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Opportunistic investors recoil from Asia property

Business Times – 11 Mar 2008 They see more scope for picking up cheaper properties in US, Europe; loans in Japan tougher (HONG KONG) Opportunistic investors are pulling back from Asian property because they see more scope for picking up distressed assets in the United States and Europe, and loans are harder to get in […]

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Property investors set sights on market trough in US, Europe

March 11, 2008 HONG KONG – OPPORTUNISTIC investors are pulling back from Asian property because they see more scope for picking up distressed assets in the United States and Europe. Hedge funds have stopped dabbling in property in the region, fund managers say. Although private equity firms will continue to develop property in India and […]

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UK housebuilders face hard times

Fewer houses built as higher interest rates, credit crunch drive away buyers (LONDON) Britain’s housebuilders are building fewer homes in the face of tighter mortgage lending and an uncertain price outlook, but slashing volumes and costs may not be enough to lure back investors to the battered sector. Britain’s major builders completed fewer homes last […]

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UK lenders lost £700m to mortgage fraud

(LONDON) UK mortgage lenders probably lost £700 million (S$1.9 billion) last year to organised fraud that inflated real estate prices, according Britain’s Association of Chief Police Officers. Mortgage fraud for profit ranges from overvaluation of newly constructed homes to deliberate ramping of commercial real estate prices, often involving mortgage brokers, appraisers and attorneys, the association […]

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London luxury-home prices jump again

1.1% rise in average price of units costing £2.5m or more; overall market unchanged (EDINBURGH) Luxury-home prices in London, the world’s most expensive city for prime real estate, rose at the fastest rate in four months as the overall UK market stagnated, industry reports showed. The average price of houses and apartments costing at least […]

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British house prices fall in January

(LONDON) UK house prices declined for a third month in January, reviving interest among prospective buyers after a slump in viewings late last year, Rightmove plc said. The average asking price fell 0.8 per cent to £230,428 ($647,908) from December, compared with a 3.2 per cent drop the previous month, Britain’s most-used property website said […]

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UK home mortgages slip in Dec

(LONDON) British customer-owned lenders approved fewer loans for house purchase in December as falling house prices hurt the confidence of prospective buyers, a report by the Building Societies Association said. Mortgage approvals fell 20 per cent from a year earlier to £pounds;4.1 billion (S$11.5 billion), said the BSA, which represents 59 building societies in the […]

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UK housing market falls in Dec

Worst performance since aftermath of 1992 recession (LONDON) UK real estate professionals said that December was the worst month for the housing market since the aftermath of Britain’s last recession in 1992. The number of real estate agents and surveyors saying that prices fell exceeded those reporting gains by 49.1 percentage points, the Royal Institution […]

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Property devt in UK hits a low

(LONDON) Property development activity in the UK fell for the first time in four-and-a-half years in November as worries about a weakening property market outlook spread to the commercial building trade, data showed yesterday. In a monthly survey of industry professionals, property services firm Savills said around 22 per cent reported a drop in activity […]

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British home prices fall for a third month in November

Average cost of a home declines 1.1% to £194,895 from a month earlier (LONDON) UK house prices fell for a third month in November, the worst performance in more than a decade, and consumer confidence slumped – signs that rising credit costs are hobbling growth in Europe’s second-largest economy. The average cost of a home […]

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Trouble looms for a third of UK mortgages

Self-employed and those who move house frequently open to risk (LONDON) Up to one in three or 5.5 million mortgage holders in Britain could face serious financial difficulties as a result of the US sub-prime crisis and the tougher lending climate it has created, a study showed. According to a report published by consumer research […]

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Segro buys property worth £400m in H2

(LONDON) British property firm Segro plc cautioned about continued weakness in Britain’s property markets, but it bought £400 million (S$1.19 billion) of property in its second half as it took advantage of good buying opportunities. In a trading update yesterday, the firm said financial market turmoil was taking a toll on the UK property market, […]

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Nakheel to buy UK property, set up Reit

Developer sees value in assets, may sell shares in US$700m trust in S’pore in ’08 (DUBAI) Nakheel PJSC, the Dubai, United Arab Emirates-based developer of the world’s biggest manmade islands, will buy UK real estate investment funds and start a real estate investment trust, or Reit, as it expands into property asset management. ‘UK Reits […]

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UK house prices fall in Nov for second month running

Values down 0.2% from October but housing shortage seen limiting declines (LONDON) UK house prices fell for a second month in November as a jump in credit costs sapped confidence among buyers and sellers, a survey by Hometrack Ltd showed. The average cost of a home in England and Wales fell 0.2 per cent from […]

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Bankers bought fewer luxury London homes in past 4 mths

(LONDON) Bankers and money managers purchased fewer luxury homes in central London in the past four months as turmoil in the credit markets escalated, real estate broker Savills plc said. Purchases of homes costing £2 million (S$6 million) to £4 million by financial services employees declined almost 26 per cent between August and last week, […]

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UK home prices may decline in ’08: Citigroup

(LONDON) UK house prices may fall next year as a ‘toxic mix’ of higher interest rates, overvaluation and record debt deters property investors, Citigroup Inc said. ‘We suspect that the number of buy-to-let home purchases will fall outright in 2008, hence contributing to a sharp drop in overall housing turnover’ and a price decline of between […]

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Value of Liberty’s malls slides in Q3

Higher borrowing costs and stricter credit controls hurt commercial property (LONDON) Liberty International plc, owner of MetroCentre and other UK malls, says the value of these properties fell in the third quarter as higher borrowing costs and stricter credit controls hurt the commercial property market. The London-based company’s 14 shopping centres were valued at £6.11 […]

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Average UK lease term getting shorter

(LONDON) Challenging UK retail trading conditions have forced commercial real estate landlords to slash lease lengths to attract and keep tenants in their properties, data showed yesterday. The 10th Annual Lease Review, published by the British Property Federation (BPF) and Investment Property Databank, showed that the average length of a lease fell from 6.2 years […]

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London luxury home prices lose momentum

Homes worth at least £2.5m pounds up just 0.3% in Oct, slowest pace since July ’05 (LONDON) Luxury-home prices in London rose last month at the slowest pace since July 2005 as the prospect of job cuts and smaller bonuses deterred investment bankers and other buyers, Knight Frank LLC said. The average price of houses […]

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UK counting cost of housing ills

Run on Northern Rock signals boom may be ending (LONDON) Nick Collins, an independent London real estate broker who has had record profits every year since 2003, took a hit in September – and that may be bad news for a UK economy built on a housing bubble. Five of his 50 buyers pulled out […]

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Global property investment expected to fall

Mortgage defaults in US may prompt lenders to tighten credit, says JLL (TOKYO) Global direct real estate investment may fall this year as concerns about defaults on US mortgages prompted lenders to tighten credit, said Jones Lang LaSalle Inc, the world’s second-largest commercial real estate broker. Asia may be the only market to experience an […]

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World’s wealthy still eyeing property

They are undeterred by the market turmoil triggered by the US sub-prime crisis (GENEVA) The wealthy have lost none of their appetite for property despite the market turmoil triggered by the sale of risky sub-prime mortgages in the US, according to some of the world’s top private bankers. Clients of wealth managers are, however, on […]

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City office mart seen riding out forecast job cuts

But if redundancies are higher, supply overhang could lead to recession: players (LONDON) The City of London is set to lose enough jobs next year to empty its landmark ‘Gherkin’ skyscraper twice over, putting pressure on the office market in this global financial hub. The industry expects prices and rents to fall, but consistent tenant […]

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UK’s Local Shopping Reit eyes takeovers

It intends to use its tax-efficient status to boost portfolio (LONDON) The Local Shopping Reit, Britain’s first specialist start-up real estate investment trust (Reit), says it is hunting for corporate acquisition opportunities to boost its retail property portfolio. In a trading update yesterday, the company – which buys neighbourhood and convenience retail properties in urban […]

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UK developer confidence down

(LONDON) British commercial development activity experienced a modest increase in September but developer confidence has fallen to its lowest point since May 2003, data showed yesterday. UK property services firm Savills said developers were still struggling to regain optimism in the wake of credit market turmoil, with 20 per cent of respondents predicting a drop […]

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UK house prices fall in September

Concerns raised over outlook for consumer spending (LONDON) House prices in Britain unexpectedly fell for the first time since December last month, according to HBOS plc’s Halifax house price survey last Thursday, in a firm sign that the property market is coming off the boil. Rising interest rates and a global lending squeeze have been […]

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Jumeirah to open its first European resort

(DUBAI) Jumeirah Group, the hotel management company owned by Dubai’s government, leased a property being built in Mallorca, Spain from a German real estate fund to gain its first European resort and spa. The 120-room Jumeirah Port Soller resort is held on a ‘long-term’ lease from the WestInvest Interselect fund, Jumeirah said in a statement […]

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Credit fallout to hit London office building

CBRE sees 2.5m sq ft of new space instead of 4.5m forecast earlier (LONDON) The equivalent of two to four skyscrapers per year are now unlikely to be built in London in 2009 to 2011 due to fallout from the US subprime crisis, property services firm CB Richard Ellis (CBRE) said yesterday. CBRE said it […]

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Fresh sub-prime concerns in Europe?

Local session turns more sober with ST Index down 41.9 points and a weak broad market IT’S possible to argue that since the Straits Times Index had rocketed by almost 117 points on Wednesday, it would be reasonable to expect some kind of pullback yesterday. This, indeed, was the case, with the index dropping 41.9 […]

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Surveyors see 10% chance of UK crash

RICS revises earlier forecast of 3% rise in house prices to flat over 12-15 mths (LONDON) There is a ‘one-in-10 chance’ of a 1990s-style UK housing market crash, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) said on Tuesday, after scaling back its expectations for British house price inflation. Simon Rubinsohn, RICS’s chief economist, said his […]

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WORLD HOUSING MARKETS – Bubble trouble

By Robert J. Shiller THE future of the housing boom, together with the possible financial repercussions of a substantial price decline in the coming years, is a matter of mounting concern among governments around the world. I learnt this first-hand while attending this year’s Jackson Hole Symposium in the remote wilderness of Wyoming where, ironically, […]

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UK house prices rise for 8th month in a row: report

August average up 0.4% at £199,700, says lender HBOS (LONDON) UK house prices rose for an eighth month in August, a sign that five interest rate increases have yet to curb demand for property, a report from HBOS plc showed. The average cost of a home climbed 0.4 per cent last month to £199,770 (S$613,000), […]

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No sub-prime miracle cure, says OECD chief economist

Increased scrutiny; borrower education; pugnacious rating analysis needed (MADRID) The surge in short-term rates caused by rising defaults of US sub-prime mortgages exposed ‘serious imperfections’ in the way global credit and housing markets function, OECD chief economist Jean-Philipe Cotis said. ‘Recent developments have revealed serious imperfections in the functioning of US housing markets and, more […]

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UK home price inflation seen slowing

(LONDON) British house price inflation looks set to slow sharply next year as affordability constraints are compounded by tighter lending conditions, according to Nationwide, Britain’s biggest building society. A reluctance to extend credit has sent funding costs on money markets rocketing in recent days, putting pressure on lenders to pass these costs on, Nationwide’s chief […]

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UK mortgage lending rises faster in July

Home prices decline for the first time in a year in August, says a Rightmove report (LONDON) UK mortgage lending accelerated in July, evidence that consumers are proving resilient to interest rates at a six-year high, the British Bankers’ Association (BBA) said. Net mortgage lending rose by £5.7 billion (S$17.27 billion), compared with £5.4 billion […]

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London luxury home prices up a record 3.9%

(LONDON) Luxury-home prices in London climbed at a record monthly pace in July as buyers competed for a smaller number of properties, real estate broker Knight Frank LLC said. The average price of the UK capital’s most expensive houses and apartments rose by an average of 3.9 per cent last month from June, according to […]

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UK quoted property worth a look: analyst

Investors may benefit by tapping opportunities in the sector (LONDON) Investors can benefit from a wealth of opportunities in the UK quoted property sector, currently battling the toughest market conditions seen in more than five years, one of Britain’s fastest-growing fund management firms said. Alex Ross, manager of Premier Asset Management’s £100 million (S$305 million) […]

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UK firm to buy two Shanghai buildings

(SHANGHAI) British property firm Grosvenor plans to buy two mid-rise residential buildings in Shanghai worth an estimated 500 million yuan (S$100.2 million), the official Shanghai Securities News said yesterday. The buildings are located in central Shanghai’s upmarket Xintiandi district, the newspaper said. Grosvenor managing director Nicholas Loup said in an interview in June that Grosvenor […]

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Sub-prime mess just a Chicken Little flap

Recent global market tremors are a disturbing commentary on the power of fear THE job of an economist, among many other duties, is to put things into perspective. So, because I am an economist, among other duties, here is a little perspective on the recent turmoil in the stock and bond markets. First, when the […]

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Value of UK homes up 12.1% in June

This suggests that higher interest rates have not hurt demand for property (LONDON) UK house-price inflation accelerated in June to the fastest pace in more than two years, suggesting that higher interest rates have yet to damp demand for property, a government report showed. Home values rose 12.1 per cent from a year earlier, up […]

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Sub-prime domino hits Asia again

Painful pattern takes shape as US ripples exact their toll (SINGAPORE) For the fourth time in two weeks, stock markets in Asia plunged following steep losses in the United States and Europe the previous trading day. As the fallout from rising defaults in US sub-prime mortgages continues to spread, the Straits Times Index fell 53.99 […]

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Hilton planning 25 hotels in UK

(NEW YORK) Hilton Hotels Corp, the second largest US hotel company, said it plans to open 25 hotels with a total of 3,000 rooms in the UK in the next five years. The company signed a letter of understanding with closely held Somerston Hotels UK Ltd, which will franchise the Hampton by Hilton brand of […]

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UK house price growth hits 11.3% in April

(LONDON) UK house-price inflation quickened in April, suggesting the Bank of England’s four interestrate increases since August have not crimped the residential property market, a government report showed. Home values rose 11.3 per cent from a year earlier, up from a 10.9 per cent pace in March, the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) […]

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