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Real Estate Briefing 15.Feb 2013

Posted on 15 February 2013 by Laxman |  Email |Print

Housing stocks, which not so long ago looked as likely to pay off as a $2 Powerball ticket, have become a hot commodity. Anticipating the real estate recovery that surfaced in the fall — home prices in October were up 6.3% from a year earlier, and new-home construction reached a four-year high — housing-related stocks led the market in 2012.
Homebuilders (returning 77% through early December), the lumber industry (74%), and home-improvement stores (55%) were the top-performing industries in 2012, according to Morningstar. And the Dow Jones U.S. Home Construction ETF traded in December at a lofty 27 times projected earnings — nearly double the figure for the S&P 500………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Posted on 15 February 2013 by Laxman |  Email |Print

The number of homes listed for sale, which stood at an 11-year low at the end of last year, fell even further in January, according to a report released Thursday.
There were just 1.48 million homes listed for sale at the end of January, down by 5.6% from December and by 16.5% from one year ago, according to data compiled by Realtor.com. That’s the lowest level since the firm began its count in 2007. The National Association of Realtors separately reported last month that inventory ended 2012 at an 11-year low………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Posted on 15 February 2013 by Laxman |  Email |Print

U.S. Realtors and mortgage bankers say they hope President Barack Obama’s call for streamlined mortgage rules in his State of the Union speech will help them persuade regulators not to set a strict minimum down payment for home loans.
“Right now, overlapping regulations keep responsible young families from buying their first home,” Obama said Feb. 12. “What’s holding us back? Let’s streamline the process, and help our economy grow.”……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Posted on 15 February 2013 by Laxman |  Email |Print

The gap between the listing price and closing price of an average home in the United States continues to narrow, with a growing number of sellers able to achieve more than 98% of their home’s listing price. In addition, the median days a home spent on the market dropped to 44 nationwide in 2012, a 23% decline from 2011′s 57 days, says a study of ZipRealty.
“A limited inventory of homes on the market, combined with the extremely low cost of mortgage financing, has resulted in homes selling above asking price in many western markets, boosting the average listing to closing price ratio,” explains Lanny Baker, Chief Executive Officer and President of ZipRealty. “The median amount of time that homes are listed on the market before they sell has shortened by more than two weeks since last year, and in some areas we are seeing one-in-five newly listed homes sell in less than seven days. Multiple-bid situations are also increasingly common in the markets we reviewed.” (Press Release)

Posted on 15 February 2013 by Laxman |  Email |Print

Silicon Valley’s office and research leasing and development sectors this year look more robust than in 2012, according to a high-profile report released Wednesday. What’s more, the tech employment and expansion boom that has gobbled up office and research space at a dazzling pace the last couple of years is showing few signs of slowing down, the report released by commercial real estate firm Colliers International stated.
Companies are currently seeking a combined total of 7 million square feet of office and research space in Silicon Valley, Colliers reported during its annual forecast and presentation in downtown San Jose. That would be roughly equivalent to enough space for six or seven regional……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Posted on 15 February 2013 by Laxman |  Email |Print

Canada’s largest builder of new homes is planning a major U.S. expansion, as it bets that house prices have topped out in its main market of Ontario – and have bottomed out south of the border.
“I think Ontario’s had a good run in terms of house prices and I think we’re at a point in time where we’ve peaked in pricing,” Brian Johnston, the chief operating officer of Mattamy Homes, said during an interview at the company’s Oakville, Ont. headquarters. “We’ve had a good run as an industry and now things are flattening out.”……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Posted on 15 February 2013 by Laxman |  Email |Print

U.K. commercial real estate values fell for the 15th consecutive month in January led by a decline in retail, Investment Property Databank Ltd. said. The average value of stores, offices and warehouses declined 0.2 percent from December, London-based IPD said in a statement today. Total return, which combines changes in real estate values and rental income, was 0.4 percent in January.
“There are some encouraging signs starting to emerge, with pockets of improvement emerging around the U.K.,” Phil Tily, a managing director at IPD, said in the statement. “With the pricing so keen for Central London assets, there may be more movement amongst investors to seek better value in the regions.”……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Posted on 15 February 2013 by Laxman |  Email |Print

Home repossessions in the UK last year fell to their lowest level since 2007, the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) reported. Over the course of the year a total of 33,900 homes were seized by residential mortgage lenders, a decrease from 37,300 in 2011. As a result, the rate of repossession fell to 0.30% in 2012 from 0.33% a year earlier.
Additionally, the stock of properties in possession held by lenders at the end of 2012 was the lowest recorded for over five years. The CML stressed that lenders try to keep borrowers in their homes and only take possession as a last resort………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Posted on 15 February 2013 by Laxman |  Email |Print

Some people are predicting a crash in the Canadian housing market because price-to-income and price-to-rent ratios have gone up a lot. But these ratios omit mortgage rates, a key determinant of prices. A better guide, in my view, is the housing affordability index published by Royal Bank of Canada (RBC).
RBC’s measures at the national, provincial, and city levels show the proportion of median household income required for mortgage payments, property taxes and utilities on various types of houses at going market prices. By including mortgage rates (and other costs), they offer “a much more realistic measure of the ability of households to afford housing than the crude price-to-income ratio ….,” says Wikipedia………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Posted on 15 February 2013 by Laxman |  Email |Print

Irish house prices fell at the second-fastest rate in the European Union last year and at a rate that was almost five times faster than the EU average, according to data compiled by academics based at the National University of Ireland in Maynooth (NUIM).
The figures published by the university’s All-Island Research Observatory show that Irish property prices are now nearly 30 per cent below a standardised average dating back to the middle of 2010………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Posted on 15 February 2013 by Laxman |  Email |Print

The Swiss government would order banks to raise their capital holdings in a move aimed to cool property prices and dissuade borrowers from taking on too much debt“From September 30, 2013, banks will be obliged to hold additional capital for residential mortgages,” the Federal Council said in a statement.
The government was following the recommendations of the Swiss National Bank (SNB), which last week had requested that “partially activate the counter-cyclical buffer” in a bid to “strengthen the resistance of the banking sector and the overall economy against the risks posed by excessive credit growth.”……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Posted on 15 February 2013 by Laxman |  Email |Print

Savills latest Spanish research report shows that a fourth quarter pick-up in activity in Spain’s commercial property market resulted in a 10% year-on-year rise in investment volume in 2012, to €2.1 billion.
However, the international real estate advisor highlights that 50% of this year-end total is accounted for by three individual transactions, namely the sale of Torre Picasso for €400 million, the purchase of the Canalejas complex, Banco Santander’s headquarters in Madrid, by Villar Mir group for €215 million and the purchase of the 439 CaixaBank bank branches………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Posted on 15 February 2013 by Laxman |  Email |Print

Poland saw €2.7 bn of commercial real estate investment last year, matching pre-crisis volumes for the first time since the onset of credit crisis, according to Colliers International. The result was mostly due to an impressive fourth quarter, during which around €1.6 bn of deals was reported.
The market was driven by large single transactions such as those involving Manufaktura, Zlote Tarasy and Warsaw Financial Center, underlining the confidence vested in the Polish market by the international investment community, Colliers said………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Posted on 15 February 2013 by Laxman |  Email |Print

Property investors and developers are upbeat about the prospects for the South African commercial property sector this year despite expectations by analysts and property professionals that the market will remain sluggish.
Gary Palmer, the chief executive of Paragon Lending Solutions, said the retail property sector was expected to grow, with a number of retailers wanting to increase exposure. The industrial sector was likely to remain stable but the office sector was not expected to recover soon, he said. Paragon had witnessed a surge in clients looking for funding for growth, indicating clients were more positive going into this year than last year………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Posted on 15 February 2013 by Laxman |  Email |Print

Dubai real estate agent Laura Adams won’t soon forget one Iranian home buyer. “He literally put a suitcase on my desk, opened it up, and it was full of 1,000-dirham notes,” says the Carlton Real Estate managing director. “I asked him to go across the road to Western Union (WU) and get it exchanged for a manager’s check, half a million dirhams ($136,000).”
It wasn’t the first cash-stuffed suitcase she’d seen. One customer told Adams he had the money with him because he’d just completed a diamond deal and didn’t want to stop by the bank, she says. A Russian buyer walked in with €250,000 in cash ($334,000) as the down payment on a two-bedroom apartment in the Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest tower, and paid the rest with a single check………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Posted on 15 February 2013 by Laxman |  Email |Print

Soufun’s latest results point to a strong rebound for buying and selling activity in the real estate market, providing potential upside for the company’s profits and shares. After showing early signs of a pickup last fall, online real estate services firm Soufun is sending even stronger signals that springtime may indeed be coming for companies that make their money from buying and selling activity in the property market.
Here it’s important to point out that this coming spring for market leaders Soufun and E-House doesn’t mean that China’s real estate prices are going to start rising sharply again anytime soon. Instead, what it means is that real estate buyers and sellers are starting to feel confident that the market has stabilised after more than a year of uncertainty due to government cooling policies………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Posted on 15 February 2013 by Laxman |  Email |Print

In Chengdu, China, farmers and rights advocates say a campaign of harassment has driven farmers off their land, so that local government and real estate developers can profit from real-estate deals. Chinese law gives local governments the right to acquire land in the public interest. Here, a view of a luxury shopping area in Chengdu.
Inside the sales office of Golden Lakeshore, a luxury villa development, model homes are displayed for potential buyers. The villas are a Chinese nouveau riche fantasy of Tuscany, and the showroom is decked out with chandeliers and velvet furnishings………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Posted on 15 February 2013 by Laxman |  Email |Print

The average vacancy rate in Tokyo is currently running at 8.7 percent. By comparison, Mitsubishi Estate’s current vacancy rate is just 4.5 percent. While that’s up a bit less than one percent versus the same period last year, it’s down by 5.51 percent from the level it reported in the previous period.
The company’s lower-than-average vacancy rate is primarily due to the fact that while office demand is down overall, Mitsubishi Estate’s properties are located in some of the best and highest demand areas of Tokyo………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Posted on 15 February 2013 by Laxman |  Email |Print

The largest-listed residential developer in Australia, Stockland Property Group, has announced a first half year statutory loss of 147 million Australian dollars ( 151.4 million U.S dollars) on the back of impairments in its residential book, becoming the latest listed property trust to suffer the ill-effects of Australia’s problematic housing market.
This is a staggering number that says a lot about the lackluster status of the residential development market in Australia since the global financial crisis………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Posted on 15 February 2013 by Laxman |  Email |Print

Prices are strongly seen as rising and agents view the market as being a sellers one. This month for the first time we have introduced a question regarding whether foreigners appear to be more or less active in the market. While not revealing the actual level of their presence the results do show that in aggregate there has been no rise in foreign buying activity compared with a month ago.
With regard to where such buyers largely come from the top country is the United Kingdom with 27% of agents noting this, followed by China at 24%, then Australia 22%. In Auckland however Chinese buyers are seen as prevalent among foreigners by 45% of agents responding. It will be interesting to track these results over time………………………………………..Full Article: Source

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