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Real Estate Briefing - Archive | May, 2013

Australia: Confused by reports on what the property market is doing? You’re not alone

Posted on 10 May 2013 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Did city prices stagnate in the March quarter? Or did they show moderate growth? Or perhaps they rose strongly? All three interpretations are possible, depending on which information source you choose to highlight.
The publication this week of the house price indexes from the ABS highlight how important it is for reporters to do more than simply parrot the figures from that single source, with their own inexpert interpretation. Data released earlier from other sources contradict those interpretations………………………………….Full Article: Source

Canada: Housing starts fall 3.5pct in April as market faces ‘new reality’

Posted on 09 May 2013 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Housing starts cooled in April, suggesting that home builders are scaling back construction in the wake of the decline in home sales. And, notably, the consensus estimate among economists for this important spring month was virtually bang on.
Starts came in at 174,900 on an annualized basis in April, a 3.5 per cent decline from March. Economists had been expecting starts to come in at 175,000 on average………………………………….Full Article: Source

Moody’s: US commercial property market outlook broadly stable in 1Q 2013

Posted on 09 May 2013 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

The outlook for the major US property markets was broadly stable in the first quarter, consistent with the generally slow pace of both construction and absorption, the supply and demand components of real estate, according to Moody’s Investors Service’s Red-Yellow-Green quarterly property assessment.
“While overall levels of construction and absorption remained modest, strong revenue per available room or RevPAR growth from the hotel sectors pushed the overall composite score up to Green 68, a one-point increase over the prior quarter,” said Moody’s Vice President - Senior Credit Officer Keith Banhazl………………………………….Full Article: Source

Winners of the investor-led housing recovery

Posted on 09 May 2013 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

The housing market recovery is gaining momentum, but it’s not your average homebuyer behind the push, it’s investors. Low interest rates and recuperating home prices have investors flocking to the market to find bargains and they’re pricing out traditional buyers.
But just like any competition, there are winners and losers in the recent shift and surge in the real estate market. “Investors are increasingly putting money into residential properties because they see it as a lucrative investment,” says Deonta Smith, an analyst at market research firm IBISWorld. “Investors are purchasing foreclosed and existing homes that need a lot of work, fixing them up and renting them until prices increase.”…………………………………Full Article: Source

Is the U.S. housing market shortage just a mirage?

Posted on 09 May 2013 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Thanks to the near-record-low interest rates, many Americans are ready to jump back into the housing market. Unfortunately, many are running into one obstacle—there aren’t enough homes for sale. That’s a good sign, though! After all, a leading indicator of economic growth is a healthy housing market, and a lack of housing should mean that builders can’t keep up with demand.
Part of the reason there is a lack of supply is that many people don’t want to sell. Many homeowners lost a lot of equity in 2006 when the housing market collapsed. Today, 21.5% of all residential homes in the U.S. are worth less than their mortgages………………………………….Full Article: Source

US housing market passes half way mark in return of ‘normal’

Posted on 09 May 2013 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Most of us already realize “normal” is relative. Yet, we are only human. And as such, we can scarcely stop ourselves from the very-human behavior of seizing every available opportunity to try to quantify and define the term.
Thanks to the folks at real estate data company Trulia, we don’t need to try very hard to define what’s “normal” for the housing industry. They’ve done it for us with the Housing Barometer, a monthly report that charts how quickly the housing market is moving back to normal based on the performance of construction starts, existing home sales and delinquency-plus-foreclosure rates………………………………….Full Article: Source

Fund targets Latin American housing

Posted on 09 May 2013 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

The U.S. government’s Overseas Private Investment Corporation is investing $100 million in Paladin Realty Latin America Investors IV, a fund targeting housing development in Latin America. Paladin aims to build 12,000 affordable housing units for Latin America’s growing workforce, particularly first-time home.
With an initial closing of $75 million earlier this year, the fund hopes to reach a capitalization target of $400 million to $600 million, according to the release. “This new fund will continue Paladin Realty’s 15-year strategy of supporting affordable homeownership in Latin America and the growth of its housing industry,” OPIC chief executive Elizabeth L. Littlefield said………………………………….Full Article: Source

JLL: European logistics markets remain stable despite subdued Eurozone outlook

Posted on 09 May 2013 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

The Q1 2013 European logistics real estate take-up market continued to demonstrate steady performance, according to the latest analysis from Jones Lang LaSalle. Germany was once again the most active European market, whilst Spain was the only other market to demonstrate growth. Completions have fallen, but six million sq m of space under construction is the highest amount since 2008, demonstrating the confidence in the sector.
Occupier demand remained stable year-on-year in the first quarter of 2013 thanks to continued global supply chain realignment, largely based on a growing e-commerce sector. A total of 2.9 million m² of logistics units over 5,000 m² in size were taken-up in Q1 2013………………………………….Full Article: Source

UK: House prices rise in April, says Halifax

Posted on 09 May 2013 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Prices rose 1.1% over the month and 2% over the year, but significant constraints remain on housing demand, according to the bank. House prices continued on their upward trajectory in April, partly driven by a big drop in the level of new borrower’s mortgage payments in relation to their income over the past six years, according to the Halifax.
Property prices rose by 1.1% in April, the bank said. This followed rises of 0.5% in February and 0.4% in March and contributed to a year-on-year price increase of 2%………………………………….Full Article: Source

London hotel real estate more attractive than New York

Posted on 09 May 2013 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

London is outpacing New York in the real estate market - especially with wealthy buyers from overseas, analysts say. InterContinental Hotels Group PLC is still waiting to sell the InterContinental New York Barclay hotel, one of its limited number of trophy properties, but it had no problem marketing another of its key assets in London recently.
The world’s biggest hotelier by number of rooms flagged the sale of the 87-year-old Barclay in early 2011 to take advantage of its location in the heart of midtown Manhattan’s exclusive East Side. It found an exclusive buyer, but the talks then broke down. Analysts said the property was “tired” and IHG was forced fund a renovation………………………………….Full Article: Source

Apartment market in Germany builds

Posted on 09 May 2013 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

The firm that owns more rental apartments than any other closely held company in Germany is getting nearer to an initial public offering, hoping to cash in on rising rents and demand for a stock with the potential to offer attractive yields in a low-interest-rate environment.
But the timing might have been better if Deutsche Annington Immobilien GmbH had moved earlier. The company, which owns about 200,000 apartments, mostly in Germany’s central and western regions, is planning to go to market in early July with its IPO………………………………….Full Article: Source

S.Arabia: Rent set to increase every 5 years

Posted on 09 May 2013 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Rents will increase every five years due to the negative impact of recent decisions that obligate owners of vacant lands to either build or sell the land altogether. Owners not able to build on their vacant lands may be forced to sell, according to experts in real estate.
Talal Samarqandi, chairman of the Engineering Houses Commission at the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry (JCCI), said, “The percentage of vacant lands in Saudi cities lies at 50 percent. However, selling such lands will cause a rise in the price of housing units every five years because of the increase in the volume of sales.”…………………………………Full Article: Source

Beijing clampdown on property market ‘won’t hold back China homes sales’

Posted on 09 May 2013 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Mainland home sales to grow at slower pace and prices to rise 5 to 10 per cent, says Moody’s. The mainland property market will continue to grow, but at a slower pace, while developers which focus on the mass market will experience strongest growth, Moody’s Investors Service said.
Its view, in a report released yesterday, echoed predictions by analysts that property prices will rise 5 to 10 per cent this year………………………………….Full Article: Source

Stronger housing market raises financial risk for NZ - RBNZ

Posted on 09 May 2013 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

A surging New Zealand housing market is raising the risks to the country’s financial system, prompting a move to tighten lending rules for major banks, while an overvalued currency is hindering the rebalancing of the economy, the central bank said on Wednesday.
The Reserve Bank of New Zealand (RBNZ) repeated warnings that house prices are overvalued in some areas and banks have loosened their lending rules, which is leading to households becoming more indebted and more vulnerable………………………………….Full Article: Source

Over 50pct of Americans expect home prices to rise

Posted on 08 May 2013 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

More than half of Americans now expect the country’s home prices to climb within the next year, illustrating a growing optimism toward the health of the housing industry, according to new data from mortgage-finance company Fannie Mae.
“For the first time in the survey’s three-year history, the majority of Americans surveyed now expect home prices to increase,” said Doug Duncan, senior vice president and chief economist at Fannie Mae. “Crossing the 50% threshold marks a significant milestone as most Americans believe a housing recovery is truly occurring throughout the country.”……………………………………….Full Article: Source

American housing market is slowly recovering momentum

Posted on 08 May 2013 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Properties in America are hot for Chinese investors, but what can we expect as the “new normal” for housing in the United States? The American housing recovery is absolutely underway. The operative part of this phrase is “way” since America has a “way-to-go” before the recovery actually takes hold.
The 1950s were a post WWII society in America that involved larger families and boomers who had, on average, 2.3 children. As those children were born and came of age, there was an unnaturally large housing cycle which, on a per capita basis, made for an unusual level of housing demand relative to the historic norms in America………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Another U.S. housing market crisis on the horizon?

Posted on 08 May 2013 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Home prices are heating up, as the flow of new homes and permits continue to steadily increase and the attraction of historically low mortgage rates motivates buyers. The buyers that are driving up the housing market are not only the buyers of principal homes, but also the investors who are attracted to the relatively lower home prices and cheap financing.
What is interesting is that we are seeing major buying from not only the smaller investor who may dabble in an investment property, but also the large institutions and hedge funds that are getting into the swing of things, gobbling up hundreds and thousands of properties at lower prices………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Public housing agencies push to impose time limits, work requirements for aid recipients

Posted on 08 May 2013 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Deep in the president’s new budget is a plan that could transform public housing in the nation by allowing housing authorities to increasingly set time limits or work requirements for participants.
Currently, government housing benefits are generally open ended. Unlike welfare—which has a five-year limit—federal housing programs allow low-income Americans to receive rent vouchers or live in government complexes for decades………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Record prices for US commercial property

Posted on 08 May 2013 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

U.S. commercial property prices hit record levels last month, a new report suggests. Green Streets Advisors’ commercial property index moved one percent higher than the record achieved in August, 2007, fueled by low interest rates and “modest economic growth.” The index rose one percent in April, after a two percent increase the month before, Bloomberg reports.
“It’s likely we’ll see more gains,” Green Street analyst Peter Rothemund said in the statement. “Real estate continues to be attractively priced relative to the returns on offer in the bond market.”……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Canadian housing - bursting bubble or gentle landing?

Posted on 08 May 2013 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

It’s looking like an unsettling spring in Canadian housing, a market that has proven far more even-keeled and less scary for investors in recent years than in the United States.
In what is traditionally the best season of the year for real estate agents, Toronto agent Ecko Jay says the industry is seeing far fewer buyers, a result of tighter lending rules, high prices and fear of a bubble. In Toronto alone, sales dropped 40 percent in the first quarter from a year earlier, making homeowners and investors jumpy………………………………………..Full Article: Source

UK: Does the government actually want any new homes built?

Posted on 08 May 2013 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

With a limp-wristed tearing of the reams of planning law and a hit-and-hope punt at helping the consumer mortgage market - does the government actually want any new homes to be built?
Housing demand means we need to build about 250,000 new homes a year just to keep up. In 2012, not even 100,000 housing starts were made. This is one of the reasons the UK’s housing costs are the third highest in Europe as families’ earnings are drained just on shelter………………………………………..Full Article: Source

London property prices continue to outperform

Posted on 08 May 2013 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

According to HM Land Registry All Transaction Data, prices in the area rose 25% across the year to reach an average of £1,186,817. LCP said this price increase is equivalent to earning £122 an hour for a working week, 14 times the London Living Wage (£8.55).
Two years down the line from the 2011 Budget, headline results show a complete recovery from the rise in Stamp Duty from 4% to 5% for purchases above £1m. The bunching in sales under £1m, which occurred following the 2011 stamp duty increases, has now burst through and the £1m - £2m price band has seen a staggering increase in transactions of 84% since last March………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Germans splurge on Italian homes locals can’t afford

Posted on 08 May 2013 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Yasemin Rosenmaier has been selling homes in northern Italy since 2005 and she’s finding that there’s never been a better time to work for a German broker.
“I’d say 60 percent of our closings are with Germans, which is much higher than in previous years,” Rosenmaier said by telephone from her Engel & Voelkers office in Cernobbio on Lake Como. “Why? Fear of inflation, the uncertainty on the financial markets, fear of what happened in Cyprus,” the latest European country to get an international bailout………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Baku real estate market prices grew by 1.2pct in April

Posted on 08 May 2013 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

In April the Baku real estate market observed a price rise by 1.2%. At that, the prices grew by 3.54% since early 2013 and by 7.8% versus the 2012 same term. MBA Group consulting company’s general director Nusret Ibrahimov says that in April prices on the primary housing market of Baku grew by 9.6% from $914 up to $977 per sq m and by 14.68% against last year’s same term.
“Prices on the secondary housing market grew by 2.34% from $1,582 up to $1,619 per sq m. Prices increased by 7.36% against early 2013 and by 12.64% versus last April. Growth of prices was registered in April on the land market of Baku where they increased by 3.5% from $19,026 up to $19,606 per are………………………………………..Full Article: Source

S.Africa: Commercial property values reach new highs

Posted on 08 May 2013 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Property values have fully recovered the ground that was lost during the last downturn and values are now one percentage point above their ‘07 highs. Commercial real estate values continue to benefit from a backdrop of low interest rates coupled with modest economic growth and it’s likely the upward momentum in values witnessed so far will be sustained.
Green Street’s Commercial Property Price Index is a time series of unleveraged U.S. commercial property values that captures the prices at which commercial real estate transactions are currently being negotiated and contracted………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Qatari real estate transactions down

Posted on 08 May 2013 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

The value of total real estate transactions during last week of April (April 21 to 25) amounted to QR807.2m, down 5.5 percent compared to QR854.4m the previous week, according to Ezdan Holding Group’s weekly report.
The main reason for the decline was caused due to the absence of grand deals. The report forecast that the real estate transactions will continue its recovery during the coming weeks, especially in the sector of plots with the existing trend of real estate investors and developers coming up with more new projects………………………………………..Full Article: Source

India: Distressed office space assets to go up

Posted on 08 May 2013 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Supply of office properties from developers struggling to fund, complete or sell their projects is likely to increase further in the April-June quarter, according to the latest RICS India Commercial Property Survey.
This continues from a marked pick-up in the supply of such distressed office properties in the January-March period, the property consultancy said in a report released Tuesday, without giving specific numbers or estimates. While distressed properties would be available at prices lower than market rates, the rise in their supply could dampen the capital values of office spaces, say experts………………………………………..Full Article: Source

India real estate: Can FDI save the day?

Posted on 08 May 2013 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Investment in India’s real estate sector is falling fast – yet another bit of bad news for the economy. In the fiscal year just ended, new investment into real estate was down 55 per cent from Rs926bn to Rs420bn (from $18bn to $8bn) according to the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (Assocham).
The sector is suffering as sales fall, the cost of construction rises and banks refuse to pass on reductions in the base rate after the recent round of interest rate cuts………………………………………..Full Article: Source

China property developers seek US growth

Posted on 08 May 2013 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

The two-acre site at 421 Kent Avenue in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, is nothing more than concrete rubble and rusted steel rods – remnants of a previous property project gone wrong.
But if Xinyuan Real Estate has its way, a gleaming 216-unit upmarket condominium building will soon take its place. This would make Xinyuan probably the first listed Chinese company to build a significant residential development in the US, according to Dan Fasulo, managing director at Real Capital Analytics………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Stamp duty chokes sales of Hong Kong commercial property

Posted on 08 May 2013 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Commercial property deals in the city fell sharply over the past three months as short-term investors shied away after the doubling of stamp duty on the purchase of both residential and non-residential properties.
“Buyers held off in the hope that vendors would cut their asking prices to compensate for the increased investment cost caused by the doubled stamp duty,” the executive director of Asia investment services at agency Colliers International, Antonio Wu, said. “But vendors were reluctant to cut the prices as they are still enjoying high rental yields.”……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Predicting when Hong Kong property bubble will burst

Posted on 08 May 2013 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Hong Kong has the highest home prices among major global cities, including London, New York, and Tokyo, according to a report by global property consultancy Savills, and one of the big questions in global finance these days is predicting when the Hong Kong property bubble will burst.
Consensus is growing that the market is getting ready for some kind of setback, though opinions differ on how serious. There are elements in Hong Kong’s situation that are all too familiar in Ireland. Since returning to China in 1997, Hong Kong’s economy has become irrevocably intertwined with China, and it needs Chinese trade flows and tourists to keep it simmering………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Singapore luxury property – A dormant market worth exploring

Posted on 08 May 2013 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

With personal income tax capped at a modest 20% and no capital-gains tax, it’s unsurprising that Singapore has become a magnet for wealth around the region. In a recent survey of 1,000 mobile millionaires, Singapore was deemed the most desirable place to call home in Asia – billionaires Richard Chandler and Eduardo Saverin are amongst the notable individuals who have chosen Singapore as their home-away-from-home.
According to Boston Consulting Group’s 2012 Global Wealth Report, Singapore has the world’s highest density of millionaire households at 17.1% or 188,000 households………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Philippine real estate draws foreign buyers

Posted on 08 May 2013 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

The Philippines real estate market is not only attracting investments from Filipino expatriates but also from foreigners who are either buying retirement homes or expanding assets in the country.
The relatively cheap properties and the opportunity to make significant returns are a major draw for foreign buyers. Philippine laws allow foreign nationals to own condominiums or residential units in high-rise buildings. The property market in the country has been growing in recent years, largely due to high demand from Filipinos working abroad………………………………………..Full Article: Source

NZ: Housing outlook hits record high

Posted on 08 May 2013 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Expectations of house price inflation have hit a record high in ASB’s quarterly survey, while the numbers who consider it a good time to buy a house continue to fall. In the bank’s latest survey, 63 per cent of respondents expected house prices to rise over the year ahead, up from 59 per cent three months ago and above the peak 10 years ago.
A seller’s market is also evident in the net balance who consider it a good time to buy, which has fallen to 8 per cent from 13 per cent in the previous survey………………………………………..Full Article: Source

NZ: Raging housing market a headache

Posted on 08 May 2013 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Increasing pressure in a housing market where supply is failing to meet demand is posing a growing risk to New Zealand’s financial stability, the Reserve Bank warns. In the bank’s six-monthly financial stability report, released on Wednesday, governor Graeme Wheeler says the country’s financial health is still sound, but growing private sector credit and rising house prices which are already high pose a concern.
The fears have emerged as Auckland and Christchurch stand out as struggling to meet demand for housing and as banks become more tolerant of lending on smaller deposits………………………………………..Full Article: Source

U.S. commercial-property prices rise above their ’07 peak

Posted on 07 May 2013 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Prices for U.S. commercial property last month rose above a peak reached in 2007 as low interest rates and financing availability helped increase values, according to research firm Green Street Advisors Inc.
The Green Street all-property index climbed 1 percent from the previous month and is 1 percent higher than the previous record, from August 2007, the Newport Beach, California-based company said today in a statement. Green Street’s index is based on its estimate of the value of portfolios of real estate investment trusts, which tend to own high-quality properties………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Returning to the housing market after a short sale, foreclosure

Posted on 07 May 2013 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

For the millions of Americans who lost their homes in a foreclosure or short sale during the recession, things are starting to look up. In addition to receiving a piece of the $3.6 billion settlement that banks are distributing to borrowers who were wrongfully foreclosed on, some homeowners are now becoming “boomerang buyers” and re-entering the market after a foreclosure or short sale.
Neal Katz, a mortgage agent at All Western Mortgage in Las Vegas, says he fields calls from a number of people wondering how long they have to wait before qualifying for another mortgage. “The biggest hurdle is time,” he says. “Time is the only thing that makes things better.”……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Housing crash fades as defaults decline to 2007 levels

Posted on 07 May 2013 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Six years after the start of the foreclosure crisis, American homeowners are paying their mortgages like the housing crash never happened.
First-time delinquent home loans fell to 0.84 percent of the 50.2 million mortgages in March, the first month below 1 percent since 2007, before a wave of defaults led to the financial crisis, according to a report today by Lender Processing Services Inc. The rate of first-time defaults, defined as loans that went from performing to at least 60 days delinquent, peaked at 2.89 percent in January 2009………………………………………..Full Article: Source

US housing perks up, but too few homes for sale

Posted on 07 May 2013 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Beth Heinen Bell and her husband, Christian — like a rising number of Americans — are ready to jump into the real estate market and become homeowners. Yet they’re running into an obstacle that’s keeping the national housing recovery in check: There aren’t enough homes for sale.
The housing shortage they face in Grand Rapids, Mich., a city known for its furniture industry and sleek downtown hospital complex, is fairly typical of what the country as a whole is facing this spring………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Secret ‘pocket listings’ return in hot housing markets

Posted on 07 May 2013 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

The housing rebound has given new life to an old, but little-known sales practice called “pocket listings,” where agents reserve homes for serious buyers only.
Most homes that are put up for sale are posted on databases called multiple listing services (MLS), on which agents share information with one another in order to find buyers. There are open houses on Sunday afternoons and listings posted on real estate websites………………………………………..Full Article: Source

A reality check on real estate

Posted on 07 May 2013 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

New statistics on the real estate market show home prices have risen by about 9 percent over the past year. Does this mean that real estate is back? On April 30, the Standard & Poors/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices release showed that a composite of real estate prices in 20 major metropolitan markets had increased by 9.3 percent over the past year, the best annual gain since May 2006.
Does that mean the housing market is back to the heady days of the real estate boom? A quick reality check shows that not to be the case — which may be good news for would-be home buyers………………………………………..Full Article: Source

A home buying frenzy in Las Vegas

Posted on 07 May 2013 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

My elderly mother is freaking out. Two weeks ago she put her small house on the market in the Las Vegas suburb of Henderson. The day she listed the house she received four calls, including an agent who assured he was on his way over with a buyer. Within days she had seven offers and eventually closed a deal for significantly more than her asking price.
“I’ve sold a lot of houses, but I’ve never seen anything like this,” she said. This is the state of the market in Las Vegas, once the poster child for the housing collapse. After a decade of frenzied construction, prices plummeted by more than 50 percent in most neighborhoods. Four years ago, at the market’s lowest point, more than 80 percent of the homes sold were foreclosure or bank-owned sales………………………………………..Full Article: Source

CMHC sees momentum building in Canada’s housing market

Posted on 07 May 2013 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

The current slump in Canada’s housing market may be short lived. Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. – with its pulse on the market as the country’s biggest provider of taxpayer-backed mortgage default insurance – expects the housing market to stabilize by July and then begin to pick up steam.
“We see some stabilization as of mid-year and some more momentum at the end of the year and into 2014, and that of course will be related to an improvement in overall economic conditions next year,” Mathieu Laberge, CMHC’s deputy chief economist, said on a call earlier Monday………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Swiss property market slows in first quarter, says UBS

Posted on 07 May 2013 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

The rate of increase in Swiss house prices slowed in the first quarter, research showed on Friday, suggesting moves by the government to deflate a property bubble are starting to take effect.
The UBS real estate bubble index rose 0.06 points to 1.17 points, lower than the average quarterly rise of 0.11 points over the past four years. A reading between 1.0 and 2.0 on the index means the market risks a correction, while anything over 2.0 indicates a bubble………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Norges’ property portfolio balloons in Q1 but return slips

Posted on 07 May 2013 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Norway’s giant government pension fund saw the market value of its real estate portfolio climb almost by half in the first three months of 2013 following a series of major deals. Norges Bank Investment Management (NBIM) - manager of the Norwegian Pension Fund Global - reported that the market value of the real estate portfolio stood at NOK 37 bn (€4.8 bn) in the first quarter of this year. This marked a 48% increase on the total of NOK 25 bn for the fourth quarter of 2012.
However, the fund’s investments in real estate returned -0.3% in the first quarter, down from a positive 0.49% for the previous quarter. In contrast, equity investments (62% of the fund’s overall holdings) returned 8.3%, while fixed-income investments (37%) returned 1.1%………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Saudi houing market: Pros vs. cons

Posted on 07 May 2013 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

According to the statistics that have been conducted in 2013 Saudi Arabia is a country of approximately 18 million citizens with a land area of about 1.96 million square kilometers (756,981 square miles). It has the second largest oil reserves, and the world’s biggest crude exporter, and also expects to become the top producer of refined products such as fuel and petrochemicals, so what’s the problem? Why can’t almost 60 percent of the Saudi citizens own their own houses given the fact that Saudi Arabia is a big country in the Arabian Gulf?
The land prices in Saudi Arabia’s main cities have jumped 50 percent in the last few years due to the absence of property tax, which have made the land owners keep their lands as a long term investment, whom the government nor the market can force them, owners of what are known as ‘white lands’ to lower their prices………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Dubai ranked world’s 2nd hottest property market in 2012

Posted on 07 May 2013 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

With the property price crash of 2008/09, induced as it was by the global economic slowdown, now a thing of past, Dubai has emerged as the second hottest property market in 2012.
According to a just published Forbes ranking of ‘The Hottest Real Estate Markets On Earth,’ which ranks real estate markets in 2012 based on the average house price growth, Dubai is ranked at No. 2, second only to Hong Kong, which saw house prices shoot up by a whopping 23.6 per cent last year………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Dubai’s off-plan property demons return

Posted on 07 May 2013 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Damac Properties, one of the hardest-hit developers during Dubai’s real estate market meltdown five years ago, launched a 28 million-square-foot luxury villa and condo project on the outskirts of the city last month. To fund construction, the company is using a financing model that should be familiar to anyone who has experienced or read about Dubai’s bursting property bubble: off-plan sales.
Hussein Sajwani, Damac’s chairman, said on Sunday that construction of its new Akoya project, which includes an 18-hole golf course managed by Trump International, will be 80% financed by customers. Damac is only putting up 20% of the cost, although it also used its own funds to pay for the land upon which it is to be built………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Housing market slows in China’s first-tier cities

Posted on 07 May 2013 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

China’s rocketing real estate market has decelerated since the State Council announced five new policies in March intended to curb the alarmingly rapid growth. Policies designed to stabilize housing prices and stifle speculation included a 20 percent capital gains tax, higher down payments, and increased mortgage interest rates in heated up markets, as well as curbs on second properties.
Some cities had experienced prices multiplying by factors of 10 recently, causing official concern, and locking prospective homeowners out of the market, CNBC reported………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Japan is property ‘market to watch’

Posted on 07 May 2013 by Laxman  |  Email |Print

Direct investment in global real estate hit the highest level since 2008 in the first quarter, led by a surge in investment in Asia Pacific commercial property. More than $27 billion was directly invested in Asia Pacific commercial real estate in the first quarter, a 26 percent increase from the same quarter of 2012, according to the last capital flows report from Jones Lang LaSalle. Of the total, $20 billion came from domestic deals, while cross-border transactions in the region slipped 24 percent from a year earlier.
Japan is the “one [market] to watch,” said Stuart Crow, head of Asia Pacific capital markets at Jones Lang LaSalle. Investment in Japan property rose to $10.6 billion, up 32 percent year from a year ago and 38 percent from the previous quarter………………………………………..Full Article: Source

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May 2013
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