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Real Estate Briefing 12.Apr 2013

Posted on 12 April 2013 by Laxman |  Email |Print

The top U.S. housing regulator on Thursday extended by two years a popular federal refinancing program to allow more borrowers with government-backed loans to lower their monthly mortgage payments.
The Home Affordable Refinance Program, or HARP, allows borrowers with loans backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to cut loan payments by refinancing at record low interest rates even if their homes have lost value. The Federal Housing Finance Agency, which oversees Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, said it would extend the program until the end of 2015. It had been set to expire at the end of this year………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Posted on 12 April 2013 by Laxman |  Email |Print

From boom to bust and back again, residential real estate has seesawed back to multiple offers and bidding wars. It’s not just scattered markets. Across the U.S., real estate agents and analysts report solid home price increases and high demand.
However, home prices across the country are still far below their peak at the end of the boom in 2006. But market watchers say prices are likely to continue to climb in 2013. It’s good news for sellers and a relief for some distressed sellers, whose mortgages were once underwater but may not be anymore. So real estate agents are getting busy………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Posted on 12 April 2013 by Laxman |  Email |Print

Fannie Mae put an exclamation point on the housing rally with last week’s announcement of its largest-ever annual profit. The news comes soon after Fannie’s cousin, Freddie Mac, announced its own record high. These results may seem like cause for celebration after years of losses at the two taxpayer-backed mortgage giants.
But they also underscore the urgent need for reform to ensure that the next real estate boom doesn’t end as badly as the last one………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Posted on 12 April 2013 by Laxman |  Email |Print

The number of homes listed for sale ticked up by 2.4 percent in March from February but remained down 15 percent from a year ago, new data show. The low inventory of homes for sale in many markets is helping drive up prices and is being closely watched as the spring selling season takes hold.
“The newest data shows that the outlook is optimistic for the overall real estate recovery,” said Steve Berkowitz, CEO of Move, which operates Realtor.com. “Things are slowly picking up steam.”……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Posted on 12 April 2013 by Laxman |  Email |Print

The number of homes repossessed by lenders in March fell to the lowest level in more than five years, according to foreclosure listing firm RealtyTrac. While some states still saw increases in homes taken back by lenders, nationally home repossessions fell 3% in March from the previous month and were down 21% from a year earlier.
Thirty-four states posted annual declines in completed foreclosures. Among those bucking that trend: Arkansas, Maryland, Washington and Pennsylvania………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Posted on 12 April 2013 by Laxman |  Email |Print

In optimizing the relationship of risk and return, many would argue there’s not a better investment right now than U.S. residential real estate, especially in various geographic regions of the country.
Aside from directly investing in U.S. real estate, some other strong investment options are homebuilders such as KB Homes (KBH), Lennar (LEN), Toll Brothers (TOL), and Taylor Morrison (TMHC). Silver Bay (SBY) and Blackstone (BX) have also been extremely active in acquiring distressed real estate in various markets and leasing the properties………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Posted on 12 April 2013 by Laxman |  Email |Print

European house prices fell in the fourth quarter of 2012, but Britain bucked the trend as property values rose, official figures showed on Thursday. The 17-member Eurozone saw a 1.8pc annual decrease in house prices in the final three months of the year, while the 27-nation EU suffered a 1.4pc drop, according to figures from Eurostat, the EU’s statistical office.
Britain went against the trend showing a 2.3pc jump in property prices in the fourth quarter. However, the UK did see a small drop of 0.7pc between October and December, in line with the EU average. Compared with the third quarter of 2012, house prices in Q4 fell 0.5pc in the Eurozone and 0.7pc in the EU as a whole………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Posted on 12 April 2013 by Laxman |  Email |Print

The Capital’s housing market is booming again, leaving the rest of the UK far behind, data showed . And elsewhere in Europe, the continent is also witnessing a two-speed housing market, with prices growing in some countries yet continuing to sink in others.
Overall, prices in the final quarter of 2012 were down 1.8 per cent in the Eurozone and 1.4 per cent in the wider European Union area, compared to a year earlier, stats body Eurostat revealed. Yet prices are soaring in northern European countries such as Norway (up 8.9 per cent), Estonia (up 5.8 per cent) and Latvia (9.8 per cent)………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Posted on 12 April 2013 by Laxman |  Email |Print

The number of people who believe property prices will increase over the next year is at highest level for at least two years, a study has found. Almost half – 45 per cent – expect prices to rise over the next 12 months while just one in eight predict declines, according to the research by Halifax.
The latest findings show the strongest overall sentiment that house prices will increase since the quarterly study began in April 2011, and add to a string of recent reports pointing to signs of optimism creeping back into the market………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Posted on 12 April 2013 by Laxman |  Email |Print

London’s property market powered a seventh month of increases in U.K. house prices in March as values reached a five-year high, according to Acadametrics Ltd.
The average cost of a home in England and Wales rose 0.2 percent on the month to reach 230,078 pounds ($354,000), Acadametrics and LSL Property Services Plc (LSL) said in a monthly report published in London today. Excluding the capital, prices fell 0.1 percent on the month………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Posted on 12 April 2013 by Laxman |  Email |Print

Is Asia’s economic growth and large population laying the foundation for a real estate boom or bubble? The surge in property prices is often blamed on speculators.
But Patrick Sumner, from Henderson Global Equities, told the BBC that rising prices are based on real demand, not speculation. People across the region are either looking to buy their first homes, or to trade up. And this is likely to keep prices high despite attempts in many countries to cool the market………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Posted on 12 April 2013 by Laxman |  Email |Print

The latest stats from the National Bureau of Statistic shows apartment rental rates have increased by some 3.7-percent in March across China. CRI’s Wang Xiao has more on the rental market in the major cities, including Shenzhen, Shanghai and Beijing.
Tang Zhisheng, manager of Shenzhen Jia Shun Real Estate, says the apartment rent has increased by 10 percent or more in March this year. “Take Futian district for example. An apartment with one bedroom and one living room cost you about 2700 yuan a month last year. But now you have to spend 3500 yuan on it.”……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Posted on 12 April 2013 by Laxman |  Email |Print

To further regulate its land supply, Beijing will allocate 5,650 hectares for construction land this year, of which 1,650 hectares are reserved for residential land, the Beijing Municipal Land Bureau announced on April 8. 70 percent of the residential land will be used for affordable homes as well as small- and medium-sized home, according to the bureau.
In breakdown, land that goes to the affordable housing projects will be some 800 hectares and commercial homes will take up 850 hectares. Among the latter, the small- and medium-sized residential land comes to some 370 hectares………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Posted on 12 April 2013 by Laxman |  Email |Print

Sentiment in Hong Kong’s residential property market remains sluggish following a series of real estate tightening measures imposed by the government, according to the latest monthly report from Knight Frank.
Data from the Land Registry show that residential transaction volume slumped 28.1% month on month, with only 4,534 sales recorded in March………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Posted on 12 April 2013 by Laxman |  Email |Print

The government plans to set aside 1 trillion won (US$885 million) of its envisioned extra budget to stimulate the sluggish housing market, a top economic policymaker have said.
The government is considering drafting an extra budget aimed at making up for revenue shortfalls caused by the slowing economy and also bolstering the overall economic activities. Creating jobs and boosting the property market will likely be key parts of the plan, which is to be unveiled early next week………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Posted on 12 April 2013 by Laxman |  Email |Print

Despite fears that a looming real estate bubble could drive up property prices, there is currently no sign of such problems in the condominium market, according to professional services firm Jones Lang LaSalle.
The specialist property consultancy said it was reasonable that the Bank of Thailand recently asked commercial banks to be more cautious about mortgage lending, particularly to borrowers suspected of buying houses or condominiums for speculative purposes………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Posted on 12 April 2013 by Laxman |  Email |Print

The Melbourne housing market is expected to pick up this year, with strong auction clearance rates and increased buyer activity, according to the latest market report from Australian Property Monitors (APM).
This is despite there being a big backlog of properties listed for sale and properties taking more than a month longer than in the past to sell. The latest report shows that average days on market in Melbourne increased from 102 days a year ago to 112 days as of February 2013 – well above the long-term average of 73 days………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Posted on 12 April 2013 by Laxman |  Email |Print

New Zealand house sales rose to the highest in almost six years as prices surged, adding to a property market boom that Finance Minister Bill English said might trigger an earlier increase in interest rates.
House sales climbed 11 percent from March last year to 8,128, the most for a month since May 2007, the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand said in an e-mailed statement. House prices advanced 8.6 percent from a year-earlier, led by a 16 percent jump in Auckland, home to a third of the nation’s 4.4 million people………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Posted on 12 April 2013 by Laxman |  Email |Print

The number of New Zealand house sales rose to a six-year high last month and prices touched a new record as Auckland continued to drive up the national average.
Some 8,128 houses were sold in March, up 23 percent from February and 11 per cent from the same month a year earlier, according to the Real Estate Institute. The national median price rose an annual 8.1 per cent to $400,000, the first time it’s broken the $400,000 mark………………………………………..Full Article: Source

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