Reports of the Week
Baltic States: prices for typical housing continue to rise in Latvian capital; the number of property transactions grows in Estonia. Spain: local residential property market stabilizes. Munich and Hamburg were called the most promising property markets in Europe.
Latvia: over February, prices for typical housing in Riga have increased by 2.4% on the average, compared to January. The figure continues to grow for the last five months; the growth-rate has slowed down, however. According to Latvian realtors, this may indicate a stabilization of prices.
Estonia: the quantity of apartment transactions has soared by 40%, February-to-January. The sharpest increase in the transactions' number has been registered in Narva.
Spain: in February, the index of prices for housing offered by Tinsa, one of the nation's largest appraisal companies, has decreased by 5.5%, compared to February 2009. Annualized prices have changed by the same amount over January. In addition, the number of housing transactions concluded in the country in January has climbed up by
2.1%, year-on-year. According to the CEO of the Spanish Property Insight independent consultancy, Mark Stucklin, such data may speak for a certain stabilization of the market.
Cyprus: in February, the number of property transactions concluded by foreign buyers has decreased by 9%, year-on-year. However, according to the Land Department of the Republic of Cyprus, the Russians' demand for property on the island has remained stable. This may be reasoned by the availability of Cyprian mortgages to the Russians (the credit interest rates amount to 4.5-5%).
Switzerland: Credit Suisse bank forecasts the local housing market to remain stable throughout the year. The Russians' interest in Swiss property has been consistently growing since mid-2009 up to the present moment. Russians prefer to invest in residential and commercial property.
Europe: The Urban Land Institute organization and PricewaterhouseCoopers Company have selected the European property markets, which most successfully recover from the recession and are the most promising in terms of investment in 2010. The top five includes Munich, Hamburg, Paris, London and Vienna. The head of the European branch of the PricewaterhouseCoopers, John Forbes, believes that the current year would be characterized by "cautious optimism" on property markets of the region.
India: effective July 1, 2010, a new tax on housing purchase in the amount of 3.3% of the property's value will come into power in the country. These measures may lead to further increases in Indian home prices.
Commercial property: the CB Richard Ellis analysts claim that the volume of investments in German commercial properties will soar by 20% in 2010, compared to the preceding year. The relatively favorable economic situation in the country, as well as the gradual recovery from the credit crisis should contribute to this.
An American is suing the Bank of America, which has foreclosed her house by mistake. The lawsuit alleges that the contractors which were hired by the bank have "disconnected all communications leading to her home, cut off the water pipes, removed all the wiring, damaged parquet floors and walls, poured antifreeze in sinks and toilets, and have also taken her parrot away". The amount of the claim works out $50 thousand. A similar lawsuit has already been filed against the Bank of America earlier this year, in February on the matter of an erroneous foreclosure of a house, which was purchased without acquiring a mortgage credit.
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