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Real Estate Briefing 22.Mar 2013

Posted on 22 March 2013 by Laxman |  Email |Print

U.S. sales of previously occupied homes rose in February to their fastest pace in more than three years, and more people put their homes on the market. The increases suggest a growing number of Americans believe the housing recovery will strengthen.
The National Association of Realtors said Thursday that sales increased 0.8 percent in February from January to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.98 million. That was the fastest sales pace since November 2009, when a temporary home buyer tax credit had boosted sales. The February sales pace was also 10.2 percent higher than the same month a year ago………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Posted on 22 March 2013 by Laxman |  Email |Print

As existing home sales continued their steady climb in February, low inventory is creating competitive markets in some parts of the country. But low prices and high demand aren’t creating a rapid increase in home prices. What’s wrong?
If you’ve been following US real estate recently, you know that it’s a “seller’s market” marked by “favorable buying conditions.” There is “pent up demand” that is limited by ”tight credit standards.”……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Posted on 22 March 2013 by Laxman |  Email |Print

Thinking about inventory as an interplay between would-be buyers and would-be sellers is problematic, because most buyers are sellers and most sellers are buyers.
That is, most people are selling one house in order to buy another. Whatever stops them from selling also stops them from buying and vice versa. Even folks who are moving into and out of the rental market are occupying units which in turn increases or decreases investor buying………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Posted on 22 March 2013 by Laxman |  Email |Print

U.S. home prices rose a seasonally adjusted 0.6% for January, according to a Federal Housing Finance Agency House Price Index report [link opens a PDF] released today. After bumping up a revised 0.5% in December and 1.4% for Q4 2012 overall, this newest report reflects another solid month for the housing market.
In 2012, home prices jumped up 6.5% and are currently comparable to September 2004 and 2009 levels………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Posted on 22 March 2013 by Laxman |  Email |Print

Freddie Mac and its regulator are not doing a good enough job bird-dogging complaints by homeowners about the companies handling their mortgages, a federal oversight official said Thursday.
The mortgage giant’s eight largest mortgage servicers resolved more than 25,500 “escalated” complaints from homeowners between October 2011 and November 2012, but failed to take care of 21% of them within the required 30-day window, according to a report from the inspector general overseeing the Federal Housing Finance Agency………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Posted on 22 March 2013 by Laxman |  Email |Print

Mortgage and housing market expert, Marcus Arkan, who also works as the CTO of Syndicate Mortgages, has recently presented his view on opportunities available for foreign investors in Canada’s housing market. According to Mr. Arkan, local housing markets are not only filled with plenty of diverse opportunities, but investment does not require going through a hefty and complicated process.
Mr. Arkan’s opinion is backed by New York Time’s international real estate article that also highlights the investment opportunities for foreign investors, especially from the US………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Posted on 22 March 2013 by Laxman |  Email |Print

Cannes, France: Real estate investors are venturing out from the safety of the best buildings in Europe to gamble on edgier properties in a sign of risk-taking creeping back into the market as the Eurozone crisis recedes.
Buildings that are partially or fully vacant, with short periods left on the lease or in need of a revamp, are in demand when they weren’t 12 months ago. “We are interested in slightly compromised real estate,” said Charles Weeks, chief executive of Cornerstone Europe, which has $37.3 billion (Dh137.18 billion) under management worldwide………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Posted on 22 March 2013 by Laxman |  Email |Print

George Osborne’s help-to-buy scheme in the Budget may excite the hopes of would-be homeowners, but it confirms our alarming dependence on an insufficient stock of homes. The biggest surprise in George Osborne’s Budget was the announcement of a huge expansion of mortgage credit.
This was clearly designed to portray the Tories as continuing the work of Margaret Thatcher. It is, after all, a well-known fact that the British are peculiarly obsessed with home ownership, while everyone else rents. And it is another equally well-known fact that Mrs Thatcher, who won three elections, did so on the back of an unprecedented rise in home ownership………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Posted on 22 March 2013 by Laxman |  Email |Print

A year from now, the housing market could be a very different place. For one thing, the tone will be distinctly North American. Mark Carney, the Canadian who takes over this summer as Governor of the Bank of England, will be enjoying powers as extensive as a prairie to keep interest rates low.
Think of him as a Wild West sheriff, although in very nice tailoring, policing the recalcitrant British banking sector………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Posted on 22 March 2013 by Laxman |  Email |Print

If house-buyers were to take up all the guarantees on offer from the Treasury, some £130bn of new mortgages would be created - all of them with the home owners providing only a sliver of equity, and taxpayers on the hook for a little less than three quarters of losses, in the event that the price of the relevant houses were to fall 20%.
The Treasury estimates the potential or contingent liability for taxpayers at some £12bn………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Posted on 22 March 2013 by Laxman |  Email |Print

Rural land across England has produced some of the best returns in Europe since the financial crisis began, appreciating by 51 percent from 2008 through 2012, data compiled by agent Knight Frank show.
Millionaires’ mansions in London rose 19 percent, the rest of the U.K. housing market lost value, and U.K. stocks fell 8.7 percent during the same period. Even as stocks, up about 10 percent so far this year, enjoy their best start since 1998, investors are likely to keep bidding up prices of farmland, drawn by its relative scarcity, rising commodity prices, and tax breaks………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Posted on 22 March 2013 by Laxman |  Email |Print

Total value of property transactions in Ajman jumped by 50 per cent to Dh300 million in 2012 compared to 2011, signaling a recovery in the market. “The property market is witnessing a large interest from Gulf Cooperation Council investors and has been aided by recovery of the market in Dubai,” Yafea Eid Al Faraj, Executive-Director, Ajman Real Estate Regulatory Agency (Arra), said.
No details were given on number of buildings/apartments completed in 2012. Al Faraj, however, stated there was demand for ready residential buildings located in the centre of the city………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Posted on 22 March 2013 by Laxman |  Email |Print

A series of remarks recently published by Wang Shi, chairman of China’s largest real estate developer Vanke, signal China’s property market is facing a turning point, 21st Century Business Herald reported. “There are obvious bubbles in the property market, and it is possible it will get out of control and crack,” Wang warned on his personal micro blog on March 11.
According to data released by the National Bureau of Statistics on March 18, new house prices in 70 cities in February increased by 90 per cent from January, and the rate of increases in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou were on the top of the list, hitting record highs………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Posted on 22 March 2013 by Laxman |  Email |Print

Hong Kong officials, who have struggled in vain for three years to slow the growth in home prices, are about to get their wish as the city’s biggest banks raise mortgage rates. Prices could fall as much as 20 percent over the next two years, according to Deutsche Bank AG, after lenders including HSBC Holdings Plc, Hong Kong’s biggest by assets, and Standard Chartered Plc raise their home loan rates by 25 basis points in response to tighter risk rules.
Hong Kong dollar’s peg to the U.S. currency has kept interest rates in the city at near record lows, underpinning a more than 110 percent gain in home prices since the beginning of 2009 to the most expensive among major global cities………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Posted on 22 March 2013 by Laxman |  Email |Print

Japan’s land prices dropped at a slower pace for the third year as low interest rates and buying by real estate investment trusts spurred demand.
Nationwide land prices on average fell 1.8 percent as of Jan. 1, compared with a 2.6 percent decline a year earlier, the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism said in a report yesterday. The drop was the smallest since prices posted a gain in 2008, the data showed………………………………………..Full Article: Source

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