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Real Estate Briefing - Archive | January, 2011

Global office market out of recession with positive rental growth

Posted on 31 January 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Europe-re.com: The global occupational office market recovered from the downward trend seen in 2009 to positive rental growth in 2010 according to the latest research data from Cushman & Wakefield. Stronger demand resulting from an increase in business activity caused rents to climb in a growing number of countries.
The recovery was led by the Asia Pacific region where rents climbed by 8% over the year. Hong Kong - the most expensive market globally - and Beijing saw huge jumps in rental growth of 51% and 48% respectively…………………………………….Full Article: Source

US: Home prices sink further

Posted on 31 January 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

John BurnsFrom WSJ: values are falling at an accelerating rate in many cities across the U.S. The Wall Street Journal’s latest quarterly survey of housing-market conditions found that prices declined in all of the 28 major metropolitan areas tracked during the fourth quarter when compared to a year earlier.

The size of the year-to-year price declines was greater than the previous quarter’s in all but three of the markets, the latest indication that the housing market faces considerable challenges. Inventory levels, meanwhile, are rising in many markets as the number of unsold homes piles up…………………………………….Full Article: Source

US: Foreclosure pain index: 10 cities

Posted on 31 January 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From CNN: Despite being four years after the housing bust, the foreclosure plague has continued to spread. Here’s how the country’s 10 biggest cities are faring. The New York area has the lowest foreclosure rate of any of the nation’s 10 largest metro areas.

There three good reasons for that: Prices have always been high, and they have only fallen about 13%, according to the NAHB housing index; many area residents rent rather than own; and a large percentage of owners are either in condominiums or co-operative apartments…………………………………….Full Article: Source

U.S. regulator struggles to gain faulty mortgage info

Posted on 31 January 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Reuters: Fannie Mae’s and Freddie Mac’s effort to challenge the quality of the riskiest mortgage bonds they own is proving a tough slog despite the power of their federal regulator, according to sources close to the banks and regulator.

Nothing has been heard from the regulator, the Federal Housing Finance Agency, on 64 subpoenas it issued banks in July for detailed information on subprime and other Wall Street mortgage bonds purchased by the U.S. home loan giants at the peak of the housing market…………………………………….Full Article: Source

UK: Housing shows few signs of gaining momentum - Poll

Posted on 31 January 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Reuters: The housing market shows little sign of gaining upward momentum in the next two years thanks to an uncertain economy and increasingly stretched consumers, a Reuters poll showed on Friday.

House prices will likely end this year 2 percent lower before recouping some losses in 2012, according to the median forecast of 26 economists. In the last poll, in November, they forecast prices would be flat in 2011…………………………………….Full Article: Source

Britons become less optimistic on U.K. house prices amid economic concerns

Posted on 31 January 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Bloomberg: The number of Britons who expect house prices to rise this year decreased in the last three months as concerns about the economy mounted, Rightmove Plc said, citing a survey. About 24 percent of 28,401 U.K. consumers surveyed this month said prices will be higher in a year, the operator of Britain’s biggest property website said in a report released in London today. That compares with a result of 27 percent in October and 53 percent a year earlier.

House prices may remain under pressure this year as banks curtail lending and the government steps up spending cuts to tackle a record budget deficit…………………………………….Full Article: Source

UK: Housing market gains lag behind

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From UKPA: House prices in Scotland have risen by more than 80% in the past decade - but are still trailing behind the rest of the UK. According to research by the Bank of Scotland, the average home north of the border sold for £111,780 in 2010 - an 83% increase on £61,039 in late 2000.

However, a spokesman for the bank said the Scottish housing market was “subdued” compared with the rest of the UK…………………………………….Full Article: Source

UK: Houese prices double in a decade

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From Dailyexpress.co.uk: Homeowners have seen the value of their properties almost double in the past decade, Britain’s biggest mortgage lender said yesterday. The average price of a property in the UK is now 91 per cent higher than it was at the end of 2000, standing at £164,310 – an increase of £78,000.

The rise is proof positive of the long-term investment benefits of bricks and mortar, although property experts say the next 10 years are unlikely to see the same soaring price rises…………………………………….Full Article: Source

London’s real-estate gold rush

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From WSJ: Prime London commercial real estate has emerged as an improbable postcrisis safe haven. Despite the U.K.’s precarious economic situation, international investors poured more than €6 billion ($8.17 billion) into London offices and stores in the 18 months to June 2010, almost as much capital as the next nine most popular cities combined, according to CBRE.
Having fallen 50% from its peak, City offices have outstripped every other European market, at 25% higher, compared with a mere 2% gain in Paris, according to Investment Property Databank. But with some West End offices now changing hands at yields as low as 4%, global real-estate investors can find better value elsewhere…………………………………….Full Article: Source

French market sees investment volume rise 40pct in 2010

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From Propertyeu.info: Investment volume in France rose 40% in 2010 to EUR 12 bn, according to figures from BNP Paribas Real Estate. For the year ahead, the Paris-based adviser is forecasting a more modest rise to around EUR 13-14 bn, Thierry Laroue-Pont, CEO of Real Estate Advisory France, said during a presentation last week.

By 2013, investment volume should be back to around the long-term average of EUR 15 bn, he added. At the peak of the market in 2007, investment volume mushroomed to EUR 31 bn…………………………………….Full Article: Source

Slovakia’s housing market poised to recover

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From Globalpropertyguide.com: Things are getting better in Slovakia! Buoyed by the economic recovery, average housing prices fell only 1.36% (-2.41% in real terms) y-o-y to Q3 2010. House prices are 15.8% down from the peak, the national average price being €1,304 per square meter.

In Bratislava region, prices rose 1.16% (0.09% in real terms) y-o-y to Q3 2010. Banska Bystrica and Kosice regions experienced house price increases y-o-y to Q3 2010, with price rises of 6.68% and 5.02% respectively. Trencin, on the other hand, had the sharpest drop (-10.18%) over the same period…………………………………….Full Article: Source

Building, construction loans to fuel Saudi banking sector

Posted on 31 January 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Zawya.com: Saudi Arabia has one of the largest and fastest growing banking markets in the Middle East, RNCOS said in its report. Owing to the global turmoil and defaults, the bank credit growth in Saudi Arabia remained stagnant throughout 2009, the report said. However, it is expected that with confidence in the rising global economy, lending growth will recover in 2011 specifically building and construction credit.
It is expected that the building and construction loans will grow at a CAGR of around 17.6 percent during 2010-2013, the report noted…………………………………….Full Article: Source

Worst is over for real estate, says UAE economy minister

Posted on 31 January 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Arabianbusiness.com: The UAE‘s beleaguered property market has bottomed out and will start showing signs of recovery by the end of 2011, the country’s Minister of Economy said Sunday.

Speaking on the sidelines of the Invest Malaysia event in Abu Dhabi, Sultan Al Mansouri said the market would begin showing realistic growth by the close of the year…………………………………….Full Article: Source

Bangalore: Property prices to see 10-12pct rise in ‘11 in city

Posted on 31 January 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Business-standard.com: Property prices in Bangalore is expected to see a rise of 10-12 per cent in 2011 on the back of rise in input prices along with hardening of interest rates. However, demand will remain robust with sound volume growth for most of the real estate developers in the current calender year despite a possible rise in home loan rates.
“Demand will remain robust and there will be sound volume growth in Bangalore as the interest rate hike will not substantially increase home loan rates,” Sushil Mantri, president of Confederation of Real Estate Developers’ Association of India (CREDAI)-Karnataka said…………………………………….Full Article: Source

Bangladesh Bank cautions about ‘painful’ crash in real estate sector

Posted on 31 January 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Thefinancialexpress-bd.com: Bangladesh Bank (BB) on Sunday cautioned all concerned of a “painful” crash in the country’s overheated real estate sector and admitted that a large chunk of credit meant for industries and small and medium enterprises (SMEs) have been diverted to the capital market.

In its half year monetary policy statement, the BB said, the country needs a “properly priced capital and real estate markets to avoid instability and jitters”…………………………………….Full Article: Source

Eastern China headed for real-estate bubble, Partners Group says

Posted on 31 January 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Bloomberg: China is heading for a real-estate bubble beginning in the east of the country, according to Partners Group Holding AG, a Swiss money manager that has $600 million invested in the country.

The Chinese government, which has taken steps to cool the market, may not be able to prevent a drop in commercial and residential property prices, the Baar, Switzerland-based company said in a report published today…………………………………….Full Article: Source

Underground world hints at China’s coming crisis

Posted on 31 January 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Telegraph: To understand how far ordinary Chinese have been priced out of their country’s property market, you need to look not upwards at the Beijing’s shimmering high-rise skyline, but down, far below the bustling streets where nearly 20m people live and work.
There, in the city’s vast network of unused air defence bunkers, as many as a million people live in small, windowless rooms that rent for £30 to £50 a month, which is as much as many of the city’s army of migrant labourers can afford…………………………………….Full Article: Source

China uses property tightening as monetary proxy

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From Reuters: Reluctant to raise interest rates, China is instead tightening its grip on the property market, a stop-gap strategy that will dampen inflation but fail to cure the root problem of too much cash in the economy.

Beijing unveiled a series of new rules this week, including a long-awaited home ownership tax, to deter real estate speculation, its third package of measures in the past year to rein in housing prices…………………………………….Full Article: Source

Chinese property ‘bubble’ fuels hard landing fears

Posted on 31 January 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From AFP: The world business elite raised concerns over China’s property prices at its annual get-together in Davos, with some worrying that if the bubble bursts it could hurt growth.

“Can China deflate its real estate bubble without generating a hard landing in its economy? It’s a serious problem. The Chinese themselves are quite worried about it,” said Nariman Behravesh, an analyst at IHS Global Insight…………………………………….Full Article: Source

NZ December residential building consents hit lowest level since April 2009

Posted on 31 January 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Scoop.co.nz: New Zealand’s residential construction sector continued to shrink in December, with building consents falling to their lowest level since April 2009, the sixth straight month of declines.

According Statistics New Zealand data released today, the number of new residential dwelling units approved in the month, excluding apartments, fell 11.3% to 943 on a seasonally adjusted basis compared the same month in the previous year…………………………………….Full Article: Source

Housing recovery may take five years-plus

Posted on 28 January 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Madeline SchnappIt’s taken three years to process $1 trillion in foreclosed homes. At that rate, it will take more than five years for the amount of each individual’s mortgage debt, relative to their income, to get back to levels that were the norm in this country before the housing bubble, according to a report from TrimTabs Investment Research.
“For the debt-to-income ratio to return to 65 percent, mortgage debt needs to fall from its current level of $8.9 trillion to $6.4 trillion to $7.4 trillion,” Madeline Schnapp, TrimTabs director of economic research lays out very clearly in a report to clients today. “At the current pace, it could take four to six more years to work through the current and expected backlog of delinquencies.”………………………………………Full Press Release: Source

US pending home sales show signs of recovery

Posted on 28 January 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Steven WoodFrom BBC: The number of newly signed sale contracts on existing US homes registered another uptick in December, beating analysts’ expectations. Pending home sales increased 2% in the month, according to the National Association of Realtors, following a downwardly-revised 3% rise in November.
The data is an early indicator for the housing market, as usually a contract is signed weeks before a sale closes. But some economists warn the rise may be down to sales of repossessed homes……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Instant view: Pending home sales rise in December

Posted on 28 January 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Reuters: Contracts for pending sales of previously owned homes rose faster than expected in December after the prior month’s sales were revised lower, data from a real estate trade group said on Thursday.
The National Association of Realtors Pending Home Sales Index, based on contracts signed in December, was up 2 percent to 93.7 from a downwardly revised reading of 91.9 in November. * Economists polled by Reuters had expected pending home sales to rise by 1.0 percent. The index has risen in five of the last six months, though it is still 4.2 percent lower than the 97.8 level of a year ago……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Housing crisis represents the greatest threat to the recovery

Posted on 28 January 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Usnews.com: Repossessed homes are a dead weight dragging down the financial world and the economy at large. Here’s wishing that 2011’s debut was brighter. The corner we hoped we had turned in 2010 looks more like a long blind bend in a never-ending road.
We face the risk of another major downturn in the housing market, a so-called double dip that seems on the way with the news that, according to the S&P/Case-Shiller index, home prices fell by 1 percent in November from October after declining 1.3 percent in October from September across 20 major markets—and fell for the fourth month in a row. This now represents the greatest strategic threat to the recovery of the economy……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Major apartment markets seen recovering In 2011

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From Investors.com: Property market analyzer Green Street Advisors predicts that revenue growth per square foot will rise in every major U.S. metro apartment market this year. It sees growth rates ranging from as low as 3% to 4% in Jacksonville, Fla., and Southern California’s Inland Empire to at least 9% — even over 10% — in San Jose, San Francisco, New York, Boston and Seattle.
“Apartment owners will enjoy healthy revenue and net operating income growth in 2011 and even better reported growth in 2012 as leases are rolled at higher rental rates,” Green Street analyst Andrew McCulloch said in an outlook……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Buying buildings for cash

Posted on 28 January 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Forbes: There’s good money to be made in commercial real estate, if you keep leverage modest and shop for unsexy properties. In the debate over whether real estate is a good deal these days, David Goduti is very much in the optimists’ camp. An executive with a property arm of EFO Holdings, Goduti spends his days hunting down deals that will appeal to wealthy families.
Last year for $1.2 million he picked up a 5,000-square-foot building previously owned by a busted Florida bank and most recently in the hands of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. Goduti then found a sound bank to sign a 15-year lease with a partial inflation escalator and an initial annual rent of $108,000 plus expenses………………………………………Full Article: Source

Is San Diego hottest U.S. housing market?

Posted on 28 January 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Ocregister.com: Could America’s hottest real estate market – and that’s a tepid terms these days – be just down the I-5 from us? We could not help but notice that San Diego was the one and only of the 20 big markets tracked by the S&P/Case-Shiller indexes to post a price gain from October to November. (Yes, it was a meager 0.1% gain!)
And San Diego was only one of four markets — and, yes, LA/OC was another – to post year-over-year gains by S&P math. (San Diego’s up 2.6% in the year; LA/OC is up 2.1%.)………………………………………Full Article: Source

Property private equity fundraising slows-report

Posted on 28 January 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Reuters: The number of real estate private equity fund launches and the amount of equity targeted in 2010 plunged by about a third, with the sector struggling to shrug off its recessionary blues, a survey showed.
Property equity advisor Swisslake Capital AG said 208 new funds were launched globally in 2010, down 35.6 percent on 2009. They were seeking to raise $74 billion, 29.7 percent down on the prior 12-month period……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Specialist funds outperform UK market in 2010 – IPD

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From IPE: Specialist UK real estate funds returned 18.8% in 2010, outperforming rest of the market by 400 basis points, according to Investment Property Databank (IPD).
Balanced funds also delivered double-digit returns (12.2%), according to latest figures, but this was lower than the all pooled fund index average of 14.8%……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Irish commercial property annual return in 2010 was -2.4pct - up from -23.3pct in 2009

Posted on 28 January 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Finfacts.ie: Irish commercial property delivered an annual total return of -2.4% in 2010, according to the SCS/IPD Ireland Quarterly Property Index. This compares to a -23.3% return in 2009. Dublin’s Grafton Street has seen a -68.4% loss in value in 3 years.
The shallow annual return masks a double-digit capital depreciation of -10.7%, which was driven by a second-consecutive year of steep falls in rental values, at -19.3%. This was only a slight improvement on 2009’s -22.4%, which compounded since the beginning of 2009, has delivered a rental decline of -37.4%……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Spanish property market set for recovery -IVG

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From Reuters: Spain’s real estate sector is likely to recover faster from the debt crisis than its wider economy, with low rents increasingly attracting demand, market research conducted by German property group IVG showed on Thursday.
“Theoretically, the real estate market always follows in the steps of the wider economy, with a delay of around 18 months,” IVG’s corporate social responsibility and research head, Thomas Beyerle, told journalists at a news conference in Frankfurt……………………………………….Full Article: Source

DTZ: 2010 was exceptionally successful for the Czech logistics and industrial market

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From Europe-re.com: “In 2010 overall gross take-up reached 785,200 m², which is an increase of 118% compared to 2009 and second highest result after 2007,” says Lenka Šindelářová, analyst at DTZ.
Net take-up excluding renegotiations recorded a y-o-y increase of 140% with 624,800 m² newly leased in 2010. Gross take-up reached 197,500 m² in Q4 2010, 7% less compared to the last quarter but 83% more compared to Q4 2009. Net take-up amounted to 177,600 m², a 19% increase on the quarter and representing an annual increase of 130%……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Bulgaria real estate market to upswing in 2011 - Colliers

Posted on 28 January 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Novinite.com: Following a year of stagnation, in which Bulgaria’s property market went from being one of the best performing in Europe to one of the worst performing, it is due to rebound again, according to a report of Colliers International.
“Our expectations for the first half of 2011 are to be as challenging as 2010 was. The second half of the year will mark the upswing in almost all real estate segments”, said Atanas S. Garov, Managing Director of Colliers International, Bulgaria……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Budapest property market set for moderate rebound

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From Bbjonline.hu: The Budapest property market has suffered in the past 18 months, but it has reached the bottom of the economic cycle and improvements are afoot during 2011 according to the prognosis of real estate advisor King Sturge.
“Keep calm and carry on,” is the message that actors of the real estate market should heed heading into 2011, said King Sturge (KS) research consultant Remi Couture. The vacancy rate in the office and industrial sector will decline in 2011 and the retail inventory will remain fairly stable……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Russia commercial property yields to tighten in 2011

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From Reuters: Russia’s commercial real estate market will continue to be driven by its risk-savvy domestic investors in 2011, with them dominating Moscow-centric deal volumes and pushing yields lower, a survey showed.
A market overview by real estate consultants Cushman & Wakefield said on Thursday transaction volumes attributed to domestic investors had outstripped pre-crisis levels, and it expected this upward trend to continue……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Moscow ranked as Europe’s 3rd largest property investment market in 2010

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From Rian.ru: Moscow became Europe’s third largest property investment market after London and Paris in 2010, Cushman&Wakefield real estate consulting firm said in its survey on Thursday.
The survey included four cities in Europe in addition to Moscow, eight in Asia and seven in North America……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Crises, protests and reforms in Greece

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From Globalpropertyguide.com: Greek property prices continued to slide in Q1 2010. The Athens residential property price index was 2% down on the year to Q1. In urban areas other than Athens, the price index fell 2.6% y-o-y, according to the Bank of Greece. Prices reached their peaks in mid-2008, but have since dropped by 6.3% in Athens and 6.7% in other urban areas.
Falling tourism has led to lower prices of ‘apartments’, a general term for holiday homes, villas and other tourist-oriented vacation units. The average price of old apartments (5 years old or older) dropped 4% y-o-y to Q1 2010. On the other hand, the price of new apartments (less than 5 years old) fell 0.3% over the same period……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Turkey property prices up in five key locations

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From Propertywire.com: Residential property prices in Turkey are creeping upwards with prices increasing in December in five major cities, according to the latest index to be published.
Prices were up 1.36% in Adana, 0.47% in Ankara, 0.55% in Istanbul, 0.09% in Izmir and 0.94% in Kocaeli and were down 1.5% in Antalya and 0.43% in Bursa, the REIDIN Turkey Residential Property Price Indices (TRPPI) shows……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Dubai’s real estate boom is sinking - literally

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From Publicradio.org: This final note today. A commentary on the fleeting nature of real estate booms. Back in the good old days, like what — six or seven years ago? The economy in Dubai was going so strong that the government’s investment fund decided to create more real estate.
It piled sand upon sand to build palm-tree-shaped islands offshore in the Persian Gulf and a collection of islands shaped like a map of the world as luxury resorts……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Emaar seeks to ease debt with $500mln bond

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From Khaleejtimes.com: Emaar Properties said on Thursday that it had raised $500 million by selling Islamic bonds, or sukuk, to support its capital requirements. Emaar “has successfully priced its first international fixed-income offering, raising $500 million via the issuance of trust certificates with a maturity of 5.5 years at a yield of 8.500 per cent,” the developer said in a statement.
The sukuk was very well-received by the regional and international fixed income investors, Emaar, which is rated B1/BB, added……………………………………….Full Article: Source

China approves property tax trials in two cities to curb prices

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From Bloomberg: China approved property tax trials on some housing in Shanghai and Chongqing, adding to measures announced earlier this week in its campaign to curb real-estate speculation and asset bubbles.
Shanghai will begin trials today, the city said in a statement on its website yesterday. China said Jan. 26 it will raise the minimum down-payment for second-home purchases and told local governments to set price targets for new properties……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Hong Kong is world’s most expensive place to purchase home

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From Bloomberg: Hong Kong is the world’s most expensive place to buy a home because of a shortage of properties on the market, according to a study of the top four cities by Savills Plc.
Hong Kong is 55 percent more expensive than London, based on an index published today by the property broker that compares the U.K. capital with the other cities. Moscow is 7.4 percent more expensive than London and New York is 15 percent cheaper……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Singapore: Dilemma for genuine home buyers

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From Todayonline.com: Some wonder if they should wait and see if the recent cooling measures push down prices significantly. The Government’s latest round of measures to cool the residential property market was clearly targeted at short-term investors and speculators.
Effective since Jan 14, they include the highly punitive stamp duties which apply to the resale of residential properties within four years of purchase, the reduced loan limit of 60 per cent for buyers with one or more outstanding mortgages, as well as the 50-per-cent loan limit for buyers who are non-individuals, for example companies and trusts……………………………………….Full Article: Source

High interest rates hurting Vietnam’s property market

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From Property-report.com: A spike in interest rates has affected demand in Vietnam’s property market, local experts say. Mathew Powell, Director of Savills Vietnam’s Hanoi branch, said only 10 per cent of the company’s clients were mortgaging their apartments.
The lending interest rates are currently at 18-20 per cent per annum. As reported by VietNamNet Bridge, several local commercial banks, including Vietcombank, Vietinbank, Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation, and Asia Commercial Bank offer installment plans for individual clients to purchase houses……………………………………….Full Article: Source

China leads world in real estate transactions with $197 bln

Posted on 27 January 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Bloomberg: China attracted the most real estate investment in the world for a second straight year as purchases of development sites helped lift global commercial property sales by 43 percent, Real Capital Analytics Inc. said.
China had $197.1 billion of transactions last year, 23 percent more than in 2009, the New York based company said in a statement today. That represented 34 percent of the $582 billion of deals worldwide, down from 41 percent the previous year as Chinese authorities sought to prevent the property market from overheating……………………………………….Full Article: Source

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US: 2011 housing market will be pancake flat

Posted on 27 January 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From CNNMoney: Housing markets will remain flat, flat, flat in 2011, according to forecasts from the Mortgage Bankers Association. The organization, which represents more than 80% of the nation’s mortgage business, predicts that overall home sales will inch down 0.1% during the year. Sales of existing homes will fall 1% to 4.82 million, and new home sale will rise 10% to 358,000.
The MBA attributes the sales decline mostly to slow economic recovery and high unemployment. Until hiring picks up, the market will continue to struggle……………………………………….Full Article: Source

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Where home prices will rise, fall the most in ‘11

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From Msnbc: Like the two years proceeding it, 2010 was a tough year for home owners. Foreclosure rates broke 2009’s record-breaking numbers and we can expect even more in 2011.
For those fortunate property owners still hanging on to their real estate holdings, values in most American markets continued to plunge downward — creating an overall national price drop of -4.7 percent year-over-year, according to Clear Capital……………………………………….Full Article: Source

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Sales of new homes in U.S. rise more than forecast

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From Bloomberg: Purchases of new houses in the U.S. rose more than forecast in December, propelled by a record surge in the West as buyers in California may have rushed to qualify for a state tax credit before it expired.
Sales climbed 18 percent to a 329,000 annual pace, figures from the Commerce Department showed today in Washington. The percentage gain was the biggest since 1992, and was led by a record 72 percent jump in the West……………………………………….Full Article: Source

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Housing double-dip is here: Case-Shiller

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From Thenewamerican.com: One of the most-watched and highly regarded indices giving direction to the housing market is the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index published every month.
Its latest report, announced on Tuesday, provides the clearest evidence so far that housing prices are continuing to fall and in fact may represent a significant double-dip in the housing market into 2011……………………………………….Full Article: Source

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Moody’s modeled 4pct annual rise in home prices for bond ratings

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From Bloomberg: Moody’s Corp. assumed U.S. home prices would rise 4 percent annually when it developed a model in 2003 to rate mortgage-backed securities, according to the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission.
Prices instead plunged 28.5 percent from July 2006 through the low reached in February last year, according to the Chicago- based National Association of Realtors, a decline Moody’s failed to foresee, the commission concludes in a 545-page book due to go on sale tomorrow. A copy was obtained by Bloomberg News……………………………………….Full Article: Source

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