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Real Estate Briefing - Archive | June, 2010

The world’s most expensive cities for expats

Posted on 30 June 2010 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Forbes: Visitors to New York may gasp that locals frequently pay $20 for a single cocktail. But the Big Apple turns out to be cheaper than 26 other world cities. If you really want to feel sticker shock, try relocating to Luanda, Angola. The oil-rich capital city is the most expensive in the world for expatriates, a study released Tuesday shows.
World centers like the second-most expensive city Tokyo, No. 5 Geneva, Switzerland, and No. 8 Hong Kong are often associated with high costs, so it might seem surprising that an African city out-priced them……………………………………….Full Article: Source

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Case Shiller: US house prices rose 3.8pct y/y in April

Posted on 30 June 2010 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Wallstreetpit.com: A positive sign for the real estate market: The Case-Shiller 20-city home price index released Tuesday posted a 0.8% gain in April from a month earlier and climbed 3.8 percent from April 2009.
But despite the rise, analysts are still concerned about the housing sector. April was the final month for the home-buyer tax credit……………………………………….Full Article: Source

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April US home price gains may be illusory

Posted on 30 June 2010 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Indexuniverse.com: Signs of a sustained recovery in the U.S. residential real estate market remain elusive, with home prices still hovering near their April 2009 lows, the latest S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices data showed.
While all metropolitan areas surveyed showed growth rates in April, with the 10-City and the 20-City Composites up on the year 4.6 percent and 3.8 percent, respectively, that rise may have reflected last-chance buying interest in the final month of the U.S. government’s Federal Home Buyer Tax Credit program, S&P said……………………………………….Full Article: Source

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UK most expensive European country for renters

Posted on 30 June 2010 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Propertytalklive.co.uk: A study of over 110,000 UK, French, Italian and Spanish rental properties by flatshare website Easyroommate.co.uk reveals that a UK tenant pays at least £63 more per month than their European counterparts.
The average rent in the UK is 75% higher than the average for Spain, a difference of £149. With average rents of £285, France is the second most expensive country for renters, followed by Italy (£282 pcm)……………………………………….Full Article: Source

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UK: How long can the housing market avoid a crash?

Posted on 30 June 2010 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Independent: A potentially lethal combination of stagnant living standards and declining mortgage approvals is threatening to send the housing market into a precipitous slump.
In separate warnings yesterday, it emerged that British consumers face a four-year wait for an improvement in their living standards, while a “double dip” recession in the housing market is now “more likely than not”, according to City economists……………………………………….Full Article: Source

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UK: House price boom starts to crumble

Posted on 30 June 2010 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Cityam.com: Home prices fell for the first time in more than a year in May, Land Registry data showed yesterday, sparking fears of a second downturn in Britain’s fragile housing market.
The average residential property dropped 0.2 per cent in value during the month as uncertainty over austerity measures to be enforced by the incoming government weighed on market confidence……………………………………….Full Article: Source

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LaSalle launches Balanced UK Property Fund

Posted on 30 June 2010 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Propertyeu.info: Global investment manager LaSalle has launched the Balanced UK Property Fund for institutional investors. The new investment vehicle is a core open-ended UK property vehicle.
The fund will invest in properties across the office, retail and warehouse market segments and completes LaSalle’s global suite of core, long-term, open-ended funds……………………………………….Full Article: Source

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Asians are the largest real estate investors in London: report

Posted on 30 June 2010 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Hindustantimes.com: A weaker pound and robust economies at home have made Asians the largest investors in Central London’s real estate market, a global property consultancy firm, Knight Frank said recently.
The report said Asians, who spent 761 million pounds in new-built properties in London for better returns in FY 2010, accounted for nearly half (49 per cent) of all investment purchases in the country while UK investors constituted for only 36 per cent……………………………………….Full Article: Source

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Ireland: Commercial investment up on 2009

Posted on 30 June 2010 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Irishtimes.com: Turnover in the commercial property investment market this year could reach the 2008 figure of €750 million if the deals currently agreed are completed, according to the latest report on the Irish market by agents Savills.
Demand is now outstripping supply for prime investment opportunities and prime yields are stabilising. However the report says transactions are taking significantly longer to complete and this is acting as a drag on overall turnover figures……………………………………….Full Article: Source

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A good time to buy spanish property as banks offload assets

Posted on 30 June 2010 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Property-abroad.com: Apparently now is a great time to buy Spanish property as the banks once again play games with their balance sheets. When the financial crises struck the Spanish property market, the banks avoided making massive write-downs by converting the loan assets into hard assets - the homes the loans were on.
This was a great idea at the time but now the 59.7 billion euros worth of homes on the Spanish banks’ books have become as big-a-burden as the troubled loans they were swapped for, and the banks are now offering crazy mortgage deals including no-money-down, ridiculously low teaser rates and long deferral periods of up to 3 years……………………………………….Full Article: Source

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Sofia residential property prices mark negligible decrease in H1

Posted on 30 June 2010 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Novinite.com: The average asking sales prices for residential property in the Bulgarian capital Sofia continued to fall, though slightly, in the first part of 2010, data of realtors shows.
Prime neighborhoods have a negligible, average decrease of 3% for the first half of the year, while the year-on-year comparison shows an average decrease of 17%, according to a report of Colliers International……………………………………….Full Article: Source

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Lebanon - Real estate moving along

Posted on 30 June 2010 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Globalarabnetwork.com: Lebanon’s real estate sector, like the economy in general, is enjoying a surge, with record levels of sales and high returns for investors. However, there are concerns that the property growth could become too much of a good thing, with the rapid increases becoming unsustainable and a correction on the way.
According to figures released by the state’s Directorate of Real Estate in mid-June, there was a 41% increase in property sales in the first quarter of the year compared to the opening three months of 2009……………………………………….Full Article: Source

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Mideast developers eyeing Syrian property market

Posted on 30 June 2010 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Arabianbusiness.com: A lack of supply in the local Syrian real estate market and decreasing returns in the Gulf is seeing more Middle East property companies flocking to Syria to boost their growth plans.
Last month, Khaldoun Tabari, vice chairman and CEO of contractors Drake and Scull International PJSC, said the company is currently in the process of setting up offices in Syria and will be announcing the securing of its first contract there in the coming weeks……………………………………….Full Article: Source

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US$5bln Amman business district project to be completed 2011

Posted on 30 June 2010 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Ameinfo.com: Amman’s new business district is due to be completed in the first quarter of 2011 despite the depressed real estate market.
“The boulevard with retail and serviced apartments and offices are the core of the new central business district of Amman. It’s scheduled to be finished early next year and this will get the whole project moving forward,” Mouhib Itani chief executive of Abdali Investment and Development told the news service……………………………………….Full Article: Source

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India: Realty funds compete on terms for investors

Posted on 30 June 2010 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Business-standard.com: With fund raising activity picking up, property fund managers are offering easier and flexible options to investors to garner higher interest in their funds.
Over Rs 7,000 crore of new fund raising has been lined up by fund managers and real estate companies in the current financial year and most are targeting the same set of investors, which includes high net worth individuals (HNIs) and financial institutions……………………………………….Full Article: Source

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India: RBI to launch house start index to gauge realty sector

Posted on 30 June 2010 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Indiatimes.com: The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) will soon launch a house start index, which will help gauge activity in the construction sector that employs a significant chunk of the country’s labour force.
The index is expected to give an indication of the level of activity in the construction sector, which in turn will help the central bank gauge the state of the real estate sector………………………………………Full Article: Source

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India: Realty companies tracking learning curve

Posted on 30 June 2010 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Indiatimes.com: Infrastructure and real estate companies such as GMR and Hindustan Construction Company are setting up campuses for universities and higher education institutes to ride growth in the $80-billion-plus industry.
The higher education sector in India alone is worth $10 billion and is growing at a compounded annual growth rate of 12%, according to a report by private equity firm Kaizen. With the real estate market receiving a drubbing during the slowdown, developers are evaluating asset classes such as education……………………………………….Full Article: Source

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China’s housing bubble: Imminent disaster or no big deal?

Posted on 30 June 2010 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Fool.co.uk: If you thought the real estate bubble and subsequent fallout in the US and UK was bad, know that China has a chance to be worse. Real estate investment grew 26% annually in China from 2001 to 2008, and prices in the market have tripled while capacity has doubled.
While urbanisation is one driver of these trends, speculation is clearly another. The Chinese government recently tried to put on the brakes by banning loans for third homes and raising the down payment requirement on second homes to 50%……………………………………….Full Article: Source

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Luxury property prices in Singapore expected to rise by up to 8pct

Posted on 30 June 2010 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Propertywire.com: Prices of luxury property in Singapore are set to rise between 5 and 8% due to solid economic fundamentals, strong cash holdings by Singaporeans and low interest rates, it is claimed.
According to a leading strategist at Swiss bank UBS prices of mid and lower range real estate could hold at current levels for at least the next 12 months, prices of high end properties will grow……………………………………….Full Article: Source

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More signs of slowdown in Singapore property market

Posted on 30 June 2010 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Channelnewsasia.com: There’s been more signs of a slowdown in the private property market here in the second quarter. Property consultant CB Richard Ellis (CBRE) forecasts some 4,000 new homes were sold in the second quarter, lower than the previous quarter’s figure of 4,380.
In the resale market, CBRE estimates some 3,400 to 3,600 resale homes were sold in the second quarter……………………………………….Full Article: Source

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Investors vanish from Vietnam’s apartment market

Posted on 30 June 2010 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Vietnamnet.vn: Vietnam’s apartment market has been oddly quiet for several months. Insiders say that in HCM City, speculators have gone to the sidelines. A number of real estate developers are about to launch medium and low-cost apartment developments into the market.
Though demand seems to be weak, the developers think their flats are exactly what people who have real demand for accommodations need……………………………………….Full Article: Source

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Thailand home building market growing slowly

Posted on 30 June 2010 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Property-report.com: Thailand’s home building market will continue its growth in the second half of 2010 but the market value as a whole will drop slightly year-on-year, says the latest report by PD House Home Builder Centre.
The political instability in the past two months partially affected the market. The number of new build units in Bangkok dropped but the market in the outskirt areas of the capital and upcountry continuously grew during the first half of 2010……………………………………….Full Article: Source

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REIT gains slow but still beat stock market

Posted on 30 June 2010 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From WSJ: The bull-run by real-estate investment trusts ran out of steam during the second quarter as broader stock-market concerns, fueled by the European debt crisis, prompted investors to trim their holdings.
Overall, REITS eked out gains of 0.4% in the second quarter through Tuesday, as measured by the Dow Jones Equity All REIT index……………………………………….Full Article: Source

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JLL Global Market Perspective: Global real estate recovery on track

Posted on 29 June 2010 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Europe-re.com: As we mark the end of the first half of 2010, global property markets at the prime end have shown improvement. But with tough choices ahead for global policy makers, will the second half of the year usher in further positive momentum?
That question is the primary focus of the June 2010 edition of Jones Lang LaSalle’s Global Market Perspective……………………………………….Full Article: Source

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US: Most affordable cities to buy a home

Posted on 29 June 2010 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Forbes: Few Americans are in the mood to buy a house. On June 22 the National Association of Realtors reported that existing home sales dropped off in May, after a government tax credit meant to promote home ownership expired.
Only a week earlier the U.S. Commerce Department said that the rate of new home construction fell more in May than it had in a year……………………………………….Full Article: Source

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The homebuyers credit: Is it better to laugh or cry?

Posted on 29 June 2010 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Csmonitor.com: For two years, the homebuyer credit has been in the running for Washington’s worst tax policy idea. Now, new evidence about this bit of legislative bilge suggests it may be time to retire the trophy.
The Commerce Department reports the new homes market collapsed in May after booming in March and April (chart). Why? Well, in early spring, in response to an intense marketing campaign by the real estate and mortgage industries, tens of thousands of buyers accelerated home purchases to take advantage of this sweet tax give-away (as much as $8,000 for some buyers) before the credit expired on April 30……………………………………….Full Article: Source

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Real estate transparency: Latin America weak

Posted on 29 June 2010 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Latinbusinesschronicle.com: Latin America scores low on the Global Real Estate Transparency Index 2010 from Jones real estate company Lang LaSalle, although there is some progress being made in Brazil and Mexico. Here are the main Latin America results republished with permission from Jones Lang LaSalle.
Real estate transparency across the Americas showed a distinct slowdown in movement between 2008 and 2010 with a score only marginally better than in 2008. Less improvement has been registered in the Americas than in either Europe or Asia Pacific with every country remaining within its 2008 transparency tier……………………………………….Full Article: Source

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Tenants ‘face highest rents in western Europe’

Posted on 29 June 2010 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From UKPA: UK tenants face the highest rents in western Europe, with London the second most expensive place to rent. It costs an average of £348 a month to rent a room in a shared property in the UK, 75% more than in Spain, where rents average just £199 a month, according to flatshare website Easyroommate.co.uk.
France was the second most expensive country in which to rent a room, but at an average of £285 a month rents were still considerably cheaper than in the UK, while in Italy they averaged £282 a month……………………………………….Full Article: Source

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UK: Property prices show first fall since April 2009

Posted on 29 June 2010 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Financialadvice.co.uk: Property prices in the UK fell during the month of May for the first time since April 2009 giving investors and homeowners an unwelcome reminder that we are not yet out of the woods.
While the 0.2% fall covers England and Wales there were specific areas of the UK which experienced falls of 3.6% during May. The average price of a property in England and Wales fell from £165,596 to £165,314, a figure which is still well out of the range of the vast majority of first-time buyers……………………………………….Full Article: Source

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PwC survey reveals pressure on London office fundamentals

Posted on 29 June 2010 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From IPE: Activity in the UK financial services in the last three months was lower than expected, despite increasing at the fastest rate since the onset of the credit crunch, prompting concerns over the outlook for the London office market.
The latest financial services survey from CBI and PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) shows companies still consider levels of business to be well below normal, despite a recent pick-up in activity……………………………………….Full Article: Source

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New property investments from F&C

Posted on 29 June 2010 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Investments.co.uk: A new property investment opportunity has been launched by F&C, offering clients the chance to make the most of UK commercial properties .
The F&C UK Property Fund is to be managed by F&C REIT and will be available at a fixed price of 100p per unit until July 23rd……………………………………….Full Article: Source

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Middle Eastern interest in UK commercial property hits 16pct

Posted on 29 June 2010 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Gulfnews.com: According to data produced for international law firm Trowers & Hamlins by DTZ, the international property consultancy, the Middle East accounted for 16 per cent of all foreign investment in UK commercial property in 2009, three times more than five years ago when it was only 5 per cent.
Middle East investors invested £1.47 billion (Dh8.12 billion) in UK commercial property last year, more than twice as much as five years ago (£723 million). Total foreign investment in 2009 was £9.45 billion……………………………………….Full Article: Source

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Sweden removes rent impediment after EPF legal challenge

Posted on 29 June 2010 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Propertyeu.info: The European and Swedish Property Federations have welcomed the Swedish parliament’s decision to adopt legislation to remove municipal housing companies’ role in setting rents. The legislation is due to come into force on 1 January 2011.
Under the new rules the municipal housing companies will operate under commercial conditions and their normative role for setting rents will be replaced by a system whereby any collectively negotiated rents become normative……………………………………….Full Article: Source

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Vatican admits to ‘errors’ in management of real-estate assets

Posted on 29 June 2010 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Bloomberg: The Vatican admitted to possible “errors” in the church’s handling of its real-estate assets, responding for the first time to a corruption investigation that has involved a top Roman Catholic cardinal.
Prosecutors are probing whether Cardinal Crescenzio Sepe sold church property to former Infrastructure Minister Pietro Lunardi for a fraction of its market price in exchange for subsidies, Italian newspapers including Corriere della Sera have reported……………………………………….Full Article: Source

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Russia sows the seeds for overseas property boom

Posted on 29 June 2010 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Globaledge.co.uk: The Russian government is to undertake a series of measures aimed at promoting home ownership. Although the policies aim to encourage property purchasing within Russia; if the British experience is anything to go by, a likely side effect will be a rise in the number of Russians buying overseas.
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev is aiming to help the 77 percent of the country’s 142 million people who are “cooped up” in apartment blocks by building single family homes around the outskirts of major cities, according to Business Week……………………………………….Full Article: Source

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Nigeria: Developers review property prices downwards

Posted on 29 June 2010 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Allafrica.com : Developers have been reviewing downwards the prices of their properties on offer, a reflection of the gloom in the property market occasioned by the paucity of funds in the economy resulting from the unwillingness of the banks to grant credits.
The developers of a private estate in Isheri North being financed by Union Homes Savings and Loans Plc recently announced a substantial reduction in the prices of properties on offer for sale at the estate……………………………………….Full Article: Source

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Syria’s property market on the rise as Dubai dips

Posted on 29 June 2010 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Globalpropertyguide.com: Now that Dubai’s housing bubble has burst, investors are seeking out other markets in the region. The next real estate boom in the Middle East might be in lower-profile markets such as Syria.
While investors have become more wary after the emirate’s crash, Syria has shot to the top of their list. The country’s stock is rising with a slowly but increasingly liberal economy, a thawing of relations with the West, and housing demand that far exceeds supply……………………………………….Full Article: Source

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Dubai property oversupply to last another 4-5 years

Posted on 29 June 2010 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Arabianbusiness.com: The head of the Gulf’s largest construction and engineering company has warned that the oversupply in the Dubai property market will continue for another four to five years.
“A lot of the new property completed – around 40,000 units this year – will take time to be absorbed. It’s back to the basics of supply and demand, and there will be more projects next year,” said Arabtec CEO Riad Kamal at the AB conference on Monday……………………………………….Full Article: Source

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Crisis hits Bahrain property prices

Posted on 29 June 2010 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Tradearabia.com: Property prices have fallen in Bahrain and rental rates of commercial property are also down though residential rates have remained largely stable, according to a report.
Manama has not been immune to the recent downturn in the global property market with an oversupply of high-end real estate and prime office space, according to Knight Frank Middle East’s Bahrain Property Highlights report……………………………………….Full Article: Source

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Bahrain property market hit by oversupply

Posted on 29 June 2010 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Maktoob.com: Bahrain’s property market is likely to remain subdued for some time due to lack of financing, while oversupply in both the residential and commercial sector will put further pressure on rents, a report said on Monday.
Some 19,300 new homes are expected in the Gulf Arab state over the next five years if developers stick to current plans, property consultancy DTZ said, adding that residential rents fell 15-20 percent over the past year in some areas……………………………………….Full Article: Source

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India ranks 13th in housing price rise list; China tops

Posted on 29 June 2010 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Ndtv.com: Buoyed by the recovery in the global housing market, India ranked 13th across the globe in terms of price rise in the residential sector for the year ending March, said property consultancy firm Knight Frank.
The list was topped by neighbouring China, it added. Of the 47 countries surveyed, more than half (53 per cent) had witnessed price increases in the residential property segment……………………………………….Full Article: Source

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India: Manufacturing companies eye realty market

Posted on 29 June 2010 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Business-standard.com: Small manufacturing companies are increasingly eyeing the growing real estate market as it turns out to be a goldmine for property developers in the country.
At least half-a-dozen companies have either announced real estate projects with their partners or monetised their prime land assets in the last three to four months……………………………………….Full Article: Source

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India: Real estate sector picking up: Industry body

Posted on 29 June 2010 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Ndtv.com: The real estate sector is picking up after the slump witnessed during the global economic meltdown. “In Chennai alone, in the whole of last year the total occupancy level was 2.6 million square feet. But in the last six months, we had crossed 2 million square feet of occupancy, which shows a rapid growth,” National Association of Realtors Committee’s media head Ramesh Nair said.
Demand has been growing at a decent rate and the property consultancy industry has tremendously evolved in the last 15 years, said Nair, who is also the managing director of the city-based real estate developer Jones Lang La Salle……………………………………….Full Article: Source

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China property prices to collapse

Posted on 29 June 2010 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Aplaceinthesun.com: China property prices are expected to tumble in the third quarter of 2010, as the country’s long running property boom finally comes to an end.
Chinese property prices are expected to fall after the government introduced a series of measures, including greater regulation, aimed at cooling China’s booming property market……………………………………….Full Article: Source

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Vietnam: New boom in vacation homes

Posted on 29 June 2010 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Vietnamnet.vn: Investing in vacation villas and garden-view houses in resorts and tourist sites is a new Vietnamese real estate trend, but it is not easy for companies to gain quick profits.
Le Duc Hien, deputy director of Viglacera Land, said most vacation villa projects in Ha Noi and neighbouring areas were in the process of construction, but many had attracted the attention of visitors thanks to their welcoming environment……………………………………….Full Article: Source

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Real estate giant eyes funds management

Posted on 28 June 2010 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Theaustralian.com.au: One of the world’s biggest real estate agents plans a push into funds management to compete with listed rivals like CB Richard Ellis. New Cushman & Wakefield president and chief executive Glenn Rufrano started in the top role at New York-headquartered C&W in March after two years in Australia resuscitating struggling shopping centre owner Centro.
C&W had $US6.9 billion ($8bn) in funds under management in Europe, Japan and the US, Mr Rufrano said……………………………………….Full Article: Source

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Housing market faltering in U.S.

Posted on 28 June 2010 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Thechronicleherald.ca: More than the European debt crisis is keeping American economic policymakers awake at night just now. Despite a year of government effort, a tentative recovery in the housing market appears to be on the verge of stalling.
Home prices have now fallen for the past six months, according to the Case-Shiller home-price index, after rising from their nadir for the five months before that. (Another index, from the Federal Housing Finance Agency, has, however, shown a slight uptick in March and April.)………………………………………Full Article: Source

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London luxury-home price gains fade as owners decide to sell

Posted on 28 June 2010 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Bloomberg: Luxury-home prices in central London increased by the smallest amount in five quarters after a year- long recovery in values persuaded more owners to put apartments and houses on the market, Savills Plc said.
The average value of a home costing more than 1 million pounds ($1.49 million) rose 0.6 percent in the second quarter from the first three months of the year, according to the London-based property broker. Prices were 12 percent higher than a year earlier, down from an annual gain of almost 17 percent in the first quarter……………………………………….Full Article: Source

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Hometrack: UK house prices stall as budget cuts dampen demand

Posted on 28 June 2010 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Guardian: House prices in England and Wales rose just 0.1% in June, as talk of austerity measures and the tough economic times ahead appeared to dampen demand. New buyer registrations also increased by 0.1% in the month, with demand falling in six out of 10 regions, according to property consultancy Hometrack.
But the number of new homes coming on to the market continued to increase, rising by 2.9%……………………………………….Full Article: Source

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UK: Uncertainty puts brake on property prices

Posted on 28 June 2010 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Independent: House price gains are dropping back, under pressure from economic uncertainty and a growing mismatch between supply and demand, property analyst Hometrack will say today.
Prices rose by just 0.1 per cent in June, as new buyer registrations ground to a virtual standstill with a measly 0.1 per cent growth, while sales listings boomed by 2.9 per cent. The result is prices rising in a bare 11 per cent of the market. And in nearly 3 per cent of the market prices are falling……………………………………….Full Article: Source

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