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Real Estate Briefing 22.Mar 2012

Posted on 22 March 2012 by Laxman |  Email |Print

The U.S. housing market, a notable soft spot in the nation’s weak economy for the past four years, is becoming less of a drag on the recovery. Real-estate markets are showing signs of life as falling prices spur buyer demand, lifting home sales and new construction from the depressed levels of the past three years.
The spring selling season, traditionally the busiest period of the year, appears to be off to its best start in five years. Sales of existing homes in January and February were at their highest level since 2007, according to data out Wednesday, though sales in February edged down by 0.9% from January on a seasonally adjusted basis………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Posted on 22 March 2012 by Laxman |  Email |Print

John RydingSales of previously owned homes in the United States dropped 0.9 percent in February, according to a report released Wednesday, disappointing economists. The number indicates that roughly five years after the housing bubble burst, the real estate market’s road forward remains bumpy.
Many economists had thought that with mortgage rates near record lows and the job market improving, existing-home sales would rise. Homes were sold at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.59 million, compared with 4.63 million in January, according to a report from the National Association of Realtors………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Posted on 22 March 2012 by Laxman |  Email |Print

U.S. home sales fell in February, but upward revisions to the prior month’s pace and the first yearly increase in prices in 15 months pointed to steady improvement in the housing market.
Existing home sales fell 0.9 percent in February from January but still notched their second highest level since May 2010, the National Association of Realtors said on Wednesday………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Posted on 22 March 2012 by Laxman |  Email |Print

U.S. home sales are gradually coming back. A mild winter and a stronger job market have helped boost sales ahead of the crucial spring buying season.
The past two months made up the best winter for sales of previously occupied homes in five years, when the housing crisis began. And the sales pace in January was the highest since May 2010, the last month that buyers could qualify for a federal home-buying tax credit………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Posted on 22 March 2012 by Laxman |  Email |Print

It’s the eternal question in real estate: Should I buy or rent? The answer has never been clearer: Buy. In 98 of the top 100 housing markets, buying a home is more affordable than renting, according to the online real estate company Trulia. Only Honolulu and San Francisco buck the trend.
There are several reasons. Home prices are falling. Mortgage interest rates are at historically low levels. And rents are on the rise………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Posted on 22 March 2012 by Laxman |  Email |Print

Economists expect home prices to fall 0.7 percent in 2012, which is more negative than their previous expectation of a 0.2 percent decline, according to the March 2012 Zillow Home Price Expectations Survey, compiled from 104 responses by a diverse group of economists, real estate experts and investment and market strategists.
The survey, sponsored by leading real estate information marketplace Zillow, Inc. and conducted by Pulsenomics LLC, is based on the projected path of the S&P/Case-Shiller U.S. National Home Price Index during the coming five years. (Press Release)

Posted on 22 March 2012 by Laxman |  Email |Print

If you were head of Central Planning (howdy, Ben!) and were tasked with crippling the real estate market, here’s what you would recommend. 1. Choke the market and banking sector with zombie banks. Central Planning creates zombie banks in one easy step: it allows insolvent banks to mark their impaired “real estate owned” to fantasy rather than to market
Have the central bank (the Federal Reserve) buy up $1 trillion in toxic, impaired mortgages. If these mortgages were such a great deal, then why didn’t private buyers snap them up?……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Posted on 22 March 2012 by Laxman |  Email |Print

It wasn’t that hard to convince 24 institutional investors to commit a total $810.2 million to Brazilian real estate projects in São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro states. With that under their belts, GTIS Partners, a global real estate investment firm, just raised the largest amount of funding by any foreigners buying Brazilian properties.
GTIS Partners in New York City closed its newly created GTIS Brazil Real Estate Fund II on February 24………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Posted on 22 March 2012 by Laxman |  Email |Print

Mass construction in Panama, particularly in the capital, is concentrated in some residential areas where prices are rising and it is advisable to monitor this situation. However, this does not constitute a threat of a housing bubble in the view of some economists.
Marbella, San Francisco, Bella Vista and Balboa Avenue are the areas with the greatest concentration of building projects in the capital, according Capital.com.pa………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Posted on 22 March 2012 by Laxman |  Email |Print

The number of homes sold in the UK rose slightly in February, HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) said. There were 65,000 completed sales, up by 7% from January and 18% higher than a year ago.
The figures show little evidence of any rush by first-time buyers to beat the reintroduction of stamp duty on 24 March on homes worth £250,000 or less. But they chime with other data on mortgage lending which suggests that the market is staging a mild pick-up………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Posted on 22 March 2012 by Laxman |  Email |Print

We’ll find out very shortly what will be in George Osborne’s Budget, but in advance of his announcements, estate agency eMoov.co.uk has suggested ways the Chancellor could bring buoyancy and stability to the property market:
1. Stamp Duty - Traditionally paid by buyers, stamp duty should instead be paid by the seller. This will allow beleaguered buyers to buy more easily and for sellers to utilise their equity to foot the Treasury’s bill. Stamp Duty should be changed to a flat 2% on all sale prices rather than it being maintained as an escalating levy………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Posted on 22 March 2012 by Laxman |  Email |Print

Fitch Ratings on Wednesday called Spain’s new real-estate asset rules a big but necessary step toward extracting the country from a banking crisis that has continued to weigh down the broader economy.
Under Spain’s stiffer rules on real estate, banks will need to comply with harsher regulatory capital requirements and meet the European Banking Authority’s 9% core capital requirement………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Posted on 22 March 2012 by Laxman |  Email |Print

Saudi Arabia’s mortgage market is the least developed among the six Gulf Cooperation Council states almost a year after advisers to the king approved an overhaul of the mortgage law, CBRE Group Inc. said.
“Saudi Arabia has the largest real estate market in the GCC, but the least developed mortgage market,” CBRE said in a report today. “This has resulted in a shortage of owner- occupied residential housing, particularly at the lower end of the income scale.”……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Posted on 22 March 2012 by Laxman |  Email |Print

An exorbitant rise in rent prices in Jeddah has dashed the hopes of several young men who want to get married and have families. Speaking to Arab News, a number of young men, both Saudis and foreigners, said they find it very difficult to rent residential flats at a reasonable rate.
These youngsters claim greedy landlords have unreasonably hiked rent prices to the extent that they are unaffordable for most of them. This forced some foreigners to lease residential apartments and then share them. This happens at a time when Jeddah is facing an acute shortage of homes……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Posted on 22 March 2012 by Laxman |  Email |Print

China may be succeeding in its two-year effort to cool the housing market without crashing it, as some experts see trends of an ongoing consolidation in house prices, but not a U.S.-style subprime accident.
The weakening market, which saw average nationwide prices fall for a fifth straight month in February, is in line with the gradual softening sought by Beijing when it initiated a tightening of residential property restrictions in early 2010, analysts say………………………………………..Full Article: Source

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