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Real Estate Briefing - Archive | October, 2011

Dubai launches $1bln property fund

Posted on 27 October 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Dubai’s investment arm has teamed up with one of the world’s biggest asset managers to create a US$1 billion (Dh3.67bn) property fund. The fund is the first “Dubai-only” property investment vehicle, according to a statement from Dubai’s official media office.
It is to be seeded initially with $200 million - $100m each from Investment Corporation of Dubai (ICD) and the Toronto-based Brookfield Asset Management, a global alternative asset manager overseeing $150bn. Brookfield has an office in Dubai………………………………………..Full Article: Source

U.A.E. home prices may slide 10pct to 30pct more as excess grows

Posted on 27 October 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Home prices in the United Arab Emirates, which have fallen by more than half since 2008, may drop by another 10 percent to 30 percent as developers add to supply in Dubai and Abu Dhabi while buyers dwindle.
Prices won’t show “any meaningful recovery” in the next five years, according to Saud Masud, an analyst at Dubai-based Rasmala Investment Bank Ltd. who reiterated a May estimate that values are likely to slip by another 25 percent to 30 percent. A drop of 20 percent was forecast by Arqaam Capital Ltd. in a report earlier this month………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Indian realty firms take their brands global with projects in Sri Lanka, Africa and Europe to spread risk

Posted on 27 October 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

During the slowdown last year, sales at luxury home builders EMGEE Group had gone down so much that Mudhit Gupta, the company’s chairman, could actually keep a count of the footfalls at his sales offices.
It was during those days that he got a call from a friend in the UK who told him about real estate opportunities in Spain and Montenegro. “I landed there, saw some beautiful sites, met extremely FDI-friendly governments, and decided to invest,” he says………………………………………..Full Article: Source

India: Realty check

Posted on 27 October 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Finally, some concrete steps to clean up the real estate sector are being taken. The recent Supreme Court judgment stating that immovable property can only be transferred via a registered deed of conveyance should plug loopholes that buyers and sellers use to transfer property using power of attorney and other devices, thereby bypassing taxes.
And the draft Real Estate (Regulation & Development) Bill to be introduced in Parliament’s winter session will - if implemented properly - finally afford buyers some security………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Chinese property market bubble: The problem in reverse

Posted on 27 October 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Financial Times ran the story on Chinese property developer Vanke warned that prices and volume will fall. And that, of course, will have serious consequence to the economy, both domestically and globally, if hard landing happen, which is still judged to be likely here.
But let’s put that aside for a second. The recent price cuts in various cities have triggered some protests by homeowners who have bought their properties some time ago, finding themselves now losing money as prices fall. One can consider the social aspect of this kind of behaviours, and imagine that if prices fell even more, there could be a problem………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Buyers still warm to Singapore’s luxury property mMarket

Posted on 27 October 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

One of Asia’s most vibrant property markets, Singapore, where luxury home prices have jumped an estimated 40 percent over the past year or so, is now coming to terms with a global slowdown.
While transaction volumes and price growth have slowed down, selective buyers, many from China and Indonesia, continue to snap up niche upmarket properties in tony areas like Sentosa Cove, a seaside enclave, and in luxury districts like Orchard Road………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Australia: Property prices fall 1.6pct in September quarter but rate cut may stimulate market

Posted on 27 October 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

The underwhelming spring selling season has been underlined again, with property prices now falling for a fifth consecutive quarter in September, and Brisbane now the cheapest capital city at a median price of $429,339, according to the latest figures released by Australian Property Monitors.
The figures come as clearance rates have failed to rise above the mid-50s this season, despite the number of properties on the market continuing to increase………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Housing prices in 16 of 20 cities surveyed show year-over-year improvement

Posted on 26 October 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Guy LeBasHome prices in 20 U.S. cities dropped more than forecast in August, highlighting one of the obstacles facing the economic recovery in its third year. The S&P/Case-Shiller index of property values in 20 cities fell 3.8 percent from August 2010, the group said today in New York. The median forecast of 30 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News was for a 3.5 percent decline.
Recovering the 31 percent plunge in home prices from their 2006 peak will probably be years in the making as foreclosures throw more properties on the market and sales flag. Federal Reserve policy makers like William Dudley are among those that believe bolstering housing is among the “most pressing issues” facing the central bank………………………………………..Full Article: Source

US: Home prices rise for 5th straight month

Posted on 26 October 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Home prices continued a winning streak in August, the fifth straight month of price gains, but remain lower on a year-over-year basis. A gauge of home prices featuring 20 major cities, the S&P/Case Shiller index, reported Tuesday that prices rose 0.2% in August but were still down 3.8% year over year.

“Even though the [year-over-year] rates are improving, national home prices are still below where they were a year ago,” said David Blitzer, a spokesman for S&P………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Economists warn housing prices will lose more ground

Posted on 26 October 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

U.S. home prices were largely flat in August from a month earlier and down almost 4% from a year ago, with more declines ahead, economists say. The Standard & Poor’s Case-Shiller home price data, released Tuesday, showed non-seasonally adjusted prices dipping in 10 of 20 major metropolitan areas in August from July.

Yet there was a “modest glimmer of hope” in that year-over-year results in 16 of 20 cities were better than they had been in recent months, says David Blitzer, chairman of the S&P index committee………………………………………..Full Article: Source

US: Not every real estate market is struggling

Posted on 26 October 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Want to know how bad the real estate market is? Just drive down almost any street in the U.S. and you’re likely to see “for sale” signs lining the road. Come back a month later, it’s a good bet the same signs are still there—and quite possibly a few new ones, too. But while there’s a lot of housing pain, there’s also some good news.
That’s because in some markets across the country not only have home values improved, a few have even seen double-digit growth. ……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Obama housing plan highlights sharp political split

Posted on 26 October 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

President Barack Obama on Monday went where his Republican White House rivals have so far refused to go. He asserted that Washington should help Americans refinance their mortgages at lower rates.

The president’s move to expand an existing, little-used program underscored his administration’s belief that government has a role to play in restoring the health of the nation’s broken housing market………………………………………..Full Article: Source

America’s doomed mansions

Posted on 26 October 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

One billionaire’s castle is another billionaire’s teardown. Never mind the existing mansion—it’s the location these moguls want, not someone else’s hand-me-down house. Instead of renovating, the very rich call in the wrecking ball and build their personal playgrounds from scratch.

We tracked 10 mansions that have been bulldozed or are soon to be. Some languished for years on the market, nary a buyer in sight………………………………………..Full Article: Source

The housing market even stinks for celebrities

Posted on 26 October 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

It seems the ailing housing market doesn’t discriminate on the basis of net worth. Several celebrities have felt the sting of the slumping real estate industry and have had to take huge losses on their investments.
Pro wrestler and reality TV star Terry Bollea, more commonly known as Hulk Hogan, first listed his 17,000 sq. foot residence at a whopping $25 million in 2006. It’s now listed for just around 9 million, according to real estate information websites Zillow and Trulia. Hogan also suffered a loss on his Clearwater Beach home, according to Zillow, recouping just $1.65 million for the property after originally listing it for $2.3 million………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Europe office completions to hit 13-yr low in 2011

Posted on 26 October 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

European office completions will fall to their lowest level in 13 years in 2011, and may only pick up in 2013, after developers delayed schemes and shelved projects during the financial crisis, research showed on Tuesday.

P roperty consultancy Jones Lang LaSalle said in its Office Property Clock report that just 3.6 million square metres of new prime and secondary office space would be completed by end -2011, the lowest level since 1998……………………………………….Full Article: Source

U.K. home prices to plunge most since 2008 slump, Knight Frank predicts

Posted on 26 October 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

U.K. home values will fall 5 percent in 2012 as buyers are deterred by government job cuts, rising unemployment and low wage growth, real-estate broker Knight Frank LLP said.

The drop will be the first since 2008 and growth won’t return until 2014, when prices will rise by 1 percent, the London-based broker said in a report. Declines will be sharpest in Scotland, Wales and northeast England………………………………………..Full Article: Source

UK: How to make money in the commercial property market

Posted on 26 October 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Here’s a pleasant surprise from Britain’s commercial property market. Over the past year, landlords have received 2% more income from their retail properties, says the Investment Property Databank (IPD). In contrast, incomes from offices and industrial buildings have dropped by about 1% during that period.

We’ve been gloomy about UK commercial property prospects for ages. And particularly retail property………………………………………..Full Article: Source

UK house prices ‘will fall by 5pct in 2012’, but central London boom to continue

Posted on 26 October 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Mainstream UK residential property prices are set for ‘a slow correction’, while prime central London prices will continue to climb, according to the latest forecast from estate agent Knight Frank.
Key headlines: Average house prices across the UK will drop by 5% next year and will show little convincing growth until 2014. Prime central London prices will climb 5% next year, before pausing in 2013 and rising by a further 4% in 2014. Cumulatively, prices will rise 24% by the end of 2016……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Irish house prices continue decline

Posted on 26 October 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Irish house prices continued to fall last month with the rate of decline actually increasing when compared with 12 months ago. The latest figures from the Central Statistics Office (CSO) indicate that prices dropped 1.5 per cent in September and they show the decline since the beginning of the year now standing at 14.3 per cent.
The monthly fall compares to a decline of 1.6 per cent in August and a nationwide fall of 11.1 per cent since the end of September last year………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Swedish house prices continue to rise

Posted on 26 October 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Home prices in Sweden continue to improve with an average rise of 1% during the three months from June 2011 to August 2011 versus the previous quarter (March 2011 – May 2011).
Values are up 1% year-on-year too and the biggest increases in the June to August period were reported in Norrbotten County at 6%, followed by Västerbotten and Gävleborg counties by 3% each………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Prices for business-class residential property in Latvia are promptly increasing

Posted on 26 October 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Latvian real estate market has definitely divided – the prices for business-class residential property are promptly increasing, serial secondary housing is stagnating.
Why are the Minister of Economics and some member of the Parliament bothered by amendments to the Immigration Law related to the residence permit? How do appraisers slow down the development of elite real estate market? Century21.lv offers prospects for real estate market for the nearest quarter………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Egyptians build, shop for homes despite downturn

Posted on 26 October 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Egypt’s property market may have slid into its worst crisis in years, largely because of the state’s poor land management, but a large and young population is building off the books and keeping demand for homes ticking, an industry executive said.

An uprising against President Hosni Mubarak brought further attention to a real estate industry that focused most of its time on the wealthy elite, pricing out the majority of Egyptians and missing out on key revenue from middle-income buyers………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Saudi housing supply-demand gap narrows

Posted on 26 October 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

The gap between housing demand and supply in Saudi Arabia is narrowing as banks start to lend and government support boosts sector development, the director of Jones Lang LaSalle in Saudi Arabia said on Tuesday.

John Harris told the Reuters Middle East Investment Summit that housing supply in the biggest Arab economy had been restricted over the past three years, with investors and banks reluctant to invest in real estate projects after the global financial crisis………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Asia’s luxury residential markets cool slightly in Q3

Posted on 26 October 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Average capital values fell 0.2 per cent quarter on quarter in quarter three (Q3) 2011 across monitored luxury residential markets in Asia, compared with the positive 1.6 per cent growth recorded in quarter two (Q2), according to the latest Residential Index from Jones Lang LaSalle.

Price growth has slowed steadily from the 7.4 per cent quarter on quarter increase recorded in Q32009, but this was the first time that average prices have declined since the first quarter (Q1) of 2009………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Indian realty in deep trouble as profits down and costs, debt rise; firms forced to sell assets

Posted on 26 October 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

When even the man who is building the world’s tallest residential tower speaks of real-estate slowdown that could last for years, it is clear the foundations of a once-soaring industry are starting to shake.

Behind gleaming white gates, Abhisheck Lodha’s 117-storey World One - where luxury apartments start at $1.5 million and rise past $15 million - will boast private swimming pools at cloud level and a 1,000-foot-high open-air garden………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Home prices may go up on rising cost of funds after RBI’s move

Posted on 26 October 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Housing prices are set to go up as real estate developers today said they will pass on the increase in cost of funds to home buyers following the Reserve Bank of India’s decision to hike key policy rates.

“RBI has put us in a sorry situation. It is a vicious circle of higher input cost, higher borrowing cost and higher property prices. We are bound to pass on the increased cost of funds to our customers,” Confederation of Real Estate Developers’ Association of India (CREDAI) Chairman Pradeep Jain said………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Shanghai homeowners smash showroom in protest over falling prices

Posted on 26 October 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

A weekend scuffle in Shanghai over a drop in apartment prices adds to increasing evidence that China’s efforts to tame a surging property market are having an impact – even as it offers a hint of what could happen if the measures go too far.

A group of around 400 homeowners in Shanghai demonstrated publicly and damaged a showroom operated by their property developer after the company said it cut prices. Home buyers had wanted to speak with the developer to refund or cancel their contracts but were unsuccessful, according to local media. One report said the price cuts exceeded 25% per square meter………………………………………..Full Article: Source

HongKong: Walter Kwok bearish on property

Posted on 26 October 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

The Hong Kong property market is likely to remain sluggish until global economic uncertainties clear up, the former chairman of Sun Hung Kai Properties said. “In the short run, the property market remains news sensitive. Europe is still going through ups and downs,” said Walter Kwok Ping-sheung, who is now a non-executive director of SHKP.

But local developers remain robust. Cheung Kong (Holdings) (0001) said it booked at least HK$5.4 billion by selling 900 units at La Splendeur in Tseung Kwan O………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Australia: Housing market will continue to soften in next year amid weak sentiment: ANZ

Posted on 26 October 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Weak sentiment will cause house prices to continue to drift sideways to lower over the coming six to 12 months, according to ANZ, which envisages a rebound in economic growth in 2012 and 2013 to limit the price fallout.

Housing market sentiment continued to soften and prices drifted lower in most capital cities, according to the latest ANZ housing report. Declining auction clearance rates and rising days on market reflected a mis-match between buyer and vendor expectations………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Grey cloud gathers over housing market

Posted on 26 October 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

The future of Australia’s property outlook may not be black, white or rosy - but grey. The retirement of the baby boomer generation over coming decades will be a major influence on prices. About a quarter of the population falls into this age group - defined by the Australian Bureau of Statistics to be those born between 1946 and 1965 - and many have already retired or planning to do so.

The impact of this demographic bulge on the economy is already being felt. According to the ABS, household income typically peaks between the ages of 45 and 54, before dropping sharply………………………………………..Full Article: Source

REITs well-positioned for continued recovery

Posted on 26 October 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

While 2011 returns have not been what REIT investors had hoped, REITs continue to outperform the major markets and remain well-positioned amid the economic uncertainty, according to a Deloitte report released Oct. 24 on the top 10 issues facing commercial real estate in 2012.

Bob O’Brien, vice chairman and real estate sector leader for Deloitte, said listed REITs as a whole are in relatively good shape, thanks to improving underlying property fundamentals, favorable market dynamics and access to capital………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Obama again tries to rehabilitate housing market with newest plan

Posted on 25 October 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Barack ObamaUS President Obama and White House officials announced a major change to a national home-refinancing plan Monday, in an effort to stimulate the economy and rescue as many as one million homeowners from foreclosure.

The proposal, an update to the Home Affordable Refinancing Program, is the latest in a long series of White House efforts to rehabilitate the housing market, which has been struggling to shake off its torpor since before Obama took office. The near-motionlessness of the country’s economy is believed to stem at least in part from the housing sector, where prices still haven’t recovered from their implosion of a few years ago, and millions of homeowners are trying to cope with the sudden evaporation of their wealth………………………………………Full Article: Source

Fed wants to ensure U.S. housing affordability, Dudley says

Posted on 25 October 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

William C. DudleyFederal Reserve Bank of New York President William C. Dudley said the central bank wants to keep mortgage interest rates from rising too much and may do more to hold down borrowing costs.

The Fed’s decision last month to reinvest proceeds from maturing housing debt into mortgage-backed securities was a “signal that we do have concern about the level of mortgage spreads,” Dudley said today. “Clearly we’ve indicated our interest in supporting the housing market” and keeping yields from “getting too elevated.”……………………………………..Full Article: Source

To fix the economy, fix the housing market

Posted on 25 October 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Annual construction of new single family homes has plummeted from the 1.7 million range in the middle of the last decade to the 450 thousand range at present. With housing starts averaging well over a million during the 1990s, the shortfall in housing construction now projected dwarfs the excess of construction during the bubble period and is the largest single component of the shortfall in GDP.

Losses on owner-occupied housing have reduced consumers’ wealth by more than $7 trillion over the last 5 years, and uncertainty about the future value of their homes, as well as the inability to refinance at reasonable rates, deters household outlays on durable goods………………………………………Full Article: Source

Moody’s U.S. commercial property index rose 2.4pct in August

Posted on 25 October 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

U.S. commercial real estate prices rose in August for a fourth straight month as financially distressed properties made up a smaller share of transactions, according to Moody’s Investors Service.
The Moody’s/REAL Commercial Property Price Index advanced 2.4 percent from July. It’s up 7.2 percent from a year earlier and 15 percent from its post-peak low in April, the New York- based company said in a report………………………………………Full Article: Source

No housing bubble in Toronto

Posted on 25 October 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Toronto’s housing market has not received anywhere near the attention that has been paid to the Vancouver market and its reputed housing bubble. But it is easy to forget that in the first half of 2010, the Toronto market was also perceived as a bubble ready to pop. At that time, sellers held sway and double-digit year-over-year price increases were recorded.

The good news is that the situation in Toronto had nothing to do with speculation — which can lead to a bubble — but was driven by economic fundamentals………………………………………Full Article: Source

Global investors home in on Brazil

Posted on 25 October 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Sand, sea and samba. Brazil’s beautiful beaches, bustling economy and exotic nightlife have always been a favourite of the world’s financial community. But now global property investors, including those from the UAE, and second-home buyers are moving in.

The South American giant is in the middle of what the international analyst BMI calls “an epic real estate boom”. Home prices rose 20 per cent last year, an expansion rate that is only a distant memory in most parts of the world………………………………………Full Article: Source

Property industry contributes more to UK economy than banking

Posted on 25 October 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Commercial property is larger than the banking industry, employs close to one million people and represents 5% of the £2.4 trillion invested by insurance and pension funds a new report from the Property Industry Alliance has revealed.

The Property Data report published this week, sets out key facts about commercial property, a sector which makes up a major part of the UK economy in its own right as well as providing a platform for virtually all other economic activity including the provision of work places, shops and leisure facilities………………………………………Full Article: Source

German CMBS refinancing ‘will reassure market’

Posted on 25 October 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Lenders have agreed to extend a €422m German securitised real estate loan, with the announcement representing “more than a vote of confidence” in the commercial mortgage-backed securities (CMBS) market, according to Steve Harle, vice-president at servicer Hatfield Philips.

The Talisman-6 ‘Orange’ loan, which was securitised in 2007 on 159-asset German retail portfolio – then worth approximately €549m – is one of the largest European CMBS to date………………………………………Full Article: Source

Warsaw market of retail space in housing developments

Posted on 25 October 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Intense growth of the Warsaw market of retail space in housing developments results from developers’ efforts to improve attractiveness of their projects and make them more comfortable for new inhabitants. There is also an economic factor which fuels this market extension – instead of housing units which are harder to sell when situated on the ground floor developers arrange more attractive and more profitable retail-service units.
According to market survey conducted by Emmerson Market Research Department at the end of Q3 2011 Warsaw market of retail-service space in housing developments comprised 232 units………………………………………Full Article: Source

House construction and property market remain lively in Finland

Posted on 25 October 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

New house construction is continuing at a record pace in the cities of Jyväskylä, Kuopio and Seinäjoki. The international financial crisis does not seem to have affected the confidence of house constructors or consumers in Finland, according to a market survey commissioned by Rakennuslehti, a major weekly magazine covering the field of construction, real estate and building services in Finland.
New housing development in Finland has continued at a high level in May – September this year………………………………………Full Article: Source

Poor economic outlook affecting property market in Portugal

Posted on 25 October 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

A weak economy and lack of lending is continuing to depress the residential property market in Portugal, according to the September RICS/Ci housing market survey published today (Monday 24 October).

The National Activity index has turned slightly less negative, but the National Confidence index edged lower last month, according to the report from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and Confidencial Imobiliário………………………………………Full Article: Source

Kenya: Real estate market shifts in favour of office space owners

Posted on 25 October 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Rising demand for retail business space has left commercial property developers with higher returns on investments than their counterparts in the residential market, the latest industry data shows.
Yields — the difference between the value of a property and the rental income — have dropped across the board, but investors in residential property have been hit hardest because of the high rate at which residential property prices rose in the past compared to rents………………………………………Full Article: Source

Global woes stall Dubai real estate further: Reuters poll

Posted on 25 October 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Dubai’s housing market will witness further delays in its recovery path and plummet another 10 percent, as it faces a slowdown amid renewed global financial woes and European sovereign debt crisis, a Reuters poll showed on Monday.

Home prices and rents in the Gulf emirate has already plunged nearly 60 percent from its peak before the global financial crisis………………………………………Full Article: Source

India becomes the world’s second fastest growing housing market

Posted on 25 October 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

India’s property market has become the second fastest growing in the world, according to the latest reports from Knight Frank’s Global House Price Index.

The company’s index, which measures 50 key housing markets around the world, revealed that the price of property in India has surged overall in the last year by 21.3%, boosted by huge improvements in the country’s infrastructure, as well as investment from major businesses who have moved into the country, increased urbanisation and a booming economy………………………………………Full Article: Source

China Province to ‘question’ officials if housing prices rise too quickly

Posted on 25 October 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

The government of China’s coastal Zhejiang province Monday said it will intensify its monitoring of the housing market and question local officials if public housing construction fails to meet targets or commercial property prices rise too quickly.

City and county authorities should be responsible for stabilizing the real-estate market, and their efforts to control housing prices will be part of their performance evaluations, the Zhejiang provincial government said in a statement on its website………………………………………Full Article: Source

Beijing’s commercial housing sales down 12 pct in first three quarters

Posted on 25 October 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Commercial housing sales in Beijing fell 12 percent year-on-year in the first three quarters of the year, a sign that the red-hot property market has begun to cool down, the municipal statistics bureau said Monday.

The total area of commercial housing sold slumped to 6.32 million square meters during the January-September period, the Beijing statistics bureau said in a press release. Prices of new homes in the city have shown zero month-on-month growth for four straight months, while prices of pre-owned homes fell 0.4 percent month-on-month in September, according to the National Statistics Bureau………………………………………Full Article: Source

China’s home prices may drop further because of macro control

Posted on 25 October 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

“The rapid rise in property prices has been markedly contained, as the prices in some cities have begun to drop,” the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) spokesman Sheng Laiyun said in a press conference on October 18.

In order to keep housing prices down, the government adopted a series of tightening measures earlier this year, such as instructing local governments to set new home price control targets, raising minimum down payments for second-home purchases, limiting purchases of new homes and introducing property taxes in the cities of Shanghai and Chongqing………………………………………Full Article: Source

Bill would give US visas to foreign home buyer

Posted on 24 October 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Sens. Charles SchumerThe reeling housing market has come to this: To shore it up, two Senators are preparing to introduce a bipartisan bill Thursday that would give residence visas to foreigners who spend at least $500,000 to buy houses in the U.S.

The provision is part of a larger package of immigration measures, co-authored by Sens. Charles Schumer (D., N.Y.) and Mike Lee (R., Utah), designed to spur more foreign investment in the U.S………………………………………Full Article: Source

Fed wants to bet the house, again

Posted on 24 October 2011 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Dan TarulloA 4% mortgage rate hasn’t revived housing. Perhaps it needs to fall to 3.5%. Or maybe 3% will do the trick. In recent days, Federal Reserve officials have raised the possibility that they may need to again buy mortgage bonds, as they did in 2009. In theory, that should cause mortgage rates to fall further, bringing more buyers into the market and spurring additional refinancing that frees up consumer-spending power.

But it might not work as well in practice. High unemployment and overstretched consumer balance sheets have kept housing in the doldrums even with record low rates………………………………………Full Article: Source

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