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Real Estate Briefing - Archive | March, 2013

Luxury Spanish property could pull the country to its feet

Posted on 26 March 2013 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

The Spanish property market is at risk of becoming proverbial: an emblem of everything that went wrong in Europe during the boom years leading up to the disastrous 2007/8 crash. But that’s only part of the story.
Spain’s housing bubble was inflated by wishful thinking on all sides: purchasers thought they could buy cheap and rent or sell dear, developers thought they could sell one development before it was finished and use the money to build another, and banks chose not to look too hard as long as the money came in………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Fallout from crisis felt on Cypriot property market

Posted on 26 March 2013 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

As Cyprus is struggling through its financial crisis, the turmoil might affect the island’s real estate market, known as a major investment destination for well-to-do Russians. Konstantin Popov, chairman of property developer Inkom’s board of directors, said Russian investors might lose more than $3 billion on the island’s property market if the crisis deteriorated.
“Over the last years, Russians became the most active buyers of Cypriot real estate,” Popov said in comments published on the RRE.ru property research site. Popov said that, according to expert estimates, Russian investments in Cypriot real estate amounted to $10 billion over the past 10 years. ……………………………………….Full Article: Source

South African property sector records positive returns amidst wider market turmoil

Posted on 26 March 2013 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

The South African property sector delivered an improved 15.2% total return in 2012, the highest return on property since pre-recession levels according to the SAPOA / IPD South Africa Property Index report.
The 15.2% total return represents a marked upturn over the 10.3% generated by the sector in 2011. Income return was relatively steady at 8.9%, while the uplift was provided by a 5.8% capital growth. Property, however, still underperformed against both equities at 20.6% (MSCI South Africa Equities) and bonds at 18.2% (JP Morgan 7-10 Year South Africa Government Bond Index). ……………………………………….Full Article: Source

The reality behind Dubai’s property recovery

Posted on 26 March 2013 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Dubai’s oft-reported property rebound is a mirage, a bit of deception worthy of the emirate’s well-deserved reputation for theatrics. Dive into the recent analyst statements and it’s clear that the recent uptick in residential property prices was largely confined to very specific areas, primarily high end villas and luxury apartments.
Existing homeowners are simply moving up to bigger homes and investors are competing for quality properties available at bargain basement prices, pushing prices up as much as 20 percent for the best homes………………………………………..Full Article: Source

India: Slowdown in IT space hits commercial real estate sector

Posted on 26 March 2013 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Slow uptake of office space by information technology firms in India is beginning to cast a shadow over the country’s commercial real estate sector, data from property consultancy firms indicate.
Figures provided by two property consultants — Cushman & Wakefield and DTZ — show that absorption of office space in 2012 across the top eight Indian cities stood at 29.05 million sq ft, a 23% decline over the previous year. Of this, the share of the IT sector, which accounted for 64% of the commercial space absorbed in 2009, dropped to 44% in 2012 at 13.22 million sq ft. It was 16.08 million sq ft in 2011………………………………………..Full Article: Source

India ranked 20 among global real estate market, says C&W

Posted on 26 March 2013 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

India ranked 20th among the top 20 real estate investment markets globally with investment volume of $ 3466 million recorded in 2012,” said Cushman & Wakefield in its latest report International Investment Atlas.
As per the report, majority of the investment in India were through institutional sales (67%) while remaining were through private equity (PE) investments (33%). The market witnessed institutional sales (excluding apartments) of Rs 12, 800 crore, concentrated in commercial development sites and office segment including stand-alone and pre-leased office buildings………………………………………..Full Article: Source

China: Property lures investors

Posted on 26 March 2013 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

China may see an increase in property transactions involving international investors in 2013, fueled by the economic recovery and the rosy outlook of China’s commercial properties, industry experts said.
“On 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,” said Andy Zhang, managing director of Cushman & Wakefield China………………………………………..Full Article: Source

HongKong: Owners slash prices with property market quiet

Posted on 26 March 2013 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Flat prices have slipped by up to double digits as owners try to offload units amid a quiet property market. A 580-square-foot flat at Ming Kung Mansion in Tai Koo Shing changed hands for HK$7.95 million - 5 percent lower than market prices. The two-bedroom flat was priced at HK$8.5 million on Wednesday.
“Around three to four similar units were sold at HK$8.5 million-HK$8.6 million before the latest government curbs,” said Alan Cheung Kwong-yiu of Centaline Property Agency. Also, an owner finally sold his 509-sq-ft flat in Tai Koo Shing for HK$11,297 per sellable sq ft, or HK$5.75 million, after cutting prices twice. The current market price is about HK$12,800 per sellable sq ft………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Bubble set to form at low end of Thai market

Posted on 26 March 2013 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Mortgages are to set a new record of 21 to 22 percent of Thailand’s gross domestic product (GDP) over the next two years, reported Live Trading News. The majority of these mortgages are at the low end of the market and increase the risk of a bubble forming in that segment.
Markets have been unsettled due to a recent warning from the Bank of Thailand about growing household debt. Higher household debt has been largely attributed to the Yingluck Shinawatra administration’s policies, including the tax rebate of up to THB100,000 (US$3,416) for first-time car buyers………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Jakarta real estate firing on all cylinders

Posted on 26 March 2013 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Despite its well-known shortcomings, Indonesian capital exerts a powerful pull on businesses, spurring demand for office, commercial and residential property.
With low interest rates and strong business sentiment, the property market in the Greater Jakarta Area is expected to remain strong throughout this year as demand for office, residential and retail space continues, according to international property consultants………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Japan property market gaining investor interest

Posted on 26 March 2013 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

With land prices stabilizing, Japan’s troubled property market is gaining investor interest as the market improves. Land prices fell by 1.8 percent in 2012, the smallest decline since 2008, according to a recent government report. The slowdown in land pricing drops and expectation of government action to improve the economy are viewed as positive signs for investors, according to a Wall Street Journal report.
“In the next year or two, nationwide land prices may start to gain, led by the metropolitan areas,” Takashi Ishizawa, chief real-estate analyst at Mizuho Securities Co. told WSJ………………………………………..Full Article: Source

After more than two decades of stagnation, Japan’s property market may be coming back to life

Posted on 26 March 2013 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Being a Japanese home owner has been a disappointing experience beginning in the late 1980s, when land values collapsed, and in the subsequent decades, when they have stubbornly failed to recover. But all that may be about to change. The Wall Street Journal reports that Japans’s property market might be about stir back to life (paywall). It’s a sign of how terrible things have been that the WSJ sees it as a hopeful sign that land values fell only 1.8% in 2012—the slowest pace of decline since 2008.
The situation is slightly better in Japan’s megacities, as land prices in Tokyo, Osaka and Nagoya fell by only 0.6 percent………………………………………..Full Article: Source

10 most expensive luxury property markets

Posted on 25 March 2013 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Hong Kong is home to the world’s most expensive luxury real estate market, with top-end properties in the Chinese city fetching on average of US$11,800 per sqm, research found. According to real estate services provider Savills’ World Cities Review, values in the formerly British territory have soared 113.3 percent in the last seven years, despite a stalling in the second half of last year.
The report found that prices across several major Asian cities has sky rocketed in recent years on the back of a buying spree by the world’s mega-rich, causing premium property prices to outstrip mainstream real estate markets………………………………………..Full Article: Source

US farmland prices: Is the bubble about to burst?

Posted on 25 March 2013 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Record-high prices for corn, soybeans, wheat and other commodities have left growers flush with cash to purchase more land. And what the farmers don’t pay for out of their own pockets, historically low interest rates provide them with easy and cheap access to money to close the deal.
The favorable mix of both cash and credit has provided fuel to drive up land values across the Midwest, stoking fears of a bubble ready to burst. In Iowa, where rich soil, favorable weather and ethanol and livestock production help foster demand for limited growing space, farmland values have soared 90 percent since 2009. An acre of farmland that a decade ago sold for an average of $2,275 now goes for $8,700, according to Mike Duffy, an economist at Iowa State University who watches land prices………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Housing is back on track

Posted on 25 March 2013 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

“Real estate is back!” exclaimed a talking head on a financial network last week. The cause of the enthusiasm was the surprisingly strong Housing Starts report. In case you missed it, starts were up a better-than-expected 0.8 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 917,000 from February.
Building permits, an indication of future demand, were up 4.6 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 946,000, the highest rate since June 2008………………………………………..Full Article: Source

U.K. house prices rise most in three years on London surge

Posted on 25 March 2013 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

U.K. house prices rose the most in three years this month, led by a surge in London, as demand outstripped supply. Average values in England and Wales increased 0.3 percent, the biggest advance since March 2010, property researcher Hometrack Ltd. said. In London, prices jumped 0.7 percent, the most since February 2010.
The Bank of England’s Funding for Lending program has helped ease credit conditions, while plans announced by the government last week to assist prospective homebuyers will also support the market, Hometrack said………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Munich’s office market once again takes lead in IVG office market scorings

Posted on 25 March 2013 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Munich has successfully defended its lead in the latest office market scoring of IVG. This is the upshot of the IVG Germany Report published today. “Given the low number of completions and the decline in vacancies in the city, Munich is one of the few locations where rent increases in the core segment are to be expected,” said Dr. Thomas Beyerle, Head of CS & Research at IVG.
At 4.23 out of a possible score of 5 points, the Bavarian state capital remained ahead of Hamburg (4.16), Frankfurt (3.85), Cologne (3.84), Berlin (3.82), and Stuttgart (3.81). Last among Germany’s “Big Seven” was Düsseldorf with a 3.79 score………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Saudi: New property law favors consumers, says law firm official

Posted on 25 March 2013 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

New property law taking effect soon lean to ward the end-consumer rather than banks, Dr. Eyad Reda, Country Managing Partner of DLA Piper KSA, an international law firm, said.
The law is part of the ongoing judicial reforms and hope to alleviate the current housing crisis and population influx. “The new Saudi property law regulates the relationship between the end-consumer and the banks,” said Reda. “It (the legislation) has been years in the making and will be implemented in its final stage within two weeks.”……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Saudi King gifting land undercuts homebuilding promises

Posted on 25 March 2013 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah is paying the price for his own generosity as past land giveaways undermine his plans to build half a million homes and open up the country’s mortgage market.
State gifts of urban land complete with roads, water and power have left the government with almost no space of its own to develop within Saudi Arabia’s cities, according to Adnan Ghosheh, an adviser to the country’s Housing Ministry………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Women invest Dh13.3bln in Dubai real estate market

Posted on 25 March 2013 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Female investors spent Dh13.3 billion on property in Dubai last year, representing 23 per cent of the emirate’s real estate market. According to data from the Dubai Land Department (DLD), 5,434 women invested in property. This was only a slight increase from last year when 4,704 female investors poured Dh10.5 billion into the real estate market, making up 22 per cent of total investments, the DLD said.
Personal finance advisers and property analysts say they have seen an increase in demand by female investors for real estate recently………………………………………..Full Article: Source

India: Realtors under Sebi scanner for fraudulent investment schemes

Posted on 25 March 2013 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Suspecting investor frauds in the projects being launched by numerous real estate developers, capital markets regulator Sebi is probing them for possible violations of Collective Investment Scheme regulations.
The regulator has been flooded with complaints of investors being duped by the real estate companies promising huge returns in the projects proposed to be developed from the scratch through public money, prompting it to launch probe against 50-60 such developers, a senior official said………………………………………..Full Article: Source

China: Unintended consequence of property price curbs: more stock market speculation

Posted on 25 March 2013 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Unsophisticated investors who once sought a quick profit on property speculation seem now to be turning to stock market speculation instead. The Hong Kong government has been keen to curb fast-rising property prices since late last year, but all its efforts may be creating a new problem: more speculation in the city’s stock market.
Some local stock brokers have noticed a new trend recently. They say more financially unsophisticated individual clients are calling on them for ideas for investments in the stock market. They prefer “small cap” stocks, rather than heavyweights, and aim to make quick short-term profits………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Real estate not a pillar sector: Economic planner

Posted on 25 March 2013 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

China does not regard its property market as a pillar sector for its economy, according to an official with the country’s economic planner. Zhu Zhixin, deputy director of the National Development and Reform Commission, made the remark Sunday in response to the widespread misunderstanding of the importance of the housing market.
He was speaking at the ongoing China Development Forum held in Beijing. Instead, the central government considers the construction industry as a pillar one, he said………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Available land can meet housing needs: official

Posted on 25 March 2013 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

There has been no shortage of land in China for residential houses, and the land-supply plan for this year will be publicized no late than April, said a senior official on Saturday. Hu Cunzhi, vice-minister of land and resources, made the statement at a summit held by China Development Research Center, a think tank under the State Council.
Hu denied claims that the Chinese government had supplied insufficient land for home building, thus limiting supply and pushing up home prices. He said almost 8.44 billion square meters of floor space could have been built on China’s available land for residential houses over the past eight years, and if one person occupies 30 sq m on average, that space could house 281 million people………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Hong Kong’s real-estate brokers feel the chill

Posted on 25 March 2013 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

The armies of young real-estate agents that flood Hong Kong’s shopping malls on weekends could see their ranks thinning out in the coming months, the chief analyst at Hong Kong’s largest listed real-estate broker says.
Thanks to the government’s latest round of cooling measures, transactions across the city have dropped dramatically, Midland Realty’s Buggle Lau said Thursday. Since late February, when the government doubled the stamp duty on most property purchases, transactions on the secondary market at the city’s 10 most popular housing estates have plummeted to as few as four or five on recent weekends, Lau said………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Taiwan: Central bank meeting could focus on property market

Posted on 25 March 2013 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

The central bank is expected to focus on the local property market in an upcoming quarterly policymaking meeting, in addition to its monetary policy, market analysts said Saturday.
The central bank, which has made efforts to rein in high-flying local housing prices, is likely to address the property market issue in the March 28 meeting, while market analysts said the bank will probably leave key interest rates unchanged………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Japan’s property market shows signs of stabilization

Posted on 25 March 2013 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Japan’s long-troubled property market is showing fresh signs of stabilizing, another encouraging sign for investors amid high expectations for the government’s attempts to turn the economy around. In a report released last week, the government said land prices fell for the fifth straight year—but by just 1.8%, the slowest pace since 2008, as demand in Japan’s main urban centers helped slow the downward trend.
Analysts said real estate could do even better this year, with the possibility overall prices may even rise, as Prime Minister Shinzo Abe tries to haul the nation out of a decade-and-a-half long deflationary funk………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Conditions align for Australian property “perfect storm”

Posted on 25 March 2013 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

After almost a decade of relentless foreign investment, the bang of Australia’s mining boom may have finally popped – and as the smoke clears, a resurgent property market has revealed itself as the next quarry for foreign investors. The strength of Australia’s housing market has amazed observers, resolutely standing tall, while competitors such as France and the United States have been battered by the global financial crisis.
According to China-based property analyst Marcus Lin with Sunrise Property Group (SPG), Australia avoided a similar fate due to critical structural factors that will only strengthen in the medium to long term………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Sydney: Property market warming up

Posted on 25 March 2013 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Sydney’s housing market showed positive signs of recovery after 700 houses went under the hammer in the Super Saturday sales. Thousands crowded into courtyards, backyards and laneways at more than 700 auctions around Sydney, and the results did not disappoint.
Cooley Auctions director Damien Cooley had 85 auctions on his group’s books, and with 10 remaining had cleared more than 60 per cent. A property at 11 Kimberley Grove, Rosebery, sold for $1.76 million, well over the $1.55 million reserve………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Real estate market remains red hot: Existing home sales at three-year high

Posted on 22 March 2013 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

U.S. sales of previously occupied homes rose in February to their fastest pace in more than three years, and more people put their homes on the market. The increases suggest a growing number of Americans believe the housing recovery will strengthen.
The National Association of Realtors said Thursday that sales increased 0.8 percent in February from January to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.98 million. That was the fastest sales pace since November 2009, when a temporary home buyer tax credit had boosted sales. The February sales pace was also 10.2 percent higher than the same month a year ago………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Home sales rise in February, but is the market really improving?

Posted on 22 March 2013 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

As existing home sales continued their steady climb in February, low inventory is creating competitive markets in some parts of the country. But low prices and high demand aren’t creating a rapid increase in home prices. What’s wrong?
If you’ve been following US real estate recently, you know that it’s a “seller’s market” marked by “favorable buying conditions.” There is “pent up demand” that is limited by ”tight credit standards.”……………………………………….Full Article: Source

US housing inventory update

Posted on 22 March 2013 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Thinking about inventory as an interplay between would-be buyers and would-be sellers is problematic, because most buyers are sellers and most sellers are buyers.
That is, most people are selling one house in order to buy another. Whatever stops them from selling also stops them from buying and vice versa. Even folks who are moving into and out of the rental market are occupying units which in turn increases or decreases investor buying………………………………………..Full Article: Source

U.S. home prices rise to 2009 levels

Posted on 22 March 2013 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

U.S. home prices rose a seasonally adjusted 0.6% for January, according to a Federal Housing Finance Agency House Price Index report [link opens a PDF] released today. After bumping up a revised 0.5% in December and 1.4% for Q4 2012 overall, this newest report reflects another solid month for the housing market.
In 2012, home prices jumped up 6.5% and are currently comparable to September 2004 and 2009 levels………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Freddie Mac failing homeowners, watchdog says

Posted on 22 March 2013 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Freddie Mac and its regulator are not doing a good enough job bird-dogging complaints by homeowners about the companies handling their mortgages, a federal oversight official said Thursday.
The mortgage giant’s eight largest mortgage servicers resolved more than 25,500 “escalated” complaints from homeowners between October 2011 and November 2012, but failed to take care of 21% of them within the required 30-day window, according to a report from the inspector general overseeing the Federal Housing Finance Agency………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Canada real estate remains promising for foreign investors

Posted on 22 March 2013 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Mortgage and housing market expert, Marcus Arkan, who also works as the CTO of Syndicate Mortgages, has recently presented his view on opportunities available for foreign investors in Canada’s housing market. According to Mr. Arkan, local housing markets are not only filled with plenty of diverse opportunities, but investment does not require going through a hefty and complicated process.
Mr. Arkan’s opinion is backed by New York Time’s international real estate article that also highlights the investment opportunities for foreign investors, especially from the US………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Europe: Investors readying to pick second-tier property

Posted on 22 March 2013 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Cannes, France: Real estate investors are venturing out from the safety of the best buildings in Europe to gamble on edgier properties in a sign of risk-taking creeping back into the market as the Eurozone crisis recedes.
Buildings that are partially or fully vacant, with short periods left on the lease or in need of a revamp, are in demand when they weren’t 12 months ago. “We are interested in slightly compromised real estate,” said Charles Weeks, chief executive of Cornerstone Europe, which has $37.3 billion (Dh137.18 billion) under management worldwide………………………………………..Full Article: Source

UK: Home truths about the housing market

Posted on 22 March 2013 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

George Osborne’s help-to-buy scheme in the Budget may excite the hopes of would-be homeowners, but it confirms our alarming dependence on an insufficient stock of homes. The biggest surprise in George Osborne’s Budget was the announcement of a huge expansion of mortgage credit.
This was clearly designed to portray the Tories as continuing the work of Margaret Thatcher. It is, after all, a well-known fact that the British are peculiarly obsessed with home ownership, while everyone else rents. And it is another equally well-known fact that Mrs Thatcher, who won three elections, did so on the back of an unprecedented rise in home ownership………………………………………..Full Article: Source

The housing market in 2014 is guaranteed to be different following the budget

Posted on 22 March 2013 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

A year from now, the housing market could be a very different place. For one thing, the tone will be distinctly North American. Mark Carney, the Canadian who takes over this summer as Governor of the Bank of England, will be enjoying powers as extensive as a prairie to keep interest rates low.
Think of him as a Wild West sheriff, although in very nice tailoring, policing the recalcitrant British banking sector………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Should the treasury take housing risk?

Posted on 22 March 2013 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

If house-buyers were to take up all the guarantees on offer from the Treasury, some £130bn of new mortgages would be created - all of them with the home owners providing only a sliver of equity, and taxpayers on the hook for a little less than three quarters of losses, in the event that the price of the relevant houses were to fall 20%.
The Treasury estimates the potential or contingent liability for taxpayers at some £12bn………………………………………..Full Article: Source

English farmland is hot property

Posted on 22 March 2013 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Rural land across England has produced some of the best returns in Europe since the financial crisis began, appreciating by 51 percent from 2008 through 2012, data compiled by agent Knight Frank show.
Millionaires’ mansions in London rose 19 percent, the rest of the U.K. housing market lost value, and U.K. stocks fell 8.7 percent during the same period. Even as stocks, up about 10 percent so far this year, enjoy their best start since 1998, investors are likely to keep bidding up prices of farmland, drawn by its relative scarcity, rising commodity prices, and tax breaks………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Ajman property deals up 50pct

Posted on 22 March 2013 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Total value of property transactions in Ajman jumped by 50 per cent to Dh300 million in 2012 compared to 2011, signaling a recovery in the market. “The property market is witnessing a large interest from Gulf Cooperation Council investors and has been aided by recovery of the market in Dubai,” Yafea Eid Al Faraj, Executive-Director, Ajman Real Estate Regulatory Agency (Arra), said.
No details were given on number of buildings/apartments completed in 2012. Al Faraj, however, stated there was demand for ready residential buildings located in the centre of the city………………………………………..Full Article: Source

China tycoon warns property bubbles tend to get out of control

Posted on 22 March 2013 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

A series of remarks recently published by Wang Shi, chairman of China’s largest real estate developer Vanke, signal China’s property market is facing a turning point, 21st Century Business Herald reported. “There are obvious bubbles in the property market, and it is possible it will get out of control and crack,” Wang warned on his personal micro blog on March 11.
According to data released by the National Bureau of Statistics on March 18, new house prices in 70 cities in February increased by 90 per cent from January, and the rate of increases in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou were on the top of the list, hitting record highs………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Hong Kong homes face 20pct price drop as banks raise rates

Posted on 22 March 2013 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Hong Kong officials, who have struggled in vain for three years to slow the growth in home prices, are about to get their wish as the city’s biggest banks raise mortgage rates. Prices could fall as much as 20 percent over the next two years, according to Deutsche Bank AG, after lenders including HSBC Holdings Plc, Hong Kong’s biggest by assets, and Standard Chartered Plc raise their home loan rates by 25 basis points in response to tighter risk rules.
Hong Kong dollar’s peg to the U.S. currency has kept interest rates in the city at near record lows, underpinning a more than 110 percent gain in home prices since the beginning of 2009 to the most expensive among major global cities………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Japan land prices fall at slower rate on lower borrowing costs

Posted on 22 March 2013 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Japan’s land prices dropped at a slower pace for the third year as low interest rates and buying by real estate investment trusts spurred demand.
Nationwide land prices on average fell 1.8 percent as of Jan. 1, compared with a 2.6 percent decline a year earlier, the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism said in a report yesterday. The drop was the smallest since prices posted a gain in 2008, the data showed………………………………………..Full Article: Source

US housing market boost from Federal Reserve

Posted on 21 March 2013 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

The Federal Reserve is likely to keep pumping billions of dollars a month into the US economy after a two day meeting in Washington. The aim is to encourage businesses and households to spend and invest.
In February the number of new housing projects hit a four year high which spurred on some firms, especially in construction to start hiring again………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Why renters are still driving America’s building boom

Posted on 21 March 2013 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

As America’s housing market slowly heals, good news is pouring in from homebuilders: They’re building more; they’re hiring more workers; they’re building bigger houses. Still, some things haven’t changed: Renters (as opposed to buyers) are still driving the rebound of the residential construction industry.
Construction of single-family homes rose to a nearly five-year high in February, the Commerce Department reported Tuesday. Single-family home building, which made up about 66% of housing starts last month, rose 0.5% to a rate of 618,000 units — the highest level since June 2008. This follows a 31.5% rise in single-family construction in the last year………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Sudden rise in home demand takes builders by surprise

Posted on 21 March 2013 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

After six years of waiting on the sidelines, newly eager home buyers across the country are discovering that there are not enough houses for sale to accommodate the recent flush of demand.
“In my 27 years I’ve never seen inventories this low,” said Kurt K. Colgan, a broker with Lyon Real Estate in the Sacramento metropolitan area, where the share of homes on the market has plummeted by one of the largest amounts in the nation. “I’ve also never seen a market turn so quickly.”……………………………………….Full Article: Source

US housing starts rise, permits at 4 ½-year high

Posted on 21 March 2013 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

U.S. builders started more houses and apartments in February and received building permits for future construction at the fastest pace in 4 ½ years. The increases point to a housing recovery that is gaining strength.
The Commerce Department said Tuesday that builders broke ground on homes last month at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 917,000. That’s up from 910,000 in January. And it’s the second-fastest pace since June 2008, behind December’s rate of 982,000………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Luxury condo builders in New York find eager takers

Posted on 21 March 2013 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

In the latest sign that New York City’s luxury market remains hot, the developer of Manhattan’s tallest residential tower said it has signed contracts to sell more than a third of its luxury condo units two years before the building is set to be completed.
The building, known as 432 Park, has a total asking price for its 126 units of $2.7 billion, according to a filing this week with the New York attorney general. That amount reflects a 13% increase over July and is the highest total asking price ever for a Manhattan condominium. The building’s average asking price of $6,742 a foot also is near the top………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Canada housing to slow, stagnate, but not crash: Scotiabank

Posted on 21 March 2013 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

A slowdown in Canada’s housing market will continue through 2013 and years of stagnation may follow, but no crash is likely because demographic trends will support demand in the medium term, a report by Scotiabank said.
The report by Canada’s third-largest bank said that home sales have already dropped more than 10 percent from spring 2012, with prices leveling off but not yet falling except in particularly hard-hit markets………………………………………..Full Article: Source

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