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Real Estate Briefing - Archive | March, 2013

Global luxury housing on a roll

Posted on 28 March 2013 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Robust economic recovery continues to keep luxury property markets going, turning them into quite an immune investment. Housing markets around the world including London, New York, Paris, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Hong Kong have got off to a strong start this year, reports indicate.
Christie’s International Real Estate, a high-end property affiliate network under Christie’s auction house, has launched a new index that compares world real estate markets by different metrics - including sales price, prices per square foot and percentage of foreign buyers, among others. London topped the index with a record sales price of more than US$121 million (HK$943.8 million) for a home last year………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Pending sales of U.S. existing homes decline 0.4pct

Posted on 28 March 2013 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Americans signed fewer contracts to buy previously owned homes in February, indicating a pause in momentum for an industry that is helping power the economy.
An index of pending home sales fell 0.4 percent to 104.8, the second-highest level since April 2010, after a revised 3.8 percent increase the prior month, the National Association of Realtors reported today in Washington. Contract signings, unadjusted for seasonal variations, increased 5 percent from February 2012………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Home prices: Has the tide shifted to a seller’s market?

Posted on 28 March 2013 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Following the past several months of a constant increase, today the Case-Shiller report documented what many industry professionals and consumers were too skeptical to say. The housing market is stronger than ever, certainly since the bottom fell out of the market in 2006 and created the worse housing crisis many Americans have experienced in their lifetime.
Properties no longer sit idle on the market. Today’s numbers reflected housing sale improvements of 7.800%, month over month. This is huge!……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Housing values continue to rebound

Posted on 28 March 2013 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

The nation’s housing market is continuing its resurrection, with data released Tuesday showing that prices are up, the number of distressed properties is down and new home sales remain far above last year’s pace. Home prices rose in January at the fastest annual rate since just before the housing bubble burst in 2006, according to the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices.
The 20-city home price index, a key gauge of U.S. home prices, climbed 8.1 percent in the 12-month period that ended in January. The healthiest gains were in parts of the country hardest hit by the housing downturn. Prices in Phoenix were up 23.2 percent. San Francisco home prices were up 17.5 percent. Prices increased 15.3 percent in Las Vegas and 10.8 percent in Miami………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Did you miss out on the housing rebound?

Posted on 28 March 2013 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

For years, it seemed like the housing market would never turn around. However, recent data indicates that the U.S. is finally in the midst of a housing recovery. But have investors missed out?
Pointing to a recovery: New home purchases recently spiked to numbers we’ve not witnessed since 2008. Builders are constructing new homes at a pace not seen since five years ago, and building permits, considered a leading indicator of construction, are nearing a five-year high………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Proof U.S. housing market recovery is for real and just beginning

Posted on 28 March 2013 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

The housing market has rebounded in a big way, with home prices increasing the most since the housing bubble burst in 2006. Prices aren’t the only indicator pointed toward recovery.
Housing barometers including sales, permits and housing starts have surged well beyond their recession troughs and back into healthy territory - and bullish analysts say there’s plenty more room for growth after years of decreased activity………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Home prices poised to move higher as fear of losses has dissipated

Posted on 28 March 2013 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Remember that mob psychology dominates all asset purchases. It doesn’t matter if you are buying stocks bonds, precious metals or real estate. Last year Apple could do no wrong. If you didn’t own it, well, you were missing the most amazing stock. How could you not own it? The drumbeat was constant creating a bubble.
Then, abruptly, the music stopped as the hedge funds who were supporting Apple into their fiscal year end on October 31st, began to bail out. Right now the debate is over how low might Apple fall, how well can Tim Cook run the company and will they ever have another good idea. The asset class matters little. It’s all about human nature and not wanting to miss out on easy money………………………………………..Full Article: Source

What’s next for Canada’s housing market?

Posted on 28 March 2013 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

It’s tough to make a pan-Canadian call on where real estate will land in 2013. The Prairie provinces seemed poised to avoid the downturn but sales are starting to fall in many markets with a price dip happening already or predicted to be on the horizon.
All this is happening with five-year fixed closed mortgage rates below three per cent, even at some of the big banks. The 10-year mortgage, still not popular with Canadians, is down to 3.64 per cent. It’s not a stretch to think the rate on both of those terms will climb two percentage points. And what of the prime lending rate? It’s still three per cent but tied to the Bank of Canada, which has been threatening to raise rates for months………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Standard Life: Calling time on Brazil property

Posted on 28 March 2013 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

The sale of two office buildings in central São Paulo may sound like a rather insignificant event in the scale of things. However, Standard Life’s decision to sell the two properties, marking an exit of the British insurer’s real estate fund from Brazil, could be a bad omen for the country’s property market.
Standard Life Investments Select Property Fund said on Wednesday it had sold its two remaining assets – Madison Building in Vila Olímpia and Bela Paulista Building on Avenida Paulista – for a combined total of R$181m ($90m) to a domestic fund manager………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Europe’s CMBS pipeline begins to flow

Posted on 28 March 2013 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Unloved and tarnished – Europe’s crisis-hit market for assets backed by commercial mortgages is now only a fraction of its 2006 peak.
Only a handful of new borrowers have issued commercial mortgage-backed securities since the US subprime crisis and the picture in Europe painted by some bankers is of a product in terminal decline – penalised by regulators and hated by politicians………………………………………..Full Article: Source

UK: Housing stimulus: Shaky foundations

Posted on 28 March 2013 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

George Osborne exceeded industry expectations in last week’s Budget by pumping more than £15bn into a housing market stimulus. But economists fear the measures could do more harm than good.
Last week’s “housing giveaway” Budget by chancellor George Osborne has already been described as “economically insane” and “a huge gamble” by some economists. But the measures the chancellor was able to unveil - both a £3.5bn deal to provide equity loans for newly built homes, and a £12bn extension of mortgage guarantees - left housebuilders unable to believe their luck. Most of the listed players’ share prices were more than 5% up on the day - gains that they have so far kept………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Chinese await measures to tame housing prices

Posted on 28 March 2013 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

The government of south China’s Guangdong province on Monday announced rules to cool the property market after the central government rolled out a regulatory plan and asked provincial governments to create specific measures. The rules, however, have been criticized for being too vague and unable to function properly.
Guangdong’s provincial government said in a notice that housing prices will be curbed, government-subsidized housing will be built more quickly and housing data will be pooled in order to boost market supervision………………………………………..Full Article: Source

China listed property firms’ 2012 profits jump 22pct

Posted on 28 March 2013 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

The combined net profits of 36 listed real estate companies to release complete financial reports was 29.9 billion yuan ($4.81 billion) in 2012, up 22% year on year.
Early last year, analysts and developers were conservative in their predictions for the year as housing curbs enacted by the government in January 2010 made it difficult to sell homes. Developers were also having a hard time buying plots of land due to inadequate cash flow………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Investors pull out of Wenzhou property market

Posted on 28 March 2013 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Real estate has lost its allure as an investment option in Wenzhou, Zhejiang province, since property prices tumbled due to purchasing curbs imposed by the central government. The average price of residential apartments in Wenzhou has dived by about 24 percent since 2012, according to the latest figures from the city’s prices bureau.
In addition, the average price of land has dipped to a five-year low, while the value of some villas has fallen by 50 percent since 2010. Business people from the city, one of China’s wealthiest, are well-known for their speculative activities in various sectors, especially the property market………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Australia to continue as commercial property investment hotspot in 2013: Jones Lang LaSalle

Posted on 28 March 2013 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Nearly half (45%) all real estate investment into the Asia Pacific region is flowing into Australian commercial property markets. This is double the next biggest markets of Japan (19% of investment) and China (18), according to Jones Lang LaSalle, with investors attracted to Australia by its transparent markets, efficient regulatory regimes supported by solid economic fundamentals and relatively high yields.
Offshore buyers of Australian commercial property are now around four times greater than those selling their investments, a trend that commenced in 2007 and which has grown more pronounced in the last three years………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Australia taking lion’s share of Asia Pacific commercial property investment: Report

Posted on 28 March 2013 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Nearly half (45%) all real estate investment into the Asia Pacific region is flowing into Australian commercial property markets. This is double the next biggest markets of Japan (19% of investment) and China (18%), according to Jones Lang LaSalle, with investors attracted to Australia by its transparent markets, efficient regulatory regimes supported by solid economic fundamentals and relatively high yields.
Offshore buyers of Australian commercial property are now around four times greater than those selling their investments, a trend that commenced in 2007 and which has grown more pronounced in the last three years………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Location crucial for the U.S. housing recovery

Posted on 27 March 2013 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

By one measure, the U.S.housing market turned a significant corner early this year: Prices are on the rise everywhere. For the first time since the bottom fell out of residential real estate beginning in the summer of 2006, all the 20 major cities tracked by the closely watched S&P/Case Shiller Home Price Index rose on a year-over-year basis in January, data released on Tuesday showed.
That is a significant milestone for a property market recovery that has been characterized by inconsistent momentum and spotty regional performances. On average, U.S. homes lost more than a third of their value in the recession, according to Case Shiller data, but some areas lost more than half their value, while others barely registered double-digit declines………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Home prices growing as fast as before rhe housing collapse: Case-Shiller

Posted on 27 March 2013 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

With the Federal Reserve firmly in support the housing market continues to show signs of substantial improvement. The most widely followed measure of home prices, the S&P/Case-Shiller indexes, rose at its fastest rate since the summer of 2006 in January, data released Tuesday showed.
While prices remain nearly 30% off their pre-housing bubble peaks, a drawing down of the shadow inventory and a continued positive trend in home sales point to further strength ahead, with Barclays’ economic research team estimating home prices will gain between 6% and 7% this year………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Home prices: Biggest rise since housing bubble

Posted on 27 March 2013 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Home prices continued their recovery, rising 8.1% in January, although a separate report showed a slight slowdown in new-home sales. The S&P Case-Shiller index, which tracks the 20 largest markets in the nation, showed the biggest year-over-year gain in prices since June 2006.
“This marks the highest increase since the housing bubble burst,” said David Blitzer, chairman of the index committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices………………………………………..Full Article: Source

US housing recovery becoming more widespread, latest index suggests

Posted on 27 March 2013 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

US home values nationwide rose for the sixteenth straight month in a row in February as the real estate market recovery gathered pace, according to the latest index from Zillow. Its Home Value Index rose to $158,100 and all 30 of the largest metro areas covered by the index registered both monthly and annual appreciation in advance of the traditional spring home shopping season.
Overall values increased by 0.1% compared with January and were up 5.8% up year on year, the second largest annual gain since August 2006, exceeded only by January’s 6% year on year jump. The last time national home values were at this level was in June 2004………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Housing recovery: Where do we stand?

Posted on 27 March 2013 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

After years of withering on the vine, the nation’s housing market finally is showing signs of new life. Home prices are up while mortgage rates are at historic lows, and bidding wars have broken out in some formerly down-and-out locales.
William Hardin, director of real estate programs and Tibor and Sheila Hollo research fellow at Florida International University in Miami, says that while housing prices will recover in nominal terms, a “real” recovery will take “much longer.” In the interview below, he outlines his thoughts about the challenges facing today’s buyers, sellers and homeowners………………………………………..Full Article: Source

New home sales took a tumble in February

Posted on 27 March 2013 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Sales of new U.S. single-family homes fell more than expected in February after hefty gains the previous month, but steady gains in home prices suggested the housing market recovery remains intact. The Commerce Department said on Tuesday sales dropped 4.6 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 411,000 units. Last month’s decline followed a 13.1 percent jump in January.
Though January’s sales pace was revised down to 431,000 units, it was still the highest level since September 2008. Economists polled by Reuters had expected sales to fall to 422,000-unit rate last month. Compared with February 2012, sales were up 12.3 percent, indicating the housing market recovery was on course. Sales are being hampered by a lack of supply of homes on the market in some major parts of the country………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Manhattan: A tale of two markets

Posted on 27 March 2013 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

An interesting phenomenon has developed in New York’s property market, which operates differently than the rest of the world. Residential prices remain in the stratosphere, while office prices are still down to Earth. As detailed by RXR Realty chief executive Scott Rechler on CNBC today, residential real estate is selling for anywhere from $4,000 to $6,000 a square foot, four times the price of office space in the city.
That’s a huge arbitrage spread and helps explain why developers are bypassing office projects, despite what he calls pent up demand. Even with new developments, the inventory of office space in New York is basically unchanged from 20 years ago, and the average age of the buildings is 50 years old, Mr. Rechler said………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Fewer Canadians plan to buy a home as housing market cools

Posted on 27 March 2013 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Fewer Canadians are planning to purchase a home in the next two years, but more than a third of those will be first-time homebuyers, according to a study released Tuesday.
The annual poll by Royal Bank found that 15% of those surveyed say they’re likely to buy in the next two years, a drop from 27% from the previous year. Among those with buying intentions, 40% say they’ll be signing a mortgage for the first time………………………………………..Full Article: Source

What to expect from real estate investment in Europe for 2013

Posted on 27 March 2013 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Europe is currently at a very critical moment with several issues warming up at the same time. Debt crisis is persistent in Europe along with which there is the currency war and recent symptoms signifying the advent of a recessional phase over a majority of European countries especially the Mediterranean nations.
With all this problems happening at the same time housing market sector in destined to go down in most European nations for 2013 and beyond. But in contrary to that belief European market experts are of the view that real estate in Europe may in fact do well in the coming months………………………………………..Full Article: Source

UK: Mortgage scheme ‘risks driving up prices’

Posted on 27 March 2013 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Britain’s fiscal watchdog has challenged chancellor George Osborne’s claims that his new mortgage guarantee scheme, the centrepiece of last week’s Budget, will trigger a spate of housebuilding.
In testimony before parliament’s Treasury select committee on Tuesday , top officials from the Office for Budget Responsibility said the Help to Buy scheme was more likely to drive up house prices than address the shortage of housing in the UK………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Irish house prices: In the year to February 2013 residential property prices fell by 2.6pct

Posted on 27 March 2013 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Irish House Prices: In the year to February 2013, residential property prices at a national level, fell by 2.6%, according to the CSO. This compares with an annual rate of decline of 3.3% in January and a decline of 17.8% recorded in the twelve months to February 2012.
Residential property prices fell by 1.5% in the month of February. This compares with a decrease of 0.6% recorded in January and a decline of 2.2% recorded in February of last year………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Quality time with the ailing Dutch commercial real estate sector

Posted on 27 March 2013 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

The latest bank-sovereign crisis always gets the most attention. Despite the best of intentions, no amount of preparation can get the current flair-up ready to have its place in the limelight stolen. Once torn, salt is rubbed into the wound by means of nasty comparisons that disrespect the unique nature of one’s distress.
Ireland is not Greece! Portugal is not Ireland! Italy is not Spain! And Cyprus is special because of gangsta finance and its reliance on deposits for funding………………………………………….Full Article: Source

Swiss property boom hasn’t led to imprudent lending - Finma

Posted on 27 March 2013 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Switzerland’s market supervisory authority Finma said Tuesday it had found no evidence of “any large-scale imprudent” mortgage lending by banks despite the Alpine country’s buoyant property market. The recent price gains in the Swiss real estate market–driven largely by historically low interest rates and the influx of cash-rich migrants–has shored up the country’s economy, but at the same time has spurred demand for residential property, Finma Chief Executive Patrick Raaflaub said at a briefing Tuesday.
“The Swiss mortgage market was, and still is, one of the main issues we have addressed in the recent past, and our stress tests analyze on an on-going basis whether mortgage loans are backed by enough equity,” Mr. Raaflaub said………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Italian property fund index records a total return of -5.8pct

Posted on 27 March 2013 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

The IPD Italy Biannual Property Fund Index, released last week, recorded a total return of -5.8% in the 12 months to December 2012. The second half of 2012 delivered a lower return of -3.7% compared with a milder -2.2% in the 6 months to June 2012. The performance represents the second consecutive below-zero result and the lowest total return in the index series.
In comparison with other asset classes, Italian real estate closed-ended funds underperformed all investment alternatives in both halves of the year to December 2012. Equities recorded 13.3% and 11.7% (MSCI Italy) respectively; whilst real estate equities delivered 29.0% and 27.7% (Data Stream Italy Real Estate), and bonds were at 13.0% and 24.8% (JP Morgan GB Italy)………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Cairo property improves, despite country instability

Posted on 27 March 2013 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

As the Egyptian government struggles with political and economic instability, the Cairo real estate market reports improvement in all sectors. Vacancies in Grade A office buildings slid to 20 percent for the first quarter, a decrease from 29 percent in the fourth quarter of 2012, according to a new report from Jones Lang LaSalle.
New Cairo, a satellite city of Cairo created in 2011, witnessed the completion of a new 6,700-square-foot Grade A office project in the first quarter of 2013, bringing the total stock in Cairo to approximately 791,000 square feet, JLL reports………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Dubai Marina leads UAE property market

Posted on 27 March 2013 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Dubai Marina is the most sought-after destination in the UAE, accounting for more property searches than any other area in the country. This is according to The Move Channel’s At a Glance report, which showed Dubai Marina accounted for 27.89% all property searches for the UAE over the last 12 months.
The Move Channel’s Editor Ivan Radford said: “The fact that some of the most popular resorts within the Emirate are still under construction is telling, with investors returning to the market regardless, drawn by the appeal of Dubai Marina and other luxury developments.” He added that Dubai remains “the clear favourite” place for property investments in the UAE, with the destination dominating Google searches………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Indian real estate market investment volume at $3.5 bln in 2012

Posted on 27 March 2013 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

India was ranked 20th among the top 20 real estate investment markets globally with investment volume of Rs 19,000 crore recorded in 2012. According to Cushman & Wakefield’s latest report, International Investment Atlas, China remained the largest global investment market overall thanks to the surge in land sales seen in late 2012. The US was placed in the second position, followed by the UK in third place.
The majority of the investment in India was through institutional sales (67 per cent), while the remaining was through private equity (PE) investments (33 per cent). The market witnessed institutional sales (excluding apartments) of Rs 12,800 crore, concentrated in commercial development sites and the office segment, including standalone and pre-leased office buildings………………………………………..Full Article: Source

India: National property index up by 3pct in Q3 of FY2013

Posted on 27 March 2013 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Despite weak buyer sentiment, the National Property Index went up by over 3 per cent in the October-December quarter over the preceding three months last year, a survey has said. National Property Index ( NPI) is a weighted average of supply and prices across 11 cities.
Of the 11 cities in the apartment index, nine saw a marginal rise, while one recorded stable values and the other registered a small drop in the city index, leading property portal MagicBricks.com said in its report titled PropIndex………………………………………..Full Article: Source

India office real estate: A tale of the suburbs

Posted on 27 March 2013 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

India is rapidly urbanizing and the skylines of the country’s metropolises are changing quickly with the building of skyscrapers and modern architecture. The smaller towns too are metamorphosing in unprecedented ways through the expansion of transportation networks, the creation of central districts and parks and by numerous residential projects.
Many cities have been transformed and Ahmedabad is most illustrative of them. Even before the metro rail link between Ahmedabad and Gandhinagar has sprouted tracks, Gujarat International Finance Tec-City (Gift City) phase I (10 million sq ft) has already rolled out its construction plans………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Chinese await measures to tame housing prices

Posted on 27 March 2013 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

The government of south China’s Guangdong Province on Monday announced rules to cool the property market after the central government rolled out a regulatory plan and asked provincial governments to create specific measures.
The rules, however, have been criticized for being too vague and unable to function properly. Guangdong’s provincial government said in a notice that housing prices will be curbed, government-subsidized housing will be built more quickly and housing data will be pooled in order to boost market supervision………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Global funds keen on China property

Posted on 27 March 2013 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

China may see an increase in property transactions involving international investors this year, fuelled by the economic recovery and the rosy outlook of China’s commercial properties, industry experts said.
“On the one hand, a number of deals are in the pipeline after lots of negotiations were conducted last year. On the other hand, the top management of international real-estate funds are also under pressure because few deals were concluded last year,” Mr Andy Zhang, managing director of Cushman & Wakefield China, told China Daily………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Li Ka-shing backs Hong Kong property curbs as transactions fall

Posted on 27 March 2013 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Li Ka-shing, Asia’s richest man, backed recent measures by the Hong Kong government to curb an “unhealthy” surge in property prices that’s turned the city into the world’s most expensive housing market.
“If prices goes up every day, and a lot of people can’t afford to buy, this would be unhealthy,” Li said after his flagship developer Cheung Kong Holdings Ltd. reported lower property sales yesterday. “The Hong Kong government has said it wants a stable market.”……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Britain’s help to buy homes plan a mixed blessing for Hong Kong

Posted on 27 March 2013 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

British government plans to stimulate the nation’s housing market, announced last week, will bring mixed blessings for Hong Kong investors.
As part of his latest budget, Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne introduced Help to Buy, a combination of shared-equity loans for buyers and mortgage guarantees for lenders. The plan is open to first-time buyers and home movers, but not Hong Kong investors or other second-home buyers, although they will be indirectly affected………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Australia homebuyer confidence hits lowest since 2008

Posted on 27 March 2013 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Australian homebuyer confidence fell to the lowest level since 2008 as concerns about job security outweighed historically low interest rates and improved affordability, according to Genworth Financial Inc. (GNW).
The bi-annual Genworth Homebuyer Confidence Index declined to 93.4 in March from 98.4 in September, the Richmond, Virginia- based insurer, which provides lenders’ mortgage insurance in Australia, said in an e-mailed release today. The proportion of borrowers who expect to face difficulties repaying their home loans in the next year rose to 27 percent this month from 19 percent in September, it said………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Melbourne property market bounces back to 2010 levels: Mark Armstrong

Posted on 27 March 2013 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

The Melbourne property market is like an incoming tide. It ebbs and flows on the waves of confidence and buyer demand. In some cases the property market slips backwards but it always seems to get back to where it once was.
Over the last couple of years the value of many properties have slipped back by 5% to 10% but we are now seeing the market take up that slack very quickly………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Investors pile into housing, this time as landlords

Posted on 26 March 2013 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

U.S. housing recoveries almost always have been ignited by rising demand from families and individuals looking for a place to live. This recovery is different. Investors—including some big Wall Street players—are leading the way, say industry executives and analysts. Their role is noteworthy given that flippers and speculators were blamed for helping to inflate the housing bubble of the past decade.
Today’s investors are mostly buying with the intention of holding on to the homes and renting them out. ……………………………………….Full Article: Source

This housing recovery is different: Investors are now big buyers

Posted on 26 March 2013 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

There’s no doubt that housing is recovering. Existing home sales—which account for the bulk of the market—have topped year-ago levels for 20 months in a row and existing home prices have bested year-ago levels for 12 consecutive months. In addition, inventories of those homes have dropped to a 4.7 month supply — far below the more normal 6 months.
But unlike past housing recoveries, this one is heavily supported by investors — big and small. They account for about a third of home purchases in the existing housing market, according to the National Association of Realtors………………………………………..Full Article: Source

5 ways to get your home when housing inventory is so tight

Posted on 26 March 2013 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

The news is out. Real estate is back. Homebuyers are in the game again, but they’re facing a huge inventory shortage in most markets. Some buyers make three or four offers on homes, only to keep losing out to other buyers. In this tight market, buyers and real estate agents need to think outside the box. You may need to go after homes that aren’t listed for sale. Here are five ways to do that.
1. Look for ‘expired’ and ‘withdrawn’ listings. A good agent will scour the MLS for homes that were listed in the recent past but never sold. Many homes failed to sell because they were seen as overpriced at the time. Does their last list price seem like a valid price today?……………………………………….Full Article: Source

UK: Moody’s: Help to buy could trigger house price bubble

Posted on 26 March 2013 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

The recently announced Help to Buy scheme could trigger a house price bubble as high loan to value lending raises the risk of borrower defaults, however the limited term of the stimulus and housing market fundamentals offsets these risks, Moody’s Investors Service has said.
In this week’s Budget, chancellor George Osborne announced the three-year Help to Buy plan which will involve the government partially guaranteeing up to £130bn of high LTV loans for home purchases. The ratings agency said that it anticipates the majority of high-LTV lending will be eligible for the scheme………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Booming London property market helps house prices record strongest jump in three years

Posted on 26 March 2013 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

House prices recorded their strongest monthly jump in three years in March thanks to a booming London market, property analyst Hometrack said. The 0.3% rise was driven by a boost to London house prices, with concerns over the crisis in Cyprus and the eurozone likely to send more cash flowing into the English capital in the coming months, the study said.
The national increase in house prices this month marks the highest growth seen since March 2010. Prices soared by 0.7% month-on-month in London, showing the strongest uplift since February 2010………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Fannie and Freddie no model for UK housing

Posted on 26 March 2013 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Much is often made of how shrewd the US has been in bringing its financial system through the crisis relatively smoothly, even turning a profit on its bailouts. While UK taxpayers are still sitting on tens of billions of pounds of losses after rescuing the likes of Royal Bank of Scotland, Lloyds and Northern Rock, the US Treasury has sold its investments in nearly everything it bailed out, making money for taxpayers into the bargain.
The key exceptions that often escape mention are the US mortgage finance vehicles Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, whose bailout cost $190bn – dwarfing the £45bn pumped into RBS in the world’s costliest bank rescue………………………………………..Full Article: Source

C&W: UK Shopping center investment market off to flying start in 2013

Posted on 26 March 2013 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

The total UK shopping center investment transactions completed during the first quarter of 2013 will hit £1.05 billion, according to data released today by Cushman & Wakefield.
This quarter’s figure is marginally down on the £1.17 billion seen in Q4 2012 but activity has increased notably and the number of transactions has spiked from six in the last quarter of 2012 to 14 in Q1 2013. Volumes in the first quarter of 2013 are also up by around 65% when compared to the £610 million-worth of deals completed the same period last year………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Residential property growth fell by 0.8pct in France in 2012, sales down considerably

Posted on 26 March 2013 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Property price growth slowed to 0.8% in France in 2012 and is set to fall by 2% nationally this year, according to the latest figures from the FNAIM, the national federation for estate agents in the country.
But the figures do mask some regional differences. For example Languedoc-Roussillon recorded an overall 0.5% property price increase with houses up by 1.8% in the fourth quarter of 2012 compared with the same period in 2011………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Sweden’s property sector faces deflation

Posted on 26 March 2013 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Danske Bank A/S, which has survived housing bubbles in Denmark and Ireland, is predicting that Sweden’s bloated property market faces a period of deflation as job losses mount to collide with record debt levels.
“To say there is a bubble in Sweden is to exaggerate, but we believe we could see a slow puncture of the housing market,” Ann Krumlinde, chief executive officer at Danske’s Swedish unit, said in an interview here. “If we get an increase in unemployment, there is a risk that will trigger a correction.”……………………………………….Full Article: Source

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