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Real Estate Briefing - Archive | June, 2011

Office markets in top 3 financial centres rebound at varying speeds

Posted on 30 June 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Andrew NessOffice markets in the world’s top three financial centres - London, New York and Hong Kong - have recovered from the impact of the global financial crisis at varying speeds, according to CB Richard Ellis.
Its new research report highlighted how Hong Kong’s economy rebounded quickly from the global financial crisis - mirroring the resilience of mainland China, with strong growth in the financial sector since 2009 - outpacing the two Western cities……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Pending sales of U.S. existing homes rise by 8.2pct, almost triple forecasts

Posted on 30 June 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Patrick NewportThe number of contracts to buy previously owned U.S. homes rose almost three times as much as forecast as falling prices made properties more affordable.
The surprising 8.2 percent increase in the index of pending home resales from April followed a revised 11 percent drop the prior month, the National Association of Realtors said today in Washington. Economists forecast a 3 percent gain, according to the median estimate in a Bloomberg News survey……………………………………….Full Article: Source

US: Housing market turning around in several rural states

Posted on 30 June 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

The housing market is hurting nationally, but it appears to be marching toward recovery in a handful of mostly rural states, economic forecasters say.
The states — including North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa and Alaska — have economies more dependent on the energy, industrial or agricultural sectors, stronger parts of the U.S. economy. Their home prices, in general, didn’t rise as much as in other states in the boom years, so they’ve fared better in the wake of the crash. Their unemployment rates tend to best the national average……………………………………….Full Article: Source

What can home owners learn from Case-Shiller’s Home Price Index?

Posted on 30 June 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

The S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index released its monthly report this week, with less than surprising results. April’s home prices for the 20 U.S. cities comprising the index dropped 4% year-over-year despite a slight 0.7% uptick from March to April.
The uptick can be chalked up to the fact that April marks the beginning of the high season for home buying. It’s the first national price increase in eight months……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Real estate: Cash deals dominate some luxury markets

Posted on 30 June 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Cash is king in high-end real estate this year, serving to stabilize the market as tight credit conditions and depreciated home values continue to plague the embattled real estate sector.
At least 30 percent of all purchases were financed with cash between mid-April and mid-May, according to the May 2011 Realtors Confidence Index by the National Realtors Association, and the numbers are even more robust for the luxury property market……………………………………….Full Article: Source

US luxury market stabilizing,outperform national data

Posted on 30 June 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

The luxury housing market in the United States continues to stabilize despite ongoing struggles in the broader national market, according to industry professionals. Bob Satawake, a Chicago based real estate agent told Market News International that “at this point, certain segments of the market have stabilized.”
“The luxury market is more stable,” Satawake added, saying foot traffic has increased this year and that buyers are more comfortable in certain market segments……………………………………….Full Article: Source

U.S. house price indexes stability?

Posted on 30 June 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Latest reports on home prices are somewhat encouraging. The Case-Shiller Home Price Index (HPI) of April edged down 0.1% on a seasonally adjusted basis and advanced 0.7% on a seasonally unadjusted basis from March. The seasonally adjusted drop of the Case-Shiller HPI is smallest since July 2010.
The Case-Shiller HPI rose in nine out of the twenty metro areas in April. Other home price measures also suggest that prices are stabilizing. The FHFA HPI rose 0.8% in April, the first since May 2010, while the overall Core Logic HPI held nearly steady and the HPI excluding distressed properties moved up 1.3%, the fourth monthly gain……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Home prices are stabilizing

Posted on 30 June 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Data reported over the last two weeks offered yet more positive signals for real estate investors. Both the FHFA and Standard & Poor’s real estate pricing metrics have now illustrated positive changes in average home prices in April.
Last week, the FHFA House Price Index produced its first monthly increase since May 2010……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Canada’s housing bubble deemed close to bursting

Posted on 30 June 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Canada’s housing market is in a bubble that’s set to burst and prices could plunge by as much as 25 per cent, a major independent research firm warns.
“Housing valuations have lost all touch with fundamentals and household debt is at a record high,” economists at the economic research consultancy Capital Economics say in their most recent Canada Economic Outlook, issued Wednesday……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Industrial occupier confidence continues to build across Europe but downside risks remain

Posted on 30 June 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Occupiers of industrial space across the EMEA region remain primarily focused on space upgrades and network optimization strategies. This is sustaining the demand for modern industrial space but also increasing the churn of older second hand stock according to Jones Lang LaSalle’s Q2 2011 EMEA Corporate Occupier Conditions Industrial research report.
Corporate confidence in Europe remains above its long-term average and coupled with strong corporate cash balances, is now beginning to translate into new flows of corporate investment……………………………………….Full Article: Source

UK regeneration property returns up 13.2 pct -IPD

Posted on 30 June 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

British commercial regeneration property posted investment returns of 13.2 percent in 2010, up from a 0.6 percent fall in 2009, while continuing to lag the broader UK property investment market for the sixth year running, a study showed on Wednesday.
The Investment Property Databank (IPD) Regeneration Index showed the year-on-year improvement was driven by an increase in investor demand for retail warehouses in regeneration areas……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Foreigners spend GBP3.7bln a year on London residential property

Posted on 30 June 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Overseas investment into London real estate is running at £3.7 billion a year and at this rate, foreign buyers will own all residential property in Greater London by the middle of the next century, according to Savills.
They are responsible for 34% of all London property transactions although most investment is channelled into high-value residential properties areas such as Mayfair, Kensington, Notting Hill and Chelsea……………………………………….Full Article: Source

‘Signs of improvement’ appearing in Spanish property market

Posted on 30 June 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

People keen to earn extra money by investing in property have been told that a recovery in the Spanish market could begin in the next 12 months. BuyAssociation editor Paul Collins explained that investors should be cautious about purchasing assets just yet, as further falls are expected.
He said: “There is still significant inertia in the property market in Spain, with developers, agents and private sellers alike struggling to move properties.” However, Mr Collins cited research by JP Morgan Chase & Co estimating that the industry is set to “bottom out” over the next 12 months and begin to recover……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Global property investment into South Africa is promising

Posted on 30 June 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Higher property returns in emerging markets and the cyclical recovery of the property markets in stronger developed economies will be driving property investment in the coming year according to Sabina Kalyan of CBRE Investments UK
“In the previous cycle we saw a lot of developed market institutional investors look to diversify geographically, typically with indirect investments in similar economies to their domestic market,” says Kalyan. For instance, UK pension funds would put a small allocation into Europe……………………………………….Full Article: Source

UAE: Residential real estate sector to get boost

Posted on 30 June 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

The recent decision by the UAE Cabinet to lengthen property investors’ visit visas from six months to three years has come as a welcome announcement by property analysts, investors and owners.
According to a recent report by Citigroup, this move will boost demand in the UAE’s residential real estate sector, particularly in Dubai……………………………………….Full Article: Source

India realty IPO pipeline blocked; await correction boost

Posted on 30 June 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Rising mortgage rates and a widely anticipated price correction has seen demand curl up in India’s once hot property market, burning realty stocks and blocking a $4 billion pipeline of initial public offerings.
About a dozen realty firms have been seeking to raise funds through IPOs to repay debt and finance land purchases……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Is China driving property bubbles abroad?

Posted on 30 June 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

In late May of this year, more than 400 people lined up to purchase apartments at a site in New Westminster City, a suburb of Vancouver. Within two and half hours of the start of the sale, all 153 units had been sold.
The otherwise unexceptional set of properties stood out on the sole basis that they attracted unprecedented excitement from Chinese investors……………………………………….Full Article: Source

The Chinese property bubble: Time to duck and cover?

Posted on 30 June 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Beijing may believe it can maintain China’s housing boom, but a growing number of critics say otherwise.
Standard & Poor’s (S&P) downgraded China’s property development sector from ‘stable’ to ‘negative’ this month. The agency warned that future downgrades could follow if government measures to release some air from the groaning, debt-fuelled, over-priced new homes business continued to effect volume……………………………………….Full Article: Source

How to make money in China’s property sector now

Posted on 30 June 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

The recent slew of credit tightening measures and higher downpayment requirements for home buyers in China have begun to slow the country’s red-hot property market and that could lead to more small- and mid-cap Chinese property developers being taken private, presenting an opportunity for investors, according to Daiwa Capital Markets.
“We believe China’s current credit-tightening environment will increase the industry’s capital intensity and competition. As such, the possibilities of M&A activity will also increase,” Danny Bao, Daiwa’s Hong Kong and China property sector analyst wrote in a note to clients……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Singapore: New guidelines for real estate agents: CEA

Posted on 30 June 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Come August, real estate advertisements proclaiming “advance loans available”, “real estate specialist” and “king of XX (name of estate)”, could become a thing of the past, as the Council for Estate Agencies (CEA) issued two new practice guidelines, in its continued efforts to raise the professionalism of the industry.
Under one of the new guidelines, such misleading headlines, will not be allowed in advertisements and publicity collaterals and flouting it could result in disciplinary action……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Philippine property boom seen to continue

Posted on 30 June 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

The local real property sector is expected to maintain its growth trajectory in the coming years, driven by huge demand for traditional office and business process outsourcing space as well as retail establishments.
Rick Santos, chairman and chief executive of real estate advisory firm CB Richard Ellis Philippines, said in a briefing Wednesday that the growth that the Philippines was seeing could not be considered a bubble as there was a lot of real demand and the sector’s fundamentals were very strong……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Australia’s commercial property sales jump fourfold, CB Richard Ellis says

Posted on 30 June 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Australian commercial property sales in the second quarter soared by more than four times the value of transactions in the previous three months, when natural disasters dampened activity, real estate services firm CB Richard Ellis Group Inc. (CBG) said.
Commercial property investments jumped to A$2.7 billion ($2.85 billion) in the second quarter, compared with A$638 million in the three months ended March 31, CBRE said………………………………………Full Article: Source

Home prices in 20 U.S. cities fall by most in 17 months, Case-Shiller says

Posted on 29 June 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

David BlitzerHome prices decreased in the year ended April by the most in 17 months, showing the housing market remains an obstacle for the U.S. recovery.
The S&P/Case-Shiller index of property values in 20 cities fell 4 percent from April 2010, the biggest drop since November 2009, the group said today in New York. From March to April, prices fell 0.1 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis, the smallest decline since July 2010……………………………………….Full Article: Source

U.S. Housing `stuck in the doldrums,’ Shiller says (Video)

Posted on 29 June 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Robert ShillerRobert Shiller, an economics professor at Yale University and co-creator of the S&P/Case-Shiller home-price index, talks about U.S. home prices, and the outlook for the housing market and the economy.
The Case-Shiller index of property values in 20 cities fell 4 percent from April 2010, the biggest drop since November 2009. Shiller speaks with Carol Massar and Matt Miller on Bloomberg Television’s “Street Smart.”………………………………………Full Article: Source

How accurate is the S&P Case/Shiller Home Price Index?

Posted on 29 June 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

It seems like good news. For the first time in eight months, the S&P Case/Shiller Home Price Index reported that home prices rose in 13 of 20 cities covered by the Index.
Before you start feeling all warm and fuzzy all over, or start counting your home equity dollars, it’s important to understand why the news isn’t really all that good. Take a peep below the hood at these findings………………………………………Full Article: Source

Wetenhall sees 2-3 years of `hardship’ for U.S. housing (Video)

Posted on 29 June 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Robert Wetenhall, an analyst with RBC Capital Markets, talks about reasons behind the continued decline in U.S. home prices and outlook for the real estate market.
Wetenhall, speaking with Tom Keene on Bloomberg Television’s “Surveillance Midday,” also discusses investment strategy for housing-related stocks……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Investors key to housing market recovery: Re/Max CEO

Posted on 29 June 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

The housing market will be mainly “bumping along the bottom” over the next year or so, but investors will be a key factor in the market’s recovery, Re/MAX International Chief Executive Margaret Kelly said.
The Case Shiller housing data released Tuesday showed home prices rising slightly for the first time in eight months. Kelly said her company’s data show a 3.8 percent rise in home sales over the last three months……………………………………….Full Article: Source

It’s a buyers’ market for homes, but buyer beware

Posted on 29 June 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Why are so few people buying houses? One of the key reasons is falling prices. Although lower prices encourage true bargain hunters to look for deals, they can also scare off homebuyers. And, between the two, anxiety is winning.
This spring, home prices in major cities were back to the same levels reported in the summer of 2003. Although prices in several locations are beginning to rise again, even with the increases, housing remains the weakest part of the U.S. economy……………………………………….Full Article: Source

US: Home price headlines hide the true picture

Posted on 29 June 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

How do I loathe home price day? Let me count the ways. The rash generalizations, the seasonal vs. non-seasonal adjustment confusion, the month-to-month vs. year-over-year, the contention among all the varied home price reports from the various and varied entities that track them.
I could go on, but if you are a regular Realty Check reader, you’ve heard all this before……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Impact of the housing sector on U.S. GDP growth in the coming decade

Posted on 29 June 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Housing construction is an important part of the US economy, constituting 5% of the total GDP. Thus, it is relatively important for this sector to remain stable for the whole economy to grow. Conversely, a sharp drop in housing starts may not necessarily translate into a recession, as long as the other industries continue to do well.
So far, housing indicators such as the housing starts and building permits have shown strength, while others such as housing prices and real estate loans made by banks, have stumbled……………………………………….Full Article: Source

5 banks at risk of a commercial real estate double dip

Posted on 29 June 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

The commercial real estate apocalypse that industry analysts feared would hit banks has not yet happened. But that does not mean the problems associated with the segment have gone away, according to analysts.
Credit quality has started to improve for the commercial real estate sector and with housing market showing signs of a double-dip, there are still more renters than buyers. That augurs well for vacancy rates and cashflows in the commercial real estate segment……………………………………….Full Article: Source

REIT returns boost CEO pay

Posted on 29 June 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Real estate chief executives showed investors the money in 2010 — and got paid for it. The CEOs running the nation’s real estate investment trusts were compensated well for the market’s nearly 30% returns in 2010 as their median compensation rose 13%, according to a new report from FTI Consulting.
The report noted that executive compensation was closely tied to performance, an issue that has increasingly drawn media and shareholder scrutiny……………………………………….Full Article: Source

UK: House prices fall for seventh time in nine months

Posted on 29 June 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Latest Land Registry figures show that house prices fell in every region of England and Wales except London in May, with the number of completed sales falling by 13%. Every region in England and Wales except London experienced falling house prices during the past year, with the average home losing 2.2% of its value, according to Land Registry figures.
It said house prices fell by 0.4% in May – the seventh month-on-month drop in nine months – taking the average house price in England and Wales to £161,823……………………………………….Full Article: Source

London property market still moving from strength to strength

Posted on 29 June 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Since the start of the financial crisis many towns and cities in the UK have seen the property market fight to keep it’s head above water. With interest rates at an all-time low experts say this is the best time to buy. But the banks have tightened their criteria for lending and finance has become difficult to obtain.
However London is the one exception, The Capitals property market has surpassed expectations……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Germany’s Prime Office lowers sights on IPO

Posted on 29 June 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

German property firm Prime Office has put a stock market flotation back on the agenda with an issue price well below initial plans.
The company, which put its initial public offering (IPO) on hold last week due to volatile market conditions, set the issue price at 6.20 euros on Tuesday, compared with a previous range of 7.00 euros to 9.50 euros……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Israel: Foreigner’s guide to property market: The offer process

Posted on 29 June 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Even if you find the perfect property in Israel and you are set on buying it, you will need good negotiating skills to seal the deal. Once you have found the right real estate agent to suit your needs, they will help you with the offer process which can sometimes be tricky when you are not so familiar with the culture or the market.
Once you have established a relationship with a real estate agent in Israel and before you make an offer on a property, you should be asking the agent for referrals to an attorney and a mortgage professional if you need to obtain a mortgage………………………………………Full Article: Source

Jordan will not extend fee exemptions for home buyers

Posted on 29 June 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Jordanian finance minister Mohammad Abu Hammour has ruled out plans to extend the fee exemption granted to homebuyers, which expires at the end of this month, Jordan Times has reported.
The minister’s remarks came one day after Petra news agency quoted an unnamed source as saying that the government plans to extend the exemption decision until the end of the third quarter of this year……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Dubai house prices up 2.1pct: Knight Frank

Posted on 29 June 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

House prices in Dubai have turned a corner and are up a little over 2 per cent in six months, according to the results of a latest global house price survey.
The quarterly survey conducted by global property consultancy Knight Frank shows that house prices in Dubai inched up 0.6 per cent in the first quarter of 2011, and prices are up 2.1 per cent in the six months ended March 31, 2011……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Dubai: Three-year investor visa to boost property sector

Posted on 29 June 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Developers and analysts welcomed the Federal Cabinet decision on Tuesday to extend the visa period of property investors from six months to three years as a crucial move to restore investor confidence in the country’s real estate sector.
They said the long-awaited move will go a long way in reviving the moribund sector by luring more foreign and regional investors……………………………………….Full Article: Source

The perils of buying real estate in India

Posted on 29 June 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Builder track record: For a home under construction, you obviously want to choose a builder who does high quality work. But don’t equate extensive television and newspaper advertizing with a good reputation.
Instead, ask the developer about previous buildings they have completed and their track record on delivering on time. Ask a trusted real-estate broker or check on the internet to see if there have been complaints about the quality of previous projects and their completion……………………………………….Full Article: Source

China’s office property sector heats up

Posted on 29 June 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

The office property space in China is heating up. Analysts said transaction volumes in the sector are up by a third from a year ago. Total transactions in the first quarter of 2011 amount to some US$4.8 billion, according to Savills.
It added that the lower pricing in the China office property sector compared to its regional counterparts are among the reasons for its attraction. With tightening measures taking a toll on the residential property sector in China, investors are putting more money in office space……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Hong Kong property: Scramble to sell?

Posted on 29 June 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Since the non-news of the possible resumption of Home Ownership Scheme (HOS) emerged, the market atmosphere deteriorated significantly.
It was quite a surprise even to myself, who have been among the earlier ones who turned bearish. The reason I saw it as a non-news is that, first off, we don’t know anything about it……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Singapore: Office rents maintain single-digit growth in Q2

Posted on 29 June 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Singapore’s office property market appeared to have averted an overheating situation, with office rents in the second quarter this year maintaining at single-digit growth. According to the latest quarterly office property market research report by Colliers International, this comes amid the continued easing of occupancy rate.
Average monthly gross rents of Grade A office space in Singapore recorded the third consecutive quarter of moderation in quarter-on-quarter growth at six per cent……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Taiwan: Property market forecast to thrive on back of FIT program

Posted on 29 June 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

The property market in Taiwan is set to receive a boost as 38 free independent travelers (FITs) from China arrived in Taiwan Tuesday on a home-buying mission, a real estate developer said.
The Taichung-based Shining Building Business Co. said the visitors — 30 from Xiamen, 5 from Shanghai and 3 from Beijing — will look at its construction projects in Taipei and Taichung……………………………………….Full Article: Source

VietNam: Real estate market down but not out

Posted on 29 June 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

In a recent market report, property services firm CBRE Viet Nam highlights the pain being felt in the Vietnamese economy, especially by real-estate developers and investors, as the State Bank of Viet Nam tries to combat inflation by limiting non-productive loans.
With demand falling short of supply, a proportion of developers and investors are beginning to experience cash flow issues, it says……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Real estate continues to dominate ‘alternatives’ asset class

Posted on 28 June 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Simon RedmanThe 11th annual edition of the European Institutional Asset Management Survey (EIAMS) points to real estate maintaining its position in investor portfolios between 2009 and 2010, however, it continues to dominate the ‘alternatives’ asset class.
Despite the growing dominance of fixed income, “the real assets story is far from over,” says Simon Redman, Invesco Real Estate’s Head of Product Management. “Real estate continues to dominate alternatives, accounting for two-thirds of total allocation. Meanwhile, private equity and hedge funds are finding it difficult to reassert themselves………………………………………..Full Article: Source

US: Tighter lending crimps housing

Posted on 28 June 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Laurie GoodmanThe percentage of mortgage applications rejected by the nation’s largest lenders increased last year, spotlighting how banks’ cautious lending practices are hampering the nascent housing market recovery.
In all, the nation’s 10 largest mortgage lenders denied 26.8% of loan applications in 2010, an increase from 23.5% in 2009, according to an analysis by The Wall Street Journal of mortgage data filed with banking regulators………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Why U.S. house prices are still falling

Posted on 28 June 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Subprime borrowers with a strong payment history would be able to refinance and possibly get prime FHA loans. Current paying borrowers with credit issues would be offered Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac loans under a new expanded program.
Mortgage modification programs, including HAMP, were abysmal failures. At the time I told Olick that mortgage servicers were selling loans for 3-6 cents on the dollar and they were happy to dump them:……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Yes, you can still sell your home in this market

Posted on 28 June 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

The home next door is in foreclosure. The neighbors down the street just put their house up for sale at a ridiculous discount. And “For Sale” signs litter lawns all over town. Welcome to the toughest selling conditions in years.
The bright side of selling a home in a down market is you get to seek your own bargain if you’re going to buy after you’re done. Closing a sale, however, can be teeth-grindingly slow if you don’t do everything right — and maybe even if you do………………………………………..Full Article: Source

UK: Surge in homes for sale puts pressure on house prices

Posted on 28 June 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

The number of homes for sale has risen 14% since early spring, according to new research. Property information firm Hometrack says the increase in supply has comfortably outstripped demand, which has increased by only 7% over that period and actually fell by 0.5% last month.
The company also recorded a drop of 0.1 per cent in house prices in June, continuing a pattern of modest falls so far this year. Values are now down 3.9 per cent on a year ago and prices have dropped in 11 of the past 12 months………………………………………..Full Article: Source

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