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Real Estate Briefing - Archive | February, 2012

Home prices in 20 U.S. cities decline 4pct

Posted on 29 February 2012 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Sean IncremonaHome prices in 20 U.S. cities dropped more than forecast in December to the lowest level since the housing crisis began in mid-2006, indicating foreclosures are hampering the industry’s recovery.
The S&P/Case-Shiller index of property values in 20 cities fell 4 percent from a year earlier, after decreasing 3.9 percent in November, a report from the group showed today in New York. The median forecast of 31 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News called for a 3.7 percent decline………………………………………..Full Article: Source

U.S. housing: What more activity at lower prices means for the market

Posted on 29 February 2012 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

U.S. home prices hit fresh post-bubble lows in December, according to the latest reading from the S&P/Case-Shiller index, but the drop muddies what is an improving picture for the housing market.
What is really going on, is a pickup in activity not being matched by a rise in prices, largely because supply and demand remain out of whack………………………………………..Full Article: Source

US property market ‘great for buyers’

Posted on 29 February 2012 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

The US property market represents a great opportunity for buyers thanks to the current low prices. This is according to Conti director Clare Nessling, who claimed it could be “one of the best buyers’ markets in recent years”.
Prices are “around half” of what they were half a decade ago, she remarked, noting the country’s National Association of Home Builders currently sees properties as being at their most affordable for 20 years………………………………………..Full Article: Source

A rotting foundation for US housing

Posted on 29 February 2012 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

The US sharemarket faced a stark reality check overnight, with new data showing that housing prices in 20 major US cities dropped in December to the lowest level since the housing crisis first began in mid-2006.
As the Dow closed above 13,000 for the first time since May 2008, investors were optimistic that consumer confidence data released overnight, which showed the strongest sentiment in over a year, was indicative of a strengthening US economy………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Housing settlement details due out this week

Posted on 29 February 2012 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Final details are due out this week in the $26 billion settlement to help struggling homeowners and settle charges of abusive and negligent foreclosure practices, according to President Obama’s housing chief.
The Obama administration made a big announcement nearly three weeks ago, touting that 49 states had agreed on a deal with the five largest banks providing relief to homeowners who were victims of improper foreclosures. The relief would come in the form of principal reductions, mortgage refinancings and small payouts………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Lack of financing expected to push office vacancy down across CEE

Posted on 29 February 2012 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

A reduced pipeline and lack of available financing is likely to result in lower office vacancy levels across Central & Eastern Europe (CEE), according to the latest research from global property adviser CBRE.
The office pipeline under construction (U/C) has remained subdued across CEE and without significant pre-leases developers are struggling to secure financing. Warsaw is the exception to this trend, where several speculative projects have started during 2011………………………………………..Full Article: Source

U.K. property buyers shift sights across pond

Posted on 29 February 2012 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

European property buyers are starting to shop for real estate in the U.S., and New York in particular, as tough competition and economic uncertainty drive them out of their home markets, industry participants say.
Investment by Europeans in the U.S. ground to a virtual halt during the financial crisis in 2008, but deals are picking up again and U.K. buyers are set to lead the way, experts say………………………………………..Full Article: Source

UK: House prices rise may signal start of market upswing

Posted on 29 February 2012 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

First-time buyers keen to beat end of stamp duty holiday and easier access to mortgages are helping to boost the market. Estate agents and property analysts say the latest Land Registry house price figures could be a sign that the housing market is on the turn.
House prices increased by an average of 1.1% in January in England and Wales, a bounce that can partly be attributed to a rush by first-time buyers to secure a home before the exemption to stamp duty on cheaper properties ends on the 24 March……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Irish residential property prices down 17.4pct in year to January; Dublin house prices down 55% from early 2007 peak

Posted on 29 February 2012 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

The Central Statistics Office said today that in the year to January 2012, residential property prices at a national level, fell by 17.4%. This compares with an annual rate of decline of 16.7% in December and a decline of 10.7% recorded in the twelve months to January 2011. House prices in Dublin are down 55% from their peak in early 2007.
Residential property prices fell by 1.9% in the month of January. This compares with a decline of 1.7% recorded in December and a decline of 1.1% in January of last year………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Residential and logistics will deliver best risk adjusted return on Nordic property market

Posted on 29 February 2012 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Stable cash flows, local access to credit and a shortage of other attractive asset classes mean that the Nordic property market will deliver good risk-adjusted returns over the coming years. According to Newsec Property Outlook, properties with stable cash flows and a close link to domestic demand are expected to perform best, with Finnish high-quality residential and logistic properties standing out in particular.
“A period with a high global inclination to save and low investment demand, in combination with low utilization of capacity, will hold down both real interest rates and inflation during the next few years………………………………………..Full Article: Source

GCC urged to develop mortgage system

Posted on 29 February 2012 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

New regulations are needed to meet high demand for housing. Gulf oil producers need to develop an effective mortgage system to organize their housing sector and meet high demand for homes due to a rapid population growth, Saudi Arabia’s largest bank said on Tuesday.
National Commercial Bank (NCB) said the six Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries, which control over 40 per cent of the world’s proven oil wealth, have some of the fastest population growth rates in the world, adding that growth is unlikely to slow down below two per cent a year in the foreseeable future………………………………………..Full Article: Source

India: New real estate draft Bills lack clarity, are inadequate

Posted on 29 February 2012 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

The real estate sector is waiting for regulatory reforms and the proposed draft Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Bill, 2011, has raised hopes. Anurag Mathur, managing director, Cushman and Wakefield India, a consultancy firm, speaks about the possible outcome of the proposed reforms.
He argues that lack of policies and standard practices in commercial real estate has put the asset class on the backseat and talks about how it can be made affordable for retail investors………………………………………..Full Article: Source

New York extends lead over London, Tokyo in commercial property investment

Posted on 28 February 2012 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Greg VorwallerNew York extended its lead over London as the top destination for commercial real-estate investment as the U.S. economy revived and Europe’s debt crisis discouraged some buying in the region, property broker Cushman & Wakefield Inc. said in a report.
Investment for commercial properties rose to $35.7 billion in New York last year, including multifamily buildings, making it the largest target for buyers at a city level, the broker said. That compares with $29.2 billion in London and $22.6 billion for Tokyo………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Global office rent index rose 5pct in 2011, office capital value index rose 8pct

Posted on 28 February 2012 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Raymond TortoAccording to CBRE’s latest Global Office Rent and Global Capital Value Indices, both held steady in Q4 2011, increasing by only 0.48% and 0.44%, respectively. Compared with year-end 2010, the indices measured increases of 5.0% for Global Rent and 8.2% for Global Capital, reflecting stronger growth in the first half of 2011.
“After a good start in 2011, global office rental rates and capital value recoveries were delayed in the fourth quarter by the dominant global macro-economic issues,” said Dr. Raymond Torto, CBRE Global Chief Economist………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Global housing prices continue to deflate, Asian boom over, GPG says

Posted on 28 February 2012 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

While the U.S. seems to be regaining its footing, the global housing market continues its downward march, including in Asia, according to the latest world-wide survey of house price indices prepared by the Global Property Guide.
During 2011, of the 35 countries for which Q4 house price statistics are available, house prices fell in 22 and rose in only 13 countries, GPG reports………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Property investments showed strong end to last year: C&W

Posted on 28 February 2012 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Global property investment markets enjoyed a stronger than expected end to last year, according to new research from Cushman & Wakefield.
All regions saw ‘robust demand’ for core well-let assets and activity was also boosted by investors’ search for inflation-proofed incomes. At the same time, higher inflation hit occupiers’ business margins and political uncertainty and turbulence in global finance and debt markets grew in significance, C&W said………………………………………..Full Article: Source

U.S. pending home sales near 2-year high

Posted on 28 February 2012 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Contracts to purchase previously owned U.S. homes neared a two-year high in January, an industry group said on Monday, further evidence the housing market was slowly turning the corner.
The National Association of Realtors said its Pending Home Sales Index, based on contracts signed in January, increased 2 percent to 97.0 - the highest reading since April 2010. New contracts generally lead sales by a month or two………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Over 25pct of working U.S. households spend 50pct of monthly income on housing cost

Posted on 28 February 2012 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

According to a new study by the Center for Housing Policy now confirms that falling home prices have not solved the housing affordability problems of the nation’s working households.
In fact, the Center’s Housing Landscape 2012 report found that the share of working households paying more than half their income for housing rose significantly between 2008 and 2010 for both renters and owners…………………………………………Full Article: Source

Has the U.S. housing market finally bottomed?

Posted on 28 February 2012 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Martin Hutchinson writes: It was the most atrocious bubble in U.S. history pushing tens of millions of Americans into financial misery. Even today, the last of the lawsuits have yet to be filed. But five years later it’s finally coming back.
The housing market has bottomed and there’s money to be made on its return. The evidence of this case continues to build………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Europe: Increased focus on core amid subdued capital growth: DTZ

Posted on 28 February 2012 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Several core markets in Europe offer more attractive pricing relative to government bond yields, but capital growth expectations remain subdued, according to DTZ’s latest Fair Value Index published on Monday.
The DTZ Fair Value Index score for Europe rose to 36 at end-2011 from 27 at end-September, reflecting an upward revision to a number of core markets even though the outlook for underlying market performance remains broadly unchanged………………………………………..Full Article: Source

U.K. home prices underpinned by tax-holiday rush, Hometrack says

Posted on 28 February 2012 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

U.K. house prices held their value for a second month in February, boosted by a seasonal increase in demand and a rush to beat the expiration of a property-tax exemption, Hometrack Ltd. said.
The average cost of a home in England and Wales was unchanged from January and 1.4 percent lower than a year earlier, the London-based property research company said in a report today. The number of potential buyers registering with estate agents rose 18 percent over the month, the largest gain for five years………………………………………..Full Article: Source

UK: The secret commercial property boom

Posted on 28 February 2012 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

A new survey has revealed a surprise surge in demand for commercial farmland. The RICS Rural Land Market Survey, showed prices reaching record levels during the second half of last year.
The report shows a marked increase in prices from an average of £5,846 per acre in the latter half of 2010, to £6,514 during the second half of last year, and farmland has now almost doubled in value in the last five years………………………………………..Full Article: Source

German market set for international investor surge says EC Harris

Posted on 28 February 2012 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Germany’s property market should brace itself for a surge in international investment according to a new study. Global build-asset consultancy EC Harris’ “German Real Estate Market Trends: The Investor Perspective” report found that 70% of investors were planning to increase their level of investment this year.
59% of investors were also confident that Germany would remain Europe’s most stable economy over the next few years………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Polish property market gears up for reverse mortgages

Posted on 28 February 2012 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Polish homeowners will be able to take out reverse mortgages following the planned introduction this spring of a law currently being prepared by the Economy Ministry.
At present, there are only limited options available for Polish homeowners who want to earn an income from their home while still being able to live on the property. Several companies in Poland currently offer lifetime annuity services, which, like reverse mortgages, afford homeowners this possibility………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Investors in Zimbabwe swapping financial assets for property - AfDB

Posted on 28 February 2012 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

The African Development Bank says many investors in Zimbabwe are exiting the troubled financial markets to the perceived safety of the property market. The bank said there are indications that most people are investing in physical properties such as vendor stands and shops in cities instead of financial assets.
It said investors are also being pushed into the property market due to cash withdrawal limits introduced a month ago by the central bank to address poor liquidity………………………………………..Full Article: Source

UAE real estate sector expected to see low hiring levels

Posted on 28 February 2012 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

After having seen a considerable good last year in real estate, hiring levels in the sector has not picked up, according to experts in the industry.
Market sources reveal that despite the increase in sales prices of houses in certain areas, the need for more brokers and agents remains low………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Mumbai property prices could be slashed

Posted on 28 February 2012 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

A large pipeline of project launches, following changes in Development Control Regulations (DCR) in Mumbai could trigger a fall in property prices in the coming months, say experts.
Some of them believe the fall could be between 10 and 30 per cent depending on the building category and location………………………………………..Full Article: Source

China’s massive property supply threatens market

Posted on 28 February 2012 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

A virtual shutdown of China’s new home sales during the Lunar New Year holiday week could signal a major crack in buyer confidence, with some analysts seeing prices heading lower as cash-strapped real-estate developers become more aggressive in their selling.
Not a single new apartment was sold in Beijing during the Lunar New Year holiday week, while about three sales per day on average were seen in the southern city of Shenzhen, according to various recent official data………………………………………..Full Article: Source

China home prices falling fast

Posted on 28 February 2012 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Home prices remain in free-fall. Not here at home, mind you, where roughly half of all U.S. states saw housing prices tick up in the fourth quarter of 2011. No less an economic oracle than, well, the Oracle of Omaha himself — Warren Buffett — thinks that over the long term housing could prove more attractive than stocks.
No, that rapidly deflating housing bubble is in China. Average homes prices across 100 mainland cities have fallen five consecutive months, amid efforts by the People’s Republic to cool the country’s overheated property sector………………………………………..Full Article: Source

China developers to offer deeper price cuts

Posted on 28 February 2012 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Market insiders are expecting another wave of huge discounts by property developers in March after the first round last October, as an increasing number of developers are following the lead taken by Poly Real Estate Group (600048) after poor sales in January, reports xinhuanet.com.
The total transaction value posted by 16 major developers in January fell from 66.36 billion yuan recorded in the same month last year to less than 30 billion yuan, and transaction figures in February were reportedly lackluster………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Challenging property market in China

Posted on 28 February 2012 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Malaysian developers are vying for a share of the vast China market especially after cooling measures introduced by the Chinese government to curb overheating and flyaway property prices.
An analyst with a local bank-backed brokerage said although China’s 1.3 billion population posed a big market for a broad range of property products, including residential properties, it would not be a bed of roses for developers with projects in China as more challenges had cropped up in the country’s economic front………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Phuket’s property is poppin’

Posted on 28 February 2012 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

According to the Phuket Real Estate Association (P-REA) an expected THB 30 billion (US$984.24 million) will be pumped into projects by Bangkok developers.
P-REA President Tanan Tanphaibul believes that Phuket is drawing many investors as it the demand for condominiums and reasonably priced homes is increasing………………………………………..Full Article: Source

VietNam: Property market waits on lower interest rates

Posted on 28 February 2012 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

The real estate market will only recover when loan interest rates decline. Dr Le Xuan Nghia, vice chairman of the National Financial Supervision Committee, said though the Government’s efforts to curb inflation have yielded results, banks’ interest rates have not dropped significantly.
Prof Dr Dang Hung Vo, a former deputy minister of natural resources and environment, said the real estate market would continue to face a shortage of capital this year………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Preqin: Private real estate fund raising remains low

Posted on 28 February 2012 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Bailey McCann, Opalesque New York: Private real estate fundraising improved slightly in the second half of 2011 but still remains significantly below 2007 levels according to new research from global research firm, Preqin. The report is the result of a survey of 180 institutional investors in private real estate funds.
In the report, Real Estate Investor Outlook 2012, Preqin cites investor caution surrounding broader market volatility as the chief cause for stubbornly low fundraising. Along with volatility, investors noted the slower rate of return from real estate investments as well as existing real estate investment commitments as reasons for staying on the sidelines………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Global housing market downturn gathering pace

Posted on 27 February 2012 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

The world’s housing downturn is gathering momentum, according to the latest world-wide survey of house price indices prepared by the Global Property Guide. During 2011, house prices fell in 22 countries, of the 35 countries for which Q4 house price statistics are available, and rose in only 13 countries.
Similarly, 21 housing markets performed worse during 2011 than last year, while only 14 countries performed better………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Buffett on housing: Was “dead wrong,” but still believes

Posted on 27 February 2012 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Warren BuffettIn his annual letter to Berkshire Hathaway (BRKA) shareholders, which was released on Saturday, Buffett says he still believes a real estate recovery is on the horizon. Yet, the Oracle of Omaha admits that on housing his crystal ball has been cloudy. Last year, Buffett said the real estate market would recover in 2011 or early 2012.
While home sales have risen recently, it would be a stretch to call the past year a recovery, and Buffett doesn’t try. “I was dead wrong,” he writes. Nonetheless, Buffett says a turnaround for housing is in the works………………………………………..Full Article: Source

New home sales data point to stabilizing market

Posted on 27 February 2012 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Purchases of new homes in the U.S. exceeded forecasts in January after climbing a month earlier to a one-year high, more evidence the housing market is stabilizing.
Sales, tabulated when contracts are signed, fell 0.9 percent to a 321,000 annual pace from a 324,000 rate in December that was stronger than previously reported, figures from the Commerce Department showed today in Washington………………………………………..Full Article: Source

U.S. housing market still dragging but landlords are sitting pretty

Posted on 27 February 2012 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

The housing market remains a potent drag on the economy as home prices continue to slip, foreclosed homes fill some neighborhoods and millions of construction workers scramble for jobs. But one group is sitting pretty: landlords.
Unlike home prices, rents have been rising, up 2.4 percent in January from a year earlier, according to recent data, not adjusted for inflation, released by the Labor Department………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Housing declines may have cost a generation of buyers, Fed’s Bullard says

Posted on 27 February 2012 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis President James Bullard said the 30 percent drop in U.S. housing prices since 2006 may prompt a generational shift to apartment rentals.
“My sense is that the housing debacle of the past five years may have scared off a generation of potential homeowners,” Bullard said today in a speech in New York. “New home buyers likely see homeownership as a fundamentally riskier proposition than earlier cohorts and therefore may be far more likely to rent rather than own.”……………………………………….Full Article: Source

NAR: Commercial real estate fundamentals improving across the board

Posted on 27 February 2012 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

The National Association of Realtors’ quarterly forecast shows all commercial sectors are ex-experiencing improved fundamentals, with the multifamily market commanding the largest rent hikes.
“Sustained job creation is benefiting commercial real estate sectors by increasing demand for space,” said Lawrence Yun, chief economist of the D.C.-based NAR. “Vacancy rates are steadily falling. Leasing is on the rise and rents are showing signs of strengthening, especially in the apartment market.”……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Pan-European Funds Index opens up new benchmarking potential

Posted on 27 February 2012 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Doug Rowlands, Head of the IPD Multi-national Team, explains that the IPD Pan- European Funds Index project is about to bear fruit. On March 16th 2012 IPD will be releasing a brand new Pan-European Funds Index, for the first time capturing the performance of funds devoted to investment across the continent.
This Index will measure full net asset value-based fund performance, as received by the investors in the funds covered, and will represent the first benchmark for this kind of fund with full analytical capacity………………………………………..Full Article: Source

UK: House prices flat as demand soars and supply stays scarce

Posted on 27 February 2012 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

House prices remained flat in February for the second month in a row, according to Hometrack. The news comes one week after property website Rightmove claimed house prices saw the biggest monthly rise in a decade this month.
Hometrack said the biggest price change on a regional basis was a 0.3% decline in the North East, while London saw the only increase of -0.1%……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Second home ‘bottleneck’ in housing market, BoS survey shows

Posted on 27 February 2012 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Homeowners who are unable to buy their second home are causing a “bottleneck” in the housing market, the Bank of Scotland has warned.
Research suggests that two-thirds (65%) of those looking to move up the property ladder in the past year were unable to do so. These “second steppers” faced a number of barriers when looking to move………………………………………..Full Article: Source

More house price drops in Spain – official

Posted on 27 February 2012 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Spanish Government officials claim new homes will continue to become less expensive this year and almost 65% of the excess of new housing is located in coastal areas.
Ministers are putting new pressure on Spanish banks to offload their under-performing property assets and clean-up their books as part of the country’s fiscal recovery. A new law demands that banks write down their real estate by up to 80% of the book value………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Iraq seeks housing experience

Posted on 27 February 2012 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Governor General of Iraqi southern province of Basra Khalaf Abdolsamad said on Thursday that his province is in need of 250,000 housing units. On the sideline of his visit to Abadan’s Mehr housing projects, Khuzestan province, Abdolsamad said his governorate plans to use the Iranian contractors and experienced companies to reconstruct Basra province entirely.
He urged the private sector of Khuzestan province to participate in completing the infrastructural projects of Basra province as well as constructing housing units, IRNA reported………………………………………..Full Article: Source

India: Realty players want industry status

Posted on 27 February 2012 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Property consultants and real estate developers have demanded industry status to the realty sector in the forthcoming Budget. They have also sought incentives to promote affordable housing segment and an increase in the tax exemption on home loans.
To boost supply, they have also asked for a single-window clearance for real estate development projects and FDI in multi-brand retail to create demand for retail space in shopping malls………………………………………..Full Article: Source

China: Policy stability seen for estate market

Posted on 27 February 2012 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

China is not likely to loosen its rigorous real estate policies in the short term but may give the market a bigger role in setting prices in the long run, industry analysts said ahead of the opening of the two major political sessions.
“The central government will probably maintain its existing real estate policies in the short run,” said Qin Xiaomei, chief researcher at Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL Beijing)………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Singapore: Private property prices to fall up to 12pct over next 3 months: Analysts

Posted on 27 February 2012 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Private residential property prices are expected to fall as much as 12 per cent over the next three months. This is according to analysts who also expect demand for private homes to decline as well over the next few months.
Analysts say the recent move by the Government to introduce additional buyer’s stamp duty (ABSD) as a further cooling measure may dampen demand from potential upgraders who make up the bulk of private property buyers here……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Australia: Confidence returns to residential property market

Posted on 27 February 2012 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Confidence returned to the residential market over the weekend with the auction clearance rate climbing to 63 per cent from 772 auctions, according to the Real Estate Institute of Victoria.
It was the first major sales weekend for the year, and was widely seen as a ”litmus test” for the health of the market. Agents and buyer advocates reported their results with some relief yesterday, saying the improved rate showed greater confidence on the part of buyers and realism from vendors………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Aussie property slowdown has just begun

Posted on 27 February 2012 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

These days it’s cheaper to buy a home in the playground of New York’s rich and famous, The Hamptons, than it is to buy in most Australian capital cities. Home prices in New York’s beachside retreat fell 13% last year, and are expected to tank again this year.
Today, the median sale price in The Hamptons, the home of Madonna and Lady Gaga, is US$780,000, which equates to $726,828 in Australian dollars. For this money, you’d be lucky to pick up a fibro cottage in Brisbane or a pokey townhouse in Newtown………………………………………..Full Article: Source

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