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Real Estate Briefing 11.Jan 2012

Posted on 11 January 2012 by Laxman |  Email |Print

Dr. Alex VillacortaHas the U.S. housing market hit a bottom? Do we have further to go? When will a recovery start? These are the questions every homeowner and real estate investor are currently asking themselves — or should be.

Wall Street firms have optimistically been betting that the bottom’s here. Research firms like Zelman & Associates predict the sector will pick up this year and hedge funds have been jumping into real estate-related investments from brick and mortar building purchases to shares of home builders stocks. In December Goldman Sachs Group released a report stating that “The home price bottom [is] in sight,” according to my colleague Agustino Fontevecchia…………………………………….Full Article: Source

Posted on 11 January 2012 by Laxman |  Email |Print

Orrin HatchRepublican Senators Orrin Hatch of Utah and Bob Corker of Tennessee criticized the Federal Reserve for overstepping its role by making policy recommendations on how the U.S. government should try new ways to spur the housing market.

Hatch, the top-ranking Republican on the Senate Finance Committee, said the housing study sent by Chairman Ben S. Bernanke to Congress last week, along with recent Fed speeches, “intrudes too far into fiscal policy advice and advocacy.” Corker said New York Fed President William C. Dudley’s suggestion last week that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac reduce the principal of the loans they guarantee was “absolutely egregious.”……………………………………Full Article: Source

Posted on 11 January 2012 by Laxman |  Email |Print

The lowest mortgage interest rates in almost 60 years, plus affordable homes in cities where buyers had been priced out for years, should be turning the housing market around. But the market also labors under some heavy burdens: a glut of foreclosures that are dragging down home prices, high unemployment and tight credit. Sales fell off a cliff after the home-buyer tax credit expired.
And “foreclosure-gate” — legal squabbling about the process used to repossess many homes — postponed the sale of many foreclosed properties and struck yet another body blow to confidence in the housing market…………………………………….Full Article: Source

Posted on 11 January 2012 by Laxman |  Email |Print

While the housing market was at the heart of the most recent real-estate crisis, office buildings—the center of past meltdowns—until now haven’t been a major source of concern. But many owners who have been able to keep their heads above water are being undone by tenant contractions and the expiration of five-year leases that were signed at the peak of the boom.

Rents in most markets are still well below what they were in 2007, with the drop in some areas as much as 26%, according to data firm Reis Inc. Because of the weak market, landlords with empty space or expiring leases also have to spend large amounts on incentives to attract tenants, like free rent and interior work…………………………………….Full Article: Source

Posted on 11 January 2012 by Laxman |  Email |Print

According to the latest data from CBRE Econometric Advisors (CBRE-EA), the U.S. office vacancy rate improved in the fourth quarter (Q4) of 2011, declining 20 basis points (bps) to 16%.

The national industrial availability rate continued to drop, also decreasing 20 bps during Q4 2011 to 13.5%, according to CBRE-EA. The quarter’s decline caps the first full year of industrial availability improvement since the recent recession ended…………………………………….Full Article: Source

Posted on 11 January 2012 by Laxman |  Email |Print

Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Citigroup Inc. are planning to market about $1 billion of bonds backed by commercial property loans as soon as next week as demand for the debt recovers amid optimism the U.S. economy can withstand Europe’s fiscal crisis.

The deal will probably be the first of its kind for 2012, according to people familiar with the offering, who declined to be identified because the transaction hasn’t been announced. The New York-based banks last sold similar debt in September, when they issued $1.7 billion in securities tied to shopping malls, hotel and office mortgages, according to data compiled by Bloomberg…………………………………….Full Article: Source

Posted on 11 January 2012 by Laxman |  Email |Print

Real-estate website Zillow Inc. said Tuesday its real-time rate on 30-year fixed mortgages fell again to yet another low in the last week. Zillow said the 30-year fixed mortgage rate on its Mortgage Marketplace is at 3.71%, down from 3.73% a week earlier.
The company said the 30-year fixed mortgage rate moved between 3.7% and 3.74% for the majority of the last week, dropping to 3.67% percent on Monday before rising to the current rate this morning. It’s the second week in a row that the Tuesday snapshot rate was the lowest the company has reported since the Zillow Mortgage Marketplace was launched in 2008…………………………………….Full Article: Source

Posted on 11 January 2012 by Laxman |  Email |Print

Canada’s housing market is showing signs of peaking, one of the country’s biggest lenders said, as the banking sector expresses more caution about the outlook for real estate in the coming year.

The market should inevitably cool in 2012 as housing supply begins to outstrip demand, and consumer debt hovers at historic high levels, the head of Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce told an investor conference on Tuesday…………………………………….Full Article: Source

Posted on 11 January 2012 by Laxman |  Email |Print

Top executives at Canadian banks say they don’t expect Europe’s troubles to spill over into the North American market in a meaningful way, but caution they are concerned about a downturn in the domestic housing market.

“My personal view is I think Europe will find a way to muddle through,” Gordon Nixon, chief executive of Royal Bank of Canada, said at a financial services conference hosted by his bank…………………………………….Full Article: Source

Posted on 11 January 2012 by Laxman |  Email |Print

Canadian housing starts climbed more than expected in December, lifted mostly by multiple-unit buildings like condominiums, the latest sign that low interest and mortgage rates are keeping the country’s property market buoyant.

Housing starts rose to a seasonally adjusted annualized rate of 200,200 units, up from an upwardly revised 185,600 units a month earlier, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp said on Tuesday…………………………………….Full Article: Source

Posted on 11 January 2012 by Laxman |  Email |Print

European retail real estate investment volumes will reach EUR 28bn in 2011, an increase of around 35% on 2010 despite the continuing economic uncertainty, according to consultancy Jones Lang LaSalle.

The preliminary figures show retail real estate investment remained strong in the final quarter. Geographically, the majority of activity remains focused on the UK and Germany with the UK leading the rankings…………………………………….Full Article: Source

Posted on 11 January 2012 by Laxman |  Email |Print

There is no sign of the UK property market picking up in the coming months, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (Rics) has said. Its latest monthly survey says some sellers are still asking too much for their properties, while some potential buyers cannot raise a mortgage.

As a result, surveyors expect the level of sales to stay unchanged in the next three months. In December prices fell across the country, except in London, Rics said…………………………………….Full Article: Source

Posted on 11 January 2012 by Laxman |  Email |Print

How long can London’s property market defy gravity? House prices in the capital rose in December, even as prices elsewhere stayed flat or fell, says the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors.

Prices in prime central London are around 16% higher than their September 2007 precrisis peak. Some forecasters predict a further 25% jump by 2016, as foreign investors continue to seek havens for their cash. But downward pressures are likely to intensify this year…………………………………….Full Article: Source

Posted on 11 January 2012 by Laxman |  Email |Print

Housing loans in Bulgaria became more accessible even as the freefall on the domestic real estate market continued for a third year in a row, according to a report in daily Presa on January 10 2012.

While sliding prices attracted buyers in 2009 and 2010, 2011 came with a special bonus – accessible housing loans, according to the daily, quoted by local news agency Focus…………………………………….Full Article: Source

Posted on 11 January 2012 by Laxman |  Email |Print

Demand for South African residential property slowed in 2011 and is not expected to improve in 2012, First National Bank said on Monday. “2011 saw slowing growth in residential demand, with economic growth slowing noticeably in the middle two quarters of the year,” FNB home loans strategist John Loos said in a statement.

The 2011 average house price was R802 988 - 3.1% higher than the average 2010 price of R779 041. However, when adjusting for consumer price inflation (CPI), the average house price declined by about 1.9%…………………………………….Full Article: Source

Posted on 11 January 2012 by Laxman |  Email |Print

Apartment rental rates rose in certain areas in Jordan during the fourth quarter of 2011 due to an amendment to the landlord and tenant law which permits landlords to increase rents to current market values, according to leading property consultancy Asteco.

The amendment allows landlords to discontinue existing agreements, which in some cases were entered into over five years ago. “Rental rates in some areas are expected to continue rising in 2012 as landlords continue to bring prices up to current values,” said Elaine Jones, CEO, Asteco…………………………………….Full Article: Source

Posted on 11 January 2012 by Laxman |  Email |Print

Dubai Property sale and rental activity across Sharjah, Ajman, Umm Al Quwain, Ras Al Khaimah and Fujairah was minimal in the fourth quarter of 2011 as problems with electricity and water supply and sewage continued to slow the pace of supply, according to a recent report by Asteco.

The residential and commercial market was stagnant for the second half of 2011 and is expected to remain unchanged due a lack of new supply. “Transaction activity has been limited throughout the year for both the office and residential market as completed buildings stood empty due to a lack of utility connections and inadequate sewage in Sharjah, Ajman, RAK and Fujairah,” says the report…………………………………….Full Article: Source

Posted on 11 January 2012 by Laxman |  Email |Print

The Asia-Pacific region has been a strong driver of global commercial real estate growth, but the US market is on an uneven road to recovery, according to a Deloitte report on the outlook for 2012.

Deloitte Australia real estate partner Alex Collinson said the Asia-Pacific has had the largest share of global real estate transactions since 2009, which was due to the relatively faster growth of Asian economies since the global financial crisis…………………………………….Full Article: Source

Posted on 11 January 2012 by Laxman |  Email |Print

Lure of real estate fades as overseas capital seeks better bargains, Hu Yuanyuan reports from Beijing. It’s a frustrating time for overseas investors in Chinese real estate, especially those looking to turn a quick profit.

One potential investor, a managing director in Hong Kong for a leading US fund, looked into many real estate projects in China last year but did not sign any deals. Instead, he sold a number of big projects ahead of pre-set investment deadlines…………………………………….Full Article: Source

Posted on 11 January 2012 by Laxman |  Email |Print

After two years of tightening policies, the flow of speculative investment into China’s property sector began slowing down, and house sales and housing prices dropped in major cities. So it is quite natural to ask whether we are seeing the deflation of the housing bubble.

Pessimistic forecasters predict an imminent collapse of China’s housing market. But such a scenario is not likely, for Chinese cities may be more resilient than they are thought to be…………………………………….Full Article: Source

Posted on 11 January 2012 by Laxman |  Email |Print

China will probably ease property curbs as early as the middle of the year to prevent a collapse of the housing market as the measures may boost supply to the highest in a decade, according to UBS AG.

“The gap between supply and demand will reach the peak, and the supply will be 1.5 or even 1.6 times demand, and it will be a disaster for developers,” Chen Li, head of China equity strategy at UBS, said in a Bloomberg Television interview. “Their cash flow will be exhausted to zero by the end of this year if they cannot get any financing. No one can afford that.”……………………………………Full Article: Source

Posted on 11 January 2012 by Laxman |  Email |Print

Korean investors, faced with a dearth of reliable assets, are shifting their eyes toward the real estate investment funds. Local real estate funds have drawn a total of 13.2 trillion won ($11.4 billion) as of Jan. 5, up from 7 trillion won recorded in September 2008, according to the data by the Korea Finance Investment Association.

The tally covers money from both public and private sector, underscoring that the trend is a reflection of a broader trend in favor of new investment instruments at a time when existing tools are saddled with low returns and gloomy outlook…………………………………….Full Article: Source

Posted on 11 January 2012 by Laxman |  Email |Print

Residential property prices, which were recovering slowly, have started to stall according to Quotable Value’s (QV) latest report. This is despite the QV price indices for December showing residential values have increased by 2.4% over the last few months putting prices 3.5% below the 2007 peak market price.

The increase in values towards the end of the year was perhaps more of an aberration rather than a sign of a universal recovery, QV’s research director Jonno Ingerson says…………………………………….Full Article: Source

Posted on 11 January 2012 by Laxman |  Email |Print

Real estate company Knight Frank has released its predictions for the UK and global housing markets in 2012. There will be regional differences in house-price performance in the UK with the South East and London expected to do better than the North East.

The Knight Frank research team expects prime country-house prices in the UK, which fell by 1.7 per cent in the year to September, to decrease by 2.8 per cent in 2012. In prime locations in Central London prices have risen by more than 12 per cent in the past year alone, and Knight Frank expects rises of 5 per cent during 2012, with cumulative growth of 24 per cent by the end of 2016…………………………………….Full Article: Source

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