Archive for ‘Real Estate’

May 7, 2011

Time to buy as London city real estate market recovers

[Sarah McCraig, Real Estate Market News Contributor]

1888Press Release: While world’s real estate markets continue to go downhill, certain signs show that the property crisis has entered the stage of recovery at some places.

Recent figures from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) show that property demand increased by 25% in the center of London by the end of 2010. Office space was mostly asked for and the demand had reached its highest point since 2007.

Since October last year, the number of queries from existing office occupants for offices has risen up to eight per cent and the amount of free commercial property has plummeted down to zero, the lowest since 2007.

Stirling Ackroyd, a London real estate agency which rents out offices in Shoreditch, Hackney and Clerkenwell said: “We have seen a surge in enquiries for our commercial property in Clerkenwell, especially for office space. We also have premises to let in other central and London wide areas, and again, demand has recently been very strong. But if you’re looking to find new premises, we’re reassuring our business customers they’re not necessarily going to have huge problems right now. There has been all the media coverage about a shortage of good quality commercial property during the last year. However day in day out, we are still showing business customers around good quality commercial property in Clerkenwell and beyond. It is a good time to make the move providing you’re getting the expert local support you need, despite the jump in demand”.

According to RICS, demand for rental property in London will continue to rise this year, although other UK areas might be far from booming. Still, this London indication may be the first sign that people are starting to have spare money again and while the overall demand is not high enough to set prices afloat yet, it may be a good time for well thought-out investments in this world commercial capital.

April 26, 2011

This year more than 10 million Americans are having to choose between paying rent and buying food

[Peter Chivy, US News Contributor]

Huffpost Business: In 2011, its rent or food for more than 10 million American households, or one out of four of them renting their homes.

The number of American households, according to a Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies report out this week, spending more than 50 percent of their income on rent and bills, has gone up by 2.6 million in the past 10 years. Generally “affordable” rent amounts to around 30% of a tenant’s income.

Eric Belsky, director of the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies says that when basic living costs get to certain critical levels, increasing number of Americans are having to choose between paying their rent and starving, or buying food and having nowhere to live: “In real terms, it means more people have less money to spend on household necessities such as food, health care, or savings …in the last decade, rental housing affordability problems went through the roof….and these affordability problems are marching up the income scale” .

As the US economy recovers, rents are likely to increase and this will continue to put pressure upon not only working class, but middle class families with many already spending around 50% of their income on rent only already.

So far the US government has announced no contingency plan for this problem.

March 17, 2011

Real Estate boom in Australia – opportunities for international investors

G’day, yes its official, Australia’s city of Sydney is now the fourth most popular city in the world for international investment according to News.com.au.

2011 has seen money is coming in thick and thin from Asia and Europe and the inward cash surge is stoking up demand for properties in the stylish CBD, North Shor and Eastern Suburb of the city.  Real estate agents are reported to be doing well and are feverishly advertising Australian real estate in Asia and Europe promising investors great deals with built-in security.

News.com.au says that according to CBRE senior managing director of international investments Rick Butler: “…the foreigners are there because they see Australia as safe, secure and actually having growth, which puts us in a much better position than old Europe and the US.”.

[International Real Estate Contributor]

March 16, 2011

iToD Daily – bringing 24/7 hot news direct to your laptop

March 6, 2011

Land investment scams on the increase in the UK

According to BBC News, land investment scamming is now a growing problem in the UK. Around £42 million has been invested in these scams which are being currently investigated by the FSA.

It seems that in recent times, an increasing number of people have been cold-called by companies offering land for sale that they say is ‘ripe for development’.  As a result of this and the volume of complaints from the public, the FSA has reacted by looking into around 20 of  the scams in which many people have been tricked into handing over cash for property that either did not exist, or did not have the value, features, or growth potential indicated by the sellers. The country’s police forces are also on the alert.

BBC News lists some of the victims and their comments:-

Helen, Bracknell

February 16, 2011

UK in shock inflation crisis

The UK is one the largest economies in Europe and it is feeling the acute pinch of a deficit gone totally crazy. With shock inflation prospects hitting  investors and borrowers, British families are starting to tighten their belts as dramatic rises in utilities and food costs are starting to kick in.

Analysts, however, are predicting that the worse is yet to come and inflation is now expected to climb past 5%. For homeowners, inflationary pressures leading to rises in interest rates will spell disaster for higher mortgage payments and more difficulty in selling their properties. Furthermore, as house prices fall, so will the equity in the houses which support much needed lending to make ends meet. Yesterday, the Bank of England warned of high inflation that will go on for three years and the signs are that lenders are taking note and starting to batten down their hatches.

So how can Brits prepare for some tough times yet to come with their finances? Here are some tips courtesy of the Telegraph:-

1) Cut your food bill;

2) Pay off as soon as you can any loans attached to your property;

3) Cater for your old age and buy multiple annuities;

4) Look at investing in corporate bonds – the Telegraph suggests the Legal & General Dynamic Bond fund;

5) Check out gold. The Telegraph reports that last week, Anthony Bolton of Fidelity said gold was the only commodity worth buying. “Gold is more like a currency than a commodity,” he said. “Almost every country has a big budget deficit at the moment so it is in their favour to see their currency depreciate. Countries hold gold as a protection against that.” Chinese investors were starting to take an interest in gold, he said, where previously they were buying American bonds.

6) And finally, get a good financial adviser who can advise you on cheap lending.

Good luck!

February 11, 2011

UK Recession cuts in – housing market in crises

UK Business Contributor

The UK’s housing market is in crisis again.   Just when it was thought that the worse of the financial crisis hitting the country was over, it seems that there is more bad news on the horizon.

According to figures released yesterday from the UK Office of National Statistics, home moving has dropped to the lowest levels ever recorded.  Home owners who are keen to move are stuck as lender‘s are demanding very high deposits, stamp duty has gone up to unaffordable levels and in any event lenders remain not all that keen to participate in funding this troubled market even with interest rates at 0.5%.

Ten years ago, 600,000 young people a year bought their first home, now only 200, 000 are doing so.

The UK’s situation is not much better than that for developed Europe with France and Germany being similarly affected.  It is clear that 2011 is going to be a tough year not only for homeowners in Europe.

Have you been affected by the housing market? What are your views on how to fix it in Europe? Let us know…