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International Realty News & Trends

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  • Re : International Realty News & Trends

    Hong Kong home prices climb to new peaks, but growth pace slows

    An apartment of less than 200 square feet can cost as much as $500,000 in the former British colony, making the prospect of owning a home a distant dream for many residentsReuters | July 31, 2017, 16:00 IST

    By: Venus Wu

    HONG KONG: Hong Kong's red-hot home prices extended their record-breaking run in June, although the pace of growth slowed, underscoring the challenges the city's new leader faces in reining in prices in one of the world's most expensive property markets.

    An apartment of less than 200 square feet can cost as much as $500,000 in the former British colony, making the prospect of owning a home a distant dream for many residents.

    Hong Kong's home prices edged up 0.69 percent in June from May, the smallest rise since December last year, data compiled by the Rating and Valuation Department showed. From a year earlier, prices surged 21.6 percent.

    The record prices come even as Hong Kong's Monetary Authority announced an eighth round of mortgage tightening measures in May to help restrain sky-rocketing prices. Analysts say these curbs could push more people to non-bank lenders, many of them the financing arms of developers.

    Hong Kong's new leader, Carrie Lam, who was sworn in on July 1 has pledged to make home prices more affordable. Prices rose 9.3 percent from January to June this year.

    Chinese President Xi Jinping also voiced concern over the city's property market when he visited on July 1 to swear in Lam and celebrate the 20th anniversary of Hong Kong returning to Chinese rule.

    "Housing and other issues that affect the daily life of the people have become more serious," Xi said in a speech.

    Income inequality is at its highest level in over four decades in Hong Kong, stoking discontent in the city that has been rocked by large-scale protests in recent years over calls for more affordable housing and full democracy. (Editing by Jacqueline Wong)








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    • Re : International Realty News & Trends

      Australia new homes sales fall sharply in June: Industry

      The Housing Industry Association (HIA) said its survey of large-volume builders showed new home sales fell a seasonally adjusted 6.9 % in JuneReuters | July 31, 2017, 18:00 IST

      SYDNEY: Sales of new homesin Australia fell sharply in June to the lowest since 2013, though conditions were markedly different across states, an industry survey showed on Monday.

      The Housing Industry Association (HIA) said its survey of large-volume builders showed new home sales fell a seasonally adjusted 6.9 % in June, from May, reversing two months of gains.

      Sales of detached houses fell 5.7 percent, while apartment sales dropped 10.7 percent.

      Total sales in June were down 11.9 percent on the same month last year.

      Results by states were mixed, with sales of houses falling in New South Wales, South Australia and Queensland, but rising in Victoria and Western Australia.

      HIA said the survey captured 9 percent of Australia's new home building sector. (Reporting by Wayne Cole; Editing by Kim Coghill)









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      • Re : International Realty News & Trends

        Vancouver home sales drop in July, prices continue to rise

        Vancouver, the country's most expensive real estate market, has seen sales slow since the tax was put in place last August amid concern that speculation from overseas buyers was leading to a housing bubbleReuters | August 03, 2017, 18:00 IST


        OTTAWA: Vancouver home sales fell in July from a year ago, while the limited amount of properties being put on the market pushed prices higher nearly a year after the provincial government implemented a foreign buyers tax to rein in the once-hot market.

        Sales fell 8.2 percent last month from July 2016, the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver said in a report on Wednesday. Compared with the month before, sales were down 24 percent. Sales were slightly higher than the July average over the past 10 years.

        Vancouver, the country's most expensive real estate market, has seen sales slow since the tax was put in place last August amid concern that speculation from overseas buyers was leading to a housing bubble.

        The new provincial government is reviewing whether the tax will remain in place, according to a report by the Canadian Press this week.

        Prices in Vancouver have begun to climb again in recent months, and were up 8.7 percent in July, putting the benchmark price at C$1.02 million ($812,490).

        The demand for housing in the city now varies by property type and location, with some parts of the market still seeing bidding wars, said the real estate board's president, Jill Oudil.

        The number of properties newly listed for sale increased by just 0.3 percent from last year, while the sales-to-active listings ratio is 32.2 percent.

        Home prices often see upward pressure when the ratio is above 20 percent for several months, the report said. ($1 = 1.2554 Canadian dollars) (Editing by Jonathan Oatis)








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        • Re : International Realty News & Trends

          UK house price growth weakest in more than four years: Halifax

          Average house prices in the period were 2.1 % higher than a year earlier, slowing from a 2.6 % increase in June's figures and down from growth of more than 8 % in July last yearReuters | August 07, 2017, 19:00 IST


          LONDON: British house pricesrose at their slowest pace in more than four years in the three months to July as households felt the pinch of inflation which is rising faster than wages, mortgage lender Halifax said on Monday.

          Average house prices in the period were 2.1 % higher than a year earlier, slowing from a 2.6 % increase in June's figures and down from growth of more than 8 % in July last year, Halifax said.

          Economists in a Reuters poll had expected a 2.0 percent rise.

          Russell Galley, managing director of Halifax Community Bank, said the squeeze on spending power, plus the impact of property tax changes in 2016 and affordability concerns, was weighing on demand.

          In July alone, house prices rose by 0.4 percent, partially recovering from a monthly fall of 0.9 percent in June and slightly stronger than a median forecast for growth of 0.2 percent in the Reuters poll.

          Prices fell by 0.2 percent between May and July compared with the previous three months, the fourth successive quarterly fall and marking the longest such decline since November 2012.

          Britain's housing market has slowed sharply since the vote in June 2016 to leave the European Union, when prices were growing by almost 10 percent a year.

          The slowdown has contributed to a fall in consumer confidence. Credit card firm Visa said on Monday that British consumer spending fell for the third month in a row in July in its longest losing streak in over four years. The fall in house prices, on an annual basis, measured by Halifax contrasted with a slight pick-up in prices as measured by rival mortgage lender Nationwide and published last week.

          Both lenders say the growth in prices is not weaker than it already is due to a lack of homes on the market.

          A Reuters poll of economists published in May produced a median forecast for house prices to rise by around 2 percent in 2017, 2018 and 2019, slower than in the previous Reuters poll published in February. (Editing by Alistair Smout and Catherine Evans)













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