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Real Estate Briefing - Archive | April, 2012

Housing recovery still sputters

Posted on 20 April 2012 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Gus FaucherThe housing market continued to struggle in March, despite low home prices and record low interest rates, an industry report revealed Thursday. Sales of existing homes fell 2.6% compared with a month earlier, to an annualized rate of 4.48 million homes, the National Association of Realtors said.
Gus Faucher, a senior economist at PNC Financial, called the report disappointing. “We were expecting an increase,” he said. “We need a turnaround to help the economy recover.”……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Cities with least realistic home prices

Posted on 20 April 2012 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

The asking price is the starting point for all home sales, a ballpark figure typically close to what buyers end up paying. But the nation’s real estate market is so out of whack, experts say, that in many cities the gap between the asking and purchase prices has grown enormous. In fact, while home sales are on the decline nationally, list prices keep rising.
Existing single-family home sales fell 2.6% in March from a month earlier to a seasonally adjusted rate of 4.48 million units, according to data released Thursday by the National Association of Realtors………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Short sales pick up in housing market

Posted on 20 April 2012 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Short sales outnumbered foreclosure sales in 12 states in January, indicating that more homeowners are finding an easier way out of a distressed home loan.
Short sales — which occur when a lender agrees to a home sale for less than what’s owed — were up 33% in January year-over-year, and preliminary February numbers also look strong, according to market researcher RealtyTrac………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Someone always loses as the housing market recovers

Posted on 20 April 2012 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

The latest idea by policy makers and home mortgage lenders to tackle the foreclosure crisis seems like a winner: instead of throwing delinquent home owners onto the streets, lenders foreclose on the home and then turn around and rent it back to the erstwhile homeowner.
Even the Federal Reserve gave its nod of approval earlier this month to the strategy, releasing guidelines for lenders on how to account for these homes………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Most Canadian home buyers would avoid bidding war: study

Posted on 20 April 2012 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

A vast majority of Canadians wouldn’t enter a bidding war to close a deal on a new home despite a hot real estate market, a new study says.
Only 25 per cent of people surveyed would willingly enter a bidding war on a home they wanted to buy, while 75 per cent would refuse, the web-based survey by Leger Marketing for BMO Bank of Montreal released Thursday found………………………………………..Full Article: Source

European property investment volumes down 47pct QoQ

Posted on 20 April 2012 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

European real estate investment slowed markedly in the first three months of 2012, surrendering the strong momentum evident in the final quarter of last year, according to figures from PropertyEU Research.
PropertyEU recorded EUR 17.7 bn of real estate transactions above EUR 20 mln between January and end-March this year compared to some EUR 26 bn for the final quarter of 2011. This represents a drop of 47%………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Property investors continue to eye investment opportunities in London

Posted on 20 April 2012 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

London continues to lead the way for Private Rented Sector investment appetite, capital value outlook and future income expectation, the latest Yong Index reveals.
Almost half - 46% - of Private Rented Sector (PRS) investors are considering purchasing additional homes in London over the coming 12 months, in order to take advantage of rising rents and potential future capital appreciation………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Israel: Housing ministry: March public housing sales down 26pct

Posted on 20 April 2012 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

First quarter publicly built apartment sales totaled 1,288, 16% fewer than in the corresponding quarter, but 46% more than in the preceding quarter.
Apartment sales data for March 2012 point to a further cooling of the real estate market. Sales of new apartments built in Ministry of Housing and Construction tenders (i.e. public housing) totaled 386 in March, 26% fewer than in March 2011, and 15% fewer than in February………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Saudi developers focus on affordable housing sector

Posted on 20 April 2012 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Majority of the developers in Saudi Arabia are focusing more on the affordable housing segment for lower and middle-income classes than on luxury villas and higher-end housing schemes, a new research report by RNCOS said.
The housing demand in the country is projected to reach around 0.33 million units by the end of 2014………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Qatar property market suffers for lack of professional valuators

Posted on 20 April 2012 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

A largely unregulated market with massive presence of unprofessional players is a major contributing factor to Qatar’s unstable property sector. Despite emerging as one of the key markets that power the local economy, the country’s real estate sector is still relying on traditional valuation methods.
Property market has a key role in the economic take-off of the country. But it is important that this new-found real estate wealth is properly maintained………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Dubai housing market ‘performing well’

Posted on 20 April 2012 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

The housing market in Dubai performed well over the course of March as prices moved forward in a slightly more positive market, according to the Dubai Residential Property Sales Index.
This could mean the market is ripe for investors planning to transfer money overseas in order to fund the purchase of a new home, with the possibility of growth pushing house prices up even further………………………………………..Full Article: Source

India: RBI rate cut may not impact real estate prices

Posted on 20 April 2012 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Sale of flats in Mumbai will continue to remain sluggish even after the Reserve Bank of India on Tuesday reduced by 50 basis points its repo rate. “The interest cut won’t make homes affordable as property prices are already high and are unlikely to come down given the high input costs,” said a property consultant.
Developers say they have had to increase property prices by 5% to 10% as the cost of funds has increased along with input costs and other expenses………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Indian property market to see price adjustments

Posted on 20 April 2012 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Property in India is increasingly popular with British buyers. The country jumped into the top ten of ‘most searched foreign destinations’ last month and a major international property company has recently stated that they expect property prices in the country to rise in 2012.
Probable interest rate cuts in India over the next few months are also expected to help demand for property and to boost house prices. Keep reading to learn more………………………………………..Full Article: Source

China’s real estate developers are getting chomped by loan sharks

Posted on 20 April 2012 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

More than a year ago, while there have been sign that real estate developers are highly leveraged and their costs of borrowing were getting higher, we actually had relatively little idea on what the smaller guys were up to, particularly for those who are not listed on the market, except that we suspect it could be worse. Now pieces are falling into place.
For more than a year, I have been suggesting that a cooling real estate market would be triggered by highly-leveraged real estate developers who find themselves in trouble as they were over-aggressive in expansion………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Thai Pension Fund to invest in U.S., European properties

Posted on 20 April 2012 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Thailand’s Government Pension Fund, which manages about $17.5 billion of assets, is planning its first investments in U.S. and European commercial properties for higher returns than those generated from domestic bonds.
The country’s third-biggest money manager will spend about $250 million this year buying the properties, Sopawadee Lertmanaschai, the agency’s secretary general, said in an interview at her office in Bangkok yesterday. The fund is selecting companies for advice on these investments, she said………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Tokyo eyes prime island real estate

Posted on 20 April 2012 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Although this year marks the 40th anniversary of the normalization of diplomatic relations between Japan and China, storm clouds have gathered in the East China Sea.
Tokyo Governor Shintaro Ishihara, 79, a long-time hardline conservative who always calls China “Shina”, a derogatory Japanese term, has said the Tokyo metropolitan government will buy three of the disputed Senkaku Islands, irritating Beijing………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Cheap REITs may pay big dividends later

Posted on 20 April 2012 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Many investors have included public and private REITs (Real Estate Investment Trusts) as part of their diversification strategy. This has richly rewarded them, as REITs have handily beaten the S&P 500 by over 60 percent over the past three years.
With this tremendous growth in certain REIT sectors, it has become harder and harder to find discounted commercial REITs that offer significant future growth potential………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Have US house prices bottomed?

Posted on 19 April 2012 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Nouriel RoubiniEconomist Nouriel Roubini described it as the biggest US housing slump in half a century. It was so big, it helped bring down one of the world’s biggest investment banks, Lehman Brothers. What followed was a complete freezing of international credit markets and what’s been dubbed ‘The Great Recession’.
House prices in the US have since been bouncing along the bottom of the market. Now market watchers are selling the idea of Australians owning US property………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Will short sales save the housing market?

Posted on 19 April 2012 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Foreclosures are down and short sales are up, but what does this mean for the real estate market as a whole? The answer depends on who you ask.
But first, some background: Short sales occur when a lender agrees to sell a home for less than what is owed on the mortgage. The lender forgives the difference, and the borrower unloads a home they can’t afford………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Finally, good news for housing

Posted on 19 April 2012 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

No one is claiming that the housing debacle will be over quickly. But news this week seems to indicate solid progress. Several reports show the ground under homeowners’ feet growing more solid.
Home prices are on a gentle roll. In March, for the second month in a row, sale prices in 53 metro areas came in higher than the year before, according to the RE/MAX National Housing Report………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Real estate investors’ best kept secret: College towns

Posted on 19 April 2012 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

From Athens, Ohio to College Station, Texas, real estate investors are buying up properties in college towns that offer a steady stream of renters and stable, prosperous economies.
Looking to be a landlord? Buying property in college towns typically translates into stable rental returns, no matter how the economy is faring. Not only do colleges provide a steady source of jobs for the local economy, but enrollments have swelled as the unemployed go back to school seeking new job skills………………………………………..Full Article: Source

The biggest X-factor in the housing market?

Posted on 19 April 2012 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Happy 65th to the estimated 10,000 Baby Boomers who passed the threshold into senior citizen status today. And an early congrats to the 10,000 more who will follow tomorrow. You represent a segment of the population driving a series of radical changes in the way the U.S. looks and works.
That trend of 10,000 freshly minted 65-year-olds a day is expected to continue into 2020, when an estimated one-fifth of the U.S. population will be 65 or over………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Brazil’s real estate market 2012: “Not a bubble”

Posted on 19 April 2012 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

There is a lot of land to be bought and a lot of buildings to be built. For big projects, it would be very good to have investors that would make it possible to build an entire project at once instead of taking it step by step.
The price for a m2 of land is now very high. In the real-estate business I’m now building around 800,000 m2; if you turn that into 100 m2 apartments, you’ll get 8,000 homes. Most of the 800,000 m2 are for the final consumer and not for speculation. The price per m2 in Brasília is one of the highest in Brazil because the land is expensive. You can get less expensive land in São Paulo or Rio de Janeiro………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Improvement in central London office property market predicted for end of 2012

Posted on 19 April 2012 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Evidence of an improving economy in the first quarter of 2012 will buoy demand for office space in London as the year continues, according to Knight Frank Research.
Central London saw a slowdown in activity due to difficult economic conditions in the last months of 2011 but the consultancy is now forecasting a fall in office supply by the end of the year in the City and the West End office property sectors………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Foreigners no longer big players in Prague’s property market

Posted on 19 April 2012 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

After years of growth, the real estate market in the Czech capital has seen a slow but steady decline, with decreasing prices and many more new listings having turned Prague property into a buyer’s market.
One factor behind the change is waning interest from foreigners to invest into real estate in the Czech capital. However, some parts of Prague have become more attractive for Czechs and foreigners alike, while others remain popular primarily with foreign clients………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Malta: Property developers on warpath over 12pct tax, government valuations

Posted on 19 April 2012 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

The president of the Malta Developers Association has claimed government-appointed architects are being “guided” by the Inland Revenue Department on the ‘discerned’ market value of properties, resulting in higher tax claims on purchased property.
Michael Falzon, a former Nationalist minister, has suggested that buyers and vendors who find bargain properties in the current dampened market are being taxed on the difference between the bargain price and the discerned market price………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Abu Dhabi: Rents to stabilise in top-end office space after fall

Posted on 19 April 2012 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Rents for high-quality office property in Abu Dhabi are predicted to stabilise this year, while further declines are expected in non-prime developments, a property consultancy said.
“Within the commercial market, rents continue to soften, particularly in secondary stock or non-prime developments,” said Paula Walshe, the associate director for commercial leasing at Cluttons Middle East………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Update on the Chinese residential real estate market

Posted on 19 April 2012 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

China’s residential construction market is about to undergo a significant reduction in activity, and will thus consume a lot less of these materials, leading to price and volume plunges around the world.
This thesis was initially predicated on the fact that real estate prices in China were already falling, and thus it is expected that activity would soon follow, as is our experience from past real estate booms around the world, with the U.S. being a prime example………………………………………..Full Article: Source

China sees first house price fall on year since curbs

Posted on 19 April 2012 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

China’s average new home price fell last month from a year earlier, the first decline in two years, raising investors’ hopes that property calming policies may soon be eased.
New home prices fell 0.7 percent, according to Reuters’ calculation using data published by the National Bureau of Statistics on Wednesday. They fell in 37 of the 70 cities the bureau monitors, widening from 27 in February………………………………………..Full Article: Source

China March property prices declined

Posted on 19 April 2012 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

China’s campaign to tame housing costs showed fresh progress in March, as new-home prices in major cities posted their first year-on-year decline since Beijing began cracking down on the housing market two years ago.
But with sales volumes showing signs of revival and prices continuing to rise in some markets, analysts said the central government’s tough restrictions could continue or even intensify………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Property shares decline after home prices slump

Posted on 19 April 2012 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

SouFun Holdings Ltd. led Chinese property stocks lower in New York trading after home prices in the nation tumbled, raising concerns the world’s second-largest economy will slow further.
SouFun, owner of China’s largest real estate website, fell from the highest level in two weeks. Property agency services E- House China Holdings Ltd. dropped for the third time in four days. The Bloomberg China-US Equity Index of the most traded Chinese shares in the U.S. was little changed at 102.76. Casino operator Melco Crown Entertainment Ltd. climbed to the highest level in eight months………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Volatility in HK property market to ease; price rise limited

Posted on 19 April 2012 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Hong Kong’s property market is set to stabilize following a volatile 2011, with home prices projected to rise 10 percent this year, a moderate increase compared to the huge gains seen in 2009 and 2010, industry watchers tell CNBC.
Last year, the sector was characterized by price swings – with home prices accelerating 13 percent in the first-half, but falling 5 percent in the second-half on growing fears over a global economic slowdown and the euro zone debt concerns. Price declines in the second half of the year meant that average home prices grew 8 percent over 2011, according to Nomura research………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Malaysia acts to prevent property bubble

Posted on 19 April 2012 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Malaysia is trying to mitigate a US-style subprime mortgage lending crisis after it reported an average 6.6 per cent jump in home prices in the fourth quarter of last year.
“The government is worried about property prices causing a bubble, and we don’t want banks to over-lend to the property sector,” Deputy Finance Minister Datuk Donald Lim was reported as saying………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Office space prices rise in Jakarta

Posted on 19 April 2012 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Property consulting firm Cushman & Wakefield claim average gross rentals for office space increased in Jakarta by 9.5 per cent from the previous quarter. The limited supply of office space in the CBD has been attributed to the price rise.
The rising prices will not cause a property bubble claims Cushman & Wakefield’s research and advisory head, Arief Rahardjo………………………………………..Full Article: Source

NZ: Home truths about the housing market

Posted on 19 April 2012 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

The housing market is warming up, especially in Auckland. Is this the start of another economically debilitating and socially destructive boom, like that of the mid-2000s?
Probably not. The pick-up in housing market turnover is from a depressed base while the rise in prices, so far modest, is from a very high base relative to incomes………………………………………..Full Article: Source

US housing market boosted by jobs, higher rents

Posted on 18 April 2012 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

It’s been a long time since the market for new homes has looked this good. Rising rents and a healthier job market are inspiring more people to consider buying. Builders are responding to the demand by laying plans for more homes this year than at any other point in past 3 1/2 years.
And banks are helping both by approving more loans.All that points to a better year for the housing market, though a full recovery could take several years………………………………………..Full Article: Source

US homebuilders request most permits in 31/2 years

Posted on 18 April 2012 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

U.S. builders requested the most permits in March for single-family homes and apartments in 31/2 years, suggesting that many expect the housing market to improve over the next year.
The Commerce Department said Tuesday that permits, a gauge of future construction, rose 4.5 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 747,000 in March. That’s the highest level since September 2008. The rise in permits helped offset a slower month of construction………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Zillow: US 30-year mortgage rates edge up this week

Posted on 18 April 2012 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Zillow Inc. said Tuesday its real-time measure of 30-year fixed mortgage rates rose for the first time in four weeks. The 30-year fixed mortgage rate on Zillow’s Mortgage Marketplace edged up to 3.76%, from 3.73% a week earlier. The rate hovered around 3.7% to 3.77% for most of the week.
Last month, a string of positive economic news helped lift Zillow’s measure of 30-year mortgage rates to its highest level in five months. But Zillow said Tuesday that a lack of significant U.S. or international news to rattle the markets helped stabilize mortgage rates close to historical lows this week………………………………………..Full Article: Source

US: Short sales surpass foreclosures as banks agree to deals

Posted on 18 April 2012 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

The number of U.S. home short sales surpassed foreclosure deals for the first time as banks became more agreeable to selling houses for less than the amount owed on their mortgages, according to Lender Processing Services Inc. (LPS)
Short sales accounted for 23.9 percent of home purchases in January, the most recent month available, compared with 19.7 percent for sales of foreclosed homes, data compiled by the Jacksonville, Florida-based company show. A year earlier, 16.3 percent of transactions were short sales and 24.9 percent involved foreclosures………………………………………..Full Article: Source

TD Bank’s Hockey expects Canada’s hot housing market to cool

Posted on 18 April 2012 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD) expects recent regulatory draft mortgage-underwriting guidelines will help “temper” Canada’s hot housing market, a top executive said Tuesday.
The Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions last month released for industry comment proposals that aim to tighten mortgage lending practices, reduce home equity lines of credit and improve board oversight and disclosure………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Bryan: Toronto’s overheated housing market unsustainable

Posted on 18 April 2012 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

While Canada’s high-flying housing market continues to stabilize, it’s increasingly evident that one city — Toronto — is a glaring exception.
In sharp contrast to price moderation in most cities and a significant drop in Vancouver, where buyers are being priced out of the country’s costliest market, Toronto buyers are on a spending spree — one that looks as if it won’t end well………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Europe: Investors eye alternative real estate

Posted on 18 April 2012 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

International real-estate investors increasingly are looking to buy student accommodation, health-care facilities and hotels in Europe, industry observers say.
While some investors are driven by the prospect of higher returns and more-stable income streams, others simply can’t find good deals in traditional sectors such as commercial and office space amid a shortage of stock………………………………………..Full Article: Source

European retail property volumes falls 60pct in Q1

Posted on 18 April 2012 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

European retail real estate volumes during the first three months of 2012 fell 60% compared with the same period the year before, according to Jones Lang LaSalle.
Following ‘exceptional’ volumes in 2011, JLL’s preliminary analysis suggests that direct investment in retail real estate for the first quarter of 2012 is likely to be in the region of EUR 3.8 bn, representing a significant decrease on total volumes in Q1 2011 and Q4 2012 of EUR 9.9 bn and EUR 8.4 bn………………………………………..Full Article: Source

CEE sees lowest investment volumes since 2009: CBRE

Posted on 18 April 2012 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Commercial property investment volumes in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) amounted to EUR 900 mln during the first quarter of 2012 (Q1 2012) - the lowest volume seen since Q3 2009 - according to the latest data from CBRE.
The underlying factors behind the lower volumes relate to less financing being available and narrowing investor requirements………………………………………..Full Article: Source

U.K. Commercial property values fall for fifth straight month

Posted on 18 April 2012 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

U.K. commercial real estate values fell for the fifth straight month in March as the country’s economic woes crimped returns, Investment Property Databank Ltd. said.
The average value of stores, offices and warehouses declined 0.3 percent last month from February, IPD said……………………………………….Full Article: Source

UK: House prices show only a modest rise, says ONS

Posted on 18 April 2012 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

House prices have shown only a modest rise on a year ago, with first-time buyers facing much steeper increases than existing owners,official figures showed.
The typical house price was £224,473 in February, a 0.3% year-on-year rise, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said, as analysts warned that the weak economy and low consumer confidence is likely to drag prices down in the coming months………………………………………..Full Article: Source

French property market is improving, but beware the Gallic shrug

Posted on 18 April 2012 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Expats who want to buy a home outside the UK will need to approach foreign lenders to help them finance their purchase. But that doesn’t mean having to do business with a lender who doesn’t speak your language.
John-Paul Busby of French Private Finance is based in the UK and specialises in sorting out mortgages on French homes for UK expats living there or elsewhere abroad – it has many clients in the Middle East who want to buy homes in France………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Non-Saudis not eligible to own properties won as prizes

Posted on 18 April 2012 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

The Ministry of Interior has asked provincial governorates to ensure the distribution of prizes do not violate the country’s regulations governing property ownership.
Recently the number of prizes announced by businesses at festivals and souks have increased and some of the rewards are residential apartments. Since the contests are open to all, there is a chance an expatriate could win an apartment, Al-Watan daily reported………………………………………..Full Article: Source

India: Rate cut to boost realty sector

Posted on 18 April 2012 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Buying a house has just got cheaper. With the RBI slashing the short-term lending rate from 8.5 per cent to 8 per cent, consumers can look forward to a reduction in interest rates on housing loans.
Real estate players also welcomed the 50 basis point cut in the rates saying it will boost liquidity in the market and improve their cash flow situation………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Realty: Expect a mix bag of hits & misses in Q4FY12

Posted on 18 April 2012 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Nirmal Bang has come out with its report on real estate result preview. The research firm believes the volume recovery hinges on price correction in overheated markets, faster approvals for projects and quick project execution.
“We expect 4QFY12 results of companies under our coverage universe to improve sequentially on account of uptick in execution and projects crossing the threshold limit. New launches during the quarter were a mixed bag with Bangalore and Chennai continuing to witness strong absorption………………………………………..Full Article: Source

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