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Real Estate Briefing 31.Oct 2008

Mexican real estate market continues to thrive
Fears grow over Dubai market as projects hit delays
Morgan Stanley blocks exits on German property fund
Hypo Real Estate says Soffin grants 15 bln euros
CPPIB targets C$1.4bn on distress realty
Polls show optimism about housing recovery
UK house prices plunge 14% to all-time record low
Chink of light for South African property market not helped by lending crackdown
Property investors move slowly towards sustainability spacer
New recession fears as house prices plunge a staggering 15% in a year
Dubai: Developers relax payment plans
Housing market suffers biggest drop since World War two!
Abu Dhabi's real estate projects to hit US$500 billion
Wealthy bullish about property deals
Irish property market is 'frozen'
Global REIT markets continue to cope with the financial storm
Malaysia urged to promote property tourism
Property market: 20 ways to buy and sell property
Multiple factors figure to let air of out Lebanese real estate
Uncertainty surrounds Dubai property market growth
30-year mortgage rates rise sharply
Texas Teachers commits €200m to Europe
Canada's housing market is cooling: CMHC
Portugal’s property sector cautiously optimistic
Egypt tempts buyers with low property prices
Progress redirects Unilever’s real estate
U.S. weighing new mortgage plan
Moscow still booms with range of luxury properties
UAE property prices increase 11-17%
Tuscan home on market for first time in 500 years
Santa Barbara County plans international expansion
REITs investors to come back to market In one year
Apollo plans a rebrand
Blackstone set for Euro fund close in January

Posted on 31 October 2008 by Laxman |  Email |Print

From Commercialpropertynews.com: The real estate market in the U.S. is taking a bit of a beating due to the financial crisis, but the property market in neighboring Mexico appears to be escaping any negative consequential effects, according to a Global In-Sights webcast by CB Richard Ellis Inc.

Bolstered by solid economic fundamentals, $75 billion in Central Bank reserves and the absence of a housing crisis, Mexico has been able to maintain a strong real estate market. The office and industrial sectors continue to perform well in major metropolitan areas in Mexico….. Full Article: Source

Posted on 31 October 2008 by Laxman |  Email |Print

From Building.co.uk: Three schemes by state-owned developer are behind schedule as reports of a slowdown gather pace. Cracks have started to appear in the Dubai construction market as it emerged several projects by one of the emirate’s biggest developers have been hit by delays.

Three schemes from Dubai Properties, the state-owned firm behind some of the region’s grandest developments, are behind schedule – at least one as a result of market concerns….. Full Article: Source

Posted on 31 October 2008 by Laxman |  Email |Print

From Reuters: Morgan Stanley Real Estate Investment GmbH has become the latest manager to suspend redemptions from a German open-ended property fund amid a sharp slide in investor sentiment, the company announced on Thursday.

The Frankfurt-based branch of Morgan Stanley’s $96.3 billion global real estate management business said it had temporarily barred investor exits from its P2 Value Fund, after a flurry of “major, unanticipated withdrawals.”…. Full Article: Source

Posted on 31 October 2008 by Laxman |  Email |Print

From Bloomberg: Hypo Real Estate Holding AG, the lender that received a 50 billion-euro ($64.3 billion) bailout from the German government, said it received an additional 15 billion-euro guarantee to cover short-term cash requirements.

The credit line from Soffin, the Financial Markets Stabilization Fund, is funded by the Bundesbank to cover its short-term funding needs following market turmoil, the Munich- based lender said late yesterday in a statement on the DGAP-Adhoc newswire….. Full Article: Source

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From Privateequityrealestate.net: The Canada Pension Plan Investment Board is setting aside C$1.4 billion ($1.17 billion; €903 million) to target distressed real estate opportunities in the US and UK. The C$127.7 billion pension fund would invest the money in addition to its existing real estate allocations, worth an estimated C$7.2 billion.

CPPIB is expected to commit the capital to opportunistic real estate funds, such as those run by The Blackstone Group and Morgan Stanley, with Graeme Eadie, senior vice-president of real estate investments, telling local Canadian media direct investment partners might also be considered….. Full Article: Source

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From Inman.com: Three recent surveys show continued turmoil in housing and financial markets have many Americans postponing decisions to buy or sell a home, but that they remain optimistic about the near-term prospects of a recovery and still consider a home to be a good investment.

The surveys — commissioned by real estate portal Zillow, real estate franchisor and brokerage Realogy Corp., and advertising firm J. Walter Thompson — suggest that should government action to unfreeze credit markets succeed, consumers stand ready to participate in a housing recovery….. Full Article: Source

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From Dailymail.co.uk: House prices are plunging at the fastest rate since records began in 1952, a shocking report into the crumbling property market revealed today. In just 12 months, the price of the average home has collapsed by around £27,000, a record drop of 14.6 per cent since last October.

The report, from the Nationwide, the building society, said it is the biggest, quickest and most dramatic fall that it has ever witnessed. In a further blow to homeowners, economists warn Britain may be less than halfway through the biggest price plunge in history….. Full Article: Source

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From Propertywire.com: A number of real estate agents in South Africa are reporting a sudden increase in activity suggesting that the property market slowdown is bottoming out but it is too early to be over hopeful others are warning.

In particular high interest rates and lenders continuing to tighten their criteria is still making it difficult for purchasers, especially first time buyers, to obtain finance….. Full Article: Source

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From Environmental-finance.com: UK commercial property investors are increasingly considering the sustainability of their stock, but few are actually using sustainability information in investment appraisals, according to a survey.

A poll of 300 private and institutional investors in UK commercial and retail property, conducted by property consultant GVA Grimley, showed that more than 90% of investors considered sustainability issues when buying properties – a “modest” increase compared with last year’s survey, the firm said….. Full Article: Source

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From Express.co.uk: UK homes have lost nearly 15 per cent of their value since last year following 12 months of tumbling prices. Nationwide’s latest figures revealed housing prices have plunged 14.6 per cent during the year to the end of October.

The mortgage lender said prices fell by a further 1.4 per cent in October, setting a new all-time low for its house price index….. Full Article: Source

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From Thenational.ae: In a bid to revive trading activity and curb falling property prices in secondary markets, major developers are offering relaxed payment plans and reduced fees on transactions, sources said.

Following last week’s warning by the Central Bank governor Sultan Nasser al Suweidi of a possible correction in property prices and increasing concerns that developers will struggle to secure financing for existing and future projects, developers including Emaar and Nakheel have relaxed the conditions for new and current owners….. Full Article: Source

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U.S. new home prices are now down 17%, new home sales have been reduced by 57% and new property listings are down by 27% since the real estate market’s historic peak set in March of 2007.

This marks the worst residential real estate bear market in price decline and duration since 1945. While this is humbling news to millions of homeowners nationwide, not
everyone is feeling the pain to the same degree….. Full Press Release: Source

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From Bi-me.com: Abu Dhabi, the richest city in the world, has seen its gross domestic product (GDP) soar from US$40.6 billion in 2002 to US$108.9 billion in 2007 (rising more than 8% per annum).

The booming real estate and tourism sectors are playing a significant part in this success story as the total value of announced projects in the capital inches towards the US$500 billion mark (AED 1.83 trillion)….. Full Article: Source

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From Mandadeals.co.uk: Despite challenging financial markets, private investors have shown a healthy appetite for private equity and commercial property deals, says UK private investor syndicator, Hotbed.

In a recent survey of 320 high net worth individuals (HNWIs), Hotbed revealed that 67 per cent of those surveyed felt that now was a good time to increase their investments in unquoted companies or commercial property. Only 13 per cent disagreed….. Full Article: Source

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From Independent.ie: Peter Straarup, the chief executive of National Irish Bank’s parent Danske Bank, has told analysts that the Irish commercial market is “frozen” and that collateral on some development projects have fallen as much as 80pc in value.

Irish banking analysts believe Mr Straarup was referring to development land at the extreme end of asset declines. They cautioned that it is nearly impossible to give realistic valuations when there are few deals taking place….. Full Article: Source

Posted on 31 October 2008 by Laxman |  Email |Print

Europe and Asia saw slight gains in market capitalization amid a global market constrained by the credit crunch, according to Ernst & Young’s third annual Global Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) report released today. The total market capitalization of publicly-listed REITs around the world reached nearly US$605 billion, as of 30 June 2008, down from US$764 billion a year earlier.

“Like every other sector of the real estate market, publicly-listed companies have been hit very hard by the global credit freeze. It remains to be seen when REIT markets will stabilize,” says Michael Frankel, Global Director of REIT Services for Ernst & Young. REITs in Asia have been the best performers for the 12-month period ending June 2008 in terms of one- and three-year returns. With China planning to launch a pilot REIT program next year, there is likely to be renewed interest in the public REIT sector in Asia….. Full Press Release: Source

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From Thestar.com.my: Malaysia should promote “property” tourism to bring in foreign direct investment that would benefit not only the economy but also the retail industry.

International Real Estate Federation (FIABCI) Malaysia president Datuk Richard Fong said some real estate agencies in Penang had started to bring in groups of foreign tourists under a “property” tourism package that included visits to property launches and show houses….. Full Article: Source

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From Telegraph: Buying and selling property in a plummeting market is not for the faint-hearted. With the market in the doldrums, sales more than 90 per cent down on last autumn and the entire property industry looking as if it might seize up altogether, buyers hold all the cards. Surely it’s just a question of making an offer?

But after a decade of stupidly steep house price growth, the downturn has stunned buyers as well as sellers. “What makes a good buyer? Right now it’s probably having a pulse,” quips Lindsay Cuthill, director of Savills’ Fulham office….. Full Article: Source

Posted on 31 October 2008 by Laxman |  Email |Print

From Dailystar.com.lb: Economists and real-estate brokers predicted on Thursday a drop or at least a freeze in the prices of properties in Lebanon due to the global credit crunch, a fall in the prices of building materials and an expected reduction in remittances from Lebanese expatriates working in the Gulf Arab states.

“Naturally the prices of properties will either drop or stop growing. Apart from the economic situation in the Gulf states, the cost of building materials have fallen,” Ghassan Diebah, a professor of economic and finance at the Lebanese American University said….. Full Article: Source

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From Ameinfo.com: Dubai’s property market is currently beset by conflicting rumours, with analysts predicting a slow down or correction in the emirate’s real estate prices and the municipal bodies and developers dismissing these fears as exaggerations.

Land deals in Dubai this year are expected to hit the Dhs300bn mark, according to the Director-General of the city’s Land Department Sultan Butti bin Mijrin, almost double the 2007 total….. Full Article: Source

Posted on 31 October 2008 by Laxman |  Email |Print

From Businessweek.com: Rates on 30-year mortgages spiked this week as the tumult in financial markets continued to be felt in housing finance. Mortgage giant Freddie Mac reported Thursday that 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages averaged 6.46 percent this week, up from 6.04 percent last week.

The sharp increase pushed 30-year rates to the highest level since the week of Oct. 16. Rates on 30-year mortgages hit a high for the year of 6.63 percent in late July and then dropped to a seven-month low of 5.78 percent the week of Sept. 18….. Full Article: Source

Posted on 31 October 2008 by Laxman |  Email |Print

From IPE: Teacher Retirement System of Texas has approved a €200m commitment to the Blackstone Real Estate Partners Europe III commingled fund.

It is understood officials believe Blackstone has a proven track record of investing capital in Europe, given the company had a presence in this market since 2001 and the real estate manager’s prior funds are on target to provide an investor-level aggregate IRR of 43.6% against an equity multiple of over 2x….. Full Article: Source

Posted on 31 October 2008 by Laxman |  Email |Print

From Financialpost.com: House prices are going to go up next year, albeit by a mere $200, according to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. The Crown corporation warned that some moderation can be expected in the once red-hot housing sector for the rest of this year and into 2009.

The forecast comes as house prices have been falling nationally, according to the Canadian Real Estate Association. Canada’s largest housing markets have experienced prices declines from a year ago for four straight months, with each percentage drop bigger than the next….. Full Article: Source

Posted on 31 October 2008 by Laxman |  Email |Print

From Portugalresident.com: The property market in the future must be associated with sustainable development, socially responsible pricing and the environment.

These were the conclusions of the Salão Imobiliário de Lisboa 2008 (SIL), Lisbon’s annual property fair, which ran until October 26 at the Feira Internacional de Lisboa (FIL) at Parque das Nações. This year’s fair counted on 300 exhibitors spread out over three exhibition halls and an estimated 33,000 professional visitors….. Full Article: Source

Posted on 31 October 2008 by Laxman |  Email |Print

From Homesworldwide.co.uk: Country offers investors an affordable entry point and being outside the Euro zone it is an attractive emerging real estate market. A prime winter sun destination due to its location Egypt has year-round appeal for tourists, and with low property prices it also provides an affordable entry point for overseas property investors.

The World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) expects the travel and tourism economy in the country to grow by around 5.5 per cent in 2008, and due to its strong economy, stable political system and stable currency Egypt is seeing an increasing amount of property investors this year as well….. Full Article: Source

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From IPE: Progress, the €4bn Dutch pension fund of Unilever Netherlands, is altering its real estate strategy by replacing direct real estate holdings with indirect real estate investments.

Offiicial at Progress, which had €587m worth of real estate investments at the end of 2007, said market conditions mean the fund is no longer big enough to invest in direct real estate….. Full Article: Source

Posted on 31 October 2008 by Laxman |  Email |Print

From CNN: The government is expected to announce soon that it will devote up to $50 billion to directly address the source of the financial crisis: bad mortgages and millions of homeowners at risk of foreclosure.

White House spokesman Tony Fratto said on Thursday that “no decisions” have been made on “a number of housing proposals” that the administration has been reviewing “for some time.”…. Full Article: Source

Posted on 31 October 2008 by Laxman |  Email |Print

From Gulfnews.com: In the cold war days, lavish dachas (villas) just outside Moscow were the exclusive preserve of the Politburo with the rest of the population squeezed into small, decrepit and drab government-owned apartment complexes.

That has changed dramatically since glasnost (1991) and Moscow is one of the rare booming markets worldwide and offers a wide range of luxury properties….. Full Article: Source

Posted on 31 October 2008 by Laxman |  Email |Print

From Zawya.com: Prices in the UAE property market surged in September with Dubai registering 17 per cent increase month-on-month and 11 per cent in Abu Dhabi, compared to an average of two to three per cent during the summer months, according to a new report.

“Price growth is picking up again after a brief moderation during the summer. However, while prices remain on an upward spiral, rental rates in Dubai seem to be stabilising, thereby compressing rental yields. This shows we have reached a level where affordability is getting breached,” HSBC said in a report released recently on the UAE real estate market….. Full Article: Source

Posted on 31 October 2008 by Laxman |  Email |Print

From Homesoverseas.co.uk: A 16th century villa located just outside the Tuscan town of Cortona has been placed on the market for the first time in 500 years at an asking price of €8m (£6.3m). Villa Fontana was once a hangout for the Knights of Saint Stephen and a Grand Master of the Knights of Malta, not to mention the German army during World War II.

The villa features 16 bedrooms, 10 bathrooms, six reception rooms and a nifty lookout tower with lake views, terracotta floors and frescoed ceilings help provide that old world ambiance….. Full Article: Source

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From IPE: Santa Barbara County Employees’ Retirement Association is looking at expanding into international real estate for the first time.

RREEF and CB Richard Ellis Investors – its domestic real estate managers - gave a presentation on international real estate to the board of directors last week, according to Tom Ford, retirement administrator on an interim basis for Santa Barbara County, and its detail caught the attention of officials….. Full Article: Source

Posted on 31 October 2008 by Laxman |  Email |Print

From Nasdaq.com: The real estate investment trust (REIT) industry will survive the credit crunch, with investors coming back to the market over the next twelve months, despite recent falls in stock prices, according to consultancy Ernst & Young.

A global markets REIT report, which analyzed REIT markets in 16 major countries where REITs are publicly-listed, revealed that investors are now fully factoring risk into the pricing of REITs, and hence, if the market fundamentals can be sustained, REITs now potentially offer good value for money….. Full Article: Source

Posted on 31 October 2008 by Laxman |  Email |Print

From IPE: Apollo Real Estate Advisors, the global firm with $11.6bn of equity commitments to investments worldwide, is changing its name to AREA Property Partners from the beginning of next year.

AREA Property Partners said the rebrand will have no effect on its management, financial resources, investing focus nor on its business operations as the firm plans to keep its global headquarters in New York City and its European headquarters in London’s Knightsbridge….. Full Article: Source

Posted on 31 October 2008 by Laxman |  Email |Print

From Privateequityrealestate.net: The Blackstone Group expects to close its latest European real estate fund early next year, according to a managing director at the firm.

Douglas Kirkman said that Blackstone expected to hold a final close of the vehicle in January during a panel discussion at the IMN European Real Estate Opportunity & Private Fund Investing Forum in London today. A spokesman for Blackstone declined to comment….. Full Article: Source

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