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Real Estate Briefing - Archive | September, 2011

Property investors shun first-time funds: report

Posted on 30 September 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Alan PardeeReal estate investors are likely to stick with private equity managers with proven track records, leaving first-time funds in an uphill battle to raise funds, according to alternative asset research firm Preqin.
About 48 percent of investors worldwide said they would not invest with first-time managers, up from just over a third 12 months ago, reflecting growing caution among investors, according to the report released on Wednesday……………………………………….Full Article: Source

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Pending U.S. home sales decline 1.2pct as lower prices fail to stoke demand

Posted on 30 September 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Ryan SweetThe number of contracts to purchase previously owned U.S. homes fell in August, a sign that lower prices and borrowing costs are doing little to stoke demand.
The 1.2 percent decrease in the index of pending home sales followed a 1.3 percent drop the previous month, the National Association of Realtors said today in Washington. Economists forecast a 2 percent drop, according to the median of 43 estimates in a Bloomberg News survey……………………………………….Full Article: Source

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America, land of the poor, home of the sick

Posted on 30 September 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Michael Finger writes: Thanks to a series of destructive government policies and incentives, a health care crisis has been steadily building in America for a generation or two. But the release yesterday of the Kaiser Family Foundation’s annual survey reveals that the problem of unaffordable healthcare is becoming epidemic.
According to the report, health insurance premiums have jumped nearly 10% in 2011 for the typical family, compared to a 3% increase in 2010. The average annual cost for family health insurance now exceeds $15,000 per year, about 30% of median household income!………………………………………Full Article: Source

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Housing is not sexy anymore, but it holds the key

Posted on 30 September 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Long gone are the days when we could make a few thousand bucks flipping abodes within weeks, and the end result is still viewed as yet another bubble that got pricked. But the problem is that it wasn’t another garden variety excess like the dot.com, and ultimately housing holds the key to economic stability.
Unlike other bubbles, many more people had a vested interest in their houses, and not everyone was affected by the stock bubble of the late 90s……………………………………….Full Article: Source

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US: Rich and famous are mere mortals in soft real estate market

Posted on 30 September 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

In a market where the housing bust has rippled through all price points, few entertainers, athletes, business tycoons or other well-heeled sellers are willing to share details about their pains or gains.
But nowhere are the price cuts sharper — or more visible — than in the super and ultra-luxury markets, where prices, depending on location, range from the $15 million to $50 million-plus……………………………………….Full Article: Source

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Miller says incentives needed to boost housing market (Video)

Posted on 30 September 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Jonathan Miller, chief executive officer of Miller Samuel Inc., talks about record-low U.S. mortgage rates and the need for incentives to boost the housing market.
The average rate for a 30-year fixed loan dropped to 4.01 percent in the week ended today from 4.09 percent, Freddie Mac said today. The number of contracts to purchase previously owned U.S. homes fell 1.2 percent in August, the National Association of Realtors said……………………………………….Full Article: Source

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How to play it: Real estate’s bright spots hard to locate

Posted on 30 September 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

The S&P Indices/Case Shiller recorded a fourth consecutive month of increases. Existing home sales jumped in the latest report. Low-rate mortgages have boosted affordability measures. Is it time for investors to start looking for real estate?
After a five-year slide from the price peak reached in 2006 is it finally time for the housing market to rebound? Not for single-family homes, which are still being jack hammered by foreclosures and unemployment, analysts say. And not for home builders, whose stocks remain deeply depressed……………………………………….Full Article: Source

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Economists and real estate experts gloomy over US property outlook

Posted on 30 September 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

The outlook for the United States residential property market is still gloomy despite some local real estate markets performing well, according to new research.
Five years after the peak of the market prices are still not rising overall, with a projected increase of just 1.1% for 2011, the research report from MacroMarkets shows……………………………………….Full Article: Source

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Canada: Real estate positives balance negatives, housing market should remain stable in 2012: BMO

Posted on 30 September 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Housing sales and prices should remain fairly steady into next year, as a slowing economy is balanced by low mortgage rates and relatively low unemployment, a report issued Friday by BMO Capital Markets suggests.
“Low interest rates have fuelled Canada’s housing market in the past decade, pushing prices to new highs in most regions,” said senior economist Sal Guatieri. “However, a weaker economy and new mortgage rules have dimmed activity recently.”………………………………………Full Article: Source

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U.K. house prices little changed this month, Nationwide says

Posted on 30 September 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

U.K. house prices were little changed in September and “downside risks” to the property market have increased as economic prospects weaken, Nationwide Building Society said.
The average cost of a home rose 0.1 percent from August to 166,256 pounds ($260,000), the Swindon, England-based customer- owned lender said in an e-mailed report today. From a year earlier, values were down 0.3 percent………………………………………Full Article: Source

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NAMA sees foreign interest in Irish property

Posted on 30 September 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

The Irish state-run agency responsible for winding down billions of euros of bad property loans says it has received strong expressions of interest in Irish commercial property, particularly from foreign investors.
There has been “strong indicative interest” from investors in the sector, the chief executive of Ireland’s state-run National Asset Management Agency Brendan McDonagh said on Thursday……………………………………….Full Article: Source

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Real estate can ‘boost’ Kuwait development

Posted on 30 September 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Kuwait Finance House (KFH) Acting CEO Emad Al-Thaqeb stated during an interview with CNBC Arabia that despite the negative impact of the global financial crisis on the Kuwaiti real estate sector, this impact remains less profound compared to the markets of other countries.
He added that the real estate sector is still capable of attracting low risk investments, and predicted that the real estate will be part of major developmental projects, whether directly or indirectly……………………………………….Full Article: Source

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India: Property indices of little help to buyers

Posted on 30 September 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Thriving real estate markets across Indian cities offer enormous potential in terms of market research and data collection. And yet there is no real data that homebuyers can fall back on in order to compare prices.
With the real estate market primarily in the hands of large as well as small brokers, even data provided by the three property indices in India are only indicative and don’t really give the real picture……………………………………….Full Article: Source

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Property developers dole out festive freebies

Posted on 30 September 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Faced with a sharp decline in home sales and declining cash flows, property developers are doling out minor discounts and freebies to boost home sales during the ongoing festive season. Mumbai-based property developer Sunil Mantri Group is providing ‘extra cheer’ to its buyers.
Under its offer ‘Mantri Mahotsav’, it promises cash discounts or freebies ranging from Rs 30,000 to Rs 100,000 across its housing projects in Mumbai, Bangalore and other cities……………………………………….Full Article: Source

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Gov’t regs start to cool China’s housing market

Posted on 30 September 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

The Chinese central government’s sustained tough control measures on its property market appear to be paying off, according to the latest statistics. The rising housing prices in many Chinese cities have been greatly curbed, and signs of lower housing prices have appeared.
Transaction volumes fall, home prices stop rising. In many cities, developers have stepped up sales efforts, and transaction volumes have fallen. Secondhand homes are becoming more expensive than new homes. These three signals indicate that housing prices could fall……………………………………….Full Article: Source

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Hang Lung, CapitaMalls plan China malls to tap luxury market

Posted on 30 September 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Hang Lung Properties Ltd. and CapitaMalls Asia Ltd. have announced plans to build new shopping malls in China, underscoring their confidence in the country’s growing luxury consumer market.
Hang Lung, the Hong Kong developer that’s building high-end shopping centers in other parts of China, and its parent bought two sites in Kunming in the southwest for 3.5 billion yuan ($547 million), it said in a stock exchange filing yesterday……………………………………….Full Article: Source

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Soft landing for Hong Kong realty

Posted on 30 September 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Hong Kong Financial Secretary John Tsang predicted a “soft landing” for the real estate market and said the city will keep its currency peg to the dollar, blamed for helping drive home prices up about 70 per cent.
“There have been ups and downs but the peg has come through for us,” Tsang said in Chicago. As for the property market, “transactions have fallen and prices are starting to trend down slowly,” he said……………………………………….Full Article: Source

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In Phuket, a shift in condo market buyers

Posted on 30 September 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

The market for mid-priced condominiums near, but not on, the beach has been active in Phuket since last year, with more affordable units aimed at buyers from Asian countries who have replaced Western buyers.
Risinee Sarikaputra, an associate director for research and valuation at the property consultant Knight Frank Chartered (Thailand) Co, says the emerging buyers are Indian and Chinese expatriates working in Singapore and Hong Kong, as well as Middle Easterners……………………………………….Full Article: Source

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Australian property market ‘competitive’

Posted on 30 September 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Sending money to Australia may be necessary for investors keen to get on the country’s property market, which has been described as “tough” by one expert.
Tom Blackett, spokesman for the Australian Visa Bureau, explained how housing prices Down Under have been steadily rising for almost a decade, which means it is not always easy to find a bargain home……………………………………….Full Article: Source

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U.S. home prices post seasonal rise

Posted on 29 September 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

U.S. home prices rose for a fourth consecutive month in July but remain down from last year, according to Standard & Poor’s Case-Shiller home-price indexes, as the housing market continues to struggle.
Separate data on consumer sentiment released Tuesday showed just how shaky the economy remains. The Conference Board, a private research group, said its index of consumer confidence barely changed in September, edging up to 45.4 from a dismal 45.2 in August……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Shiller: Housing prices to keep plunging for years

Posted on 29 September 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Robert ShillerHousing prices nationwide could keep falling and might not bottom out for years, says Yale Professor and housing expert Robert Shiller.
In February, Shiller said housing prices could still fall 10 percent to 25 percent in real terms before hitting bottom. He recently told Yahoo’s The Daily Ticker he’s standing by the prediction, adding that the economic big picture is looking worse……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Commercial real estate: The Fed’s new twist

Posted on 29 September 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

After a robust spring gave lenders and borrowers alike fresh hope for an economic recovery, activity in the commercial real estate market has leveled out, and April’s optimism has faded into September’s anxiety about a double-dip recession.
According to “The Fed’s New Twist,” the latest podcast produced by John B. Levy & Company, while financial policy coming out of Washington, DC, aims to influence, even spark economic activity, the Fed’s new strategy will have negligible impact on the commercial mortgage business. (Press Release)

Lessons from the Canadian housing market

Posted on 29 September 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

While U.S. real estate markets struggle to stabilize at significantly lower levels than the highs established in 2007, most Canadian markets continue to show strength and even make new highs.
At a critical juncture in U.S. politics where the country is more polarized than ever, it is interesting to note that a variety of government policies that are anything but free market seem to have played a large role in the significant outperformance of the Canadian real estate market and economy……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Canada’s property market a standout

Posted on 29 September 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Canada’s property market is cooling, but still stands out as one of the best performing in the developed world, according to a report by Scotia Economics.
Existing home prices rose 5% in the second quarter, the same pace as gains in the first quarter of the year, the bank’s Global Real Estate Report found. Figures for July and August point to stable sales and a levelling out of prices……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Banks to sell $20 bln of European real estate loans

Posted on 29 September 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Banks will sell about 15 billion euros ($20 billion) of loans secured by commercial property in Europe through 2012 as they anticipate tougher capital regulations, debt adviser Situs Cos. said.
British, German, Irish and Spanish banks will probably be the most active sellers of property loans, particularly those tied to peripheral markets or overseas, Situs said today in a statement. The Houston-based company has acted as an adviser on distressed loans in Europe, including sales by Credit Suisse Group AG from 2008 to 2010……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Britons optimistic about housing market

Posted on 29 September 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

According to research by Santander Mortgages, young people expect to be the most active over this period, with nearly half of 18 to 34-year olds saying that they intend to buy a new home in the next five years.
This compares to one in five 35 to 54 year-olds and just 12 per cent of those aged 55 or over. In the survey of 2,000 adults, 6 per cent said of the prospective homebuyers intend to enter the housing market in the next 12 months……………………………………….Full Article: Source

UK: Home is pension for a third of retirees despite falling house prices

Posted on 29 September 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

The stock market turmoil has had a devastating impact on the pensions of those who are approaching retirement. A report from insurer LV= shows that 36% of over-50s still working say they will need to delay their retirement for financial reasons, and 16% would rather not think about their retirement finances at all.
House prices have also been falling, but two million over 50s - a third of retirees - are now relying on equity in their home to supplement their retirement income. They have been dubbed he HIPpies generation (’Home is Pension’). The number is up from 1.5 million people in 2010……………………………………….Full Article: Source

London house prices defy recession fear

Posted on 29 September 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Property prices in London are on the brink of an all-time high in defiance of the economic slowdown, official figures reveal. The average house rose 2.1 per cent in value in the year to August to reach £348,686 - less than one per cent below the record set in January 2008.
Every other UK region saw annual falls, according to data from the Land Registry, which unlike other surveys is based on final completion prices……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Outlook cloudy for Irish residential property- NAMA

Posted on 29 September 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

The outlook is cloudier for Ireland’s residential property market than its commercial market due to its dependence on the real economy, the chief executive of the state-run National Asset Management Agency (NAMA) said on Wednesday.
“The outlook for the residential property market is more clouded than for the commercial market, not least because it is more closely linked with the real economy and the overall outlook for employment, net pay and interest rates,” Brendan McDonagh said in a speech……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Spain housing slump shows no sign of abating

Posted on 29 September 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

The slump in Spain’s property market showed no sign of improving in July as mortgage approvals fell to their lowest in at least eight years, though the beleaguered economy saw some respite from a solid tourist season, official data showed last week.
The number of mortgages approved in Spain’s once booming housing sector plunged 44.2% from a year earlier to 46,980 in July, the lowest since the data series began in 2003……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Dubai residents rent more villas, seek lower priced apartments

Posted on 29 September 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

In Dubai, searches for renting an apartment dropped 15%, whilst searches for renting a villa increased 17% when compared to the same period in 2010.
At the same time, properties priced under Dhs 100,000 witnessed a 30% spike in search interest, indicating that despite the swing towards villas, demand remains strong for affordable apartment rentals in Dubai……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Real estate equity-raising falls by 4pct as investors target Asia – DTZ

Posted on 29 September 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

A report published this week suggests funds are now deploying capital already raised amid a global slowdown in equity-raising.
Capital available to invest in real estate in 2012 has fallen 4% from the end of last year to $316bn (€323bn), according to DTZ’s latest ‘Great Wall of Money’ report……………………………………….Full Article: Source

China property curbs take effect on prices

Posted on 29 September 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

China’s property tightening measures are starting to have an effect on its overheated real-estate sector, putting a cap on prices and pointing to a possible decline, the overseas edition of the People’s Daily said Wednesday.
In many cities, transaction volumes have fallen and developers have had to step up sales efforts. Prices of secondhand homes are also becoming more expensive than new homes, said the Communist Party’s flagship paper, citing these as signals that housing prices could fall……………………………………….Full Article: Source

SOHO China sees property curbs ending in 6 months

Posted on 29 September 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Commercial property developer SOHO China will be “actively buying” property over the next six months as it expects government measures to control soaring real estate prices to end within that period, its chief executive said on Wednesday.
Zhang Xin said she expects property prices in Shanghai and Beijing to “shoot through the roof” once the measures are lifted and that now was a good time to buy……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Australian commercial property foreign investment jumps as yields increase

Posted on 29 September 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Foreign investment in Australian commercial property jumped in the third quarter, drawn to high yields and low economic risks, CB Richard Ellis Group Inc. (CBG) said.
Overseas buyers accounted for 41 percent of the A$2.49 billion ($2.45 billion) in commercial properties sold in Australia in the three months ended Sept. 30, according to preliminary data from Los Angeles-based CB Richard Ellis……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Offshore investors flock to Australian property: CBRE

Posted on 29 September 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Foreign investors accounted for a third of commercial property transactions in Australia in the first nine months, the highest share in nearly two decades, with Asian investors stepping up their presence, data showed on Wednesday.
Offshore investors snapped up A$2.15 billion ($2.14 billion) of commercial real estate in Australia during the period, accounting for 33 percent of overall sales, the highest since 1994, property services firm CB Richard Ellis said on Wednesday……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Fewer investors to target global commercial property in 2012 - DTZ

Posted on 28 September 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Commercial property world wide will attract fewer investors next year due to a less favorable environment for raising new equity, according to real-estate consultants DTZ Holdings PLC, likely leading to the first decline in the sector’s capital growth since 2009.
The company estimated there will be $316 billion capital available to buy buildings globally in 2012, representing a 4% decrease on its 2011 estimate of $329 billion. DTZ also warned that it expects further reductions in available investment for some time to come if the current turbulence in the global economy continues……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Canadian real estate market an outperformer: Scotia Economics

Posted on 28 September 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Adrienne WarrenThe renewed slowdown in global economic activity is putting further downward pressure on already-weak residential property markets across much of the developed world, according to the latest Global Real Estate Trends report released Tuesday by Scotia Economics.
And while Canada’s hot housing market also has begun to cool, it remains a “notable outperformer,” says Adrienne Warren, senior economist and real estate specialist with Scotia Economics……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Canadians take advantage of discounted U.S. property

Posted on 28 September 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Canada’s real estate market is slowing while most international markets are stumbling, according to Global Real Estate Trends, a report by Scotia Economics.
The renewed slowdown in global economic activity is putting further downward pressure on already-weak residential property markets across much of the developed world. In the majority of the major markets we track in North America, Europe and Australasia, inflation-adjusted home prices declined on a year-over-year basis in the second quarter of 2011……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Housing market still bottoming and not turned around, Case-Shiller sonfirms

Posted on 28 September 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

The housing market continues to bottom, despite a fourth consecutive monthly increase in the S&P/Case-Shiller’s home price index. While the 10-city and 20-city composite indices both gained 0.9% in July over June, year-over-yea numbers “indicate that the housing market is still bottoming and has not turned around,” according to index Chairman David Blitzer.
Battered markets take any glimmer of hope in the housing market as a possible sign of a turn around. July’s Case-Shiller index seemed a positive report in the face of it, with both indices recording a fourth consecutive monthly gain and 17 of the 20 Cities surveyed posting positive increases……………………………………….Full Article: Source

U.S. real estate deals hindered by financing, investors say

Posted on 28 September 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Rising borrowing costs and anemic economic growth are hindering investments in U.S. commercial real estate, said panelists at the Bloomberg Dealmakers Summit in New York.
“In the last 60 days, it’s really slowed down,” Related Cos. President Jeff Blau said at the conference. “People are throwing term sheets around, but I don’t think anyone’s really closing deals.”………………………………………Full Article: Source

U.S. stimulus needs housing effort, New York Fed’s Tracy says

Posted on 28 September 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Any success for government efforts to stimulate the economy will be limited unless policies are combined with steps to aid the housing market, according to Federal Reserve Bank of New York economist Joseph Tracy.
“We need to fold in some pretty serious housing policies at the same time, not just to get housing going, but to get the full benefit of all these policies,” Tracy said today at a conference hosted by the New York State Society of Certified Public Accountants. “That would be very complementary.”………………………………………Full Article: Source

Troubled homes hanging over U.S. housing market drop

Posted on 28 September 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Call it a sliver of a silver lining for America’s beaten-down housing market: The inventory of troubled U.S. homes not yet listed for sale is diminishing.
Homes in foreclosure — or headed into foreclosure — are being sold at a fast enough clip to chip away at the so called “shadow inventory” that hangs over the U.S. market, Santa Ana data provider CoreLogic reported Tuesday. Shadow inventory at the end of July was down to 1.6 million units, representing a five-month supply of homes……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Vultures circle the US housing market, again

Posted on 28 September 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

On site of the gruesome real estate crash, financial paramedics have tried every resuscitating trick in the book to revive their dying patient: Trillions of dollars in government bailouts; repeated first-time buyer tax breaks; and record low mortgage rates.
Yet, the US housing market is showing no gain activity. To wit: A September 26 Commerce Department report revealed that new home sales are on pace for their worst year ever — since the government began keeping records a half century ago……………………………………….Full Article: Source

5 worst U.S. housing markets

Posted on 28 September 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

The housing market has been in a serious slump since the Great Recession of 2008. Many homeowners have found themselves owing far more on their homes than the actual value. This has led to a major drop in the net worth of some homeowners.
While some areas of the country have seen their housing prices decline gradually, some areas have seen the value of their homes fall off a cliff. Let’s take a look at the five worst housing markets in the United States……………………………………….Full Article: Source

REITs long-term positive for European real estate

Posted on 28 September 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Identifying real estate investment opportunities for a global portfolio is difficult enough, doing so in an increasingly turbulent economic environment is that much more challenging.
Frank Haggerty, portfolio manager with Duff & Phelps Investment management, sat down with REIT.com during the European Public Real Estate Association’s annual conference in London in early September to talk about the markets he is highest on and where he sees trouble on the horizon……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Greek vote approves a despised property tax

Posted on 28 September 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

The Greek Parliament voted late Tuesday in Athens to back a hugely unpopular property tax, one of a series of new austerity measures. The vote could clear the way for a crucial injection of international financing meant to at least temporarily stave off a default on government debt.
The property tax, the first of its type in Greece, would raise 2 billion euros, or $2.7 billion, this year alone, according to government calculations. The question is whether enough Greek people can or will pay the tax to meet those forecasts……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Polish commercial real estate market at the centre of investor focus

Posted on 28 September 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

The volume of transactions concluded in the Polish commercial real estate market in H1 2011 was €960m, 23% up as compared to the corresponding period of 2010, according to a report drafted by Cushman & Wakefield (C&W).
Although the economic situation across the globe is unstable, the Polish market of commercial real estate attracts strong interest from foreign investors. The first half of the year saw them focusing on office and retail developments, with the former accounting for 55% of total transaction volume……………………………………….Full Article: Source

SA property growth loses momentum

Posted on 28 September 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Growth in South African commercial property returns stagnated in the first half of 2011, reflecting an overall slowdown and uncertainty in local and global economic conditions.
Property delivered a 4.3% total return in the six months to June according to the SAPOA/IPD SA Biannual Property Indicator, released on Tuesday. IPD is a global information business, dedicated to the objective measurement of commercial real estate performance……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Dubai: Real estate sector to draw more astute investors

Posted on 28 September 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Dubai’s residential real estate sector is returning to optimism with the market demand now originating from variables that one would expect in established marketplaces, where property specifications are seen as prime consideration for prospective buyers, a leading real estate consultancy said on Tuesday.
While the early part of the year was characterised by uncertainty and unrest both within the region and overseas, “moving into the final quarter of 2011, the Dubai real-estate sector can expect more astute investors and tenants, not only looking for good location sites, but quality and fine detail,” said Cluttons in its third-quarter market report for Dubai’s residential market 2011……………………………………….Full Article: Source

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