Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

International Realty News & Trends

Collapse
This is a sticky topic.
X
X
Collapse

International Realty News & Trends

Last updated: 1 week ago
917 | Posts
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Re : International Realty News & Trends

    Growth in China's home prices to cool in 2021, sales flat

    Average residential property price growth is estimated to cool to 3.3% in 2021, according to 13 analysts and economists surveyed from Jan. 25-29.
    BEIJING: China's home prices are expected to rise at a slower pace this year while sales will likely remain steady, as Beijing shifts its focus to tackling rising debt risks in the sector as the economy recovers, a Reuters poll showed.

    The residential property market recovered quickly in 2020 benefiting from lower mortgage interest rates and a marginal relaxation of some official curbs on buyers, offering much-needed support for an economy nearly fully recovered to pre-coronavirus levels. But the rebound has raised concerns about financial risk and policymakers have since then tightened screws on the funnelling of funds into the sector.

    Average residential property price growth is estimated to cool to 3.3% in 2021, according to 13 analysts and economists surveyed from Jan. 25-29.

    Home prices climbed around 4.9% in 2020, a Reuters calculation of official data showed.

    The price rises this year will continue to be driven by bigger cities as the credit liquidity released during the COVID-19 epidemic cannot be recalled in the short term, said Nie Wen, economist at Hwabao Trust.

    Sluggish demand in smaller cities and stringent lending regulations for developers and buyers, however, will put a lid on any spurt in demand this year, analysts say.

    Property transactions are expected to be flat from last year, versus a 2.6% gain in 2020.

    Zhao Ke, analyst at China Merchants Securities, said pent-up buying in the second half of 2020 could mean that demand won't be as strong this year.

    Yuan Hao, chief real estate analyst with SWS Research also expected the central bank's tight controls on banks' property loan issuance to curb home transactions this year.

    Regulators outlined borrowing caps known as "the three red lines" last August, while the central bank in December introduced caps on property loans granted by banks.

    Major Chinese cities including Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen also recently ramped up transaction restrictions and launched probes into illegal flows of funds into the real estate sector.

    Housing investments are estimated to rise 6.4% this year, slightly softer than the pace of 7% in 2020.

    "The volume of new construction starts is expected to stay elevated this year, as land sales in 2020 remained high," said Nelson Wong, head of research for Greater China at commercial property services provider JLL.

    Housing project construction investment will also be driven by developers who are accelerating project launches to raise cash amid tight financing conditions, he said. However, land purchase, the other component of real estate investment, is likely to slow down due to the tight financing situation.

    The survey also found analysts think the COVID-19 epidemic will have a limited impact on China's property sector, and many believe the market will remain stable or further cool this year.

    Most respondents say top-tier cities may extend tightening curbs to avoid market froth due to a low level of residential housing supply, while lower-tier cities facing a slump in demand may roll out more support.

    Asked to rate the affordability of Chinese housing on a scale, with 1 being the cheapest and 10 the most expensive, analysts' median answer was 7, in line with the last poll.











    home prices in China: Growth in China's home prices to cool in 2021, sales flat, Real Estate News, ET RealEstate (indiatimes.com)
    Please read IREF rules | FAQ's

    Comment


    • Re : International Realty News & Trends

      Shenzhen issues draft guidelines to boost supply of rental properties

      Land plots will be set aside for builders and existing building will be renovated to make them suitable for rental homes, the housing authorities said on its website on Monday.
      BEIJING: The city of Shenzhen has issued draft guidelines to aimed at increasing the supply of rental properties in China's high tech hub.

      Land plots will be set aside for builders and existing building will be renovated to make them suitable for rental homes, the housing authorities said on its website on Monday.

      The city will also gradually grant tenants and homeowners equal rights to public services including access to residential permits and education.

      The move comes as a wave of real estate buying in China's biggest cities has pushed up prices, prompting local authorities to take steps to rein in the market.

      The Shenzhen government also said it will strengthen supervision on rental income and deposits collected by home leasing companies to prevent financial risks from the misuse of funds or illegal withholding of deposits by those platforms.

      Separately, Beijing on Tuesday also said it will impose tighter regulations on home leasing firms, in a bid to curb financial risks in the sector following a slew of forced evictions due to financial distress.

      In December, China's top leaders vowed to focus on the development of rental housing markets to help solve a housing problem in big cities, where home prices remain elevated.








      Rental properties in Shenzhen: Shenzhen issues draft guidelines to boost supply of rental properties, Real Estate News, ET RealEstate (indiatimes.com)
      Please read IREF rules | FAQ's

      Comment


      • Re : International Realty News & Trends

        House prices dip in UK in January: Nationwide

        Nationwide said they dropped by a monthly 0.3% in January, slowing annual growth to 6.4% from 7.3% in December, which was the biggest jump in six years.
        LONDON: British house prices fell for the first time in seven months in January before the end of a tax cut for buyers on March 31, mortgage lender Nationwide said on Tuesday, adding that the market could weaken sharply.

        House prices jumped in 2020 after Britain's first coronavirus lockdown last spring, helped by finance minister Rishi Sunak's decision to suspend purchase taxes on properties worth up to 500,000 pounds ($684,400.00) and by people seeking bigger homes in response to the lockdown restrictions.

        But Nationwide said they dropped by a monthly 0.3% in January, slowing annual growth to 6.4% from 7.3% in December, which was the biggest jump in six years.

        Economists polled by Reuters had expected a monthly increase of 0.3% in January and a 6.9% rise in annual terms.

        "To a large extent, the slowdown probably reflects a tapering of demand ahead of the end of the stamp duty holiday, which prompted many people considering a house move to bring forward their purchase," said Robert Gardner, Nationwide's chief economist.

        "If the stamp duty holiday ends as scheduled, and labour market conditions continue to weaken as most analysts expect, housing market activity is likely to slow, perhaps sharply, in the coming months."

        A Reuters poll of analysts published on Tuesday showed prices were expected to flat-line this year before rising by 2.7% in 2022.

        But Howard Archer, an economist with the EY ITEM Club, a forecasting firm, said house prices could fall by about 5% by the end of 2021.

        British media have reported that Sunak might extend the tax break, alongside more support for the labour market, as he seeks to help the economy through the COVID-19 pandemic.

        His existing emergency measures for the current financial year will cost more than 280 billion pounds, putting the government on course for its biggest-ever peacetime borrowing.

        Samuel Tombs, an economist with Pantheon Macroeconomics, said other options to help the housing market included a relaxation of mortgage affordability rules by the Bank of England or a new government mortgage-guarantee scheme.

        "We think the government will prefer to keep these options in reserve for stimulating the housing market closer to the next election in 2024, but the deployment of any of them probably would stop prices from falling back this year," he said.












        house prices in Britain: House prices dip in UK in January: Nationwide, Real Estate News, ET RealEstate (indiatimes.com)
        Please read IREF rules | FAQ's

        Comment


        • Re : International Realty News & Trends

          South Korea to boost Seoul housing supply by 10% to calm buying frenzy

          The measure is the 25th by the left-leaning Moon administration to slow soaring home prices and comes as both sales and rental prices surge despite tighter mortgage curbs and heavier real estate taxes. File photo

          SEOUL: South Korea said on Thursday it would significantly ramp up construction of new houses across the country in coming years to tackle surging home prices, a plan that would increase the number of dwellings in Seoul by 10%. President Moon Jae-in's government said it will add 830,000 new homes by 2025 across the country, 320,000 of which will be in Seoul.

          The measure is the 25th by the left-leaning Moon administration to slow soaring home prices and comes as both sales and rental prices surge despite tighter mortgage curbs and heavier real estate taxes.

          The move suggests the policy focus is shifting to boosting supply after efforts to discourage demand through loan curbs and taxes failed to calm the market.

          Stocks of Korean building companies rose, with concrete parts maker Tongyang Pile surging 6.7% while Sampyo Cement and Ssangyong Cement Industry rose 3% and 2%, respectively.

          The runaway home prices have wiped out a surge in President Moon's approval ratings from the handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, and are biting on his party's support ahead of April elections to pick the mayors of South Korea's two largest cities, Seoul and Busan.

          President Moon's Democratic Party is fighting to retain both offices as the main opposition conservatives pick up momentum with criticism of his failures to deliver on his economic policy pledges.

          "It's some serious supply that will be enough to address any fears about home shortages," said Yeo Kyoung-hui, a property market analyst at Real Estate 114 Inc.

          "But until the government comes up with a list of specific suburbs and compensations for native residents who will need to move out for new construction projects, the number looks vague."

          As each measure has failed and backfired on Moon's approval rating, policymakers have said the unexpected increase in the number of people living alone could explain the soaring demand for homes.

          Between 2016 and 2019, the number of single-person homes increased by 13% to make up about a third of all households, while the nation's population edged up a mere 1.2% to 51.8 million, Statistics Korea data showed.

          South Korea's population fell in 2020 for the first time on record, and is set to decline faster as its fertility rate is the lowest in the world.

          "Stabilising the real estate market is a top priority, not just because we need to stabilise asset prices but also for housing welfare, to address income inequality and keep workers motivated and society stable," Finance Minister Hong Nam-ki said in a policy meeting.

          Thursday's measure included relaxing rules capping the height of buildings in downtown areas and loosening regulations on the reconstruction of old apartments, to incentivise the conversion of low-rise villas into high-rise apartments that can house more families.

          State-run developers will lead construction projects from acquiring land to applying for building permits, and the government hopes to shorten the length of those processes to about 5 years from 13 years currently.

          The median apartment price in Seoul surged to 1.04 billion won ($929,351.42) as of January, up about 70% since Moon took office in 2017.











          South Korea to boost Seoul housing supply by 10% to calm buying frenzy, Real Estate News, ET RealEstate (indiatimes.com)
          Please read IREF rules | FAQ's

          Comment


          • Re : International Realty News & Trends

            London's thinnest house on sale for $1.3 million

            Wedged neatly between a doctor's surgery and a shuttered hairdressing salon, the five floor house in Shepherds Bush is just 5ft 6ins (1.6 metres) at its narrowest point and is currently on the market for £950,000 ($1,300,000, 1,100,000 euros).
            LONDON: Blink and you could easily miss it. Wedged between a doctor's surgery and a hairdressing salon, London's thinnest house is only identified by a streak of dark blue paint.

            But the five-floor house in Shepherd's Bush -- which is just 5ft 6ins (1.6 metres) at its narrowest point -- is currently on the market for £950,000 ($1.3 million, 1.1 million euros).

            The unusual property, originally a Victorian hat shop with storage for merchandise and living quarters on its upper floors, was built sometime in the late 19th or early 20th century.

            In a nod to its past, the house still has an old-fashioned glass shopfront with a lamp in the shape of a bowler hat.

            David Myers, an assistant sales manager at Winkworth estate agents which is selling the property, said the house was worth its price tag because it's "a unique part of London history".

            "It's a bit of London magic," he told AFP.

            The dimensions of the house differ throughout.

            While the kitchen at the end of the lower ground floor is the house's narrowest spot, it opens up into a dining area that's nearly double the size.

            A 16 foot-wide garden lies beyond behind French windows.

            The ground floor, which now contains a reception where the old shop would have been, and the first floor are of similar sizes.

            The first floor -- where a bedroom and study can be found -- also has a roof terrace with commanding views over the roofs and chimney pots of west London.

            Spiral stairs lead from the second floor -- the location of a bathroom and shower room -- up to the master bedroom on the third.

            It is accessed by a hatch which opens through the floor to save on space and the bed, which is built in, takes up an entire end of the room, fitted into the walls on either side.

            Myers said the house was for a "young couple or an individual" who "sees the beauty for what it is and will snap it up".

            With what the London estate agent described as "unique" period features mixed with art deco and other eclectic interior designs, the house would appeal to buyers who were "arty" or "bohemian".

            "There are no houses in London that are 5ft 6in. There are houses in London that are five storeys but don't have such a unique space, such individuality," Myers said.

            "From the owners that have owned it in the past, they've all put their own stamp on it," he added.

            The price of the house is prohibitive for most in Britain, where the average house price is £256,000, but typical of London's property market.

            "It's more expensive because we have everything going on. From somewhere like Shepherd's Bush we can be in the very heart of (London) in within 10 to 15 minutes," the estate agent said.

            If it meets its asking price, the house will have doubled in value since 2006 when it was sold for £488,500, according to the UK's land registry.

            By Myers' estimations, the house is worth more because of its dimensions.

            "(In) a lot of parts of London people will use the pound per square footage mark and use it as a benchmark for what are properties going to be worth," he said.

            "It doesn't always work like that. When you've got something as individual as this, the price has to be reflected on that."

            The impact of the Covid pandemic, which Myers said had been a impetus for families in particular to move out of London and take advantage of the space afforded by lower property prices outside the capital, meant the house was unlikely to sell right away.

            "(In) a situation such as Covid, where all the fish in the sea have thinned out quite considerably, there's not so many buyers out there.

            "And there are less buyers for a unique, individual property such as this."

            But ultimately the London estate agent was undeterred. "It's chic, it's beautiful, and that's why this house will sell," he said.







            Thinnest house in London: London's thinnest house on sale for $1.3 million, Real Estate News, ET RealEstate (indiatimes.com)
            Please read IREF rules | FAQ's

            Comment


            • Re : International Realty News & Trends

              From conflict to co-working, Libyan youths share space

              Co-working space managers have come up with solutions, providing those needing to connect online with everything from backup electricity generators and solar panels to power inverters.
              TRIPOLI: For those needing space to do business in Libya, a country beset by frequent blackouts and internet cuts after a decade of war, co-working has become increasingly popular.

              Overcoming both restrictions to stem the coronavirus pandemic and the conflicts that have riven the oil-rich North African nation since the 2011 uprising that ousted long-time dictator Moamer Kadhafi, shared workspaces are booming especially in the capital Tripoli.

              More than half of Libya's nearly seven million people live in Tripoli, where electricity, internet and water cuts can last several hours, crippling those trying to do business in the Mediterranean port city.

              But co-working space managers have come up with solutions, providing those needing to connect online with everything from backup electricity generators and solar panels to power inverters.

              Some have even set themselves up as internet service providers.

              The new shared work spaces also provide their often young clients with a place not just to plug in their laptops, but also to network with like-minded people.

              "People come for our services," said Youssef al-Rayan, manager of the Nuqta co-working space, which opened in 2017. "But also because they feel good here."

              The three-storey building is on a busy commercial street in the heart of bustling Tripoli, but step inside its sleek glass facade, and it offers peace from the honking horns and noisy traffic.

              "Welcome to your space," a banner at the entrance reads.

              Options include private offices, meeting rooms and shared spaces, or "quiet rooms" with high-speed internet and secure lockers.

              "I don't see myself locked in an office all day. Working from 8:00 am to 3:00 pm does not necessarily guarantee a return," said 23-year-old web designer Mohamad al-Mahjoub.

              "I am much more productive working when and where I want."

              - 'Community of freelancers' - Some work on the terrace overlooking the street, sipping coffees -- ordered online -- from cafes.

              "All I need is a very strong internet connection, electricity, air conditioning in the summer, and a cool place to meet with other young people," Mahjoub added.

              Some centres organise workshops and "hackathons" -- competitions between web developers -- sometimes funded by companies, or organisations such as the United Nations.

              "We have created a community of freelancers," said Rayan. "It provides a link between investors and the creators of businesses."

              Libya's conflict has had a big impact on the business community.

              Following Kadhafi's ouster in the 2011 NATO-backed uprising, an array of militias and rival administrations have filled the power vacuum, fighting to impose their authority.

              The rival camps in Libya's complex war have received extensive backing from foreign powers.

              But a fragile ceasefire between the two main sides agreed last October has largely held, and a transitional body has been put in place to prepare for December elections.

              The co-working spaces had to close when eastern strongman Khalifa Haftar in April 2019 launched an aborted offensive to seize Tripoli, seat of the UN-recognised Government of National Accord.

              "It was difficult to know where the missiles and shells were going to fall," Rayan said.

              - A 'small family' - Some people, like 24-year-old medical student Madiha al-Amari, were forced to flee their homes as fighting raged on the outskirts of the capital for almost a year.

              "We were physically safe, but I needed to stay in touch with the world I knew and, without power or internet at my relative's place, this (co-working space) became a safe haven for me," she said.

              "I don't want to flunk my exams after a whole semester of hard work because I don't have electricity or a good internet connection at home."

              The work spaces are not for everyone, because costs are prohibitive for many.

              "Prices may not be cheap for some... but I believe it's worth every penny," Amari added.

              For others, it is a way to escape crowded cafes where there is "too much noise, too much smoke and too many men," said Manara al-Alem, who works online.

              For parents worried that their daughters could be harassed, the spaces offer safety.

              "The parents of young girls accompanied them to get an idea of the place," said Nuqta manager Rayan. "Very quickly, they felt reassured."

              He also noted that co-working spaces comply with Covid-19 preventive measures for Libyans working online in a country that has recorded more than 128,000 cases of coronavirus including over 2,000 deaths.

              Staff and clients say they agree that being at Nuqta is like being in "a small family".












              Co-working space in Libya: From conflict to co-working, Libyan youths share space, Real Estate News, ET RealEstate (indiatimes.com)
              Please read IREF rules | FAQ's

              Comment


              • Re : International Realty News & Trends

                Home construction in U.S. falls 6% in January 2021

                The decline pushed home and apartment construction down to a seasonally adjusted rate of 1.58 million units last month, compared with 1.68 million in December, the Commerce Department reported Thursday.
                WASHINGTON: U.S. home construction fell 6% in January but applications for building permits, which typically signal activity ahead, rose sharply.

                The decline pushed home and apartment construction down to a seasonally adjusted rate of 1.58 million units last month, compared with 1.68 million in December, the Commerce Department reported Thursday.

                Single-family construction starts dropped 12.2% while construction of apartment units rose 16.2%.

                Even with the January dip, ultra-low mortgage rates and rising demand from Americans ready for a bigger house after a year of living in a pandemic will in all likelihood mean a strong year for the housing market in 2021.

                Hints of a sustained housing push could be found Thursday in the Commerce numbers.

                Applications for building permits, considered a good sign of future activity, spiked 10.4% in January to an annual rate of 1.88 million units.

                And strong sales this year would only extend a banner 2020 when home construction jumped 7% to 1.38 million units. That was the strongest showing since a housing boom in 2006.

                "We still expect recovering demand, low mortgage rates and a shortage of supply to support a healthy rate of new home construction and the risk may be for further upsides surprises," said Nancy Vanden Houten, lead economist at Oxford Economics.

                Still, Vanden Houten expects the pace of housing construction will moderate somewhat this year as the desire to build collides with high lumber prices and well as a shortage of available land and workers.

                Construction fell 12.3% in the Midwest and 11.4% in the West. It dropped 2.5% in the South. The only region of the country that saw an increase last month was the Northeast, where construction rose by 2.3%.














                home construction in US: Home construction in U.S. falls 6% in January 2021, Real Estate News, ET RealEstate (indiatimes.com)
                Please read IREF rules | FAQ's

                Comment


                • Re : International Realty News & Trends

                  Could empty office buildings help solve France's housing crisis?

                  France has already begun to experiment with such conversions and "the significant rise in remote working encourages scaling up" such projects, French Housing Minister Emmanuelle Wargon said recently.
                  • AFP
                  • February 21, 2021, 13:42 IST
                  File photo PARIS: Covid-19 has emptied office buildings and business districts, and with working from home expected to be the norm after the pandemic, some want to convert them to residential use to help solve inner city housing crises.

                  France has already begun to experiment with such conversions and "the significant rise in remote working encourages scaling up" such projects, French Housing Minister Emmanuelle Wargon said recently.

                  She wants to accelerate the transformations to respond to both the need for housing and to fight against urban sprawl.

                  A recent study concentrating on the Paris region, home to nearly a fifth of France's population, found that if around 40 percent of firms adopted two days of remote working per week following the pandemic, they could reduce the office space they occupy by almost 30 percent, or 3.3 million square metres, over the coming decade.

                  Such a scenario is a nightmare for the commercial real estate industry -- a favourite of investors as it is easier to manage, with slower turnover of clients and fewer unpaid rent bills.

                  But even before the pandemic more than six percent of Paris region office space was vacant, according to the study from the IEIF research institute.

                  - 'Mythical creature' - "The conversion of offices into housing is a bit of a mythical creature", said IEIF's director Christian de Karangal.

                  Although years of discussion have never amounted to concrete actions this time may be different, said de Karangal -- even if the extent of remote working's impact on office space occupancy is still unclear.

                  That is because -- in addition to public authorities encouraging such conversions -- some buildings are becoming obsolete for use as offices, and institutional investors are now interested.

                  But the changes are not always straightforward.

                  "Not all buildings can be converted," said Sebastien Lorrain, a senior director for residential, healthcare and investment properties at international commercial real estate group CBRE in France.

                  "Only around 20 percent of assets studied showed a real potential for conversion," he said.

                  One of the greatest problems is natural light, said Carlos Alvarez, a project leader at the Moatti-Riviere architectural firm, which co-won an industry prize in 2019 for transforming offices into apartments.

                  Commercial buildings often have much greater floor space, making it difficult to ensure all rooms have windows to let in natural light.

                  "Most of the time, this results in demolitions," said Alvarez.

                  - Fantasy into reality - Another issue is buildings constructed in the 1970s -- which account for the majority for sale -- often contain asbestos, resulting in millions in additional costs to remove hazardous material.

                  For Norbert Fanchon, director of the public housing group Gambetta, the idea of conversions is "a fantasy as old as property developers".

                  He believes to jump-start such projects, the ball is in the court of local authorities, who need to deliver building permits, as well as the French state which needs to "reduce the technical and administrative constraints" that make such redevelopments particularly expensive.

                  There is some time to resolve the issues holding back the transformations.

                  "The deflationary impact on the Paris region's office park will take time" to be felt, said the IEIF.

                  Employers will first need to define their post-pandemic remote working policies and see how much they can reduce office space. With some commercial rental agreements lasting nine years, the effect on the market will be gradual.

                  "There is inertia on the markets... (but) the volumes will accelerate," said Alexandre Chirier, who heads up a conversion division at Action Logement, a public-private group that builds and operates public housing.

                  Created last year, it aims to invest 1.5 billion euros ($1.8 billion) over three to four years to acquire office buildings and convert them into 20,000 apartments.

                  Chirier said care must be taken to "build a balance where accessibility, green spaces, open spaces and the quality of accommodation make people feel good."








                  Housing crisis in France: Could empty office buildings help solve France's housing crisis?, Real Estate News, ET RealEstate (indiatimes.com)

                  Please read IREF rules | FAQ's

                  Comment


                  • Re : International Realty News & Trends

                    Hawaii affordable housing guidelines could include $1 million homes

                    The guidelines established by the Hawaii Housing Finance and Development Corp. were aimed at helping developers produce affordable housing, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported Sunday.
                    HONOLULU: Affordable housing guidelines set by a Hawaii state agency could rate two-bedroom homes costing $1 million as affordable for some households eligible for government-subsidized housing.

                    The guidelines established by the Hawaii Housing Finance and Development Corp. were aimed at helping developers produce affordable housing, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported Sunday.

                    There is little likelihood developers could produce and sell $1 million homes to satisfy an affordable-housing condition under state and county requirements typically tied to projects receiving zoning changes, development bonuses and fee waivers.

                    "These formulas get to be so crazy that they get to be above market price," said Kenna StormoGipson, an analyst with the Hawaii Budget and Policy Center. "Their guidelines clearly need revamping."

                    Household income, family size and interest rates are primarily used to compile annual housing affordability tables.

                    Similar formulas are used by Honolulu and the Hawaii Community Development Authority, a state agency regulating development in Honolulu's Kakaako neighborhood, where some of Oahu's priciest condominium towers have been built.

                    "The pricing of these homes is really based on what buyers value them at with all of the restrictions that are placed on them," said Race Randle of Howard Hughes Corp., the developer of Ward Village in Kakaako.

                    The Hawaii Housing Finance and Development Corp. begins with federal data for Honolulu's median household income, which was $101,600 last year. Median income is the figure at which half of all households earn more and half earn less.

                    The calculation is adjusted so median income results are defined by family size. The corporation's rules allow households earning as much as 140% of the median income to qualify for subsidized housing. The limit equates to $123,480 for a single person and $176,260 for a family of four.

                    Under current guidelines, families of four in Honolulu earning 140% of the median income can qualify for subsidized housing priced as high as $1,026,800.

                    During last year's state legislative session, then-Sen. Laura Thielen and Sen. Sharon Moriwaki, both Democrats, and Sen. Kurt Fevella, a Republican, introduced a resolution calling for the agency to review and compare its affordable home price methodology against other places with high housing costs, such as San Francisco.

                    The resolution, which called for the agency to report analysis results to the Legislature before this year's session, did not receive a hearing and was not adopted.










                    Affordable housing in Hawaii: Hawaii affordable housing guidelines could include $1 million homes, Real Estate News, ET RealEstate (indiatimes.com)


                    Please read IREF rules | FAQ's

                    Comment


                    • Re : International Realty News & Trends

                      New home sales in U.S. increase by 4.3% in January

                      Higher house prices because of the tight inventory resulting from lack of land and very expensive lumber could push homeownership out of the reach of many first-time buyers.
                      WASHINGTON: Sales of new U.S. single-family homes increased more than expected in January, boosted by historically low mortgage rates and an acute shortage of previously owned houses on the market.

                      The report from the Commerce Department on Wednesday suggested the housing market would continue to underpin the economy's recovery from the COVID-19 recession. Momentum could, however, ebb in the near term after winter storms wreaked havoc this month in Texas and large parts of the South region.

                      Higher house prices because of the tight inventory resulting from lack of land and very expensive lumber could push homeownership out of the reach of many first-time buyers.

                      "There is an insatiable demand for homes right now, and it can't be met by resales of existing homes, so people are signing contracts for new homes," said Holden Lewis, home and mortgage expert at NerdWallet.

                      New home sales rose 4.3% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 923,000 units last month. December's sales pace was revised higher to 885,000 units from the previously reported 842,000 units. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast new home sales, which account for 12.1% of U.S. home sales, climbing 2.1% to a rate of 855,000 units in January.

                      The median new house price increased 5.3% from a year earlier to $346,400 in January. New home sales are drawn from a sample of houses selected from building permits and tend to be volatile on a month-to-month basis. New home sales surged 19.3% on a year-on-year basis in January.

                      Sales increased in the South, Midwest and West, but declined in the Northeast. They were concentrated in the $200,000-$749,000 price range. Sales below the $200,000 price bracket, the sought-after segment of the market, accounted for only 6% of transactions last month.

                      Stocks on Wall Street were trading higher, with the PHLX housing index outperforming the broader market. The dollar gained versus a basket of currencies. U.S. Treasury prices were lower.

                      Supply tight

                      The National Association of Realtors reported last week that the supply of previously owned homes available for sale plunged to a record low in January. That has pushed buyers toward the market for new homes. Demand for housing is being driven by Americans seeking more space for home offices and schooling as the year-long coronavirus pandemic drags on.

                      Though mortgage rates have risen in recent weeks in tandem with U.S. Treasury yields as investors anticipate stronger economic growth and higher inflation, the 30-year fixed rate remains well below 3%.

                      A separate report from the Mortgage Bankers Association on Wednesday showed applications for loans to buy a home decreased 12% last week from a week earlier. Mortgage loan applications were 7% higher compared to the same period last year.

                      Economists believed the week-to-week decline in applications reflected disruptions caused by the snow storms, which left large swathes of Texas in the dark and without water supplies.

                      "We would expect a bounce-back over the next few weeks as activity resumes," said Veronica Clark, an economist at Citigroup in New York. "Housing sector activity should continue to be supportive of GDP growth at least through the first half of 2021."

                      Housing and manufacturing have outperformed other sectors of the economy during the pandemic. The government reported last week that building permits soared in January to their highest level since May 2006. But expensive inputs and lack of land pose a threat to continued robust housing market gains.

                      According to a survey of single-family homebuilders this month, record-high lumber prices were "adding thousands of dollars to the cost of a new home and causing some builders to abruptly halt projects." Softwood lumber prices jumped by historic 73% on a year-on-year basis in January.

                      There were 307,000 new homes on the market last month, up from 299,000 in December. At January's sales pace it would take 4.0 months to clear the supply of houses on the market, down from 4.1 months in December. About 72.4% of homes sold last month were either under construction or yet to be built.

                      "Strong demand, a shortage of supply and rapidly rising prices is the perfect combination of factors that should convince builders that now remains a really good time to get the shovels in the ground," said Joel Naroff, chief economist at Naroff Economics in Holland, Pennsylvania.












                      Home sales in United States of America: New home sales in U.S. increase by 4.3% in January, Real Estate News, ET RealEstate (indiatimes.com)
                      Please read IREF rules | FAQ's

                      Comment

                      Tags: None
                      Have any questions or thoughts about this?
                      Working...
                      X