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Real Estate Briefing - Archive | March, 2010

US: Real estate is booming again. Huh?

Posted on 31 March 2010 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From CNNMoney.com: Home prices are still falling and there are growing concerns about the potential for a commercial real estate bust. So real estate stocks are naturally soaring.

Say what? Yup, shares of real estate investment trusts, or REITs, are on fire this year. The iShares Dow Jones Real Estate (IYR) exchange-traded fund, which owns about 75 real estate stocks, is up 9% so far in 2010……………………………….Full Article: Source

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Much of U.S. was insulated from housing bust

Posted on 31 March 2010 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From WSJ: The U.S. still is feeling the effects of widespread housing bust, but a new report serves as a reminder that large swaths of the nation didn’t experience a boom in home prices and hasn’t suffered from the bust.
New York Federal Reserve staffers Jaison R. Abel and Richard Deitz released a report highlighting the stability of upstate New York’s housing markets……………………………….Full Article: Source

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Commercial prices continue to gain

Posted on 31 March 2010 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From WSJ: An index compiled by Moody’s Investors Service found that prices continue to show modest gains following a long two-year slide. The Moody’s/REAL Commercial Property Price Index rose 1.0% in January to 114.73, the third consecutive monthly gain.
In October 2009, commercial property prices hit a low of 107.98, which was 43.7% below the peak in October 2007. Since then, prices have come back 6.3% and are now down 40.2% from the peak……………………………….Full Article: Source

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US house prices ’set for double-dip’

Posted on 31 March 2010 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Telegraph: The US housing market is poised for a “double-dip” downturn in spite of an unexpected increase in house prices in January.
Economists argue that even though the respected Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller index recorded a 0.3pc month-on-month rise in the first month of 2010, house prices will head south as the year progresses……………………………….Full Article: Source

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Home prices in 20 U.S. cities rose 0.3pct in January

Posted on 31 March 2010 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Independent: House prices rose by a surprising 0.7 per cent in March, reversing much of the previous month’s fall in prices, according to Nationwide building society. The expectation had been that the end of the mini-boom and the stamp duty holiday at the end of last year would keep prices falling.

Observers said the price rise was probably due to a failure of supply to keep pace with demand, especially in London and the South-east……………………………….Full Article: Source

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Can you still find cheap Panama real estate?

Posted on 31 March 2010 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Costaricapages.com: There may be a global financial crisis going on, but if Panama’s real estate asking prices are any indicator, that memo never made it to Panama. During the Panama real estate boom of 2005-2007, crowds of investors were playing fast and loose with money like a sailor on shore leave.
Real estate prices rose impossibly fast, even the most remote parts of Panama. The speculators were coming from everywhere; big biz Panamanians, law firms, hedge funds, foreign developers……………………………….Full Article: Source

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Europe: Dark clouds brighten on JLL weather forecast

Posted on 31 March 2010 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Propertyeu.info: Rental market conditions continued to be gloomy across Europe but there were some signs of stabilisation, according to Jones Lang LaSalle’s latest Office Weather Forecast.
The property adviser says it believes the worst rental falls are past in all 27 markets and over half recorded no change in rents in the final quarter of 2009……………………………….Full Article: Source

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Europe: Commercial property faces GBP103bln funding hole

Posted on 31 March 2010 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Telegraph: There is a €115bn (£103bn) shortfall in the funds needed to refinance European commercial property debt over the next two years, a report has warned.
The gap means the industry faces an increasing number of debt-for-equity swaps, asset sales by banks, and foreclosures, property agent DTZ says……………………………….Full Article: Source

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Irish property funding gap is the biggest in Europe

Posted on 31 March 2010 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Independent.ie: Irish property owners will face the biggest gap in Europe between the money available and the money needed to refinance their commercial property borrowing over the next two years, according to a new report by London-based DTZ Holdings.

Lenders everywhere in Europe are making far fewer loans than the market wants, pending more shake-outs in their mortgage books, even as calm returns to commercial real estate pricing across the Continent……………………………….Full Article: Source

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Ministers to examine property tax in Cyprus

Posted on 31 March 2010 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Cyprus-property-buyers.com: The Cyprus Interior and Finance Ministers are to examine different scenarios for revising property taxes designed to increase the inflow of revenue into state coffers.
Cyprus’ immovable property tax is calculated on the market value of the property as at 1st January 1980 and is paid annually the Inland Revenue Department……………………………….Full Article: Source

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Drop in residential demand affects Kuwait realty

Posted on 31 March 2010 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Business24-7.ae: Real estate sales in Kuwait slipped in the first two months of the year with the residential sector witnessing a slump, according to a report.

The total number of registered real estate sales in Kuwait (residential, commercial and retail) fell by one per cent between January and February at 383 this year, said National Bank of Kuwait (NBK)……………………………….Full Article: Source

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Barwa and Alaqaria ready for merger

Posted on 31 March 2010 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Gulf-times.com: Barwa Real Estate Company and Alaqaria (Qatar Real Estate Investment) have cleared their last hurdle to merge.
Both the companies’ shareholders yesterday gave their consent to Barwa’s acquisition of Alaqaria, after which the enlarged entity will become the sixth largest listed realty company in the Middle East and North Africa region with assets worth more than QR38bn……………………………….Full Article: Source

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Realty sector in Mumbai: High prices hit demand

Posted on 31 March 2010 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Indiatimes.com: Realty sales in Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR) have fallen. The total area (m sq ft) sold in MMR in December 2009 as compared to September 2009 quarter, has come down. Prices have risen or remained flat in some cases.
This shows that homebuyers are holding on to their demand and exercising restrain. Demand for big-ticket houses has been the worst hit……………………………….Full Article: Source

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Real estate sector booming in Tibet

Posted on 31 March 2010 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From People.com.cn: Tibet has been experiencing a brisk real estate market with residents’ increasingly higher income and the thriving tourism industry. Tibet’s construction industry’s added value came to 10.35 billion yuan (1.52 billion U.S. dollars) in 2009, up 24.9 percent year on year.

“I can earn more with the booming of Lhasa’s real estate sector,” said Li Li, a property consultant in Lhasa……………………………….Full Article: Source

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China property bust may prove temporary, BOJ, UBS analysts say

Posted on 31 March 2010 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Bloomberg: China’s stage of economic development means any property-market bust following the current boom may prove temporary, according to economists at the Bank of Japan and UBS AG.

China today shares characteristics of Japan’s real-estate boom of the 1970s, when the nation quickly recovered from a slump, according to a Bank of Japan research paper……………………………….Full Article: Source

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Taiwan: Property market shows sharp rebound

Posted on 31 March 2010 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Taipeitimes.com: The property market appears to have recovered as the housing index showed green for the first time since 2007, but there are still some signs of instability.
The local property market had fully recovered by the fourth quarter of last year, flashing a green light for the first time since early 2007 amid concerns over the health of a ­liquidity-driven rebound in the past year, a Ministry of the Interior quarterly report showed yesterday……………………………….Full Article: Source

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Property markets set for steady growth in Australia, says expert

Posted on 31 March 2010 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Safestore.co.uk: The Australian property market is ready for foreign investors, it has been announced by one industry commentator. Terry Hobbs, media manager at Propertyshowrooms.com, said the country is a particular favourite out of all the foreign opportunities because it has a stable economy.

He said: “I think they are just a little bit more stable. It is not going to see huge amounts of growth, but I think it is just a good steady investment over there.”………………………………Full Article: Source

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Moody’s maintains outlook for A-Reit

Posted on 31 March 2010 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Smh.com.au: Moody’s Investors Service is maintaining its stable outlook for the Australian real estate trust (A-REIT) sector but says challenges remain.

Moody’s Vice President Maurice O’Connell said the sector faced two issues - unbalanced debt maturity profiles and recent industry deleveraging……………………………….Full Article: Source

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Opalesque Exclusive: Cube Capital: Tokyo real estate prospects will remain positive even if Japan’s long-term prospects are not (1)

Posted on 31 March 2010 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Benedicte Gravrand, Opalesque London:Cube Capital’s Asia real estate fund, launched in the midst of the credit crisis, has managed to return impressive returns by banking on office building rentals in Tokyo, REITs, Australian companies needing restructuring, and opportunities in China and Hong Kong.

Cube Asia Real Estate Securities Fund (CARE) Cube’s $45m Asia Real Estate Securities Fund (CARE) returned 31.38% in ‘09 and -0.58% (est.) in January, annualising 24.40% since its September ‘08 inception. This can be compared to the TSE REIT (Japan) index which returned -0.8% in ‘09 and 1.4% in January, the UBS Singapore REIT index 64% and -5.6%, and the GPR Asia RE 250……………………………….Full Article: Source

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Opalesque Exclusive: Cube’s real estate hedge fund keeps exposure to Singapore low, expects returns from Hong Kong and Australia (2)

Posted on 31 March 2010 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Benedicte Gravrand, Opalesque London: This is the second part of the article. REITs REITs are a big part of CARE’s Japan portfolio; indeed it is cheaper to buy equity of listed REITs selling these assets rather than actually buying the physical assets.
Also, one can get more debt imbedded in REITs (it is not so easy to borrow from Japanese banks) and these products are highly regulated………………………………..Full Article: Source

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REITs cash in on commercial property glut

Posted on 31 March 2010 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Investors.com: There’s been no lack of warnings about commercial real estate. Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner said Tuesday that commercial real estate failures remain a threat to the economy.

Last year, 140 small banks failed. Failures this year are running twice as high. Commercial loan failures are a key culprit……………………………….Full Article: Source

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REITs: Strictly short term

Posted on 31 March 2010 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Forbes: The residential real estate market may remain in the doldrums, and commercial real estate has problems of its own, but corporate landlords have continued their amazing rebound into 2010.

Real estate investment trusts, publicly traded firms that pass their earnings on to investors each year, are up 11% since the start of the year compared to the S&P 500’s 6.1% return……………………………….Full Article: Source

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Investors win on REIT path

Posted on 31 March 2010 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From WSJ: Investors seeking high yields were active buyers of real-estate stocks during the first quarter, sending share prices higher despite the industry’s weak economic fundamentals.

The Dow Jones Equity All REIT Index posted a total return of 11% as of Tuesday’s close, just one day before the official end of the first quarter……………………………….Full Article: Source

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U.S. property plunge - how low will it go?

Posted on 30 March 2010 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Theglobeandmail.com: Canadians may look at the devastated commercial real estate market in the United States and see an opportunity to buy in cheap, as values in many markets have dropped by nearly half or more since their boom-era peak.

But a complicated interplay among struggling owners, the distressed banks that made their loans, and predatory buyers already on the scene is making it difficult to call a bottom. And, more importantly, it may be helping to postpone a day of reckoning……………………………….Full Article: Source

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Geithner: Commercial real estate loans problematic

Posted on 30 March 2010 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From AP: Mounting losses from commercial real estate loans will continue to be a problem for the U.S. and especially smaller banks, but it can be managed, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said Monday.

“Commercial real estate’s still going to be a problem for the country,” Geithner said in an interview with CNBC. “But we can manage through this process.”………………………………Full Article: Source

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U.S. housing market shifts from liar loans to hard cash

Posted on 30 March 2010 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Theglobeandmail.com: Exotic U.S. mortgages are disappearing in the Spartan post-meltdown era, supplanted by a decidedly old-school mode of financing – cash. In what experts say is a sign the battered U.S. housing market is cautiously finding a bottom, more Americans than ever are choosing to plunk down cold, hard cash to buy homes.

Cash was the currency of choice in 27 per cent of all homes purchased in the United States in March, according a survey by the U.S. National Association of Realtors (NAR)……………………………….Full Article: Source

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Feeble new U.S. housing market rescue plan not enough

Posted on 30 March 2010 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Marketoracle.co.uk: Historically, the two main driving forces for the economy have been the housing and auto industries.
Whether the problems were rising interest rates that affected their sales, or bursting bubbles that scared consumers, economic slowdowns usually began with problems in the housing and auto industries, and the first signs of recovery were usually seen in the same two industries. The historical pattern has continued this time around……………………………….Full Article: Source

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U.K. Banks face real-estate debt gap

Posted on 30 March 2010 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From WSJ: U.K. banks are among the most heavily exposed in Europe to a debt-refinancing shortfall in the real-estate market that could reach 115 billion euros ($155 billion) in the next two years, forcing them to consider alternative ways of managing their portfolios, experts say.

Commercial-property adviser DTZ Holdings PLC said that 56% of the European debt funding gap, or the difference between existing debt and the debt available to replace it, is estimated to be in only two countries: the U.K. and Spain……………………………….Full Article: Source

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Experts warn property derivative market could stagnate

Posted on 30 March 2010 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From IPE: The head of property derivatives at Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) - the UK bank which executed Prupim’s £100m (€111m) total return swap deal last year - has warned the nascent sector will not survive unless more real estate investors become more engaged.

RBS’s Phil Lujbic told delegates at IPD Property Derivatives Conference that unless property professionals supplement their core bricks and mortar business with derivatives activity the sector will never develop……………………………….Full Article: Source

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Major assets for sale in UK market

Posted on 30 March 2010 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Propertyeu.info: Northern Irish group William Ewart is trying to sell three shopping centres worth a total of £300 mln (EUR 332 mln) in the UK, well-informed sources told PropertyEU.
The Hammersmith Broadway, Fulham Broadway and Victoria Places schemes are located at key transport nodes in central London above Hammersmith, Fulham and Victoria mainline stations……………………………….Full Article: Source

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London luxury-home prices rise more slowly on bonuses

Posted on 30 March 2010 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Businessweek.com: Luxury-home prices in central London increased at the slowest rate since a recovery started a year ago on the prospect of lower bonuses for bankers and increased taxes for higher earners, Savills Plc said.

The average value of houses and apartments costing more than 1 million pounds ($1.5 million) increased 3 percent in the first quarter from the previous three months, according to the London-based property broker. Prices gained almost 17 percent from the year-earlier period, when an 18-month slide ended……………………………….Full Article: Source

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German investors return to real estate

Posted on 30 March 2010 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From IPE: The percentage of German institutions investing in real estate has increased four-fold over the last year and the interest in infrastructure has also gone up, a survey by IPE Institutional Investment has found.

Some 120 institutional investors - 35% of which were pension funds - took part in the online survey carried out by IPE Institutional Investment, a German sister publication to IPE Real Estate……………………………….Full Article: Source

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Portugal property market is showing signs of gradual recovery

Posted on 30 March 2010 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Propertyshowrooms.com: Despite the current economic climate, and the fact that the Portuguese property market posted its worst year on record during 2009, optimists have argued that the European destination is displaying signs of recovery.

The country has long been considered a favourite among British investors who look to take advantage of the popular tourist destination for its warm climate and enviable golf courses……………………………….Full Article: Source

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Italian property prices hold despite drop in sales

Posted on 30 March 2010 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Italymag.co.uk: Slow and steady. That’s the snapshot of the Italian property market in 2009, according to the Agenzia del Territorio, Italy’s equivalent of the Land Registry.

The Agenzia has just published its annual report on the Italian market, which analyses data from 2009. Some 1.347m transactions took place in the country last year - a markedly lower number than at during the property boom……………………………….Full Article: Source

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Istanbul poised to kick-start the European property market recovery claims specialist

Posted on 30 March 2010 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Fly-2let.co.uk: Turkey’s biggest city, Istanbul which strategically straddles the Bosphorus Strait, holds the perfect recipe for kick-starting the recovery of the European property market according to the experts at Experience International.

Although ironically not yet a member of the European Union, the country has the fundamentals of successful property investment - supply and demand - and therefore trumps many other European cities……………………………….Full Article: Source

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UAE: RERA to regulate property valuations

Posted on 30 March 2010 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From 7days.ae: The Real Estate Regularity Authority (RERA) is working with the Dubai Land Department on legal guidelines for evaluating properties, Mohamad Khodr Al Dah, head of Taqyeem at RERA said.

Al Dah, who works at the Land Dep-artment’s Real Estate Appraisal Centre (Taqyeem), told Jones Lang LaSalle in its monthly Middle East and North Africa (MENA) House View report that RERA hoped the new guidelines would be published by the middle of this year……………………………….Full Article: Source

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Valuation standards ‘essential’ to rebuild trust in real estate

Posted on 30 March 2010 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Business24-7.ae: Introduction of more professional valuation standards is an essential precondition for rebuilding the trust and confidence required for the recovery of real estate markets across Middle East and North Africa (Mena), according to a report by Jones Lang LaSalle.

“As real estate markets across the region continue to mature and become increasingly open and transparent, it is essential for the real estate industry to develop and consistently apply common standards implemented by professionally trained valuers able to demonstrate independence, integrity and objectivity,” the global real estate consultancy said in its Mena House View report……………………………….Full Article: Source

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India: Is the real estate sector headed for another correction?

Posted on 30 March 2010 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Livemint.com: The Indian realty market could be headed for a correction as more homes come into the market at elevated prices, say real estate experts. High-end houses in Mumbai and the National Capital Region (NCR) are the most vulnerable.

“There is a possibility of a double dip in residential real estate,” said Abhishek Kiran Gupta, head of operations, research and real estate intelligence service, Jones Lang LaSalle Meghraj (JLLM). JLLM is a property consultant firm with branches all across the world……………………………….Full Article: Source

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India: Developers protest proposed service tax

Posted on 30 March 2010 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Livemint.com: Real estate developers associated with the Confederation of Real Estate Developers Associations of India (Credai) have urged the government to review the proposal to levy service tax on the sale of under-construction housing units.
Real estate experts say the move would amount to double taxation and could also lead to a rise in property prices……………………………….Full Article: Source

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India: Expert view: Real estate market outlook

Posted on 30 March 2010 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Moneycontrol.com: The real estate sector has taken a big hit post the introduction of the contentious service tax on apartments, that are still under construction. Most developers believe that this would increase property prices by 4%.

Extending the debate, Rohtas Goel, Chairman and Managing Director, Omaxe, said, this would impact the prices by 3.5%……………………………….Full Article: Source

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China is able to ‘digest’ high property prices, Chen says

Posted on 30 March 2010 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Businessweek.com: China is able to “digest” the country’s high property prices because of the huge population of rural residents seeking to migrate to urban areas, said the planning ministry’s deputy research director.
China does have a “structural property bubble,” the National Development and Reform Commission’s Vice Research Director Chen Dongqi said today at a Beijing conference, citing soaring prices in southern China’s Sanya city as example. “The bubble is controllable and still developing.”………………………………Full Article: Source

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China: Blame the property boom on capital

Posted on 30 March 2010 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Xinhuanet.com: Land-use rights for three plots in Beijing were auctioned off for record prices within two days at the end of the National People’s Congress (NPC) annual session, which ironically had decided to rein in the skyrocketing housing prices. The successful bidders, as in many cases, were State-owned enterprises (SOEs).

No doubt, China’s property market is overheated. But is there a bubble in the real estate sector?………………………………Full Article: Source

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Moody’s maintains stable outlook for China property developers

Posted on 30 March 2010 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Theedgemalaysia.com: Moody’s Investors Service is maintaining its stable outlook for China property developers over the next 12 months and says that while prices will decline, the market is not overly inflated.

Moody’s vice president and senior credit officer Peter Choy said on Monday, March 29 that currently, numerous factors — many at opposing ends of the spectrum — are at play on the China real estate landscape, leading to a market which shows restrained short-term weakness, but robust long-term fundamentals……………………………….Full Article: Source

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The return on Beijing’s building boom

Posted on 30 March 2010 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From WSJ: Investors are fretting over the prospects for China’s economy. They’re worried the government’s stimulus spending has resulted in industrial overcapacity, wasteful infrastructure projects and real-estate speculation.
These factors, they say, will lead to diminishing returns on capital and a spike in bad debts, eventually pulling China’s growth rate down. But the data don’t support this doomsday scenario……………………………….Full Article: Source

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Real estate industry welcomes new property index for Singapore

Posted on 30 March 2010 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Propertywire.com: A new residential property index is to be introduced in Singapore in a move that is widely believed will increase transparency in the real estate market and stability at a time when prices are soaring.
The new Singapore Residential Price Index (SRPI) formulated by the Institute of Real Estate Studies at the National University of Singapore will track prices of completed private non-landed homes month on month and will provide owners, investors, banks and property watchers with a key source of price data……………………………….Full Article: Source

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Taiwan to delay property tax reforms amid recovery

Posted on 30 March 2010 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Businessweek.com: Taiwan will delay a plan to introduce progressive property taxes until at least the end of this year as the island recovers from recession.

“The economy is recovering; if we execute it now, it would not be good for the recovery,” Deputy Finance Minister Chang Sheng-ford said by phone today. “We’ll continue researching it until at least the end of this year.”………………………………Full Article: Source

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Australia: Property boom a risk for investors: RBA chief

Posted on 30 March 2010 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Smh.com.au: Reserve Bank governor Glenn Stevens has taken to television to send a message to Australia’s mum-and-dad investors: real estate investment is dangerous and interest rates are going up.

Asking his audience on Channel Seven’s Sunrise program to ”think about property prices as parents”, he said prices were ”getting quite high” and that if they kept rising, today’s children might not be able to afford ‘’somewhere of their own to live”……………………………….Full Article: Source

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Australia: Is it time to get worried about the housing market?

Posted on 30 March 2010 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Smartcompany.com.au: RBA Governor Glenn Stevens has shaken up the property market by saying what everyone who reads the auction results in the Sunday papers has been thinking for months – property prices are very, very high and the amount of debt Australian property owners are taking on is getting to dangerous levels.

The fact that Stevens used his first ever television interview to make this point has rightly made plenty of commentators sit up and take notice – it is clear that the RBA is becoming increasingly concerned about the potential for a property bubble……………………………….Full Article: Source

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New Zealand’s home-building approvals increase 5.9pct

Posted on 30 March 2010 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Bloomberg: New Zealand’s home-building approvals rose for the first time in three months in February, adding to signs residential construction will help buoy economic growth this year.

Permits increased 5.9 percent from January when they fell a revised 2.8 percent, Statistics New Zealand said in Wellington today, citing seasonally adjusted figures. Excluding apartments, approvals jumped 10.1 percent……………………………….Full Article: Source

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European banks face $209 bln shortfall on real estate debt

Posted on 29 March 2010 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Businessweek.com: European banks may face a 156 billion-euro ($209 billion) shortfall in funds needed to refinance commercial real-estate debt in the next two years, DTZ Holdings Plc estimates.

About 480 billion euros of property loans will mature by the end of 2011, according to research by the London-based broker. Banks won’t be able to refinance all of the debt, particularly when loans exceed the value of the properties backing them. More than half of the shortfall will occur in the U.K. and Spain, DTZ said……………………………….Full Article: Source

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