Reports of the Week
Spain: the rate of decline in local housing prices slows down. USA: secondary housing sales are on the rise. China: the authorities are struggling to deflate a bubble on the national property market.
Residential property: Knight Frank consulting agency has published data on the dynamics of housing prices in 47 countries, as of Q4 2009. In yearly calculations, the sharpest price increases during the specified period have been registered in the special administrative region of China - Hong Kong (27.6%), in China as a whole (25.1%), Israel (21.3%), Australia (13.6%) and Norway (11.6%). The most significant declines were recorded in Latvia (49.8%), Dubai (42.1%), Estonia (40.3%), Ukraine (35.7%) and Lithuania (32.1%).
Spain: over Q1 2010, the cost of finished housing in the country has only climbed down by
0.9%, compared to the preceding quarter. According to Mark Stucklin, the analyst of the local market, asking price dynamics are one of the most important market indicators, since sellers choose whether to raise or lower the prices depending on the level of demand.
Denmark: National Statistical office has summed up the results of Q4 2009. Over the specified period the cost of single-family homes has decreased by 0.8%, while apartment prices have increased by 0.3%. In comparison with Q4 2008, Danish housing prices have declined by 6.5% on the average.
Estonia: in Q1, the average apartment rents in Tallinn have plummeted by 25-35%, compared to the same period last year. Furnished one- and two-bedroom apartments located in the Tallinn's downtown or in its immediate vicinity, with available parking lots, were in the sharpest demand.
USA: The Congress is considering a possibility of lowering or eliminating taxes for foreigners who own commercial property in the country. If a foreign national owns shares of a company in which property comprises more than 50% of all assets, upon the sale of the stock the investor will no longer be subjected to the capital gains tax, which is currently in force in the U.S.
The U.S. residential property market continues its recovery. In March, sales of existing homes have increased by 6.8%, compared to the preceding month, while soaring by
16.1% in annualized terms.
Singapore: over Q1, prices in the segment of private residential property have increased by 5.6%. During the specified period, the average cost of office and retail space has climbed up by 1.8%, while industrial property has appreciated by 1.5%.
China: local authorities are seriously concerned about the rapidly increasing housing prices (in March, the figure has climbed up by 11.7%, compared to the same period of
2009) and are implementing certain measures aimed on "cooling down" the market. Thus, authorities in situ are allowed to limit the number of deals inked by any investor over a certain time period. Moreover, Chinese banks are not allowed to issue mortgages to buyers who already own two or more properties.
Commercial property: according to the CB Richard Ellis consultancy, over Q1 2010, rental rates have remained stable on the majority of office markets in the EMEA region (Europe, Middle East, and Africa). The Top-5 cities with the highest office rentals are as follows: London (West End), Dubai, Paris, Moscow, Geneva.
Homeowners in German capital are suffering from the invasion of Great Spotted Woodpeckers. Birds slot openings with a diameter of 2 to 10 centimeters in walls covered with Styrofoam. Woodpeckers seem to like acoustic properties and softness of the material. This problem is so widespread that the country has opened the first "hot line" in order to assist the affected homeowners. According to the Berlin entrepreneur Holm Draber, who has started repairing walls punctured by woodpeckers, he receives three-four orders a week. The entrepreneur has patched more than 300 holes over 2009.
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