of HSBC if the bank was to put the skyscraper up for sale.

The giant government-run fund has already declared plans for a global property-buying spree and said that the tower was among a number of trophy assets that it was considering buying in London, Paris, New York, Hong Kong and Tokyo…………………Full Article: Source

Metro Manila property prices expected to slump

Posted on 30 September 2009 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Property prices in areas in Metro Manila that were hardest hit by floods triggered by Tropical Storm Ondoy are likely to fall, as developers and buyers reassess whether those locations are fit for their projects and their homes, respectively.

While analysts could not immediately say how much real estate prices in those areas — portions of Marikina City and Pasig City as well as several municipalities in Rizal province — would suffer, they were unanimous in saying that both buyers and developers would think twice before investing in those locations…………………Full Article: Source

Fitch gives Singapore-REITS negative rating

Posted on 30 September 2009 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Ratings agency, Fitch, said Singapore real estate investment trusts or S-Reits still face questions about their financial flexibility and refinancing ability.

In a research report, Fitch noted that S-reits have largely been able to refinance their maturing debt obligations in 2009…………………Full Article: Source

Australia: Brace for a housing price-rise flare up

Posted on 30 September 2009 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Housing prices are ready to explode, as demand from potential home owners to buy into the property market outweighs the supply of new housing, prompting the Reserve Bank to increase pressure on state governments to cut the cost of developing land.

The warning comes as the RBA prepares to become the first central bank in the world to raise interest rates, likely within the next two months, after the global turmoil of the past year…………………Full Article: Source

Investors seek opportunities in real estate

Posted on 29 September 2009 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From As economic recovery progresses in world markets including the US and UK, investors are increasingly targeting bespoke and added value opportunities in traditional asset classes including real estate.
In the UK this month, Gatehouse Bank PLC, the latest Islamic investment bank to be authorized by the Financial Services Authority (FSA), has launched a GBP350 million Shariah-compliant London Office High Income Recovery Fund………………..Full Article: Source

Real estate funds rally 33 pct in three months

Posted on 29 September 2009 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Real estate mutual funds, ground zero for the financial meltdown and housing bust, returned 33% in the past three months, ranking as the top-performing category, according to Morningstar.
As a result, real estate stocks no longer sell at hefty discounts. Still, property funds show an attractive balance between risk and return for investors who want to get back into real estate………………..Full Article: Source

Why REITs may be a solid investment

Posted on 29 September 2009 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Canadian real estate investment trusts may have limited upside after this year’s stunning rally, but healthy yields should ensure they make a solid investment through a tentative economic recovery.

Like many other sectors, Canadian REITs tumbled in value during the global financial crisis, though not nearly as hard as their U.S. counterparts………………..Full Article: Source

REIT rebound doubles investors’ pleasure

Posted on 29 September 2009 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From The stock-market rally that’s propelled the S&P 500 Index to a 14% gain in the past three months has featured few losers. Just nine of 154 industry groups have declined.
Not only have real estate investment trusts been among the best performers, but their dividends are at least twice that of the benchmark index………………..Full Article: Source

Downturn in commercial property over

Posted on 29 September 2009 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From The sharp rebound in investor sentiment and the sheer weight of equity poised to (re-)enter the market make it plausible that commercial property total returns could hit 15% next year, according to Capital Economics.

After a likely total return of -7% or so in 2009 as a whole, a rebound to 15% next year might, at first glance, appear too rapid. But according to Capital Economics, history shows that total returns can jump very sharply in the first year of a recovery, as they did in 1975 (from -16% in 1974 to 11%) and 1993 (from -2% in 1992 to 20%)………………..Full Article: Source

Housing agencies may get $35 bln in treasury aid

Posted on 29 September 2009 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Bloomberg: State housing agencies in the U.S. that provide mortgages to low-income borrowers would get as much as $35 billion in federal aid under a new U.S. Treasury Department program, people familiar with the matter said.

The program would provide up to $15 billion in fresh funding for as long as three years and would purchase as much as $20 billion in tax-exempt mortgage bonds issued by state- sponsored housing finance agencies through the end of this year, a person familiar with the matter said………………..Full Article: Source

Europe: Institutions turning to rented housing

Posted on 29 September 2009 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From IPE: Institutional investors are seeking safety in housing real estate as an investment option but not all opportunities are equal, the German real estate company Patrizia has suggested in a study.

One trend identified in a survey conducted for Patrizia’s first housing real estate study was the increasing differentiation between housing for rent and for sale………………..Full Article (Subscription Required): Source

UK: Commercial property: the bears are turning bullish

Posted on 29 September 2009 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Peter Hargreaves, who had a spat with John Duffield over the prospects for commercial property, has turned bullish for the first time in six years.
Peter Hargreaves, the millionaire behind Hargreaves Lansdown, one of Britain’s leading financial firms, has often courted controversy with his strong views………………..Full Article: Source

Munich the top European city for real estate

Posted on 29 September 2009 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Reuters: Munich is the most attractive European city for real estate investors, helped by its resilient economic and business structure, beating out last year’s favourite London, a report said on Monday.

LaSalle Investment Management said its annual European Regional Economic Growth (E-REGI) index showed the German city can best withstand the current economic turmoil, due to strong wealth levels and diversified local and global businesses………………..Full Article: Source

UK: Four reasons to sell your commercial property stocks now

Posted on 29 September 2009 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Britain’s commercial property cheerleaders have been finding their voices again recently.

And this month they’ve finally got something to shout about. The overall level of British commercial property prices has climbed for the first time in more than two years. What’s more, it seems buyers have started crawling over each other to ‘bag a bargain’ while stocks last………………..Full Article: Source

UK: House price fall slows to lowest level in a year

Posted on 29 September 2009 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From The annual drop in house prices in England and Wales has slowed to its lowest level in a year.

The annual rate at which prices dropped in September eased to 5.6 per cent from 6.7 per cent in August, Hometrack, the property data company said, the slowest annual pace of decline since August 2008………………..Full Article: Source

UK: Residential rentals ‘are picking up’

Posted on 29 September 2009 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From The residential rental market is beginning to stabilise with property oversupply decreasing across the UK and the number of new tenancies increasing, according to the Association of Residential Letting Agents (Arla).
Claiming that the property market as a whole was “getting back on its feet”, the Arla survey also found the historical decline in numbers of tenants, which led to a surplus of properties to rent, was coming to an end………………..Full Article: Source

Switzerland prime property booms as wealthy move in

Posted on 29 September 2009 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From The world’s high-net-worth population is knocking on the country’s door. There is a well-worn legend that a labyrinth of caverns runs through the Swiss Alps, to provide refuge for Switzerland’s citizens in the event of global disaster.
But with the prospect of tougher tax regimes for the European wealthy prompting an increasing number of people to move to Switzerland, they might need to dig more tunnels………………..Full Article: Source

Allianz RE to buy assets for up to EUR 2bln in France

Posted on 29 September 2009 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Allianz Real Estate plans to buy property assets worth up to EUR 2 bn in France within the next three years, Olivier Piani, global head of real estate at Allianz, told French newspaper La Tribune.
The company will target shopping centres in the country with investments ranging between EUR 70 mln and EUR 100 mln………………..Full Article: Source

UAE leads in GCC region for investment in real estate sector

Posted on 29 September 2009 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From The UAE will continue its lead among the Gulf countries for investment in real estate projects as the country’s planned investment accounts for 44 per cent of the total investment in the region by 2013, according to Standard Chartered Bank.

Real estate accounts for $250 billion of planned projects, or more than one-third of the total $717 billion for all categories in the region from 2010 to 2013 while the UAE’s lion’s share will be $110 billion during the same period, the bank said in its latest report………………..Full Article: Source

Dubai office rentals to stay sluggish until 2010, says CBRE

Posted on 29 September 2009 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Office space rentals in Dubai have plunged by 63 per cent in the last nine months, but prices are likely to fall further for the remainder of 2009 and 2010 as a dearth in demand, along with abundance of new supply, will keep the emirate’s office space leasing market sluggish, especially in the freezone areas, said property consulting company CB Richard Ellis Middle East.

CBRE said the biggest drop in rents has been felt the most in the new freezone areas of Jumeriah Lakes Towers and Dubai Silicon Oasis………………..Full Article: Source

India: It’s time to look at realty with caution

Posted on 29 September 2009 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Real estate stocks have once again gained premium value. But according to experts, this is not the right time for retail investors to invest significantly in realty stocks.

The scenario was different at the start of the year. In January the weighted average price of realty stocks was far below the current valuations. High value stocks such as DLF, Sobha, Indiabulls and HDIL that quoted at much lesser than their current values fell further in the month of March………………..Full Article: Source

Land Ho! Indian companies head to Lanka for share of realty pie

Posted on 29 September 2009 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From For nearly three decades, politicians from Norway to New Delhi were flying to Colombo to facilitate peace in Sri Lanka. Now corporate executives from Larsen & Toubro’s AM Naik to Omaxe’s Rohtas Goel may join author-investor Jim Rogers in flying to the once war-torn Indian Ocean island to share a pie of the future prosperity.

L&T , Omaxe, Puravankara Projects are among those lining up to build projects anticipating an economic surge in Sri Lanka expected to happen after a bloody war. They are planning to build shopping complexes, residential homes and much more………………..Full Article: Source

India: Loans to real estate players set to get costlier

Posted on 29 September 2009 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) may step up its efforts to pre-empt another bubble in the local property market by increasing the cost of funds for the commercial real estate sector by up to 200 basis points.
“We are looking at a hike in the risk weight to the commercial real estate (CRE) segment to 125% as a measure to ward off another bubble in the real estate segment and to ensure high credit quality,” said an RBI official who asked not to be named………………..Full Article: Source

India: Housing prices may go down

Posted on 29 September 2009 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Global property consultancy firm, Knight Frank India, has said that prices in the residential property segment are likely to decline in a short time.

“We feel prices of residential segment may go down over a period of time,” Knight Frank India’s chairman, Pranay Vakil, said………………..Full Article: Source

China: Insurers eager to invest in real estate market

Posted on 29 September 2009 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From People’s Insurance Company of China (PICC), the nation’s largest insurance conglomerate, is eyeing investment opportunities in economically affordable housing, the company’s president Wu Yan said yesterday.

Several insurers are eager to make a similar move after a new law allowing it comes into effect on Oct 1………………..Full Article: Source

China: Concern over property prices

Posted on 29 September 2009 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From China’s housing authorities do not support high prices and are pushing for an increase in homes that are affordable for most people, a senior official said yesterday.

“We hope local governments will raise the supply of moderately priced housing so that ordinary people can afford to buy their own homes,” said Qi Ji, vice minister of the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development………………..Full Article: Source

Glorious raises $1.28 bln from IPO in Hong Kong

Posted on 29 September 2009 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From WSJ: Glorious Property Holdings Ltd. raised US$1.28 billion from its Hong Kong initial public offering, after pricing near the low end of an indicative price range, two people familiar with the situation said Friday.

The Shanghai-based developer’s IPO, the first by a Chinese real-estate company in more than 15 months, was priced at the low end amid signs that the frenzy surrounding new listings is beginning to ebb, and comes as investors digest a spate of Chinese listings in the market………………..Full Article(Subscription Required): Source

Ohio PERS raises real estate allocation

Posted on 29 September 2009 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From IPE: Ohio Public Employees Retirement System has decided to increase its targeted allocation to real estate from 7% to 10%.

This should give the pension fund a significant sum to invest in real estate in 2010, as the Ohio PERS real estate portfolio was valued at $4.21bn (€2.9bn) at the end of June, and made up 8.38% of its $50.21bn of its total assets under management………………..Full Article (Subscription Required): Source

Texan pension funds kickstart shift back into real estate

Posted on 29 September 2009 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From IPE: Texas Permanent School Fund is hoping to become a major player in real estate over the next four years and invest up $1bn (€686.7m), just as local rival Teacher Retirement System of Texas has appointed LaSalle Investment Management to run a special real estate vehicle specialising in global co-investments.

The Texas School fund intends to invest $230m in 2009, $340m in 2010, $240m in 2011 and $190m in 2012 after establishing a 6% targeted allocation to real estate………………..Full Article (Subscription Required): Source

US: Existing-home sales ease following 4 monthly gains

Posted on 28 September 2009 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Existing-home sales in August 2009 gave back some of their strong gain in July but remain above year-ago levels, according to the National Association of Realtors.

Existing-home sales- including single-family, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops- declined 2.7% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.10 million units in August from a pace of 5.24 million in July, but remain 3.4% above the 4.93 million-unit level in August 2008. In the previous four months, sales had risen a total of 15.2%…………………Full Article: Source

New-home sales in U.S. climb to almost one-year high

Posted on 28 September 2009 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Bloomberg: Sales of new U.S. homes climbed in August to the highest level in almost a year as builders cut prices at a record pace to compete with the foreclosures that are flooding the market for previously owned houses.

Sales increased 0.7 percent to a 429,000 annual pace, less than anticipated, figures from the Commerce Department showed today in Washington…………………Full Article: Source

US: Where real estate seems to be hitting bottom

Posted on 28 September 2009 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From MSNBC: There’s more to indicate that the housing recession has hit bottom than Thursday’s dual announcements that housing starts rose 1.5 percent from July, and new jobless claims dropped by 12,000 last week.

Homeowners looking to sell are also putting the brakes on the trend of aggressive price cuts, indicating that the real estate market may be closer to salvation than previously thought. In 20 major U.S. housing markets, the percentage of homes that have suffered price reductions is dropping…………………Full Article: Source

September 2009
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