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Real Estate Briefing - Archive | March, 2011

America’s housing market is in the doldrums

Posted on 31 March 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

If America’s housing market acts as a bellwether for its economy, then new monthly data released on March 29th by Standard & Poor’s makes for particularly glum reading. The ten-city composite index fell by an annual rate of 2.7% in January—it is now over 30% below its April 2006 peak.
House prices in 12 of the 20 cities tracked by Standard & Poor’s fell in January and only two cities, Washington and San Diego, recorded gains on the previous year. However, as discussed in our Free Exchange blog, the data could include sales that may have gone under contract as early as September but have yet to complete, and since then a second dose of quantitative easing by the Federal Reserve has strengthened the outlook for the US economy………………………………………Full Article: Source

US housing market shivers

Posted on 31 March 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

David M. BlitzerHousing prices across the U.S. continued falling in January, raising fears of a double dip in the home-buying market and a longer slog toward recovery than once expected. Average sale prices of single-family homes in 20 major metropolitan areas fell 3.1% from a year ago, according to the S&P/Case-Shiller home-price index released Tuesday.

“January brings us weakening home prices with no real hope in sight for the near future,” said David M. Blitzer, chairman of the Index Committee at rating firm Standard & Poor’s………………………………………Full Article: Source

Home prices hit pre-boom levels in 14 US cities

Posted on 31 March 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Damage from the housing bust is spreading to areas once thought to be immune. In at least 14 major U.S. metro areas, prices are now at 2003 levels — when the housing bubble was just starting to inflate. Prices will likely fall further this year, making many people reluctant to buy or sell. That would push down sales and prices more.

The depressed housing industry is slowing an economy that has shown strength elsewhere. And it’s starting to hurt those who bought years before the housing boom began. In some cities, people who have paid their mortgages for a decade have little or no home equity………………………………………Full Article: Source

‘Shadow inventory’ of U.S. homes totals nine-month supply

Posted on 31 March 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

About 1.8 million homes that are delinquent or in foreclosure loom as additional supply for the struggling U.S. housing market, according to CoreLogic Inc. (CLGX)

The so-called shadow inventory amounted to a nine-month supply of properties as of January, about the same as a year earlier, the Santa Ana, California-based real estate data service said in a report today. The company measured homes ranging from 90 days delinquent on mortgages to properties seized by lenders in foreclosure proceedings………………………………………Full Article: Source

Real estate crash catches up to U.S. municipalities as property taxes drop

Posted on 31 March 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

The real-estate crash is catching up to U.S. municipalities. Cities, counties and school districts had been sheltered from the full impact of the slump because of the lag between when realty prices fluctuate and values are reset by local tax assessors. That’s changing as property rolls are adjusted to the current market and residents push to have their taxes cut.

Local officials are now facing the consequences. Property- tax revenue dropped in the last three months of 2010 at the fastest pace since home prices slipped from their peak more than four years ago, the Census Bureau said……………………………………..Full Article: Source

US multi-family property fund enters market

Posted on 31 March 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Property fund manager Equiti Capital has partnered with United States firm Riverstone Residential to provide the US Multifamily Property Fund to the domestic investment market.

“With regard to our US partners, we extensively researched the specialist managers in this field and we believed Riverstone provided an excellent fit to our requirements. Their experience, reach and focus on compliance and transparency means that we have every confidence that they will manage our assets to perform at the highest level,” Equiti Capital director Linden Toll said………………………………………Full Article: Source

Canada resale home price index rises for 2nd month

Posted on 31 March 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Canadian resale home prices rose for a second straight month in January, led by gains in the Vancouver area, according to a report on Wednesday.

The Teranet-National Bank Composite House Price Index, which measures price changes for repeat sales of single-family homes in six metropolitan areas, showed overall prices were up 0.4 percent in January from December………………………………………Full Article: Source

Canadian property market still riding it out

Posted on 31 March 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

With interest rates so low, Canadian’s have been buying up properties, which is continuing to push up property prices in the country. The continued increases in sales transactions is great for the property market, some economists are concerned about the rising debt levels in Canada.
Canadian economist at Capital Economics, David Madani, reports that house prices may decrease up to 25 percent in the next three years. Additionally, home prices have risen to around 5 and a half times the average worker’s disposable income, well over the long term average of 3.5 percent………………………………………Full Article: Source

European retail investment hit EUR 36bln in 2010: CBRE

Posted on 31 March 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

European retail real estate investment grew to EUR 36.2 bn in 2010, representing a 60% increase year-on-year, and well above the 47% increase for the investment market as a whole, according to the latest research by CB Richard Ellis (CBRE).

European retail investment activity was heavily concentrated on core assets and markets, reflecting the risk-averse strategies and the type of investors active. Geographically, the UK and Germany together accounted for 63% of total retail investment, with France and the Netherlands being the next most liquid markets last year………………………………………Full Article: Source

Turnover in CEE reaches EUR 1.2bln in first two months

Posted on 31 March 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Real estate investment turnover in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) reached EUR 1.2 bn in the first two months of 2011, according to new research released by CB Richard Ellis (CBRE).

This figure includes the acquisition of Oesterreichische Volksbanken AG’s Europolis real estate unit by CA Immobilien Anlagen AG, one of the largest property companies in Austria, announced during summer 2010 but officially completed in January 2011………………………………………Full Article: Source

‘Surge in activity’ in UK property market

Posted on 31 March 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

There was a surge in property market activity in the first quarter of 2011, according to a new report. Registrations rose by 90 per cent between December and January, showing an increase in buyer demand, the Market Analysis report by Winkworth revealed.

The rise in demand has created a sort of sub-market within London, where quality properties are still going for above the asking prices in some instances. Even in other parts of the UK, the property market is becoming stronger, with sales starting to recover, the report said………………………………………Full Article: Source

Turkish asset management firm to launch property funds

Posted on 31 March 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Ak Asset Management, a subsidiary of local lender Akbank, is preparing to launch four new capital protected property funds linked to food, gold and oil index prices for investors next month.

“The capital protected property funds has started to gain a larger share in the portion of the Turkey’s total asset management,” said Dr. Alp Keler, the general manager Ak Asset, during a Tuesday meeting in Istanbul. The share of the protected funds has increased sevenfold in the last two years and now covers some 10 percent of all funds offered by Ak Asset, he said………………………………………Full Article: Source

South African property market begins recovery in 2010, says IPD

Posted on 31 March 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

South Africa’s commercial real estate market returned to double-digit annual performance last year, with a 13.3%, bouncing back from 2009’s eleven-year low of 8.8%, according to the SAPOA/IPD South Africa Property Index.

The headline total return is still dominated by the income component, which was 8.9%, while capital growth was 4.1%. After 18 months of little-to-no capital growth, confidence and fundamentals began their recovery over the second half of last year, during which period the bulk of the year’s annual capital growth was delivered………………………………………Full Article: Source

UAE: Real estate rising in Ras Al Khaimah

Posted on 31 March 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Real estate in Ras Al Khaimah appears set to rebound from the regional downturn in the property market, with experts predicting an increase in sales and building activity, but prices seem unlikely to reach pre-economic crisis levels, Global Arab Network reports according to OBG.

Starting in 2009 and continuing into 2010, demand for properties in RAK tapered off, an easing in line with the general trend across the UAE and the wider region. This in turn saw work on a number of developments either put on hold or slowed as demand dropped and some buyers who bought off-plan struggled to make payments………………………………………Full Article: Source

Beijing city targets moderate fall in new residential property prices from last year

Posted on 31 March 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Beijing’s municipal government said Wednesday it is targeting a moderate fall in prices of new residential property this year from last year. The municipal government added in a statement it will boost efforts to safeguard the public housing sector.

China’s housing ministry has told local governments to set property price control targets by the end of the first quarter as part of efforts to fulfil the State Council’s measures to cool the country’s real-estate sector………………………………………Full Article: Source

Singapore home prices edged up in Q1 on strong China demand

Posted on 31 March 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Strong demand from mainland Chinese buyers helped Singapore private home prices edge higher in the first quarter of 2011, despite government efforts to cool the market, property consultants Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL) said on Wednesday.

The average value of non-prime private apartments in Singapore reached a record high of S$1,043 per square foot in the first quarter, exceeding the previous high of S$1,020 psf in the last three months of 2010, JLL estimates………………………………………Full Article: Source

Singapore: Home prices slip but the ‘centre’ still holds

Posted on 31 March 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Prices of completed private apartments and condos have slipped slightly, overall, as the government’s cooling measures made themselves felt. But those in the most posh part of town are still holding their own.

Latest flash estimates for February from the National University of Singapore show a weaker month-on-month performance in price indices compared to January………………………………………Full Article: Source

New zealand property market improving slowly

Posted on 31 March 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

While the Canterbury earthquake saw sales figures fall 4.3%, the property market in New Zealand is slowly improving according to data. The median price of a home is $350,000 which is unchanged February last year but is up $10,000 on January.
Figures from the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand show that there was an increase in transaction numbers in Auckland and Manawatu/Wanganui in February and that Auckland’s figures were higher than February 2009………………………………………Full Article: Source

REITs make about-face

Posted on 31 March 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

The blockbuster rally in real-estate stocks is starting to sputter as investors begin to fret about global events such as unrest in the Arab world and the economic fallout from Japan. As investors prepare to close the books on the first quarter, the Dow Jones Equity All REIT Index had posted total returns of 4.6% as of Tuesday’s close, trailing gains by the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index of 6.71% and 5.4%, respectively.

That is an about-face from the past two years, when real-estate investment trusts’ stocks routinely outpaced the overall stock market with gains of nearly 30% in 2009 and 2010, compared with less than 12% for the Dow industrials………………………………………Full Article: Source

Pension funds push ‘green’ real-estate investments

Posted on 31 March 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Eleven of the world’s largest pension asset managers, representing $1.4 trillion in assets under management, and some of the leading real-estate industry associations have joined forces to create the Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark (GRESB).

The GRESB Foundation will do a yearly survey to scrutinize the sustainability of fund managers in the real-estate industry. The goal is to simultaneously create shareholder value and reduce the sector’s substantial carbon footprint, by creating more transparency in the environmental sustainability of real-estate investment managers………………………………………Full Article: Source

U.S. Property taxes fall by most since housing market crash

Posted on 30 March 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

U.S. state and local property-tax collections dropped in the last three months of 2010 by the most since home prices peaked more than four years ago, slowing the overall growth in government revenue.

Real-estate-tax collections, a main source of income for cities, slid $5.3 billion, or 2.9 percent, from a year earlier to $177.1 billion, the Census Bureau reported today. The drop exceeded a 2.5 percent decline in the first quarter of 2010, the data show……………………………………..Full Article: Source

US house prices ‘hitting new lows’

Posted on 30 March 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

US single family home prices fell for the seventh month in a row in January, according to the S&P/Case-Shiller index of prices. It monitors 20 metropolitan areas and found that seasonally adjusted prices had fallen in 12 of them.

In four cities, prices were at their lowest for 11 years, with the overall index down 0.2% between December and January. The average annual price fall across the 20 cities was 3.1%……………………………………..Full Article: Source

US housing recession goes on

Posted on 30 March 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

The U.S. housing market is still in recession, with prices all over the country declining and testing 2009 trough levels, according to the latest S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index.

The January Case-Shiller report released today showed that in 11 of the 20 cities surveyed, prices dropped below lows forged in 2009 following the bursting of a real estate bubble that peaked in 2006. Another month of declines adds to a trend many analysts suggest will continue……………………………………..Full Article: Source

‘No real hope in sight” as Case-Shiller shows housing recession still here

Posted on 30 March 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Continuing its descent to the lower depths of a double-dip trough, the U.S. housing market fell even further in January, according to the widely followed S&P/Case-Shiller Home price Indexes. The 20-City Composite fell 3.1% from January 2010 while 11 of the 20 metropolitan areas (MSA) surveyed hit their all-time lows since the index began.
In the words of David Blitzer, Chairman of the Index, the latest readings “bring us weakening home prices with no real hope in sight for the near future.”…………………………………….Full Article: Source

Why the mega-mansion market is still dead

Posted on 30 March 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Real-estate agents who sell ultrahigh-price homes are announcing a recovery. In Naples, Fla, brokers are cheering a supposed rebound in luxury vacation homes, with Premier Sotheby’s International Realty selling 41 homes priced at $2 million this year, up 14% from the same period in 2010.

One broker told Bloomberg that buyer’s “are finally getting off the fence,” as if fence-sitting were the real problem with Florida real-estate market……………………………………..Full Article: Source

Housing booms north of the border

Posted on 30 March 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

As much of the U.S. housing market limps along, home prices north of the border are on a fresh tear, fired up in part by a borrowing binge that has sent Canadians’ debt to record levels—and now higher than their notoriously profligate U.S. neighbors—while income growth pokes along.
All that has raised worry at the country’s central bank, which repeatedly has warned about rising debt levels, and among some economists, who say the market is ripe for a correction—maybe a steep one……………………………………..Full Article: Source

Rosenberg: Canadian housing is okay

Posted on 30 March 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

David Rosenberg, chief economist and strategist at Gluskin Sheff, remains a contrarian voice on the U.S. economic recovery, and he is also sticking to his argument that Canada is in pretty good shape – and that includes the country’s housing market.

That market has taken a few knocks recently, even attracting derision from the foreign press. The Wall Street Journal ran an article on Tuesday arguing that Canadian home prices are on a fresh tear, even as income growth lags record-high debt levels……………………………………..Full Article: Source

Irish house prices fall by 10pct

Posted on 30 March 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

New research has suggested that house prices in Ireland are falling at a double-digit rate, although prices in countries that are favoured by the UK buyer are showing signs of stabilising.

According to the new data, the housing market in Ireland suffered badly as a result of the country’s economic problems. Over the course of the year, the average cost of a home in Ireland fell by 10.8%……………………………………..Full Article: Source

German property enjoys a boom

Posted on 30 March 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From century-old villas in Berlin’s exclusive Grunewald district to trendy penthouse apartments in Munich, Germany is fast becoming one of Europe’s most attractive luxury property markets. With competitive prices compared to the hot spots of London, Paris or Moscow, investors - including Arab buyers - are flocking to the country.
“The German market is benefiting from the strong economy, low interest rates and a low number of completions, which has made supply scarce,” says Tobias Just, a property analyst at Deutsche Bank…………………………………….Full Article: Source

Bulgaria is seeing long-term real estate growth, report shows

Posted on 30 March 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Long term investors in the Bulgarian property market have seen a substantial increase in the value of their investment despite price falls of over 30% in the last three years.

Research from Sofia based real estate agency Bulgarian Properties shows that prices of residential property have surged by more than 200% on average over the past 10 years……………………………………..Full Article: Source

S.Africa: Retail sector leads upside in commercial property

Posted on 30 March 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Stronger retail sales growth and signs of a return to discretionary spending helped to drive capital growth in the retail sector to 4.4%, which was the highest of any sector, according to the latest South African Property Association/Investment Property Databank property index.

Office and industrial capital growth - at 3.9% and 3.2% respectively - were slightly more subdued, in part due to concerns over fundamentals in the secondary markets……………………………………..Full Article: Source

Mumbai’s residential market facing slowdown

Posted on 30 March 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Apartment sales during the launch of a project itself are over because of the slowdown in the Mumbai residential market.

“Short-term speculators booking apartments at pre-launch or launch prices and selling them a few months later at higher prices has reduced considerably,” said global property consultant Jones Lang LaSalle India in its Mumbai Residential Real Estate Review (March 2011)……………………………………..Full Article: Source

Sri Lanka construction, housing market expands

Posted on 30 March 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Sri Lanka’s construction industry and housing market grew strongly in 2001 compared with the year before driven by infrastructure projects, resettlement after a war and increased borrowing.
The construction sub sector of gross domestic product grew 9.3 percent in 2010 from a growth of 5.6 percent the previous year, the Department of Census & Statistics (DCS) said in a statement……………………………………..Full Article: Source

Foreign property investors back in China amid tightening -JLL

Posted on 30 March 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Unfazed by Beijing’s policy tightening spree, foreign players are returning to China’s property market to invest in cash-strapped developers or buy distressed assets, global real estate consultant Jones Lang LaSalle said on Tuesday.

After quitting China’s real estate market during the global financial crisis to take profits and raise much-needed cash, foreign investors are piling into the sector once more, with demand today surpassing that of three years ago, JLL said……………………………………..Full Article: Source

Shanghai government targets new home price growth below GDP growth this year

Posted on 30 March 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Shanghai’s municipal government said Tuesday it is aiming to keep the rise in new residential property prices this year below the city’s economic growth rate and the average increase in wages.

The city will also ensure the supply of newly built public housing this year is larger than that of private homes in terms of floor space, the municipal government said in a statement on its property price control targets……………………………………..Full Article: Source

Vietnam: Gloomy property market faces most challenging time in 2011

Posted on 30 March 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

The property market in 2011 is not an attractive investment class due to abundant supplies, weak buying and low liquidity, said Nguyen Do Viet, deputy general director of property firm Song Da Thang Long.

Viet also expected that investors opted for gold and the US dollar this year. “Strong cash flows keep run into the two investment classes. High saving rates also encourage people to deposit their money into banks,” he said……………………………………..Full Article: Source

Global real estate prices slow

Posted on 30 March 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

House price growth across the globe slowed in the last quarter of 2010, according to new figures from Knight Frank. 20 of the 49 countries analysed by the company showed quarterly declines with Dubai (6.1%), Ireland (-3.5%), Cyprus (-2.1%) and the US (-2.1%) recording some of the biggest falls.

Prices are now falling in 41% of countries compared with 31% in Q2 2010. The fastest risers were Hong Kong (Up 20.1% annually) and Latvia (Up 16.9%) with the latter bouncing back from a 70% fall in prices during the credit crunch……………………………………..Full Article: Source

Property values in Asia soar while price rises in Europe lag behind

Posted on 29 March 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Liam BaileyThe global housing sector is operating a two-speed market as prices of western properties stagnate while the value of homes in emerging economies continues to power ahead.

House prices across the world staged a modest recovery last year, rising by 2.8% after a 3.8% decline in 2009, according to the latest Knight Frank global house price index. The global housing market benefited as strong price growth in the Asia-Pacific and the Middle East offset stagnation in Europe and the US…………………………………….Full Article: Source

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Global property recovery slows sparking double dip fears

Posted on 29 March 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

House prices are sliding in countries around the world, reviving concerns of a double dip. Forty-one per cent of the countries tracked by the Knight Frank Global House Price Index reported negative growth in the fourth quarter of 2010. That compares to 31 per cent in the second quarter, when many analysts were hailing signs of a recovery in property prices.

“It looks increasingly likely that Asian markets will escape a crash in prices, but in many of the previously hot markets price falls later this year seems a realistic assumption,” said Liam Bailey, head of residential research at Knight Frank…………………………………….Full Article: Source

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Global demand for office space ‘polarised’, says CBRE

Posted on 29 March 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Demand for office space in the Latin American and Asia Pacific regions is stronger than in advanced economies as investors bet on better economic growth in those markets, according to a report from CB Richard Ellis (CBRE).

Andrew Hallissey, head of client solutions in CBRE’s Global corporate services division, said: “Many multinationals companies have reacted to this trend with an increased desire to locate their global operations strategically, in locations where strong growth and promising economic markets exist…………………………………….Full Article: Source

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US tops cross-regional European investment

Posted on 29 March 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

A significant shift in the geographical composition of international capital being invested in European real estate started to emerge in the second half of 2010, according to the latest research issued by CB Richard Ellis (CBRE). Cross-regional flows of capital from outside Europe grew to account for almost half of all international investment activity in the region in 2010, well above the 33% average reported from 2009 onwards.

Cross-regional investment into Europe doubled in size from the first to the second half of last year, jumping to EUR 9 bn of activity in the second half, the highest total seen since the start of 2008…………………………………….Full Article: Source

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13pct of all U.S. homes are vacant

Posted on 29 March 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

High residential vacancies are killing many housing markets, as foreclosed homes sit on the market and depress sale prices and property values. And it’s only getting worse: The national vacancy rate crept up to just over 13% according to last week’s decennial census report. That’s up from 12.1% in 2007.
“More vacant homes equal more downward pressure on home prices,” said Brad Hunter, chief economist for Metrostudy, a real estate information provider…………………………………….Full Article: Source

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Pending sales of U.S. existing homes rose 2.1pct in February

Posted on 29 March 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

A gain in the number of Americans signing contracts to buy previously owned homes in February failed to make up for the ground lost a month earlier, a sign the U.S. housing market has yet to join the economic recovery.

The index of pending home resales increased 2.1 percent after a 2.8 percent drop the prior month, figures from the National Association of Realtors showed today in Washington. The median estimate in a Bloomberg News survey of economists called for little change…………………………………….Full Article: Source

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US pending home sales bodes well for spring buying

Posted on 29 March 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Surprisingly upbeat data on the U.S. housing market on Monday suggests home sales will tick higher going into the traditionally strong spring season.

Pending sales of previously owned U.S. homes unexpectedly rose in February, a welcome sign after data last week showed sales of new and previously owned homes slumped last month……………………………………..Full Article: Source

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US: Real estate: It’s time to buy again

Posted on 29 March 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Forget stocks. Don’t bet on gold. After four years of plunging home prices, the most attractive asset class in America is housing. To see where real estate is truly headed, it’s critical to keep your eye firmly on the fundamentals that, over time, always determine the course of prices and construction.

During the last decade’s historic run-up in prices, Fortune repeatedly warned that things were moving too fast. In a cover story titled “Is the Housing Boom Over?,” this writer’s analysis found that the basic forces that govern the market — the cost of owning vs. renting and the level of new construction — were in bubble territory. Eventually reality set in, and prices plummeted. Our current view focuses on those same fundamentals — only now they’re pointing in the opposite direction…………………………………….Full Article: Source

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Housing will recover. But when?

Posted on 29 March 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

What passes for optimism on the housing market these days is a pale reflection of the glory days of five years ago. “Housing is dead,” writes MarketWatch’s Rex Nutting. “There is no doubt about that. Housing is as dead as a door nail.” The good news, such as it is, is that “housing is just too small to do any real damage to the economy any more,” he adds. Perhaps, but housing’s not likely to help any time soon either.

Even after five years of a nonstop housing recession, there’s little confidence that the sector is poised for a rebound. And after last week’s dismal news on sales of new single-family homes last month, some analysts wonder if a new round of trouble is coming for residential real estate…………………………………….Full Article: Source

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No signs of recovery for U.S. housing

Posted on 29 March 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

The National Association of Realtors released the February existing home sales data on March 21st, and the data eerily reinforced the miserable state of the United States housing market. To summarize, home prices have now suffered through five months of year over year declines while sales volume is in a nine-month tailspin, year over year.
Because of the seasonal nature of home buying, the year over year metrics are a more reliable indicator of housing market health…………………………………….Full Article: Source

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US cities where economies are getting worse

Posted on 29 March 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Sunny California has been taking a beating lately on our 2011 Forbes cities lists. Stockton took first place as the Most Miserable City for the second time in three years, and four Golden State metros ranked high on our Most Toxic Cities list.

Alas, California also claims the top spots on our newest list: Cities Where The Economy May Get Worse. Riverside ranked No. 1 thanks to a high unemployment rate (13.9%) coupled with weak job growth, a hefty number of mortgage loans 90 days or more delinquent (8.21% of all loans) and a projected migration pattern that finds 4,000 residents expected to leave the area this year…………………………………….Full Article: Source

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US: Fewer first-time home buyers hurt market

Posted on 29 March 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Many first-time home buyers are sitting on the sidelines of the U.S. housing market, hampering its ability to gain traction. Last month, 34% of existing-home purchases were made by first-time buyers, according to the National Association of Realtors. In January, they were 29% of the market, the lowest since NAR surveys started tracking them monthly in late 2008.

In healthy markets, first-time buyers make up 40% to 45% of all purchasers. They play a critical role in buying starter homes so those owners can buy more expensive homes…………………………………….Full Article: Source

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Europe: Green Rating Alliance launches environmental property tool

Posted on 29 March 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Institutional real estate investors and fund managers in Europe have pooled their resources to launch an association and benchmarking platform to improve the environmental performance of existing buildings.

The Green Rating Alliance was launched by some of Europe’s leading real estate investment players, including AEW Europe, Allianz Real Estate, AXA Real Estate, GE Capital Real Estate Europe, ING Real Estate Investment Management, KanAm Grund and LaSalle Investment Management…………………………………….Full Article: Source

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