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Real Estate Briefing 23.Oct 2008

Are real-estate prices set to fall around the globe?
U.S. mortgage applications sink to 8-year low
European investment activity stabilises in Q3 - CBRE
China's real estate: To Pop or to Prop
Financial meltdown threatens to burst Russia property bubble
Cyprus property developers appear to shift strategy
Students help Unite to buck property trend
Online listings battle sweeps U.K.
Rental demand up by 50 per cent
Merger of key property lenders in Dubai to move forward rapidly
Further changes in management structure of Hypo Real Estate Group
Canada house price drop may be exaggerated, TD says
US home prices likely to fall another 10 percent
China acts to encourage home buyers
Philippines' property sector to suffer brief slowdown
Property market outlook for Spain is poor
King’s Cross project rescued at 11th hour
Altamar eyes real estate fund close
Investors should look to Reits in market turmoil
Korea: Property market reacts cautiously to cash injections
Non-residential construction index plunges: AIA
Indian property developers woo Gulf expats amid financial crisis
Strong Q3 demand seen for private equity property funds
Cyprus real estate ‘resilient’, says RICS
U.S. land slide to affect Canadian market
Expats driving demand for Australian property
Mortgage bankers see slump into 2009
UK: House sales plunge 53% to three-year low
Australia's property market not the same as US
Abu Dhabi realty stabilises
APG pushes forward to meet infrastructure target
New EU real estate agents standards
Crunch hits British lust for property in France
Korea: Overseas property purchases fall 73%

Posted on 23 October 2008 by Laxman |  Email |Print

From Newsweek.com: If declining home values have you down, and you’d like some company in your misery, here’s a glimmer of good news: when it comes to the housing downturn, the United States is starting to have plenty of company.

It’s been nearly three years since U.S. home values peaked at the height of what was, in retrospect, a bubble fueled by low interest rates, speculation and a general giddiness as millions of Americans began to look at their houses not only as a place to live, but as an asset that would make them rich….. Full Article: Source

Posted on 23 October 2008 by Laxman |  Email |Print

From Reuters: Demand for applications to buy U.S. homes and refinance mortgages sank to the lowest level in nearly eight years, a trade group said on Wednesday, in the heart of a financial crisis that has sapped consumer confidence.

The Mortgage Bankers Association’s seasonally adjusted index of mortgage applications, which includes both purchase and refinance loans, slid 16.6 percent to 408.1 last week, the lowest reading since December 2000….. Full Article: Source

Posted on 23 October 2008 by Laxman |  Email |Print

From Propertyeu.info: European commercial real estate investment activity remained stable in the third quarter of 2008 at EUR 26.4 bn, slightly below the EUR 27 bn registered in the second quarter of 2008, according to the latest research report issued by CB Richard Ellis.

The figure brings the turnover for Europe’s investment market in the first nine months of 2008 to EUR 92.9 bn, a level comparable to investment volumes for the same period in 2004….. Full Article: Source

Posted on 23 October 2008 by Laxman |  Email |Print

From EEO: A real estate trading slowdown in China over the past several months has cornered developers into buying less land for new projects, hurting related business sectors and local governments’ revenues in taxation and land transfer fees.

In response, local authorities in 18 cities throughout China have in past months introduced stimulus policies, including loosening credits, cutting taxes, offering subsidies, and extending housing project time limits to prop up the sluggish market….. Full Article: Source

Posted on 23 October 2008 by Laxman |  Email |Print

From Bworldonline.com: Only a few months ago, billionaire Sergei Polonsky, the developer behind an array of gleaming Moscow skyscrapers, seemed invulnerable. But now that the global financial crisis is hitting Russia, he has warned that the country’s construction industry is “on its knees” and begged journalists for help in a bid to stave off disaster.

“The future and success of builders depend on you, dear journalists!” the 35-year-old tycoon pleaded in an open letter posted on his blog this month and republished in the Russian press….. Full Article: Source

Posted on 23 October 2008 by Laxman |  Email |Print

From Financialmirror.com: The number of building permits authorised in Cyprus fell for the 11th straight month in August, but the value of permits authorised was up. The total number of permits was 504, 9.7% lower than August 2007. Building permits in January - August 2008 fell by 12.7% compared with the same period of 2007, to 5,613.

A different pattern was seen in terms of value, however. The total value of permits in August reached EUR 151.3 mln. This was 1.5% higher than in August 2007 and was the third consecutive month of increase….. Full Article: Source

Posted on 23 October 2008 by Laxman |  Email |Print

From FT: Student accommodation has been one of the few bright spots for the property industry in recent months. While job losses and a consumer slowdown affect demand in the offices and retail sectors, there is no sign that student numbers are in decline.

Unite, the specialist student accommodation provider, this week reported that 99 per cent of its rooms had been reserved for the 2008-09 academic year, with a like-for-like rental growth of 11 per cent over the last academic year….. Full Article: Source

Posted on 23 October 2008 by Laxman |  Email |Print

From Inman.com: Despite the housing mess in the U.K., there is no shortage of innovation in the technology real estate sector as start-up companies and mainstream media firms like News International race to take advantage of the opportunity online with property sales and rentals.

“In some ways, we are ahead (of the states), and in other ways we are behind,” said Ed Freyfogle who founded and runs real estate Web site Nestoria, which provides real estate traffic to a range of European Internet sites, charging for clicks….. Full Article: Source

Posted on 23 October 2008 by Laxman |  Email |Print

From Telegraph: The number of people signing up for rented accommodation rose in September, with demand up 50 per cent year on year, according to the UK’s second largest lettings agent Your Move, which has 250 branches nationwide.

The number of leases commencing in September jumped 4.34 per cent compared to August 2008 - far beyond normal seasonal fluctuations, the agent added. Your Move said that has the increase in demand coincided with mortgage advances being at an all-time low, it indicated that would-be buyers are renting rather than buying property….. Full Article: Source

Posted on 23 October 2008 by Laxman |  Email |Print

From Propertywire.com: Dubai Islamic mortgage providers Amlak and Tamweel aim to complete their $1.6 billion merger rapidly as the global credit crisis strikes the Gulf.

Both firms are facing medium and long term funding problems which are regarded as a sign of how the global finance crisis is now affecting Dubai. More real estate developers and lenders in the region are expected to follow similar plans and merge….. Full Article: Source

Posted on 23 October 2008 by Laxman |  Email |Print

From Europe-re.com: The Supervisory and Management Boards of Hypo Real Estate Holding AG have decided on further measures to advance the leadership structure of the Group.

Cyril Dunne, until now Chief Operating Officer (COO) of Hypo Real Estate Group and, since September 2008, also Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of DEPFA Bank plc, will in future concentrate fully on the role of CEO of DEPFA Bank. Frank Krings (36) has been appointed by the Supervisory Board to the Management Board of Hypo Real Estate Holding AG with immediate effect and takes over the position of Chief Operating Officer….. Full Article: Source

Posted on 23 October 2008 by Laxman |  Email |Print

From Reuters: The drop in Canadian home prices in September may not be as severe as it seemed, TD Securities said on Wednesday, bolstering the case that the country is not headed for a U.S.-style housing meltdown.

TD, a unit of Toronto-Dominion Bank, argued in a report that home prices fell 1.3 percent in major Canadian markets in September, not the dramatic 6.2 percent drop that was reported by the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) last week….. Full Article: Source

Posted on 23 October 2008 by Laxman |  Email |Print

From Voanews.com: Top forecasters attending a housing conference in Washington predicted further declines in US home prices, which are already down 20 percent from their early 2006 peak.

VOA’s Barry Wood reports that defaults on home mortgage loans in August 2007 triggered what has become a global credit squeeze. Forecaster Mark Zandi of Moody’s Economy.com says US home prices are unlikely to recover until mid 2009….. Full Article: Source

Posted on 23 October 2008 by Laxman |  Email |Print

From WSJ: China’s Ministry of Finance will introduce tax breaks for certain housing transactions from Nov. 1 and relax mortgage rates for first-time home buyers, moves that could help stabilize the country’s property market.

The ministry said Wednesday that the measures, which had been widely anticipated, are intended to help the public, particularly the poor. But their effects could support housing purchases and help…. Full Article: Source

Posted on 23 October 2008 by Laxman |  Email |Print

From Nasdaq.com: The Philippine property sector is likely to soften as the U.S. economy slows down, but the fall isn’t expected to be as steep as it had been during the 1997 Asian financial crisis, real estate service firm CB Richard Ellis Group Inc. (CBG) said.

The Asian contagion blemished metropolitan Manila’s skyline with half-finished office and residential towers, and left many banks with bloated nonperforming assets….. Full Article: Source

Posted on 23 October 2008 by Laxman |  Email |Print

From Propertywire.com: Property prices in Spain could fall as much as 50% over the next three years it is claimed as more developers suffer severe financial problems.

Like many economies, property sales and lending have collapsed in Spain but the situation is compounded by chronic overbuilding and opinion is divided over whether the country will slip into recession….. Full Article: Source

Posted on 23 October 2008 by Laxman |  Email |Print

From FT: The £2bn ($3.3bn) redevelopment of the King’s Cross area of central London has secured an 11th-hour funding package for its next phase after talks with a consortium of international banks fell through.

The 8m sq ft office, retail and residential scheme, one of Europe’s largest redevelopment projects, was last month close to signing a £400m development finance deal with a consortium of banks including EuroHypo and Deutsche Postbank….. Full Article: Source

Posted on 23 October 2008 by Laxman |  Email |Print

From Privateequityrealestate.net: Madrid-based Altamar Private Equity has reached the €150 million target on its debut private equity real estate fund, which the firm hopes to close by the end of 2008 on its €200 million hard cap.

The fund, which is named Altan, will be Altamar’s third. The fund of fund manager’s previous two funds closed on €325 million and €425 million respectively and were focused on private equity buyout investments….. Full Article: Source

Posted on 23 October 2008 by Laxman |  Email |Print

From FT Adviser: Investors should be turning their attention towards Reits, as they have emerged as solid investments during the current market volatility and widely outperformed traditional property investments, according to Standard & Poor’s.

Compared with property stocks and broader global equities, Reits, though not totally immune to market conditions, have shown more resilience than other asset classes and are expected to weather the downturn better, S&P said in its latest Global Property Report….. Full Article: Source

Posted on 23 October 2008 by Laxman |  Email |Print

From Chosun.com: Government steps to provide liquidity to builders will help improve cash flow at small and mid-sized construction companies that are facing bankruptcy, but the prevailing view in construction and real estate markets is that the measures will have only a limited effect on reviving the depressed market.

The decision to gradually lift restrictions on real estate transactions in areas designated as speculative zones in the capital, where housing prices have been showing signs of falling, have led to hopes of a revival in sales of both old and new apartments….. Full Article: Source

Posted on 23 October 2008 by Laxman |  Email |Print

From Reuters: A forward-looking measure of U.S. nonresidential construction activity plunged last month as more architects reported cancellations of projects amid the ongoing credit crisis, an architects’ trade group said on Wednesday.

The Architecture Billings Index fell more than 6 points to 41.4 in September, according to the American Institute of Architects. A reading below 50 indicates a decline in billings, a leading indicator of construction activity about nine to 12 months in the future….. Full Article: Source

Posted on 23 October 2008 by Laxman |  Email |Print

From Indiatimes.com: With property prices and rents spiralling in the Gulf and the rupee depreciating, Indian real estate developers are actively promoting their products among expatriate Indians in the Gulf.

“Because of spiralling rentals in Dubai and elsewhere in the region, Indians working here prefer to keep their families back home,” Haseeb Ahamed, chairman of the Calicut chapter of the Kerala Builders’ Forum (KBF), told IANS here Wednesday….. Full Article: Source

Posted on 23 October 2008 by Laxman |  Email |Print

From Reuters: Private equity real estate fundraising defied slumping property markets in the third quarter, consultancy Preqin said on Wednesday, as investors hoped for cheap property buying opportunities in coming years.

Preqin, which produces data on private equity, hedge funds and other parts of the financial sector, said $30.8 billion was raised in aggregate globally in the third quarter, down only slightly from $32.4 billion in the second quarter….. Full Article: Source

Posted on 23 October 2008 by Laxman |  Email |Print

From Financialmirror.com: The Cyprus real estate market, based on its sturdy economy, has so far resisted the negative consequences of the global credit crunch. According to a recent survey by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) on the second quarter of 2008, Cyprus is one of the few countries that displayed strengthening tendencies during this period.

The latest RICS Global Commercial Property market survey confirmed that Cyprus was one of the few economies which showed strengthening trends into the second quarter of this year….. Full Article: Source

Posted on 23 October 2008 by Laxman |  Email |Print

From Canada.com: U.S. real estate markets will bottom out next year and then founder for much of 2010, negatively affecting Canadian markets along the way, an Urban Land Institute report said.

“Less volatile Canadian real estate markets cannot avoid shock waves emanating from the big elephant in the room next door,” the 2009 Emerging Trends in Real Estate report said….. Full Article: Source

Posted on 23 October 2008 by Laxman |  Email |Print

From Homesoverseas.co.uk: Australia’s property market could be boosted by the return of a growing number of Australian expatriates, attracted by lower Australian interest rates and government measures to overcome the economic downturn.

“There is strong interest from expatriate Australians, many of them banking and finance professionals, who are looking to return home to escape the credit crunch in places like London and Singapore,” Jennifer Nielsen, chief executive of Loan Market Group, a home finance broking organisation said….. Full Article: Source

Posted on 23 October 2008 by Laxman |  Email |Print

From Bizjournals.com: The Mortgage Bankers Association expects the economy to contract through the first half of 2009 before a modest recovery takes hold heading into 2010.

The Washington, D.C.-based group said in its latest economic forecast this week that it expects growth to pick up strongly by the end of next year and over the course of 2010. The association expects residential mortgage production in 2009 to tumble to $1.67 trillion from an expected $1.86 trillion this year and $2.3 trillion in 2007….. Full Article: Source

Posted on 23 October 2008 by Laxman |  Email |Print

From Timesonline.co.uk: The number of houses sold in September fell by 53 per cent to a three-year low compared to last year as Britain’s housing crisis deepened.

Only 59,000 residential properties worth more than £40,000 were sold last month - the lowest since 2005 - compared to 126,000 in September 2007, as the number of mortgages issued plunged….. Full Article: Source

Posted on 23 October 2008 by Laxman |  Email |Print

From Yourmortgage.com.au: The real estate bubble has burst in the US and the market is showing no signs of a recovery, but analysts in Australia say a similar result here is unlikely.

Despite recent reports from sources such as The Economist magazine and the International Monetary Fund listing Australian real estate as some of the most overvalued in the world, the Australian market has remained stable while property values worldwide have fallen….. Full Article: Source

Posted on 23 October 2008 by Laxman |  Email |Print

From Zawya.com: Prices of land and property in Abu Dhabi are now stable while rents of both residential and commercial units have continued to go up since 2005, according to major real estate agents.

Board Chairman of Al Hosn Real Estate Dr Mohammed Nuaimat told Emirates Business that prices of property and land are still high, “and we are waiting for a just correction”. He said most certainly the market still maintains its value and attraction. He said many real estate agencies and companies are convinced that investment in real estate is much better than in the stock exchange since the sector is stable and offers high returns….. Full Article: Source

Posted on 23 October 2008 by Laxman |  Email |Print

From IPE: APG, the asset manager of the €193bn ABP pension fund, is pushing forward to meet its infrastructure investment target of €4.5bn for 2009, even though opportunities are now drying up in the asset class.

Robbert Coomans, head of infrastructure investments at APG, said the company would have “no problem in reaching our target by the end of 2009.”…. Full Article: Source

Posted on 23 October 2008 by Laxman |  Email |Print

From Questbg.com: Bulgarian real estate agents selling property in Bulgaria will soon have to contend with new EU standards. Over the coming six months or so, new standards regarding property professionals are going to be adopted in Bulgaria, Maya Staneva, the Executive Director of the Bulgarian Institute for Standardisation, said.

EU real estate standards have been in the pipeline for several years and naturally Bulgaria will need to comply with EU requirements. Currently Bulgarian estate agents selling Bulgarian property are not regulated and people working in this sector need no qualifications to do so….. Full Article: Source

Posted on 23 October 2008 by Laxman |  Email |Print

From Arabtimesonline.com: The yearning of middle-class Britons to retire to a French farmhouse with a glass of wine is under threat as the financial crisis casts a shadow over dreams of a lifestyle makeover.

‘It started around Christmas last year with the rise in value of the euro against sterling,’ said Richard Dannreuther of Euro Immobilier estate agents in the south west town of Chalais….. Full Article: Source

Posted on 23 October 2008 by Laxman |  Email |Print

From Koreatimes.co.kr: South Koreans’ purchasing of overseas real estate fell by more than 70 percent last month from a year earlier as individuals and businesses here continued to remain reluctant to put money into foreign properties amid the deepening U.S. housing market slump and its ripple effects in China and other parts of the world.

The falling won against the dollar and the aggravating global credit crunch also made property buying abroad more difficult….. Full Article: Source

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