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Real Estate Briefing 28.Oct 2008

REITs are worth it in the long-term
UAE property prices set to fall
US: As home prices fall, sales rise
World's next great cities
Dubai property market on edge amid global slowdown
Chinese property stocks plunge to near all-time lows
Canada:Real estate industry braces for downturn
London-listed property funds squeeze Bulgarian projects
US credit crisis hits property prices in Paris
$50bln projects showcased at BIPEX
India: Real estate developers likely to cut prices
Unexpected rise in sales of new homes in US
$4 billion in foreclosure grants coming
House prices 'will tumble £40,000 by the end of 2009'
Bali property market particularly vulnerable
Grosvenor to buy a ride on the Chinese dragon
Foreigners left without title deeds as Cypriot market freezes
UK: House prices fall by double forecast
Grim future for builders without credit insurance
India: Decline in realty market doesn’t deter start-ups
Property woes hit China's banks
Romania property fund asset values hold steady in uncertain realty market
Investors so-so on Chicago market: survey
SA: Non-residential property still healthy
India's sagging real estate shakes up London AIM
Australia: Housing market comeback depends on first-time buyers
Australia: Property price record tumbles
CBRE trust widens into UK retail
Mortgage funds put up shutters
Israeli developers tremble as E. Europe property market wilts
S.F. real estate shines brightly in cloudy market
Bahrain realty market growth may slow down
Flat' review sparks talk over UK housing potential

Posted on 28 October 2008 by Laxman |  Email |Print

From IPE: Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) are still solid, long-term investment choices despite their recent poor returns, according to Standard & Poor’s (S&P) latest global property and REIT report.

Financial data provider S&P has unveiled data showing REIT yields increased in the third quarter of 2008, as Asia-Pacific REITs recorded the highest yield of 8.7%, while the US REITs generated a lower yield of 5.23%….. Full Article: Source

Posted on 28 October 2008 by Laxman |  Email |Print

From FT: Property prices could fall in the United Arab Emirates but local banks would be able to handle the long-expected downturn, the country’s central bank governor said.

“A real estate correction could happen, but UAE banks are cushioned… the banks are safe,” Sultan Nasser al Suweidi, the central bank governor, said at a conference held by the Arab Monetary Fund in Abu Dhabi, the capital of the UAE….. Full Article: Source

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From Bizjournals.com: Single-family homes sales jumped 8.5 percent in September compared to the same time a year ago, according to The Warren Group. The September increase was the first in 11 months.

Despite an uptick in sales, year-to-date median home prices are off by 14.3 percent, according to the company, which tracks the data. A total of 30,983 homes were sold from January through September compared to the same period last year when 36,130 homes were sold….. Full Article: Source

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From Forbes: Thirty years ago, Shenzhen, China, was little more than a fisherman’s port. A decade ago it had blossomed into a small regional shipping center.

Today, it handles more container ships than Dubai, New York and Tokyo combined, according to data from the American Association of Port Authorities. It also boasts China’s second-largest stock exchange….. Full Article: Source

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From Washingtontimes.com: Dubai’s long, lucrative property boom is hitting rough times, with property-flipping speculators and hopeful foreign buyers increasingly worried as easy oil money and quick profits dry up.

It’s far from clear, though, if a bubble has truly burst or if the once red-hot market is simply cooling. “I saw fear take over,” said Timur Usmanov, a real estate agent for Dubai-based Monshaat Properties, about investors who recently tried to flee the market just two or three years after diving in….. Full Article: Source

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From IHT: Chinese property stocks plunged to near all-time lows Monday, with Guangzhou R&F sliding 22 percent and China Overseas Land down almost 13 percent, despite government steps unveiled last week to prop up the housing market.

Analysts and dealers said they had not spotted any changes to the fundamentals of the companies or new moves by Beijing. “Investors might just be throwing in the towel,” said Eric Wong, an analyst with UBS….. Full Article: Source

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From Reportonbusiness.com: Tough times lie ahead for Canada’s residential real estate market next year, with a brighter picture for 2010, industry officials predicted.

A crowd of more than 1,000 real estate agents and brokers gathered at the Toronto Real Estate Board’s (TREB) annual general meeting Monday for a pep talk aimed at worried salespeople, many of whom have yet to live through a downturn….. Full Article: Source

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From Sofiaecho.com: Two funds listed on the alternative investment market (AIM) of the London Stock Exchange said they would slash real estate investments in Bulgaria because of the ongoing financial crisis.

Black Sea Property Fund gave up its Evergreen gated complex that it planned to build in the country, while Bulgarian Land Development (BLD) has slashed the number of apartments it agreed last year to buy in the Paradiso Verde 2 complex in the Bansko mountain resort….. Full Article: Source

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From Propertywire.com: Property sales in fashionable areas of Paris are struggling as US investors are feeling the effects of the global credit crunch. The volume of apartments sold fell 20% in the year to May, according to the latest available statistics from the Chambre de Notaires de Paris.

One of the problems is that Paris attracts fewer buyers from Europe than the rest of France, with only 3% of second homes owned by Europeans….. Full Article: Source

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From Ameinfo.com: The Bahrain International Property Exhibition (BIPEX 2008) held 23-25 October, attracted more than $50bn worth of realty projects from across the world.

Organised by Bahrain Society of Engineers (BSE), BIPEX attracted 96 participants from the: UK, Portugal, India, Philippines, the UAE, Kuwait, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Jordan and Bahrain….. Full Article: Source

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From Livemint.com: Prices for both commercial and residential property have come off by 20-25% over the past few months. Indian real estate developers are expected to cut prices by 30% and more over the next three to six months.

At a recent TiE-Indian Angel Network, summit in the capital, industry players including real estate developers, private equity players and real estate brokers and consultants, all answered in the affirmative when asked whether they see the possibility of a price cut in future….. Full Article: Source

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From Independent.co.uk: Sales of newly built homes in the US increased last month, an unexpected bright spot for investors searching for a bottom to the troubled housing market.

In September, the number of purchases was running at an annualised rate of 464,000 – up 12,000 from the previous month and better than the 450,000 expected by Wall Street analysts. Demand for new homes had been languishing at 17-year lows because of a mortgage famine and fears that prices still had further to fall….. Full Article: Source

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From Inman.com: A spreadsheet that shows the prevalence of subprime lending and delinquency and foreclosure rates in more than 1,000 housing markets could provide an indication of where nearly $4 billion in federal grants will be spent to help state and local governments buy foreclosed and abandoned homes.

The spreadsheet, produced by researchers at the Local Initiatives Support Corp. (LISC), is intended to help local officials assess needs within states that were allocated funds at the end of September….. Full Article: Source

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From Dailymail.co.uk: The average price of a home will tumble by as much as £40,000 by the end of next year, experts claim. A study shows a peak-to-trough fall in house prices of up to 20 per cent by December 2009, taking the figure back to 2004 levels.

The figures come from the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR), which predicts the market will not show any signs of stability until 2010….. Full Article: Source

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From Propertywire.com: The global financial crisis is set to have a severe effect on the property market in Bali with projects being abandoned and businesses going bust, it is predicted.

The Bali property industry is particularly vulnerable because much of the development is funded by US and European banks, one of the island’s leading businessmen is warning….. Full Article: Source

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From IPE: Grosvenor, the London-based group of international property investment, development and fund management businesses, has launched a $600m (€468.7m) China retail fund.

The Grosvenor Vega China Retail Fund, which completed its first round of fundraising from US and European investors last month, is looking to buy shopping centres in Beijing, Shanghai, Ghangzhou and Shenzhen and hopes to achieve returns of 18-20%….. Full Article: Source

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From Homesoverseas.co.uk: Nearly 30,000 foreigners who bought properties in Cyprus are still waiting on their title deeds, according to official statistics released by the Cyprus Land Registry.

Around 4,400 Cypriot homes have been transferred to overseas nationals in Cyprus since early 2005, while the transfers of a further 29,949 are still in the balance. Recent research reveals that around 30% of all homes sold in Cyprus over the past three years were sold to non-Cypriots, suggesting that as many as 100,000 properties in Cyprus could still be waiting for their Title Deeds to be issued….. Full Article: Source

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From Mirror.co.uk: Britain’s biggest builder says house prices will fall by double its forecast after a “monumentally” bad September. Persimmon said the property market was taking a hammering after last month’s worsening of the banking crisis.

It was already bracing itself for a five per cent drop in prices in the second half of the year. Now it reckons it will be closer to 10 per cent….. Full Article: Source

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From FT: Credit insurers are looking at withdrawing policies from companies in the construction market, leading figures within the insurance industry have warned.

Industry observers believe the construction sector could be the next to be hit by insurers refusing to provide cover for suppliers, a move that hastened the recent failure of retailers such as Fopp, the music chain, and ScS Upholstery….. Full Article: Source

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From Livemint.com: Given the downturn in the real estate market, one may question the timing of their entering the business. But a clutch of entrepreneurs have in the last 12-18 months defied the odds and launched start-ups that they claim have weathered the hard times better than established realty firms.

Srinjoy Sharma, 33, a partner in the year-old Raynal Realtors Pvt. Ltd, a Bangalore-based real estate start-up, says he is not worried about the downturn as he readies for his first project launch next month—a 150- acre layout that will be carved up into small plots and sold….. Full Article: Source

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From Chinadaily.com.cn: Chinese banks may not be taking the beating that their foreign counterparts have suffered due to the US credit crisis, but their share prices have recently been falling like a stone.

Although Chinese lenders have nowhere near the same amount of risk exposure to toxic bonds, they are suffering as a result of the slump in the nation’s property sector….. Full Article: Source

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AIM-listed property fund Fabian Romania is crediting a “conservative” approach to borrowing for a rise in the net asset value of its portfolio despite difficult trading conditions in Eastern Europe

The company, which has four income producing commercial properties and seven major developments under way in Romania, has reported that net asset values in the 12 months to 30 September 2008 rose by 3.6 per cent….. Full Press Release: Source

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From Chicagobusiness.com: The Chicago real estate market has moved up in an annual popularity contest, but it still gets a lukewarm reception from investors.

Chicago ranks 10th for commercial/multifamily investment in the 2009 “Emerging Trends in Real Estate” survey released last week by the Urban Land Institute and PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP. That’s up from 12th in the 2008 survey and 13th in the 2007 report….. Full Article: Source

Posted on 28 October 2008 by Laxman |  Email |Print

From Thetimes.co.za: Office and industrial property rentals continued to grow impressively, according to the latest issue of Rode’s Report on the SA Property Market issued on Monday.

In spite of this, building plans approved for new office and industrial buildings were slowing down markedly, the report said. “No doubt, this anomaly is the result of the uncertain international environment and high interest rates,” said Rode’s Report editor John Lottering….. Full Article: Source

Posted on 28 October 2008 by Laxman |  Email |Print

From Indiatimes.com: India’s sagging real estate story has conveyed negative signals to the Alternative Investment Market(AIM) in London where at least five India-focused real estate funds are listed.

Investors in funds such as Hirco, floated by Hiranandani Developers, Trikona Capital and Raheja’s Ishaan Real Estate have called for a shake up in the corporate and investment strategy of the funds following a 50% dip in their net asset value (NAV) over the past few months, industry officials said….. Full Article: Source

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From ABC: In recent weeks, the Government has moved decisively to introduce initiatives to stimulate our economy and fend off any chance of a recession or a further economic slowdown.

While the concept has been widely welcomed by the community and economists alike, there are particular elements of the Government’s $10.4 billion package that have been subject to intense debate and scrutiny. The increase in the First Home Owners Grant, from $7,000 to $14,000 for an existing home and up to $21,000 for a new home is one of the initiatives receiving close examination….. Full Article: Source

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From Yourguide.com.au: Times may be tough, but the real estate market appears to have bottomed out, with Hills agents reporting a rush of sales from first home buyers. This might have something to do with developer incentives enticing new home buyers into the market.

The New Rouse Hill development is offering new house and land buyers a $10,000 rebate on settlement and a $48,000 upgrade, while at The Ponds, incentives being offered include a $5000 “WISH” grocery and petrol card….. Full Article: Source

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From IPE: The CB Richard Ellis Realty Trust has expanded its property holdings outside of the United States after purchasing a second major UK retail park.

CBRE Realty Trust, which will invest up to 30% of its assets outside of the US, spent £30m on buying the recently-developed Maskew Retail Park, a 144,000sqm, high-quality retail centre located in the heart of Peterborough….. Full Article: Source

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From Theage.com.au: More than 61,000 investors have been locked out of a clutch of mortgage funds operated by Commonwealth Bank-backed Colonial First State, marking the largest manager to be swept up in the funds freeze.

The move by Colonial, which affects $3.3 billion worth of mortgage funds, has increased pressure on the Federal Government to provide some support for the retail funds sector, with analysts saying the entire sector could freeze….. Full Article: Source

Posted on 28 October 2008 by Laxman |  Email |Print

From Haaretz.com: After years of riding high on the hog, Israel’s real estate developers who targeted eastern Europe are in hysterics. “It’s a catastrophe,” one moaned this week: banks aren’t lending a sou to developers or to homebuyers.

Sales have ground to a halt. It’s going to be a cold winter, as stock exchanges the world over post their steepest monthly retreats in history, including the benchmark index on Wall Street, the S&P-500 index. Two months ago Nuri Katz, president of the Century 21 group in Russia, was bullish and confident that “thousands of Russians” would be buying apartments in Israel….. Full Article: Source

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From Bizjournals.com: As bleak as San Francisco’s commercial real estate market looks, it’s still among the bright spots in the country, according to the new emerging trends survey from Urban Land Institute and PricewaterhouseCoopers.

The report ranks San Francisco as the second-strongest real estate investment target in the country behind Seattle….. Full Article: Source

Posted on 28 October 2008 by Laxman |  Email |Print

From Homesoverseas.co.uk: Property professionals in Malaysia have welcomed the government’s announcement that it will review the Foreign Investment Committee (FIC) guidelines, to help protect the country’s property market from a potential slowdown instigated by the global credit crunch.

Property professionals in Malaysia have long called for a further easing on the restrictions placed in foreigners buying property in the country, and increase its attractiveness as a property investment destination….. Full Article: Source

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From IPE: A government-commissioned report on proposed reforms for UK rented housing has sparked a debate which suggests the country’s top property experts disagree on the best way to help investors tap opportunities in the UK’s residential marketplace.

The Review of the Private Rented Sector (PRS), written by Dr Julie Rugg and David Rhodes and published at the University of York’s Centre for Housing Policy, presented proposals to the government last week suggesting there is a need to developing better relationships between local authorities and landlords and providing greater tax incentives to help investors in the residential rental market….. Full Article: Source

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