News and Analitycal
Latvia: prices for apartments in Riga are on the rise. UAE: the world's tallest building has been commissioned in Dubai. UK: for the first time in three years, prime office rents have appreciated in London.
Effective January 1, 2010 a new tax on property has come into force in Latvia. For private and multi-family houses priced 40 thousand lat (€57 thousand) the tax rate would work out 0.1% of property's cadastral value, 0.2% for properties costing 40-75 thousand lat (€57-107 thousand), while working out 0.3% if the property's value exceeds 75 thousand lat. Tax on land and engineering facilities will amount to 1.5% of the property's cadastral value.
The tallest building in the world has been opened in Dubai on January 4, 2010. It was previously known as Burj Dubai, but a new "name" - Burj Khalifa - has been announced on the opening ceremony. Such name has been chosen to honor the UAE President and Ruler of Abu Dhabi - Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan. Besides that, the final height of the building has worked out 828 meters, while the skyscraper had been previously planned to be 818 meters tall.
Over Q3 2009, Spanish home prices have declined by 0.9%, compared to the preceding quarter. New housing has depreciated by 1.3%, while the price levels on secondary market have decreased by 0.5%
In November, the average price of Australian residential property has increased by 1.1%, compared to the preceding month, up to 395 thousand Australian dollars ($364 thousand). The sharpest price increases were registered in Darwin (17.9%), Melbourne (17%) and Sydney (11.6%).
Typical apartments in Riga have averagely appreciated by 2%, December-to-November, up to €494 per a sq. m. The cost of one- and two-room apartments without finishing has increased by 3.9% (up to €543 per a sq. m.) and 2.8% (up to €492 per a sq. m.), respectively. Prices for new apartments have remained unchanged: €1100-1800 per a sq. m. for flats in prime locations and €800-1200 per sq. m. for units located outside the central part of the city.
The US Index of pending housing sales has declined by 16%, November-to-October. The index considers the number of contracts for residential properties sales which have not been inked yet.
In Q4 2009, the average rentals for prime office space in the main financial district of the British capital - The City - has increased by 3.5%, compared with the preceding quarter, up to £440 ($710) per month. This has become the first increase in this indicator within the last three years.
In Q4 2009, the median cost of renting offices in the US has plunged by 8.9%, compared with the same period in 2008. This has become the sharpest annual decline of this indicator over the whole history of such statistics. Over the same period, the office vacancy rate has increased by 17%, thus reaching a 15-year maximum.
Property transactions have already stepped beyond the borders of the real world. A virtual space base "Crystal Palace" from the "Planet Calypso" multiplayer online game has been sold for real money - $330 thousand. According to the buyer, Eric Nowak, he will now be able to charge other players for the use of the station. In 2005, a virtual space resort, also a part of this game, has been sold for $100 thousand. The gamer-buyer succeeded in returning the invested money by managing a virtual nightclub and selling virtual property, as well as through selling the rights for hunting and mining on his "land".
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