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Real Estate Briefing 19.Jan 2012

Posted on 19 January 2012 by Laxman |  Email |Print

Bob NielsenConfidence among U.S. homebuilders rose in January to the highest level in more than four years as sales and buyer traffic improved.
The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo sentiment gauge increased to 25 this month, exceeding the median forecast of economists surveyed by Bloomberg News and reaching the highest level since June 2007, the Washington-based group said today. Readings lower than 50 mean more respondents still said conditions were poor………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Posted on 19 January 2012 by Laxman |  Email |Print

In the next few weeks we will get the last data reports on the U.S. housing sector for 2011. Although the housing market has been improving inch by inch over the course of the year, the outlook for housing is likely to be tempered by still moderating prices and weak housing starts due to the excess inventory of distressed property.
As a result, there have been reports that the U.S. government is set to introduce new measures to facilitate the conversion of unsellable properties into rentals to improve market inefficiencies. And once this overhang of inventory is cleared, the housing market looks poised for a potential rebound………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Posted on 19 January 2012 by Laxman |  Email |Print

The president’s efforts to revive the housing market have largely failed. But is that entirely Obama’s fault? “I don’t think anyone could have done anything to stabilize the housing market,” said Ed Jacob, executive director of NHS Chicago, which provides homeownership and foreclosure prevention services. “This housing market was in far worse shape than anyone knew.”
Obama took office in 2009, promising swift action to address the mortgage crisis. He quickly unveiled his signature foreclosure prevention program, known as HAMP, and his refinance program, known as HARP………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Posted on 19 January 2012 by Laxman |  Email |Print

In 2009, an economist named Paola Sapienza came up with an image to describe the challenge the U.S. economy faced after the financial crisis. The economy was like a board game, Sapienza, a professor at Northwestern University, told me. Especially like the old favorite “Monopoly.”
Despite the name, “Monopoly” isn’t really about antitrust. It’s about trust. Trust and commerce, Sapienza said. If people want to buy properties, if renters pay their rents and the bank acts predictably, then the game will move merrily forward, and hotels will replace houses on the board………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Posted on 19 January 2012 by Laxman |  Email |Print

David Crowe, chief economist at the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), has released a bullish forecast regarding the 2012 Housing market.
He estimates new home sales will increase from 304,000 in 2011 to 360,000 in 2012. Additionally, housing starts will increase by 17% to 709k. Single family homes will also increase by 17% to 501k. Total starts will hit 709k. Crowe also anticipates new home sales will significantly increase in 2013, reports CalculatedRisk………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Posted on 19 January 2012 by Laxman |  Email |Print

Calpers, the giant California pension fund, is dumping one of its last major housing investments at a big loss.
In a major step toward winding down a two-decade program as the pension world’s biggest player in the U.S. housing market, Calpers is selling a portfolio of 28 housing communities to a partnership between San Diego-based developer Newland Real Estate Group LLC and an affiliate of Japan’s largest home-building company, Sekisui House Ltd………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Posted on 19 January 2012 by Laxman |  Email |Print

Manhattan, arguably the financial capital of the world, has media and technology companies to thank rather than banks for its improving office market, according to a report real estate services company CBRE Group Inc released on Wednesday.
Featuring the likes of social media firms FourSquare and Mashable, online advertiser Yodle and computer software company AppNexus, the technology/media industry has become a powerful tenant force in Manhattan that has given Midtown South — long an afterthought market — the lowest vacancy rate in the nation………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Posted on 19 January 2012 by Laxman |  Email |Print

The U.S. and Canadian commercial real estate markets should anticipate solid performance this year, according to the newest forecast issued by Toronto-based Avison Young. However, the forecast notes that the Canadian market is in a more solid position than the U.S. market.
According to Avison Young, 2011 saw solid demand in both countries’ investment markets, with a large pool of buyers driving the market in Canada while U.S. buyers focused on safe assets and avoiding risk………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Posted on 19 January 2012 by Laxman |  Email |Print

Two of Canada’s biggest pension funds said Wednesday they acquired a combined 49% stake in a shopping center in Rio de Janeiro for C$80 million, further bulking up their real estate holdings in Brazil.
Ivanhoe Cambridge, the real estate arm of Caisse de depot et placement du Quebec, and Toronto-based CPP Investment Board acquired the stake in Botafogo Praia Shopping center from Brookfield Brasil Shopping Centers, an arm of Brookfield Asset Management (BAM), an asset manager based in Toronto………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Posted on 19 January 2012 by Laxman |  Email |Print

The push to complete commercial real estate investment deals in Europe before the end of 2011 boosted annual investment turnover to €115 billion, representing a 4% increase for the year when compared with 2010 (€110 bln.), according to the latest research from CBRE.
The strong finish in the fourth quarter of 2011 (Q4 2011) saw investment activity rise 15% compared with the previous quarter to €32 bln., demonstrating investors’ continued faith in European commercial real estate despite the uncertain economic outlook………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Posted on 19 January 2012 by Laxman |  Email |Print

House prices have fallen for the second month in a row, with the majority of first-time buyers “stuck” in the rental sector because of the need for large deposits. The LSL Property Services/Acadametrics house price index for November showed prices fell by 0.2%, taking the average house price to £147,202.
Figures revealed the price of flats fell by 2.2%, reflecting the struggle faced by first-time buyers. Prices were highest in Edinburgh and Aberdeen, where the average house costs a respective £217,193 and £183,822………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Posted on 19 January 2012 by Laxman |  Email |Print

Unlisted property funds outperformed equities and property REITs in 2011, but fell short of the returns delivered from direct commercial property over the year, according to the AREF/IPD UK Pooled Property Fund Index (UK PPFI).
Pooled property funds delivered 1.2% in Q4 2011, as returns continued to slow, delivering an annual return of 7.1%. Direct commercial property, measured by the IPD UK Monthly Index, returned 8.1%, equities -3.5% and property REITs -8.8%………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Posted on 19 January 2012 by Laxman |  Email |Print

Property companies and listed REITs in particular should cut their gearing and buy back their stock, according to John Lutzius, Managing Director of Green Street Advisors.
Speaking at the annual EPRA and Nabarro Insight event in London on Tuesday, Lutzius fuelled the debate by concluding that leverage across the industry was still too high and that listed REITS especially had been ‘too aggressive on development’. He recommended a level of around 30% and even as low as 20%………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Posted on 19 January 2012 by Laxman |  Email |Print

Prime office in Germany’s main cities, including capital Berlin, are overvalued, according to a new survey by ratings agency Feri.
According to research examining the rental yields of 25 European cities, Dublin ranks as “strongly undervalued”, while central London – incorporating Docklands and West End properties – has rebounded from being undervalued a few years ago to now being regarded as one of the 17 markets trading at fair value………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Posted on 19 January 2012 by Laxman |  Email |Print

Negative Outlook: Fitch Ratings’ outlook for 2012 for the Indian real estate sector is negative due to weak overall demand and higher construction costs, which are likely to continue to squeeze margins.
Sluggish Demand to Continue: High Equated Monthly Instalments (EMIs), resulting from significantly higher interest rates, lower household surplus due to high inflation and high residential unit prices have reduced the affordability of homes. Purchases slowed significantly during H1 FY12 and are likely to continue at these new levels during the first half of 2012………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Posted on 19 January 2012 by Laxman |  Email |Print

Many NRIs are teaming up with like-minded buyers on real estate group buying sites to shop for flats in India. The cheaper rupee and deep discounts offered by developers through these portals has triggered a substantial jump in property-related enquiries from NRIs in the US, UK and the Middle East in the last three months.
London-based Nayan Bhavishi has poured more money into the real estate market in the country than in any other geography or asset category . An avid real estate investor , Bhavishi snapped up two ready-to-move-in flats in Vaastu project in Thane for Rs 1.20 crore through real estate portal Groffr.com……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Posted on 19 January 2012 by Laxman |  Email |Print

Property prices are falling at an accelerating rate across China and unsold inventories have reached the highest level in recent history, raising concerns monetary tightening may have gone too far.
Average prices fell 0.3pc in December from a month earlier, the third successive fall. The National Bureau of Statistics recorded declines in 53 of China’s 70 biggest cities. Used homes in Wenzhou dropped at an annualised rate of 45pc………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Posted on 19 January 2012 by Laxman |  Email |Print

China’s biggest developers slowed home sales toward the end of 2011, bracing for the worst property market in three years as the government vows to keep real-estate curbs.
Contract sales, or sales booked before apartments are completed, dropped 30 percent last month at China Vanke Co., as the country’s biggest developer by market value offered fewer homes from November. Evergrande Real Estate Group Ltd., the second-biggest Chinese developer by revenue, said sales in November and December were the lowest for the year………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Posted on 19 January 2012 by Laxman |  Email |Print

China’s cooling property market could shave more than 2 percentage points off 2012 growth, forcing Beijing to decide just how badly it wants to keep the economy expanding at more than 8 percent a year.
Even if the world’s second-biggest economy avoids a housing crash, slower property investment is almost certain to constrain growth. That assumption was built into economists’ predictions that the economy will slow in 2012, but data released this week suggests housing may take an even bigger chunk out of growth………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Posted on 19 January 2012 by Laxman |  Email |Print

The housing market will improve slightly this year, with more than 80,000 units of new supply serving pent-up demand from last year’s fourth quarter and the higher incomes of civil servants.
Sopon Pornchokchai, president of the property consultant Agency for Real Estate Affairs (AREA), said last year’s floods affected 23 housing projects which were subsequently closed down for renovation………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Posted on 19 January 2012 by Laxman |  Email |Print

Australia’s property market will return to positive territory on the back of last year’s interest rate cuts, it has been predicted. According to a recently released report by the Housing Industry Association (HIA), Australia’s property market defied the doomsayers last year – softening rather than crashing – and 2012 should see a return to growth.
“Another year has passed with portents of doom and gloom regarding residential property prices yet again proving incorrect,” says the report………………………………………..Full Article: Source

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