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International Realty News & Trends

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  • Re : International Realty News & Trends

    Record rise in Swedish house prices raises overheating fears

    The rise was a record, according to Svensk Maklarstatistik, an association of real estate agents, since it started collecting data in 2005. Apartment prices rose 8% over the same period.
    STOCKHOLM: The price of single family homes in Sweden rocketed 17% in the first three months of the year, data showed on Wednesday, increasing concerns that the market is overheating.

    The rise was a record, according to Svensk Maklarstatistik, an association of real estate agents, since it started collecting data in 2005.

    Apartment prices rose 8% over the same period.

    "Big price rises are usually followed by a recoil," Hans Flink, head of sales at Maklarstatistik said. "I wouldn't call it a bubble, but there could be a reverse."

    Sweden's housing market has been a headache for authorities for decades. The population has increased rapidly, especially in cities like the capital, Stockholm, and construction has failed to keep up.

    The rental market is highly regulated and widely seen as dysfunctional. At the same time ultra-low interest rates have pushed up prices and borrowing levels, leading the central bank, among others, to fret about the threat to the banking system.

    The pandemic has failed to cap price growth, with the economy coping relatively well, partly due to the fact that Sweden has not adopted the kind of strict lockdown measures taken by much of Europe.

    But with the country in the middle of a third wave of infections, uncertainty remains high.

    Even without another economic shock, borrowers may face higher costs. The central bank has said its benchmark rates are on hold, but globally, markets spy a potential pick up in inflation on the horizon and longer term international bond yields have risen.

    Ultra-low mortgage rates - the average is around 1.3% for a floating-rate loan - may also start to rise. Furthermore, the financial watchdog has said it will restore stricter mortgage repayment rules, suspended at the start of the pandemic, later this year.

    "People who are chasing after villas should consider that low rates and a shortage of houses for sale can push up prices to levels that are not always sustainable in the long term," Marcus Svanberg, CEO at insurer Lansforsakringar's real estate arm, said.














    House prices in Sweden: Record rise in Swedish house prices raises overheating fears, Real Estate News, ET RealEstate (indiatimes.com)
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    • Re : International Realty News & Trends

      Pandemic impact may weigh on commercial real estate recovery in US

      That would be a welcome change for companies that own office buildings and hotels, or those that lease space to restaurants, bars, department stores and other retailers.
      LOS ANGELES: The distribution of COVID-19 vaccines is fueling optimism that Americans will increasingly return to the ways they used to shop, travel and work before the pandemic.

      That would be a welcome change for companies that own office buildings and hotels, or those that lease space to restaurants, bars, department stores and other retailers. These have been the hardest-hit areas of commercial real estate over the past year as the pandemic forced many businesses to shut down temporarily or operate on a limited basis.

      But even as the U.S. economy appears set to roar back to life this year, as many economists now predict, demand trends for commercial real estate could take longer to recover as businesses reassess their post-pandemic needs.

      This means higher vacancy rates and declining rents this year, especially for retail and office property owners, said Thomas LaSalvia, senior economist with Moody's Analytics.

      "We see such potential and plenty of anecdotes and early data of actual shifts in how we work and how we shop," he said. "The structural changes that are going on still give us pause to say that we've entered a recovery in terms of office or retail."

      So far this year, the commercial real estate market has seen some positive trends, as many businesses that had to shut down or operate on a limited basis are being given the green light to open by governments amid a pullback in new coronavirus cases and a ramped-up rollout of vaccines.

      In March, the national unemployment rate fell from 6.2% to 6% and employers added 916,000 jobs, the most since August. That included 216,000 positions at restaurants, hotels and bars - the sector most damaged by the pandemic.

      And this week, the International Monetary Fund forecast that the U.S. economy will grow 6.4% this year. That would fastest annual pace since 1984 and the strongest among the world's wealthiest countries.

      Still, commercial real estate owners face uncertainty as tenants reevaluate their needs. Will businesses that rented office space and spent the last year with most or all of their employees working from home need as much space? Will retailers that shifted more of their operations online during the pandemic cut back on storefronts? Will businesses resume spending on travel after having embraced video conferencing?

      The full impact of these assessments may not be known for a while, as commercial property leases tend to run between five and 15 years. Still, some of the economic fallout from the pandemic is already visible in national commercial real estate industry data.

      The vacancy rate for retail space increased to 10.6% in the first three months of this year from 10.2% a year earlier, according to Moody's Analytics. And average effective rent, what's left after taking out concessions offered by landlords to woo tenants, dropped 1.5%.

      Moody's Analytics is projecting vacancy rates for retail properties will climb to 11% or 12% as businesses reconsider their space needs after last year, when the percentage of retail purchases made online nearly doubled to 20%.

      "We actually expect that to rise closer to 25% by 2025," LaSalvia said. "This pandemic forced a lot of people to pull the bandage off in terms of being willing and able to shop online."

      For office space, vacancies rose to a rate of 18.2% in the first quarter from 17%, while average effective rent fell 1.8%, according to Moody's Analytics.

      Before the pandemic, office vacancies had been trending around 15% to 16% nationally. LaSalvia expects that to climb to 20% by 2022, then decline gradually to 17% by the end of the decade.

      Hotels have had it particularly rough. Occupancy rates sank a year ago after global leisure and business travel all but ground to a halt. The monthly occupancy rate had been running well above 60% in 2019 and stood at 65.7% in February 2020. Two months later, it sunk to 20.6%, according to data from Moody's Analytics.

      Occupancy improved to about 45% last summer, before easing again. It was 34.4% in January, down from 66% a year earlier.

      Meanwhile, the average revenue per available room, or RevPAR, a key hotel industry metric, was $30.27 in January, down 64% from a year earlier.

      Hotel occupancy is expected to pick up this summer, as more people receive a COVID-19 vaccine and feel more at ease about travel. Last month, U.S. airport security checkpoints recorded sharp increases in traffic, including more than 1.5 million people in a single day, the largest number since the pandemic began.

      "The summer leisure season will be pretty good," LaSalvia said. "But the business travel is going to hold us back a little bit this year and it's going to take maybe a couple of years before that really picks up again."
















      Commercial real estate in US: Pandemic impact may weigh on commercial real estate recovery in US, Real Estate News, ET RealEstate (indiatimes.com)
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      • Re : International Realty News & Trends

        Spain to extend eviction ban, rental protections by three months

        Under the current programme, vulnerable tenants are protected from eviction and can apply for a moratorium or partial cancellation of their rent if their landlord owns more than 10 properties, over 1,500 square metres of property, or is a public entity.
        MADRID: Spain will extend a series of measures aimed at protecting vulnerable tenants from eviction and rent hikes by three months, Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said on Wednesday, as the pandemic continues to hurt the economy.

        "The coalition government is committed to ... ensuring the constitutional right to decent housing," Sanchez, a Socialist, told lawmakers.

        Under the current programme, vulnerable tenants are protected from eviction and can apply for a moratorium or partial cancellation of their rent if their landlord owns more than 10 properties, over 1,500 square metres of property, or is a public entity. They can also extend their existing rental contracts by six months under the same conditions.

        Introduced during the early days of Spain's coronavirus crisis in March 2020, the measures have been repeatedly extended and were set to expire on May 9, when a national state of emergency ends. However, a year of battling the Covid-19 pandemic has left hundreds of thousands of Spaniards out of a job and many more on furlough, prompting the left-wing coalition to extend social protections.

        Faced with a slower than expected recovery from 2020's historic contraction, the government recently scaled back its expectations for economic growth in 2021 and extended the national furlough scheme beyond its planned expiry at the end of May.













        Rental protection in Spain: Spain to extend eviction ban, rental protections by three months, Real Estate News, ET RealEstate (indiatimes.com)
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        • Re : International Realty News & Trends

          Germany's constitutional court strikes down Berlin rent cap

          Rents were initially frozen for five years in February 2020, affecting about 1.5 million apartments. A second stage came into effect in November 2020 when landlords were forced to cut rent for more than 300,000 tenants.
          BERLIN: Germany's Constitutional Court overturned a law on Thursday that set a rent cap on apartments in Berlin, saying the city government lacks the authority to enact such rules.

          Shares in property companies with assets in Berlin, including Deutsche Wohnen and Vonovia, rose after the verdict.

          Rents were initially frozen for five years in February 2020, affecting about 1.5 million apartments. A second stage came into effect in November 2020 when landlords were forced to cut rent for more than 300,000 tenants.

          The court said the federal government, which had introduced a "rent brake" in 2015 to limit rent increases, was responsible for such decisions. Five months before a federal election, property owners and voters were closely watching the ruling.

          German property group Vonovia welcomed the verdict but said it would waive its right to claim rent arrears.

          "The decision of the Constitutional Court is logical and the rent cap was not suitable for solving the problems on Berlin's housing market," said Vonovia Chief Executive Rolf Buch.

          Deutsche Wohnen, however, said it would seek reimbursement for the difference between the original and capped rent. Its shares rose 2.8% to the top of German's blue-chip index.

          Berlin's city senate is led by Social Democrats in coalition with the Greens and Left party. Berlin is one of Germany's 16 federal states.

          "It is now the federal government's task either to create an effective rent law that ensures a social mix in cities or to transfer the competence for this to the states," tweeted Senator Sebastian Scheel, who is responsible for housing.

          However, German Economy Minister Peter Altmaier ruled out a national cap, saying it was the wrong approach and the only way to guarantee affordable housing was to build more apartments.

          The real estate industry had criticized the rent freeze as unconstitutional. Some experts said it could worsen Germany's housing crisis by scaring off real estate investors.

          Rents in Berlin were for years lower than rents in other major European cities, but they have more than doubled since 2008 as around 40,000 people a year have moved to the German capital. Some 85% of residents rent rather than own homes.










          Rent cap in Berlin: Germany's constitutional court strikes down Berlin rent cap, Real Estate News, ET RealEstate (indiatimes.com)
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          • Re : International Realty News & Trends

            Canadian home sales, prices surge to new record in March

            National home sales rose 5.2% in March from February, as more supply came to the market and was quickly snapped up by hungry buyers. Actual sales, not seasonally adjusted, rose 76.2% from a year ago.
            OTTAWA: Canada's average home selling price soared an eye-watering 31.6% year-over-year in March, hitting a new high as sales also climbed to a new all-time record, the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) said on Thursday.

            National home sales rose 5.2% in March from February, as more supply came to the market and was quickly snapped up by hungry buyers. Actual sales, not seasonally adjusted, rose 76.2% from a year ago.

            The number of newly listed homes, meanwhile, climbed 7.5% to set a new record in March from February. Supply is up more than 25% in the last two months, the CREA data showed.

            "The big rebound in new supply to start the spring market is the relief valve we need the most," said Cliff Stevenson, chair of CREA, in a statement.

            "It looks like we may finally be rounding the corner on these extremely unbalanced housing market conditions. It's great news for frustrated buyers," he added.

            But even with a surge of new supply, the average selling price of a home in Canada hit a new record at C$716,828 ($572,821) in March, rising 5.7% from a month earlier.

            The largest year-over-year gains continue to be smaller cities and rural parts of Ontario, followed by markets in British Columbia, Quebec and New Brunswick.

            Single-family homes remain the biggest gainers, as people continue to seek out more space amid the COVID-19 pandemic and a long-term bet on working from home.

            The industry group said its Home Price Index - which smoothes out average price swings - was up 20.1% from last March and up 3.1% from February.









            House prices in Canada: Canadian home sales, prices surge to new record in March, Real Estate News, ET RealEstate (indiatimes.com)

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            • Re : International Realty News & Trends

              Canada housing starts up 21.6% in March to new record: CMHC

              The seasonally adjusted annualized rate of housing starts rose to 335,200 units in March, well ahead of analyst expectations for 250,000 units, and a new high for all months on record.
              OTTAWA: Canadian housing starts rose 21.6% in March compared with the previous month, easily beating expectations and hitting a new record, data from the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation showed on Monday.

              The seasonally adjusted annualized rate of housing starts rose to 335,200 units in March, well ahead of analyst expectations for 250,000 units, and a new high for all months on record.

              Much of the gain was on multiple urban starts, which jumped 33.8% to 222,358 units. Single-detached urban starts rose 3.6% to 78,615 units.

              "The big acceleration came as weather was unseasonably warm in many parts of the country," Royce Mendes, senior economist at CIBC Economics, said in a note.

              Mendes added that new home construction will likely be a major contributor to overall GDP growth again in 2021, even as building activity cools off from the "torrid pace" of recent months.

              Canada's average home selling price soared an eye-watering 31.6% year-over-year in March, hitting a new high as sales also climbed to a new all-time record, the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) said earlier this month.

              A supply imbalance has been blamed for skyrocketing home prices through the pandemic, though new listings surged in March, which, coupled with strong starts, suggests a more balanced market could be coming.

              "Red-hot demand for real estate propelled a record month for housing starts in March. While the market will need a long stretch of supply growth to have a meaningful effect on prices, the March numbers are a solid start," said Shelly Kaushik, an economist with BMO Capital Markets in a note.

              Canada's ruling Liberals are set to unveil their first full budget in two years on Monday, with billions in pandemic supports as COVID-19 infections skyrocket, a national daycare plan and new taxes on luxury goods.











              Canada housing starts up 21.6% in March to new record: CMHC, Real Estate News, ET RealEstate (indiatimes.com)


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              • Re : International Realty News & Trends

                For China's property developers, Hong Kong is becoming Shenzhen's backyard

                The development plans are seen by some as a turning point, with buyers from what was once considered Hong Kong's cheaper industrial hinterland increasingly viewing of the global finance hub as Shenzhen's "backyard". File Photo


                HONG KONG: Chinese property developers have turned their sights to Hong Kong's border districts as mainlanders from neighbouring boomtown Shenzhen consider parts of the former British colony as a more affordable long-term housing prospect.

                The development plans are seen by some as a turning point, with buyers from what was once considered Hong Kong's cheaper industrial hinterland increasingly viewing of the global finance hub as Shenzhen's "backyard".

                While Hong Kong's property market remains red-hot, the city's international economic prestige has come under pressure after prolonged pro-democracy protests in 2019 and sweeping new national security laws last year.

                Shenzhen's stature, in contrast, keeps growing. During a visit last October, President Xi Jinping touted it as "a model city", flagging plans to increase foreign investment. (Full Story)

                In just a few decades, the sleepy backwater on China's southern border has morphed into a tech hub of about 13 million, people towering over the fishponds and farmland in Hong Kong's less-developed north. Hundreds of thousands move there every year.

                In Shenzhen's prime districts, such as Nanshan where tech giant Tencent 0700.HK is based, some house prices have already surpassed those in northern Hong Kong, which is one hour or more away from the expensive central business district.

                "Our long term view is Shenzhen will be the centre and Hong Kong the periphery," said an executive at a Chinese developer which bought land in the once less-appealing north, asking not to be named because he was not authorised to speak to media.

                "People who work in Shenzhen may choose to commute from Hong Kong where home prices will be cheaper."

                Hong Kong Land Department records show that of the six northern residential plots auctioned off since 2019, three were bought by Chinese developers.

                In a separate private deal last year, China Evergrande Group 3333.HK bought 250,000 square feet in the border town of Yuen Long, from Hong Kong's Henderson Land 0012.HK for $600 million.

                Property agents told the major Chinese developer plans around 200 units in the area and expects most buyers to be mainlanders. It bought at HK$10,000 per square foot and is looking to sell at HK$20,000, which it hopes will attract mainlanders from Shenzhen, an agent in contact with Evergrande said.

                In the part of Shenzhen immediately across the border, prices are closer to HK$30,000 per square foot.

                Evergrande is also selling 2,000 flats in the Tuen Mun neighbourhood - a 15-minute drive from Nanshan and close to a beach - after finishing a project on a plot bought from Henderson Land for $833 million in 2018.

                Shenzhen-based Kaisa Group 1638.HK won a parcel there for $451 million last year, while major developer China Vanke 2202.HK has already built over 1,100 units.

                Kaisa said the location, close to the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau bridge, could benefit from closer integration between cities in the Greater Bay Area. Vanke's Hong Kong unit said it was convenient for travel to Shenzhen and Macau, but added northern Hong Kong is not its sole focus.

                Evergrande declined to comment.

                'Abnormal' prices

                According to realtor Midland, mainland Chinese bought 40% more residential properties in Hong Kong in the first two months of 2021 than a year ago, boosted by optimism that the border will reopen as the COVID-19 crisis eases.

                The percentage of mainland buyers of new Hong Kong homes bottomed in the second quarter last year at 8.7% of transaction volumes, and rose to 11% in the first quarter this year.

                More than 80% of their 2021 purchases were valued above HK$50 million ($6.4 million), Midland said.

                "Chinese developers are upbeat about the Hong Kong property market," said Midland HK residential CEO Sammy Po. "Northern districts are one of the areas Chinese investors are buying in."

                Tuen Mun and Yuen Long saw many anti-government and anti-China demonstrations in 2019. The protests are unlikely to resume, but tensions remain as some long-time residents feel the wealthy newcomers are disrupting their lifestyle.

                "Tuen Mun has higher consumer goods prices than the city centre, that's abnormal," said 50-year-old Wong, who only gave her last name due to the sensitivity.








                Shenzhen: For China's property developers, Hong Kong is becoming Shenzhen's backyard, Real Estate News, ET RealEstate (indiatimes.com)
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                • Re : International Realty News & Trends

                  City of London to create new homes from empty offices

                  The governing body which runs The Square Mile unveiled plans to work with the property industry to refurbish and develop deserted buildings, including for culture, retail, hospitality and start-ups.
                  LONDON: Offices in London's City finance district left empty by the pandemic will be transformed into at least 1,500 new homes by the end of the decade, the City of London Corporation said Tuesday.

                  The governing body which runs The Square Mile unveiled plans to work with the property industry to refurbish and develop deserted buildings, including for culture, retail, hospitality and start-ups.

                  The announcement comes as many office workers have permanently adopted remote work during the pandemic, leaving prime real estate vacant in the UK's historic financial centre.

                  The corporation's head of planning and transportation, Alastair Moss, said the City -- home to some of the world's major blue chip firms -- would "adapt and prove resilient".

                  "We will work even more closely with the property sector to promote increasingly sustainable, flexible and adaptable buildings that people will thrive in," he said.

                  Policy chairwoman Catherine McGuinness said there was a need to "evolve" to respond to the post-pandemic trends of both remote and hybrid working.

                  In a new report, called "The Square Mile: Future City", the corporation identified priorities for the next five years after consulting the public and captains of industry.

                  It was produced by the body's Recovery Taskforce, which was formed in response to the pandemic to define a more inclusive, innovative and sustainable vision for the City over the next five years.

                  The commitment to creating more residential housing came under the report's vision of making "outstanding environments" to allow the City to adapt to social, environmental and economic change.

                  The report also details investment in green finance, technology and infrastructure, with the City committed to achieving carbon neutrality by 2040.

                  Introducing traffic-free Saturdays or Sundays was suggested as a way to promote nightlife in an area typically deserted after the weekday traders and bankers have gone home.

                  In February, the City put cultural regeneration at the centre of its post-pandemic recovery plan by committing to an upgrade of its landmark Barbican Centre for the arts.

                  Further funding for the London Symphony Orchestra and the City's Culture Mile project was also granted.

                  A pilot scheme trialling the use of small cell and rooftop mobile infrastructure as part of plans to roll out complete 5G coverage in the Square Mile.

                  Increasing numbers of big-name companies are embracing a hybrid or flexible staffing approach that blends home and office work.














                  City of London to create new homes from empty offices, Real Estate News, ET RealEstate (indiatimes.com)
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                  • Re : International Realty News & Trends

                    Solving the US housing shortage is 3D printing's new challenge

                    To move beyond a niche market, construction firms will need to significantly ramp up production and persuade home buyers, developers and regulators that 3D printed houses are safe, durable and pleasing to the eye. File photo A new generation of startups wants to disrupt the way houses are built by automating production with industrial 3D printers.

                    3D printing, also known as additive manufacturing, uses machines to deposit thin layers of plastic, metal, concrete and other materials atop one another, eventually producing three-dimensional objects from the bottom up. In recent years, 3D printers have mostly been used to create small quantities of specialized items such as car parts or prosthetic limbs, allowing consumers or businesses to produce just what they need using the machines at home or work.

                    Now a small number of startups around the world are applying 3D printing to home construction, arguing that it's faster, cheaper and more sustainable than traditional construction. They say these technologies could help address severe housing shortages that have led to soaring home prices, overcrowding, evictions and homelessness across the U.S.

                    But 3D home construction is still in the early stage of development. Most startups in this field are developing new technologies and not building homes yet. And two of the highest profile and best-financed companies - Mighty Buildings and ICON - have delivered fewer than 100 houses between them.

                    To move beyond a niche market, construction firms will need to significantly ramp up production and persuade home buyers, developers and regulators that 3D printed houses are safe, durable and pleasing to the eye. They'll also need to train workers to operate the machines and install the homes.

                    "To the extent that 3D printing can offer a faster, cheaper way to build even single family housing units or small units, it can address a portion of the problem," said Michelle Boyd, who directs the Housing Lab at the University of California, Berkeley's Terner Center for Housing Innovation. But the sheer magnitude of the housing shortage demands many types of solutions, from loosening zoning restrictions to building more high-rise apartment buildings, she said.

                    Proponents note that printing houses rather than nailing them together could save huge quantities of scrwood, metal and other discarded construction materials that are dumped into landfills every year.

                    Backers say 3D printing reduces the need for human labor at a time when home builders are struggling to find enough skilled workers to meeting housing demand. Many construction workers left the trades after the housing-fueled financial crisis more than a decade ago, and fewer young people are entering the field.

                    Jason Ballard, CEO and co-founder of a 3D printing construction startup called ICON, said its 3D printing system can do the work of 10 to 20 workers in five or six different trades. And unlike humans, the machines can work up to 24 hours a day, saving developers time and money.

                    "With 3D printing, we're able to print exactly what we need," said Sam Ruben, the company's co-founder and chief sustainability officer at Mighty Buildings. The process can eliminate nearly all construction waste, he said, which can add up to savings of two to three tons of carbon per housing unit.

                    In Mighty Buildings' factory warehouse in Oakland, Calif., a 3D printer deposits thin layers of a stone-like material that quickly hardens under ultraviolet light and resists fire and water. Wall panels are printed one layer at a time and then filled with an insulating foam. Robotic arms finish the surfaces into various designs.

                    The printer can produce the entire exterior shell of a studio home or individual wall panels that can easily assembled with simple tools, the company said. Mighty Buildings is now producing 350-square-foot backyard studios, known in the industry as "accessory dwelling units," that can be used as extra bedrooms, playrooms, gyms or home offices.

                    So far the company has delivered six units and has another 30 under contract, starting at $115,000 each, which doesn't include the cost of installation and site work. Two units can be combined to make a 700-square-foot dwelling. The company's home construction costs are about 40 percent lower than that of traditional homes in California, Ruben said.

                    Most of the modules are assembled in the factory, transported by truck to the owner's property, then put into place using a crane. The unit size is limited by the dimensions of the truck bed and the clearance heights of tunnels and overpasses.

                    Backed by more than $70 million in venture capital, Mighty Buildings is planning to build more factories with a goal of producing 1,000 housing units next year. It's also creating software that allows developers to custom design printed buildings . Ultimately, the company plans to produce townhouses and multistory apartment buildings, Ruben said.

                    Mighty Buildings is teaming up with a Beverly Hills, Calif.-based developer, the Palari Group, to create a planned community of 3D printed homes in the desert resort community of Rancho Mirage in California's Coachella Valley.

                    The solar-powered development, set for completion next spring, will have 15 lots with a 1,450-square-foot primary home plus a 700-square-foot secondary home and swimming pool in the backyard, costing around $850,000, said Basel Starr, Palari's CEO and founder.

                    Those lots sold out quickly and there's a waiting list of 500 homebuyers, Starr said. He's planning similar developments in other parts of California.

                    Austin, Texas-based ICON has used 3D printing technology to produce low-cost housing. It's printed homes for the chronically homeless in Austin as well as poor families in Nacajuca, Mexico. Instead of producing homes in factories, it brings its Vulcan printer to work on-site, squeezing out long tubes of concrete layer by layer that dry quickly to form the walls of a house.

                    "The factory comes to you, imprints the house right where it intends to be. We chose that method to eliminate a lot of the shipping costs and then also to give ourselves a lot of design freedom," said Jason Ballard, ICON's CEO and co-founder.

                    Its current technology can reduce construction costs by up to 30 percent and build a house twice as fast as traditional methods because the 3D printer does nearly all the work, Ballard said.

                    "The benefits that automation and digitization had brought to so many other industries with regard to speed and affordability were completely missing from the construction industry," Ballard said. 3D printing, he said, "was like the most powerful automation of all the automations we could discover."











                    3d printed house: Solving the US housing shortage is 3D printing's new challenge, Real Estate News, ET RealEstate (indiatimes.com)
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                    • Re : International Realty News & Trends

                      UK house prices jump by most since 2004 as tax break extended

                      House prices are 7.1% above their level a year earlier and close to December's growth rate of 7.3%, which was the highest in nearly six years after COVID lockdowns boosted demand for more spacious housing. File photo


                      LONDON: British house prices jumped by 2.1% in April, their biggest monthly rise in more than 17 years, after finance minister Rishi Sunak unexpectedly extended a tax break on property sales, figures from mortgage lender Nationwide showed on Friday.

                      House prices are 7.1% above their level a year earlier and close to December's growth rate of 7.3%, which was the highest in nearly six years after COVID lockdowns boosted demand for more spacious housing.

                      "Just as expectations of the end of the stamp duty holiday led to a slowdown in house price growth in March, so the extension of the stamp duty holiday in the Budget prompted a reacceleration in April," Nationwide chief economist Robert Gardner said.

                      Stamp duty, the main tax on property purchases, will not be payable on house purchases up to 500,000 pounds ($696,650) made before the end of June, and the first 250,000 pounds of property purchases will be tax-free until the end of September.

                      The tax break had been due to expire at the end of March.

                      As well as a rise in property prices, the tax exemption contributed to a sharp increase in the number of property sales last year.

                      Nationwide said there was scope for house prices to rise further in the coming months due to a fairly fixed supply of housing and a continued desire to move as a result of the COVID pandemic, which reduced demand for small city-centre homes.

                      But Gardner said activity could slow later this year, perhaps sharply, if unemployment picked up as most economists predict.










                      UK house prices jump by most since 2004 as tax break extended, Real Estate News, ET RealEstate (indiatimes.com)
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