A round-up of the week’s news, courtesy of the Lead Galaxy overseas property portal TheMoveChannel.com.
$25bn settlement divides America
The landmark $25 billion mortgage settlement, agreed last week between leading US lenders and 49 states, has split the country down the middle, as officials welcome help for the housing market and homeowners continue to battle with foreclosure.
Spanish property can “sell in a day”
A Spanish property expert has claimed that houses in Spain will sell in a day if sellers stop overpricing and reduce values by 40 per cent. “[They] have nothing but [their] own unrealistic expecations” if the property doesn’t sell, said the Managing Director of Noteges.
Russia plans new property tax
Russia is planning to tinroduce a new tax, based on the real market value. Property evaluations will take place throughout 2012 to determine the true worth of the country’s real estate, rather than basing the levy on the current low house prices. The tax will be introduced next year.
Foreign buyers go back to Budapest
Foreign buyers are going back to Budapest’s property market, according to one Hungary newspaper. Overseas investment used to account for one-tenth of all property purchases in the capital, but after the housing crisis, investors are beginning to return.
Dubai 2011 almost rivals boom levels
Dubai’s figures for 2011 show that against all expectations, the market almost matched levels last seen during the country’s real estate boom. Transactions were up by 20 per cent compared to 2010, just 9.5 per cent below the total value of AED158 billion in 2009.
London developments double in size
London developments are doubling in size, according to Jones Lang LaSalle. Developers are increasing the capacity of their projects to try and accommodate “inexhaustible demand” for property in the city centre.
Foreclosures rise in Florida
Foreclosures increased “for the first time in more than a year” in Florida, a RealtyTrac report revealed. The Sunshine State, severely affected by the housing crash, saw the number of foreclosure filings rise by 14 per cent in January, as the market struggles to clear its inventory of repossessed property.
Kuwait recovery on the cards?
A recovery in the property market is on the cards, predicts the National Bank of Kuwait. The total value of real estate transactions in 2011 reached KD2.7 billion, according to the bank’s latest report, marking an increase of 53 per cent from investors.
Malaysia good for long-term investment
Malaysia has been highlighted for its long-term investment prospects by the Malaysia Institute of Estate Agents. The MIEA commented that the market is “one of the cheapest in the region” and that over the coming decade, property values will rise considerably.
Barbados prices may rise this year
Barbados property has seen a rise in demand, according to a new Knight Frank report, which could see house prices rise again after a fall of 5 per cent in 2011.
Ireland prices bottoming as buyers pour back in
Ireland’s property appears to be bottoming out as US and Russian investors flood back into the market following a drop in values of “at least 55 per cent”.
Romanian real estate generates interest
Romanian property is generating increasing interest from investors, Global Property Guide has reported. 28 per cent more enquiries were made in 2011 than the year before, as low prices attracted attention from overseas buyers.
Property sales in New Zealand hit record high
The number of residential property transactions in New Zealand hit a four-year high in January. Prices have increased by 1.1 per cent over the past three months, Quotable Value’s data shows, but remain far below the boom levels of 2007.
London rents continue to skyrocket
London rental rates continue to skyrocket, according to a new report from Colliers International. Residential property values have returned to pre-crisis levels, reveals the report, but rents are “regularly exceeding £1,000-plus per week”.
Wuhu scraps week-old housing policy
The Chinese city of Wuhu cancelled a housing policy just seven days after it had been introduced. The policy, which would have given subsidies to new homeowners and excluded buyers from paying deed tax, was swiftly scrapped by the Wuhu government as China continues to insist on the cooling of the country’s property market.