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Real Estate Briefing 19.Mar 2013

Posted on 19 March 2013 by Laxman |  Email |Print

There’s no doubt the housing market is recovering. New and existing home sales are well above the levels of a year ago and inventories are at their lowest level in 13 years. Plus, home prices are 7% higher than they were a year ago, according to the latest S&P/Case-Shiller report.
But along with this good news are growing concerns that another bubble is forming in the housing market. Feeding those fears is a growing number of all-cash purchases for homes—primarily by speculators. They account for 27% or more of existing home sales every month over the past year, according to the National Association of Realtors………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Posted on 19 March 2013 by Laxman |  Email |Print

Mortgage interest rates have been rising on signs that the U.S. economy is improving. Last week, the 30-year fixed rate reached the highest level in more than six months, climbing to an average of 3.63%, compared with 3.52% the previous week and 3.92% a year earlier. The current rate is the highest it’s been since the week of Aug. 23 when the 30-year fixed rate averaged 3.63%, according to Freddie Mac.
With economic prospects improving, rates could rise even higher this year. This increase could mathematically make buying a home more expensive, but it’s unlikely to stall the housing recovery. To the contrary, higher rates could actually support it………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Posted on 19 March 2013 by Laxman |  Email |Print

Confidence among U.S. homebuilders unexpectedly fell for a second month in March, a sign the residential real-estate market will take time to strengthen.
The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo index of builder confidence dropped by 2 points to 44 this month, due to a decrease in the measure of current sales, a report from the Washington-based group showed today. The median forecast in a Bloomberg survey called for a gain to 47. Readings below 50 mean more respondents said conditions were poor………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Posted on 19 March 2013 by Laxman |  Email |Print

It’s no secret that Wall Street has been bullish on real estate. Housing stocks have surged over the past year, many teetering on the edge of overbought, and billionaire investors like Warren Buffett have been exceedingly vocal about the investment opportunities brick and mortar properties have represented.
Private equity and hedge fund firms have been sinking billions into single family rentals, buying distressed homes off of banks’ balance sheets in discounted bulk………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Posted on 19 March 2013 by Laxman |  Email |Print

The housing market is rebounding, but the new-home market still has a long way to go before it’s back to normal, Meritage Homes CEO Steven Hilton told CNBC’s “Squawk on the Street” on Monday.
“Our business has been strong,” Hilton said. “We’ve had very brisk traffic and sales activity across all our communities.” He also suggested that the third monthly drop in homebuilder sentiment reported by the National Association of Home Builders was inconsistent with business activity………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Posted on 19 March 2013 by Laxman |  Email |Print

A slowdown in Canada’s housing market will continue through 2013 and years of stagnation may follow, but no crash is likely because demographic trends will support demand in the medium term, a report by Scotiabank said on Monday.
The report by Canada’s third-largest bank said that home sales have already dropped more than 10% from spring 2012, with prices leveling off but not yet falling except in particularly hard-hit markets………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Posted on 19 March 2013 by Laxman |  Email |Print

An ageing population and slower economic growth will weigh on the country’s housing market for the next decade at least, Scotiabank, one of the country’s largest home-loan lenders, said Monday. The bank — the latest to offer a dour long-term view of the real-estate market — is bracing homeowners for the slowdown following a 10-year period of explosive price gains fuelled by low interest rates and high demand.
“Looking further ahead, the impact of retirement of the large baby boom generation in slowing labour force growth will restrict the potential growth rate, or speed limit, of the Canadian economy relative to recent decades,” Adrienne Warren, senior economist and the bank’s real-estate specialist said during a presentation at the bank’s Toronto offices………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Posted on 19 March 2013 by Laxman |  Email |Print

Perhaps it sounds like a broken record at this point: Economically, Canada is in a good spot. Just look at the bustling commercial real estate market. A wall of capital is waiting to be placed, and its investors are fighting over core assets in Canada, experts say.
High-quality commercial real estate has become a good alternative to bond investments for a large pension fund, or other investment vehicles, says Ian MacCulloch, national research director with Colliers International, a real estate investment advisory company………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Posted on 19 March 2013 by Laxman |  Email |Print

Rightmove says government efforts to bolster lending had created an “arbitrage of immediate return”. Britain’s biggest property listings website today said investors were piling into buy-to-let for “blindingly good returns” after the government’s efforts to bolster lending had created an “arbitrage of immediate return”.
Rightmove said its research showed that rents are delivering average gross yields of “5.9 per cent”………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Posted on 19 March 2013 by Laxman |  Email |Print

Britain’s biggest estate agent prepares for initial public offering amid signs of renewed buoyancy in property market. Britain’s biggest estate agent, Countrywide, is poised to sell its shares in an initial public offering on Wednesday at the highest possible price it had planned for, in a further sign that the UK housing market is gaining momentum.
The company is preparing to offer its shares at the top end of the range – 330p to 350p a share, up from an initial 260p-350p – two unnamed sources told Reuters………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Posted on 19 March 2013 by Laxman |  Email |Print

House sellers’ asking prices are at the highest they have ever been for the month of March as confidence returns to the market, property search website Rightmove says. House sellers’ asking prices are at the highest they have ever been for the month of March as confidence returns to the market, property search website Rightmove says.
New sellers lifted their asking prices by 1.7% month-on-month to reach £239,710 on average, beating the previous record high for the month which was set in March 2008 by £55………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Posted on 19 March 2013 by Laxman |  Email |Print

In February, the IPD German Monthly Open Ended Property Fund Index OFIX, for M2/2013, reported that open-ended funds for German real estate substantially outperformed the market, with an annual return of 2.3% against -0.2% for funds with a European focus, and -1.0% for those with a global focus.
Compared to February 2012, index volume decreased by €1.2 bln or 1.7%, primarily as a result of fund liquidations. 10 out of 22 OFIX funds have entered liquidation, and their fund volumes have decreased by €1.0 bln compared to last year………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Posted on 19 March 2013 by Laxman |  Email |Print

Blackstone Group LP (BX) and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS) are among private-equity investors selling the most German housing assets since they plowed into the market in 2005, a sign that price gains may have peaked.
Investors plan to sell at least 5 billion euros ($6.5 billion) of apartments and shares of property companies this year, according to company statements and people with knowledge of the deals. Private-equity firms divested about 3.8 billion euros of housing in 2007, when there were no share sales, data from broker Jones Lang LaSalle Inc. show………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Posted on 19 March 2013 by Laxman |  Email |Print

Turkey’s Deputy Prime Minister Al-Babacan emphasized the importance of housing development on the macroeconomic health of the country and the positive effects of the sector being properly financed, clearly and effectively regulated and with a mix of low cost and public housing forming a substantial part of development.
This, he said, was the formula that had seen Turkey through the world economic downturn. He said: “The mortgage system was carefully designed and both clearly and strongly regulated. This developed trust in the system and a resulting stability.”……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Posted on 19 March 2013 by Laxman |  Email |Print

Abdullah Sadiq Dahlan, member of the Jeddah Economic Forum (JEF)’s organizing committee and chairman of the board of trustees at the University of Business and Technology, warned of an imminent threat of a housing crisis exploding in the Kingdom over the coming years in the absence of realistic housing plans.
Dahlan said that 37 percent of Saudis do not own houses and pay rent, while 30 percent live in inadequate housing facilities. He also pointed out that the Kingdom is in need of 350 million sq meters to accommodate a growing population with 67 percent of the population currently searching for affordable housing………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Posted on 19 March 2013 by Laxman |  Email |Print

Global property consultant Jones Lang LaSalle will be making its first real estate investment from its maiden India-focused fund in Bangalore, a development that indicates a cautious return of risk capital to the country’s beleaguered property market.
The transaction, which will be made by Jones Lang LaSalle’s Segregated Funds Group, will look to invest about Rs 30 crore in city-centric luxury residential projects, according to a person with direct knowledge of the transaction………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Posted on 19 March 2013 by Laxman |  Email |Print

New home prices rose more steeply in more Chinese cities in February, putting the government in an increasingly complex situation of regulating the bubble-ridden market, official data showed Monday.
Of a statistical pool of 70 major Chinese cities monitored by the National Bureau of Statistics, 66 cities saw home prices increase within 3.1 percent in February from a month earlier, while three saw prices remain unchanged and only one reported price falls………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Posted on 19 March 2013 by Laxman |  Email |Print

New-home prices in China rose sharply in February from January, prompting speculation that Beijing will crack down further on property speculation. The price increases follow Beijing’s vow to implement a 20% capital-gains tax on sales of second homes, further home-purchase restrictions and stricter credit regulations for second-home buyers to cool the market.
The statements hit the share prices of property developers but have also prompted a flurry of home-buying activity in China in recent weeks………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Posted on 19 March 2013 by Laxman |  Email |Print

China Overseas Land & Investment, one of the biggest developers on the mainland, is aiming for sales this year of at least HK$100 billion. Chairman Kong Qingping described it as a conservative forecast, as the target has taken into account unfavourable circumstances the market could face.
Kong spoke to reporters as the company announced a 21.1 per cent jump in net profit last year to HK$18.72 billion, or HK$2.29 a share, up from a restated HK$15.46 billion, or HK$1.89 a share, a year earlier. China Overseas said its core profit, excluding property revaluation, climbed 21.4 per cent to HK$15.8 billion. Turnover rose 25.8 per cent to HK$64.58 billion………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Posted on 19 March 2013 by Laxman |  Email |Print

New and second-hand home prices rose in February from January in 66 of China’s 70 largest cities, the National Bureau of Statistics said. The strongest gains were seen in the top four cities, where Beijing and Guangzhou both recorded a 3.1% month on month increase in new home prices in February, Shanghai 2.3% and Shenzhen 2.2%.
The month on month price increases in second-hand homes were weaker than those in new homes. The prices of the second-hand homes in Beijing averaged 1.7% higher in February than January, the fastest in all 70 cities, according to the bureau………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Posted on 19 March 2013 by Laxman |  Email |Print

Government measures implemented to slow soaring home prices in Hong Kong didn’t work in 2012. Home values rose 23.6 percent for the year, the largest increase in the world, according to the Knight Frank Global House Index.
“With supply lagging, demand from mainland Chinese investors keen to get their slice of Hong Kong’s real estate prices, has surged,” the property firm reports………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Posted on 19 March 2013 by Laxman |  Email |Print

Foreign capital inflows have put the economy at risk of financial and property sector bubbles which could burst by year’s end, Virabongsa Ramangkura, chairman of the Bank of Thailand board, has warned. Dr Virabongsa said capital inflows have forced the stock market index up from around 1,000 points in the middle of last year to nearly 1,600 at present, while the purchase of government bonds has also surged by more than 15%.
He said he doubted that the central bank’s Monetary Policy Committee would lower interest rates to cool the influx of foreign capital………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Posted on 19 March 2013 by Laxman |  Email |Print

A report warning of a sharp downturn in house prices shows the Government is focused on the right area, Prime Minister John Key says. The International Monetary Fund has highlighted a strengthening housing market as one of the risks facing the New Zealand economy over the next 12 months. Rising price expectations could fuel another housing bubble, it says.
In its annual report card, the IMF said household credit growth, housing market turnover and house-price inflation had all recently picked up, particularly in Auckland where supply bottlenecks persisted and prices remained elevated “by most measures of affordability”………………………………………..Full Article: Source

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