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Real Estate Briefing - Archive | February, 2010

US mortgage rates rise above 5 pct again-Freddie Mac

Posted on 26 February 2010 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Reuters: U.S. mortgage rates rose for the first time in three weeks, leaping above 5 percent, a key level that could suppress demand for home loans, a closely watched mortgage survey showed on Thursday.

Mortgage rates are widely seen to be on an upward trajectory this year as Federal Reserve asset purchase programs cease and the economy recovers……………………………………Full Article: Source

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General Growth is biggest fight since equity office

Posted on 26 February 2010 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Bloomberg: The battle for General Growth Properties Inc., owner of more than 200 U.S. malls from Boston to Los Angeles, is turning into the biggest real estate fight since the sale of Sam Zell’s Equity Office Properties Trust.

Westfield Group, a Sydney-based property investor with stakes in 55 U.S. retail centers, signed an agreement letting it assess General Growth’s finances, a person familiar with the pact said yesterday……………………………………Full Article: Source

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Euro house prices to fall further

Posted on 26 February 2010 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Independent.ie: House prices in Europe still have a “considerable way” to fall, with Ireland, Spain and the Netherlands particularly at risk from weaker economic growth as a result, economists at Frankfurt-based Deutsche Bank said.

“Even though many housing markets have corrected strongly in the last 24 months, it seems we have not yet touched ground everywhere,” economists Tobias Just and Thomas Mayer wrote in a note to clients late yesterday……………………………………Full Article: Source

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Lending sentiment improves for prime property: CBRE

Posted on 26 February 2010 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Propertyeu.info: The first signs are emerging of a positive shift in sentiment amongst banks since early 2008, albeit heavily concentrated on the top end of the commercial real estate market in Europe, according to CB Richard Ellis.
In its latest European Capital Markets report, CBRE says banks now find themselves in a more confident position to lend following the recovery in the European real estate investment market in the latter half of 2009……………………………………Full Article: Source

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UK economy fears prompt property companies to invest abroad

Posted on 26 February 2010 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Telegraph: A second FTSE 100 property company has said it plans to focus investment this year in Continental Europe rather than the UK because of doubts about the economy.
Segro, the industrial property group formerly known as Slough Estates, indicated on Thursday that it believes the Continental Europe property market could potentially offer more attractive pricing for acquisitions and stronger demand from businesses to occupy space……………………………………Full Article: Source

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UK: Property sector recovery fragile, warns Barratt

Posted on 26 February 2010 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Telegraph: Investor confidence in house builders was shaken and shares endured a torrid day after companies warned that, despite improved performances, they were still at the mercy of fragile economic conditions and limited mortgage availability.
Barratt, one of the UK’s largest house builders, delivered a generally positive set of half-year results, with pre-tax losses for the six months to December 31 narrowing from £595m to £178m……………………………………Full Article: Source

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UK: Property market to surge on Conservative Party win

Posted on 26 February 2010 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Telegraph: The property market surges when more Britons vote for the Conservative party, new figures can disclose. Research shows a link between a rise in Conservative votes and a rise in the number of property transactions across the country.

In 1979, the Conservative Party received 13.7 million votes, compared to 11.5 million votes in 1974. The rise resulted in 8.6 per cent more people buying and selling homes in the three months after the 1979 General Election, according to the figures compiled by estate agent Your Move……………………………………Full Article: Source

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Dublin’s property market is improving

Posted on 26 February 2010 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Irishcentral.com: The Irish property website MyHome.ie has said that the number of second hand properties that were “sale agreed” has significantly increased.

The website has seen a small increase in property sales since September of last year……………………………………Full Article: Source

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Turkey’s housing market boosted by eastern, southeastern growth

Posted on 26 February 2010 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Todayszaman.com: Eastern and southeastern Turkey led the way in the growth in the number of homes sold in the last quarter of the year, increasing sales by 25.6 percent in a year when the global real estate market tried to dig through the rubble of a massive collapse originating in the US.
According to data released by the Turkish Statistics Institute (TurkStat), the number of homes sold in the fourth quarter of 2009 increased by 3.9 percent compared to the previous quarter, or 4,316 more homes sold for a quarterly total of 116,229 homes. This represented an increase of 23,713 compared to the fourth quarter of 2008……………………………………Full Article: Source

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Egyptian property market has been given a positive outlook

Posted on 26 February 2010 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Propertyshowrooms.com: A new report has predicted “healthy long-term prospects” for the property market in Egypt. The report, published by Markaz, has said that the lack of mid-price real estate in the country could lead to an overall increase in housing prices.

It looks at the country’s economic cycle dating back to 1986, forecasting annual increases of six per cent until 2014-15. Income growth is cited as the main factor in buoying the real estate market, with more individuals in better paid jobs supporting the rising demand for property……………………………………Full Article: Source

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Nordic property activity picks up

Posted on 26 February 2010 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Globalmoneymanagement.com: Nordic institutional investors are seeing more value opportunities in real estate for the year ahead and have begun increasing their allocations.
Denmark’s Arbejdsmarkedets Tillaegspension and the Netherlands’ Total Nederland are looking at potential manager hires, Sweden’s Landstinget Västmanland has awarded a mandate worth nearly 5% of its total assets, and Denmark’s PensionDanmark has increased its allocation to domestic real estate to 10% from 6.4%……………………………………Full Article: Source

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Demand grows for office space in Qatar: Study

Posted on 26 February 2010 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Thepeninsulaqatar.com: The Engineering and Construction sector accounts for the largest percentage of new demand in office space rentals for the second and third quarter of 2009 in Qatar, according to a study published by DTZ Qatar.

The study, “Property Times - Qatar” , which was launched during a press conference by Regency Group Holding and DTZ Qatar at the M venpick Tower & Suites recently, indicates that the construction and real estate sector of Qatar remains strong despite the global economic crisis……………………………………Full Article: Source

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A matter of time - Bahrain real estate to start rising again

Posted on 26 February 2010 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Globalarabnetwork.com: Whilst the Bahraini real estate sector may not have suffered the dramatic reversal of form experienced by many property markets across the Gulf, it has seen a fall off in activity, with the volume of sales and new leases down and many expecting a return to the heated conditions of before 2008 to be some time off.
Some estimates put the fall in rental prices for high-end residential units at around 10% during 2009, far better than some of its near neighbours, where returns from rental properties have fallen by as much as 50%. Sales prices for some developments in the Gulf such as those in Dubai have plunged at a similar rate……………………………………Full Article: Source

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China: Property M&As gain momentum

Posted on 26 February 2010 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Chinadaily.com.cn: Property developers in the country would have more merger and acquisition opportunities this year as the realty market may witness a correction, ratings agency Standard & Poor’s said Thursday.

“Mid-2010 could prove to be the turning point for many developers, as increased supplies would see competition intensifying even as tighter policies weaken demand,” said Christopher Lee, corporate ratings director at Standard & Poor’s. “Growth rates of many firms may slow, while M&A activity could increase,” he said……………………………………Full Article: Source

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China property price gains unsustainable, S&P says

Posted on 26 February 2010 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Businessweek.com: China’s property market will probably go through a “more meaningful correction” this year because the price gains in 2009 aren’t sustainable, Christopher Lee, corporate ratings director at Standard & Poor’s, said.

The outlook for the Chinese market is “neutral” for this year, Bei Fu, an associate director of corporate ratings at S&P, said on a conference call with Lee today……………………………………Full Article: Source

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Property ban on foreigners ‘won’t damage local market’

Posted on 26 February 2010 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From People.com.cn: Premium realty dealers say policy unlikely to affect sales of high-end homes. Premium property dealers claim the government’s policy to resume restrictions on foreign people buying local properties will not hurt sales.

Foreigners are currently only allowed to buy one apartment each in the capital, and must have worked or studied in the Chinese mainland for more than one year prior to the purchase……………………………………Full Article: Source

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Experts say stamp duty hike unlikely to cool HK property market

Posted on 26 February 2010 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Channelnewsasia.com: Hong Kong property consultants said the government’s move to raise transaction taxes for luxury apartments will do little to stabilise residential prices.

However, they said plans to increase residential land supply will help. The measures were announced in the government’s Budget speech on Wednesday, and are aimed at averting a property bubble in the territory……………………………………Full Article: Source

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Australian property values up 1.8 pct in January: RP Data

Posted on 26 February 2010 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Ninemsn.com.au: Australia’s runaway property market is refusing to slow, with the average home rising almost 2 percent in value last month.

Figures released today by RP Data show that average property prices have jumped by nearly 12 percent over the last 12 months, defying fears of a housing bubble and exacerbating the housing affordability crisis……………………………………Full Article: Source

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Nomura to offer $1.7 bln private REIT

Posted on 26 February 2010 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Reuters: Nomura Real Estate Holdings is planning to offer Japan’s first privately placed real estate investment trust (REIT) as soon as in the next few days, the Nikkei business daily reported on Thursday.
Nomura Real Estate, a unit of Japan’s top brokerage Nomura Holdings, will offer the unlisted 150 billion yen ($1.66 billion) REIT to cash-rich Japanese pension funds, the daily said……………………………………Full Article: Source

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What’s happening with REITs?

Posted on 26 February 2010 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Bankinvestmentconsultant.com: What are we to make of REITs? These trusts, which trade as equities and are essentially collections of real property, or mortgages, became widely reviled when the real estate bubble collapsed in late 2008.
Domestic and global REIT mutual funds plunged 39.6% and 46.6%, respectively, according to Morningstar. But REITs joined the S&P in regaining a lot of ground last year, delivering an average return of 20% in 2009……………………………………Full Article: Source

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Where are the big property barons now

Posted on 26 February 2010 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Propertymentor.co.uk: Back in 2007, the big property guru’s of the period were reputed to have made approximately £3,000 billion from their property investments during 1995 and 2007.

Benefiting from 220% property price increases, affordable loans and cheap credit, many of these top property landlords literally started out with nothing when they first climbed onto the property investment ladder……………………………………Full Article: Source

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Real estate market: How it is affected by the economy

Posted on 26 February 2010 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Ibtimes.com: In 2009, the economy has been showing improvements. The gross domestic product has shown a rising trend, especially on the latter half of the year. But even if the economy is exhibiting some life, it is still weak. Now, there lies a question. With the current economy, how will it affect the current real estate market?

2010 is the year of the tiger. The economy, on the early part of the year, has been showing plenty of signs for its tiger improvement. However, the real estate market is still slowing……………………………………Full Article: Source

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US: New home sales hit record low, prices tumble

Posted on 25 February 2010 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Reuters: Sales of new homes unexpectedly fell to a record low in January while demand for loans to buy homes hit a 13-year low last week, fanning fears of renewed weakness in the housing market.
The Commerce Department said on Wednesday sales of newly built single-family homes dropped 11.2 percent to an annual rate of 309,000 units, the lowest level since records started in 1963, from 348,000 units in December…………………………………..Full Article: Source

Economists surprised as new-home sales fall to lowest level in nearly 50 years

Posted on 25 February 2010 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Washingtonpost.com: Sales of newly built homes unexpectedly plummeted in January to their lowest level in nearly five decades, providing more evidence of the housing market’s fragility.

Purchases of new single-family homes dropped 11.2 percent in January from December to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 309,000, the Commerce Department reported Wednesday. Sales fell in every region except the Midwest, and the raw number of new homes on the market rose for the first time in nearly three years…………………………………..Full Article: Source

Where home prices are rising

Posted on 25 February 2010 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Forbes: This month, after three years of record declines, the battered housing market has shown some signs of hope. Tuesday the S&P/Case-Shiller 20-city Home Price Index, which is a gauge of sale prices in the country’s major markets, showed a seasonally adjusted 0.3% increase between November and December.

This gives economists hope for a recovery, in addition to February news from the Department of Commerce that housing starts were up 2.8% in January. All of this portends good things for the national market in general–but in some particular areas there are very clear signs of life…………………………………..Full Article: Source

Canadian housing market keeps humming along

Posted on 25 February 2010 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Montrealgazette.com: The good news about the Canadian housing market keeps coming, despite concerns by some that we’re headed for a “bubble.”

On Wednesday, a pair of reports showed continuing improvement in the conditions for those thinking of selling their homes in the near future…………………………………..Full Article: Source

Is Toronto’s real estate market a bubble ready to burst?

Posted on 25 February 2010 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Movesmartly.com: It seems as though any time house prices are on the rise in Toronto, regardless of how modest the increase might be, Torontonians are worried that a real estate crash is just around the corner. But for the first time in nearly twenty years, concerns of a real estate bubble are somewhat justified.

According to the Teranet National Bank House Price Index, Toronto home prices have appreciated by 15% from the market bottom in April 2009 to December 2009…………………………………..Full Article: Source

3 reasons to buy property in brazil

Posted on 25 February 2010 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Property-abroad.com: Brazil property is certainly leading the publicity stakes, but the fact is its coverage is deserved, well most of it is anyway. Here are three reasons why Brazil property is so popular and such a good buy right now — note unless explicitly stated otherwise this article is referring to the north east of Brazil.
1: Low Prices: Property in Brazil is famed for being among the lowest priced in the world. Prices have actually risen in the last 12 - 18 months in the luxury sector, but prices are still low by comparison to developed markets…………………………………..Full Article: Source

Timing crucial for Brazilian property investment

Posted on 25 February 2010 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Propertyshowrooms.com: Timing is crucial for individuals looking to invest in the Brazilian property market. Property investment company Obelisk has recommended potential buyers add to their housing portfolios at the beginning of the country’s property boom to avoid paying high prices.

A strong economy, huge supply of natural resources and growing middle class citizenship are cited as reasons that Brazil is now one of the most exciting emerging markets, with the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympic Games acting as further testament to its potential…………………………………..Full Article: Source

UK: Barratt sees modest housing market recovery

Posted on 25 February 2010 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Timesonline.co.uk: Barratt Developments, the housebuilder, has indicated some modest recovery in the housing market, even though the number of homes the company sold fell sharply in the half-year to end-December.

A refinancing and rights issue last year more than halved net debt to £605 million from £1,423 million but threw up a number of exceptional items in the half-year figures…………………………………..Full Article: Source

Scotland’s housing market recovery trails UK’s

Posted on 25 February 2010 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Scotsman.com: The housing market in Scotland is recovering at a much slower pace than in the UK as a whole, figures revealed yesterday.
About 14,200 mortgages were advanced to people buying a property in Scotland during the final three months of 2009…………………………………..Full Article: Source

100pct mortgages to boost Spanish property market

Posted on 25 February 2010 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Kyero.com: Buyers in Spain could be able to secure 100% mortgages for the first time during the downturn thanks to a new developer-bank partnership.
Customers buying from UK-based developer Almanzora Group will be able to apply for 100% loan-to-value finance through the Bank of Andalusia on properties with discounts of up to 55% off peak price…………………………………..Full Article: Source

Stabilisation in Spanish property prices but affordability could be key to recovery

Posted on 25 February 2010 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Propertycommunity.com: Some parts of Spain are seeing property prices increase but some experts point out that it is affordability that will be a key to a recovery in the country’s real estate market.

According to Facilismo.com, Spain’s number one property portal, Murcia has posted the highest house price rises of all the nation’s autonomous regions at 0.24%…………………………………..Full Article: Source

Norwegian Property down; outlook dim

Posted on 25 February 2010 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Reuters: Shares in Norwegian Property fall 3.6 percent, among leading Oslo blue-chip losers for the second day in a row, as the market’s focus turns to the company’s restructuring plans away from Tuesday’s disappointing results.

Norwegian Property aims to spin off hotel business Norgani. “Selling/splitting off Norgani will not be easy; attempts to sell this portfolio before have been unsuccessful,” RBS says in a note…………………………………..Full Article: Source

Barcelona office letting market to grow further in 2010

Posted on 25 February 2010 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Propertyeu.info: Barcelona’s office market will see further growth in lettings activity in 2010 after seeing take-up in the last three months of 2009 double compared with the previous quarter.
According to international real estate advisor Savills, large occupiers such as AXA and Cofely have paved the way for further activity, whilst a drastic reduction in office supply should see consolidation of rents in the latter part of 2010…………………………………..Full Article: Source

Iraq, Jordan mull cooperation in housing sector

Posted on 25 February 2010 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Zawya.com: Iraqi Minister of Housing and Reconstruction Bayan Daza Yi discussed on Tuesday with Jordanian Prime Minister Samir Rifai means of strengthening bilateral relations especially in the areas of housing, according to Petra news agency.

“During the meeting, the Jordanian prime minister stressed the need to boost the historical bilateral cooperation to serve the common interests of the two countries,” the Jordanian news agency said…………………………………..Full Article: Source

Abu Dhabi housing units to grow by 5,000-10,000

Posted on 25 February 2010 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Khaleej Times: Developers in Abu Dhabi are focusing on the turnover of properties that will see 5,000-10,000 new housing units ready for occupancy this year, marginally slashing rents by 5-10 per cent.

Ninety per cent of the new arrivals would be in the category of medium to upscale apartments, while the rest will be villas, according to Gurjit Singh, Chief Operating Officer of Sarouh
Real Estate…………………………………..Full Article: Source

India: Realtors want focus on cheap housing

Posted on 25 February 2010 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Ndtv.com: Last year the Indian real estate market was badly hit by financial turmoil that resulted in low demand and huge amount of debt.

However, it didn’t change the fact that by 2010 India will be facing a shortage of over 25 million homes all mostly in the affordable housing space…………………………………..Full Article: Source

India: Realty companies take steps to cut risks in expansion plans

Posted on 25 February 2010 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Livemint.com: Excesses by large realty firms—such as aggressive land buying, massive projects with long gestation periods, and venturing into new territories such as power and logistics—as well as the downturn had pushed the sector into a deep slump in 2009.

Now, as growth returns, developers are ordering feasibility studies before launching projects, entering into strategic tie-ups for raw material and labour, appointing project management consultants, and outsourcing construction work for quicker delivery, say property consultants…………………………………..Full Article: Source

Beijing looks to stabilize property

Posted on 25 February 2010 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Globaltimes.cn: Joint guidelines released by 11 local departments to stabilize Beijing’s real estate market will have little short-term impact on soaring home prices, analysts said.

Increasing affordable housing and the supply of medium-and small-sized commercial residential houses was one of the highlights of the guidelines released late Tuesday by 11 departments including the Beijing Municipal Commission of Housing and Urban-Rural Development…………………………………..Full Article: Source

Has Hong Kong’s real estate market reached bubble proportions?

Posted on 25 February 2010 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Seekingalpha.com: There has been much speculation recently about an ongoing price bubble occurring in the Hong Kong residential property market.

In fact, the concern has been so great that Hong Kong Financial Secretary John Tsang recently announced significant measures that will be taken in order to mute the real estate trading activity including a higher levy on luxury properties, adjustments to the rate of land auctions and tighter scrutiny on bank lending…………………………………..Full Article: Source

HK unveils budget measures to boost recovery, cool property market

Posted on 25 February 2010 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Channelnewsasia.com: The Hong Kong government has forecast the city will return to positive annual growth this year, with the economy expected to grow between 4 and 5 per cent in 2010.

In his Budget speech, Financial Secretary John Tsang also announced measures to cool the property market, including a hike in transaction taxes…………………………………..Full Article: Source

Australia: Commercial property investment market in a recovery phase

Posted on 25 February 2010 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Moneymanagement.com.au: The Property Council/IPD Australia Property Index has confirmed that the commercial property investment market is in a recovery phase.

It revealed that the Australian commercial property market recorded a total return of -2.2 per cent for the year ending December 2009, comprised of a 7.4 per cent income return and -9 per cent capital return. This represented an improvement on the total return for the year to September 2009 of -4.9 per cent…………………………………..Full Article: Source

Australia: REITs to build on good start

Posted on 25 February 2010 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Theage.com.au: Real estate investment trusts have gone from just trying to survive the past two years to looking at buying opportunities and reviving dormant development and construction operations.

The trusts that reported yesterday, including Goodman Group, Centro Retail and Sunland, all said the first half of the 2009-10 financial year had vastly improved on the previous corresponding period…………………………………..Full Article: Source

Global sales slide 30pct to $381bln in 2009

Posted on 24 February 2010 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Globest.com: The global volume of commercial property sold in 2009 fell 30% to $381 billion, with nearly 11,000 properties selling in deals valued above $10 million, down 40%, according to the international research firm Real Capital Analytics.

China was the only country to post a significant gain, up 139% to $156 billion, some 41% of global volume. Without it, volume would have fallen 52%……………………………………Full Article: Source

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Europe, Asia office rents stabilised, US lags-CBRE

Posted on 24 February 2010 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Reuters: Almost all real estate markets in Europe and Asia are seeing office rents falling at a slower rate and in some cases stabilising, a trend likely to continue this year, a report said on Tuesday.

By contrast, most U.S. office markets, with the exception of New York, are further back in the rental cycle and are likely to see more falls in rents this year, property consultants CB Richard Ellis said……………………………………Full Article: Source

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Major cities hit by decline in prime office rents

Posted on 24 February 2010 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

The world’s leading centres have suffered an unprecedented fall in demand for office space which has contributed to the first aggregated global fall in prime office rents since 2003. Global real estate adviser Cushman & Wakefield, in its new Office Space Across the World report, says that 2009 recorded a steep and widespread fall in office demand with every region in the world recording falling prime rents for the first time.

The outlook for 2010 however is more positive. As some major economies return to growth, demand for office space from corporates is likely to once again increase and reduce the supply of space. Rental growth is already being recorded in some of the world’s leading office markets such as the City of London and Paris CBD, and rents globally are expected to reach their low point by the middle of the year. The second half of 2010 will therefore be one of recovery and cautious optimism from both landlords and occupiers……………………………………Full Press Release: Source

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Commercial sales jump

Posted on 24 February 2010 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From WSJ: The number of commercial real-estate sales rose sharply in December, triggering fresh debate about whether the sector has reached bottom. Property sales, a gauge of market health, rose 75% in December from the prior month, according to Real Capital Analytics.
The end of the year traditionally sees an increase in volume. But the recent increase is significant even after adjusting for that, says Neal Elkin, president of REAL, a research firm that analyzed the data……………………………………Full Article: Source

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Investor: Commercial real estate’s big concerns now

Posted on 24 February 2010 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Cnbc.com: Moody’s real commercial property price index showed an uptick of 4.1 percent in December. Is this a sign that commercial real estate market has bottomed? Harvey Green, president and chief executive of Marcus & Millichap Real Estate Investment Services, shared his sector outlook.
“The 4.1 percent December increase in the Moody’s index is a positive…I don’t know if it’s enough to say we’re at the bottom or out yet, but it’s a good indicator that we’re moving in the right direction,” Green told CNBC……………………………………Full Article: Source

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Home prices in 20 U.S. cities rose for seventh month

Posted on 24 February 2010 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Bloomberg: Home prices in 20 U.S. cities rose in December for a seventh consecutive month, indicating the industry at the heart of the worst recession since the 1930s is stabilizing.

The S&P/Case-Shiller home-price index increased 0.3 percent from the prior month on a seasonally adjusted basis, more than anticipated and matching the gain in November, figures from the group showed today in New York……………………………………Full Article: Source

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