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Real Estate Briefing 09.Jul 2009

Distressed commercial property in U.S. doubles to $108 bln
Billions available for urban real estate investors
US: Boom times for real estate fraud
Apartment vacancy at 22-year high in U.S., says Reis
US: Apartment REITs' good recovery profiles
U.S. housing market is cursed by brain freeze: John F. Wasik
Canada: Improved affordability helps spur housing market, says RBC Economics
Mexican home builder Geo, Prudential in new real estate JV
Brazil poised for real estate revival after consolidation
UK: House prices drop to 2004 levels, Halifax says
Britain's biggest landowner Crown falls in value by GBP1.3 bln
Nationwide brings back 125% mortgage in UK
Nickell says U.K. housing market not ready to recover
Paris commercial property shows signs of life-Immostat
Geneva aims to leverage slump with property ‘rollup’ strategy
Commerz Real spends EUR126.6mln in Berlin
Bulgaria no. 1 destination for Russian real estate buyers
Hungary Parliament approves major change in property tax rules
Cyprus property developers taken to court
Turkey’s REITs’ asset values remain untouched
Retail and commercial developments account for 12 per cent of total projects in UAE
UAE: Call for stimulus package for property sector
UAE: Property developers change strategies to retain customers
China's Shimao Property says H1 apartment sales jump
Indian cbank issues revised draft norms on commercial real estate exposures
Korea: Housing market to languish
Malaysia property market 'remains steady'
Australia commercial property sales dive in H1-CBRE
Google getting ready to take on Rightmove?

Posted on 09 July 2009 by Laxman |  Email |Print

From Bloomberg: Commercial properties in the U.S. valued at more than $108 billion are now in default, foreclosure or bankruptcy, almost double than at the start of the year, Real Capital Analytics Inc. said.

There were 5,315 buildings in financial distress at the end of June, the New York-based real estate research firm said in a report issued today. That’s more than twice the number of troubled properties at the end of 2008……..Full Article: Source

Posted on 09 July 2009 by Laxman |  Email |Print

From Seekingalpha.com: Almost $4 billion in Federal grants and an almost equal amount of matching State and Local Grants are pouring in to targeted urban areas for the purchase, renovation, demolition and new construction of homes.
My opinion is that this operation will ultimately fail. But for the investor, the ability to purchase and make use, for better or worse, of real estate with this manna from heaven is compelling as an immediate investment opportunity……..Full Article: Source

Posted on 09 July 2009 by Laxman |  Email |Print

From Forbes: The FBI reports a surge in suspicious activity. Reports of suspicious mortgage filings from financial institutions increased 36% to 63,700 during fiscal 2008 compared with 46,700 filings the year before, according to the report.
Two-thirds, or 1,035, of all pending FBI mortgage fraud investigations last year involved more than $1 million, putting a rough estimate of the total at $1 billion……..Full Article: Source

Posted on 09 July 2009 by Laxman |  Email |Print

From Bloomberg: U.S. apartment vacancies rose to their highest in 22 years in the second quarter as job losses cut tenant demand and more units came to market.

Vacancies climbed to 7.5 percent from 6.1 percent a year earlier, New York-based real estate research firm Reis Inc. said today……..Full Article: Source

Posted on 09 July 2009 by Laxman |  Email |Print

From Barrons: Credit Suisse cites their financing advantages and economic sensitivity. With this report, Credit Suisse relaunches its coverage of U.S. real-estate investment trusts (REITs).

We review four factors that we believe will occur over the next five years: (1) rising debt costs; (2) continued deleveraging; (3) declining earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization with job losses; and (4) a low-supply rent recovery for the apartment sector……..Full Article: Source

Posted on 09 July 2009 by Laxman |  Email |Print

From Bloomberg: If you are buying or selling a home in a market glutted with distressed properties, it’s time to change your attitude.

Don’t be misled by pundits saying the bottom may be visible in this stultifying decline. The real-estate recession will continue unless a massive brain freeze thaws……..Full Article: Source

Posted on 09 July 2009 by Laxman |  Email |Print

From The Canadian Press: Softening home prices drew Canadians back into the housing market in a big way in the first quarter, according to a Royal Bank report.

RBC Economics says home affordability recorded some of the biggest quarterly improvements on record in the first quarter. Senior economist Robert Hogue says with market turmoil decreasing and credit flows increasing, resale activity has “rallied impressively.”…….Full Article: Source

Posted on 09 July 2009 by Laxman |  Email |Print

From Dow Jones: Mexican home builder Corporacion Geo SAB and a unit of Prudential Financial Inc. (PRU) said Wednesday they will invest in large housing projects under a 10-year joint venture.

In a filing with the Mexican Stock Exchange, the two firms said the first project involves an initial investment of $110 million to build 18,000 homes on 360 hectares in the northern city of Tijuana……..Full Article (Subscription Required) : Source

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From Dow Jones: Brazil is poised for a real estate revival now that a wave of consolidation has shored up cash-strapped companies, and the country’s economic recovery and demographics promise long-term support.

A downturn in the market created opportunities for private-equity firms, which entered in force, snapping up stakes in several undercapitalized, vulnerable local companies……..Full Article (Subscription Required) : Source

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From Telegraph: House prices have returned to 2004 levels after a drop in prices last month, Britain’s biggest mortgage lender has disclosed.
Prices fell by 0.5 per cent in June, after rising 2.6 per cent in May and leaving the average home in the UK costing £157,713……..Full Article: Source

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From Telegraph: The value of the Crown Estate has fallen by £1.3 billion over the last year as the recession has hit the collection of forests, harbours, fast-food shops and trading estates owned by the Queen.
Britain’s biggest landowner, which holds all the sovereign’s hereditary property – apart from the Royal palaces held privately by the Queen – has published its annual report……..Full Article: Source

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From Guardian: Mortgages allowing people to borrow up to 125% of a property’s value are making a surprise comeback after Nationwide launched a deal aimed at homeowners trapped in negative equity who are keen to move house.

Britain’s biggest building society said yesterday that the new mortgage would allow homeowners to “carry over” their negative equity and experts said it could throw a lifeline to people stuck in their homes who needed to move house……..Full Article: Source

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From Bloomberg: The U.K. property market won’t pull out of its slump until banks become more willing to lend, former Bank of England policy maker Stephen Nickell said.

“Mortgage rationing for first-time buyers is the fundamental factor,” Nickell, now a government adviser on housing policy, said in a telephone interview yesterday……..Full Article: Source

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From Reuters: Investment in commercial property in the Paris region fell 73 percent in the first half of this year to 1.22 billion euros, but there have been signs of recovery since March/April, a research firm said on Wednesday.

“Activity in the second quarter is almost twice as large as in the first quarter at 780 million euros,” said Jones Lang LaSalle, a founder of Immostat alongside CBRE, DTZ and BNP Paribas Immobilier……..Full Article: Source

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From Finance-commerce.com: The commercial real estate industry is facing its biggest downturn in two decades. It might seem counter-intuitive, then, that real estate finance veteran Duane Lund has just started pitching a new private real estate investment trust (REIT).

Or maybe not. Lund is actually using the downturn as an opportunity; he wants to consolidate properties facing challenges into a larger portfolio, which will then be presented as an investment opportunity for those willing to bet on a turnaround……..Full Article: Source

Posted on 09 July 2009 by Laxman |  Email |Print

From Propertyweek.com: Commerz Real has bought the retail property ‘Die Mitte’ in Berlin for its open-ended real estate fund, HaulsInvest Europa for €126.6m.

The fund bought the shopping centre from developer, Hines Immobilien GmbH……..Full Article: Source

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From Novinite.com: Bulgaria is the most popular destination for Russians seeking to buy real estate property abroad.

This becomes clear from a report of the DOKI real estate agency, as cited by the BGNES news agency……..Full Article: Source

Posted on 09 July 2009 by Laxman |  Email |Print

From Portfolio.hu: There is one major change in the real estate industry-related tax rules in the bill as accepted by Hungary’s Parliament compared to the original text of the bill as submitted to Parliament, which is that the rules related to registered shareholdings can be applied in the case of companies that own real estate.

PricewaterhouseCoopers has amended the text of its earlier Tax & Legal Alert with information on certain other minor changes related to real estate……..Full Article: Source

Posted on 09 July 2009 by Laxman |  Email |Print

From Buyassociation.co.uk: A number of property developers and lawyers in Cyprus are being taken to the High Court in the UK by a group of owners who have not received title deeds to properties in Cyprus they have bought and paid for in full.
Signalling that they are no longer prepared to wait for the Cypriot government to sort out the issue of title deeds, the 24 property owners have brought their own civil case in the UK courts to resolve the problem……..Full Article: Source

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From Hurriyet.com.tr: The global crisis by passes Turkey’s real estate investment trusts, or REITs. Although many REITs were forced to postpone several projects, they have managed to prevent a value loss in their portfolios.
In fact, net asset value of nine REITs have risen…….Full Article: Source

Posted on 09 July 2009 by Laxman |  Email |Print

From Zawya.com: Retail and commercial developments account for approximately 12 per cent of the total number of projects in the UAE, according to reports from Projects Database, a tool that tracks over 16,000 real estate projects across 60 emerging countries.
The report also revealed that the UAE is home to 107 retail facilities including shopping centres, multi-use commercial facilities and regional mall chains. ‘RETAILFocus’ is a product of REIDIN.com, the world’s first and leading global online information services provider……..Full Press Release: Source

Posted on 09 July 2009 by Laxman |  Email |Print

From Business24-7.ae: A federal stimulus package for the real estate sector can bring back confidence to the market, said an analyst.

“More government stimulus needs to flow into the local economy. There has to be an increased call for more privatisation of institutions that will raise the visibility of the economy and raise the sentiment in the economy,” said Marwan Shehadeh, Managing Director, Al Futtaim Capital……..Full Article: Source

Posted on 09 July 2009 by Laxman |  Email |Print

From Gulfnews.com: “In real estate nothing works like building and selling,” explains Shyam Sunder, general manager of marketing at ETA Star property developers.

Words that may seem glaringly obvious, however, need to be set against a Dubai property market which experienced years of off plan explosion before foundations were built……..Full Article: Source

Posted on 09 July 2009 by Laxman |  Email |Print

From Reuters: Chinese property developer Shimao Property said its contracted sales of apartments amounted to 13.2 billion yuan ($1.93 billion) for the first half of 2009, up 200 percent from the same period a year earlier.

The developer said the sales represented about 77 percent of its annual target of 17 billion yuan for 2009. Its contracted sales area rose 236 percent during the first half period to about 1.46 million square metres……..Full Article: Source

Posted on 09 July 2009 by Laxman |  Email |Print

From Hindu.com: The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has come out with revised draft guidelines on commercial real estate (CRE) exposures.
The revision comes in the wake of doubts raised in certain quarters on treatment of specified exposures. The new draft is also necessitated by the need to align with the rules with the Basel-II framework……..Full Article: Source

Posted on 09 July 2009 by Laxman |  Email |Print

From Koreatimes.co.kr: Despite some rose predictions for the economic outlook, a leading private think-tank said that the economy will not recover in the latter half of this year.

The Samsung Economic Research Institute, an affiliate of Korea’s foremost chaebol Samsung Group, said Wednesday the country’s economy won’t chalk up growth this year……..Full Article: Source

Posted on 09 July 2009 by Laxman |  Email |Print

From Propertyshowrooms.com: Malaysia’s property market has managed to weather the global economic storm, according to an international study.

The independent Global Property Guide for 2009 placed the country in ninth place out of a total of 91 territories, indicating that its housing market remains relatively stable……..Full Article: Source

Posted on 09 July 2009 by Laxman |  Email |Print

From Ninemsn.com.au: Sales of Australian commercial property fell 45 percent in the first half of 2009, though activity was likely to pick up as a relatively healthy economy draws investors, property group CB Richard Ellis (CBRE) said on Wednesday.

Some A$2.4 billion ($1.9 billion) of commercial property valued at more than A$5 million each changed hands between January and June this year, down 45 percent on the same period last year, CBRE said……..Full Article: Source

Posted on 09 July 2009 by Laxman |  Email |Print

From Estateagenttoday.co.uk: In a long-awaited move, Google seems to be finally muscling up to take on the property portals at their own game.

It has happened in Australia and New Zealand, where a new tool on Google’s mapping service now links users direct to ‘real time’ property lists, supplied by a network of estate agents and a publisher……..Full Article: Source

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