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Real Estate Briefing 14.Feb 2013

Posted on 14 February 2013 by Laxman |  Email |Print

Should you look at housing as a (good) investment? For the love of five years of foreclosures, bank failures, and congressional testimonies, have we learned nothing? Bobcats and coyotes, after all, were taking over condemned houses with antifreeze-green pools. That’s pretty Mad Max where I come from.
Don’t look now, but with the sector resurgent—prices for single-family homes climbed in 88 percent of U.S. cities in the fourth quarter—the idea of “house as nest egg” is making a comeback………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Posted on 14 February 2013 by Laxman |  Email |Print

U.S. Realtors and mortgage bankers say they’re hoping President Barack Obama’s call for streamlining mortgage rules will lend new momentum to efforts to prevent imposing a strict minimum down payment for home loans.
“Right now, overlapping regulations keep responsible young families from buying their first home,” Obama said in his State of the Union address yesterday. “What’s holding us back? Let’s streamline the process, and help our economy grow.”……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Posted on 14 February 2013 by Laxman |  Email |Print

After years of downturn, home building is now solidly contributing to economic growth. An important factor behind that growth has been the expansion of multifamily construction such as apartment buildings and condominiums.
As a result of the housing crisis, homeownership is down, particularly among younger households. In addition, the overall number of households—homeowners and renters combined—is down compared to where it should be given the population growth………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Posted on 14 February 2013 by Laxman |  Email |Print

Few barometers of economic activity say as much as housing data. They usually give ample warning of recessions. Housing sales and construction activity is typically as good at predicting recovery. The prescience of these data speak to the deep linkages the housing sector has to the broader economy. As such, when these data shift in a big way, it pays to pay attention.
US and Canadian housing markets are being hit by big shifts that look like the best of times and the worst of times. As of December, US housing starts are just shy of the million mark, up 37 per cent over December, 2011. In contrast, Canada’s January starts plunged 20 per cent compared with year-ago data, eking out just 161,000 units. Are we headed for recession while the US economy recovers?……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Posted on 14 February 2013 by Laxman |  Email |Print

Canadian commercial real estate delivered another strong performance in 2012, as measured by the REALpac / IPD Canada Annual Property Index. The annual total return of 14.1% continued Canada’s strong performance.
Real estate outperformed public equities (7.5%), bonds (3.0%) and inflation (0.8%). (Equities are based on the MSCI Canada Index. Bonds are based on the JP Morgan 7-10 Year Government Bond Index. Inflation is based on data from Statistics Canada). Looking at the 13 year history of the REALpac / IPD Canada Annual Property Index, 2012 was the 5th highest annual total return ever………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Posted on 14 February 2013 by Laxman |  Email |Print

The Toronto condo market has been the centre of much discussion recently, with even the Bank of Canada giving it significant coverage in the December 2012 edition of the Financial Stability Review.
The potential risks facing this market segment have now crept to the forefront in discussions on the health of the overall Toronto real estate market - and for good reason. As the Bank of Canada noted, “Price corrections in particular segments of the housing market may put downward pressure on house prices more generally.” Because of this, the health of the condo market ought to be of interest to everyone in Toronto………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Posted on 14 February 2013 by Laxman |  Email |Print

CBRE’s latest Monthly Index was largely unchanged to the end of January 2013. The All UK Property segment recorded a total return of 0.3% in the month, unchanged from December with annual total returns picking up slightly to 2.1%. Capital values continued to slip, declining 0.2% in January, which was also a repeat of the declines recorded in the final two months of 2012.
In January, for the ninth month running, central London offices were the only sector where capital values increased, up by 0.3%. In offices outside of the capital, values fell by 1.1% over the month………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Posted on 14 February 2013 by Laxman |  Email |Print

London’s property is losing its attraction for investors as they start to venture out of “safe havens” and worry that the city’s prices look high given a slowing British economy.
A reputation as a safe place to park money during global market turmoil helped drive central London office prices up 52 per cent between mid-2009 and the end of 2012. Prices in the smaller luxury residential market grew at a similar pace………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Posted on 14 February 2013 by Laxman |  Email |Print

The Swiss government ordered banks to hold additional capital as a buffer against risks posed by the country’s biggest property boom in two decades.
Banks will be forced to hold an extra 1 percent of risk- weighted assets linked to domestic residential mortgages, the government in Bern said in a statement today. Lenders would have to add about 3 billion francs ($3.26 billion) to comply with the new rules, which will be enforced from Sept. 30………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Posted on 14 February 2013 by Laxman |  Email |Print

The Swiss government announced steps on Wednesday to try to dampen a housing market boom that has been fuelled by ultra-low interest rates, immigration and Switzerland’s appeal as a safe-haven for financial investors.
The government said it is demanding banks hold additional capital against their mortgage books to restrain an “excessive” rise in real estate prices and “exorbitant” mortgage debt because the central bank could not lift interest rates due to its desire to keep a lid on the strong Swiss franc………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Posted on 14 February 2013 by Laxman |  Email |Print

It is beginning to feel as though there is no end in sight to the global financial crisis and in those countries most affected, recovery seems a long way off. For Spain, the property market crash in 2008 contributed heavily to its downfall and real estate prices are continuing to plummet, despite considerable activity from overseas buyers. But what can be done to turn the tide?
For prime minister Mariano Rajoy, tackling unemployment is the answer. In an interview with the Financial Times, he explained that the only way to stimulate the economy again is to get Spaniards back into the workplace………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Posted on 14 February 2013 by Laxman |  Email |Print

Poland’s real estate sector has been a little lacklustre in recent years, but that has not not dissuaded investors from taking a flyer on PHN, a government controlled property holding which had its IPO on the Warsaw Stock Exchange on Wednesday.
Shares were up by 7.4 per cent to 23.62 zlotys ($7.67) on the WSE, valuing the company at just over 1bn zlotys………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Posted on 14 February 2013 by Laxman |  Email |Print

There is a growing demand from investment companies to participate with real estate developers to offer more real estate investment funds, Dr. Mohammed Bin Abdul Malak Al-Sheikh, President of the Capital Market Authority, has said.
In a speech at the Real Estate Investment Fund Forum in Riyadh, delivered on his behalf by Dr. Abdulrahman Al-Barrak, member of the CMA Board, Dr. Al-Sheikh said the number of real estate investment funds, both public and private, is now 58………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Posted on 14 February 2013 by Laxman |  Email |Print

Investors should re-balance portfolios in 2013 away from fixed income to take advantage of better returns in other asset classes, including equities, commodities and real estate, according to Emirates NBD Wealth Management, a part of the Middle East’s leading bank.
Mark McFarland, chief investment strategist at Emirates NBD Wealth Management, said on Wednesday that investors should also look closely at alternative asset classes. “Real estate in the UAE continues to offer good affordability while demand is seen rising, particularly in apartment and commercial sectors,” he said………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Posted on 14 February 2013 by Laxman |  Email |Print

Private residential property in Cambodia is being seen by some investors as relatively cheap, with potential for attractive returns. Industry players believe these factors are the main draw for foreign buyers, looking to grow their money in Cambodia.
Over 2,000 new private residential units are going on sale in 2013, and there are plans to launch an additional 1,000 units at the end of the year………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Posted on 14 February 2013 by Laxman |  Email |Print

Household loans in South Korea reduced for the first time in four months as the end of temporary tax benefits pulled down housing transactions, central bank data showed Wednesday.
Outstanding household loans extended by banks were 463.1 trillion won (426 billion U.S. dollars) as of the end of January, down 3.5 trillion won from a month earlier, according to the Bank of Korea (BOK). The figure fell after rising for three months through December last year………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Posted on 14 February 2013 by Laxman |  Email |Print

For those interested in the Australian residential property market, a long history makes for fascinating reading. Australians are fortunate because much data on real estate and financial markets is publicly available, going into depth not seen in other countries. Careful scrutiny can yield useful ratios that go back over a century and offer context for where the market is now.
Comparing housing prices to inflation is one of the more common indicators in property market analysis. If the trend is fairly even over time, then there is no indication that people are favouring housing relative to other goods and services………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Posted on 14 February 2013 by Laxman |  Email |Print

Australia’s residential property market (specifically land market) is vastly overvalued, driven by debt-financed speculation and the relative non-taxation of land rent. While land bubbles have been a continual feature of the Australian economy, what separates this cycle is the relative enormity of the boom in both land values and private debt.
A smaller private debt to GDP ratio during the 1880s and 1920s was enough to produce two devastating depressions, including a number of recessions during the mid-1970s, early 1980s and early 1990s………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Posted on 14 February 2013 by Laxman |  Email |Print

Investment in Australian commercial real estate fell in the final quarter of 2012 but the outlook remains bright for 2013 as global investor confidence rises.
Over the December 2012 quarter, Australian investors – both offshore and local – invested $US3.9 billion in commercial property, compared with $US4.2 billion in the September quarter – a decline of 6%, according the latest global real estate report from Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL)………………………………………..Full Article: Source

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