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International Realty News & Trends

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  • Re : International Realty News & Trends

    Home sales in Canada fall for the third consecutive month in June

    Home sales in Canada fell for the third consecutive month in June and sit 25% percent below March's peak, though they still touched a monthly record, data showed on Thursday. The average selling price fell to C$679,000 ($540,777), down 5.3% from the March apex.
    OTTAWA: Canada's scorching hot housing market is starting to cool, as burned-out buyers shift their focus from getting more space to getting back to normal after COVID-19, and the fear of missing out fades into a prevailing sense of "wait and see."

    Home sales in Canada fell for the third consecutive month in June and sit 25% percent below March's peak, though they still touched a monthly record, data showed on Thursday. The average selling price fell to C$679,000 ($540,777), down 5.3% from the March apex.

    "People are focusing their minds on different things. They want to go to the beach, they want to enjoy the summer, they're just not as focused on real estate these days," said Jeremy Cossette, an agent in Regina, Saskatchewan.

    Home prices surged across Canada amid the COVID-19 pandemic as lockdowns prompted people to seek out more living space and record-low interest rates fueled a buying frenzy. At the peak, home prices were up more than 40% year-over-year on average, and desperate buyers were offering hundreds of thousands over the asking price just to get a toehold in the market.

    A few months later, high vaccination rates have allowed Canadian cities to reopen. Consumer spending on restaurants, hotels and clothing jumped in June, according to the RBC COVID Consumer Spending Tracker, and travel spending is shooting up.

    That shift in priorities may have would-be home buyers reconsidering how much they want to spend and even where they want to live, Bank of Canada Governor Tiff Macklem said.

    "Now that we can go back to a restaurant, do you still want a bigger kitchen? We'll see," Macklem said on Wednesday, while explaining that the central bank is seeing signs of moderation in the market.

    'See what happens'

    In Calgary, long-time agent Lowell Martens said the lull may be more about buyers sensing there is less competition and just taking some time off to "see what happens in the fall".

    While that pause has cooled things down, it does not feel like previous collapses, he said, with activity still strong in certain segments. "I think it will be a softer landing that we've had in the past."

    In Toronto, often Canada's hottest housing market, June sales were well below March's peak, but still strong relative to previous years as a drop in new listings kept conditions tight, according to agent and market analyst John Pasalis.

    "It's like if you're in a car that's going 200 kmh (125 mph) and then it drops down to 120 kmh (75 mph). You've slowed down, but you're still fast," he said.

    The big question is what will happen in the autumn when more people typically list their homes and inventory begins to build. Agents believe buyers will be back, particularly if COVID-19 border restrictions loosen and immigration begins ramping up.

    But some would-be buyers are looking elsewhere. A recent poll by Ontario's Real Estate Association found nearly half of residents under 45 are considering leaving that province because of the high cost of housing.












    Home sales in Canada fall for the third consecutive month in June, Real Estate News, ET RealEstate (indiatimes.com)
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    • Re : International Realty News & Trends

      UK's Workspace sees some signs of recovery in demand in London

      The average rent per square foot in the April-June quarter declined 2.4% from the January-March quarter, but occupancy inched up 1.1 percentage points to 82.7% on a like-for-like basis, it said. Representative Image



      BENGALURU: UK office space provider Workspace said on Thursday its occupancy in London had started to pick up from pandemic lows, although rents were still under pressure as businesses were in no rush bring all their employees back.

      The company, which caters mostly to small and medium-sized enterprises and entrepreneurs and last month reported its first annual loss in 12 years, said that two-thirds of the space it has rented out was not being used.

      The average rent per square foot in the April-June quarter declined 2.4% from the January-March quarter, but occupancy inched up 1.1 percentage points to 82.7% on a like-for-like basis, it said.

      In a further sign of improving demand, Workspace, whose 58 properties in London are modelled as flexible office spaces, said average monthly enquiries from potential customers had almost doubled to 947 in the April-June quarter compared to a year earlier.

      Shares in the mid-cap company, which provides unfurnished spaces to a varied client base from architects to florists and craft beer brewers to app developers, were up 3% by 1100 GMT after losing more than a third of their value since the pandemic took hold.

      The wider industry has been struggling as repeated lockdowns forced people to work from their homes, a shift that major companies including Amazon and Standard Chartered are adopting for the long term.

      Workspace boss Graham Clemett acknowledged that some level of uncertainty will continue in the near term, but said there were strong signs that London's businesses were returning to work. England lifted all its pandemic restrictions earlier this week.

      London opening up

      Jefferies analysts said while disruption could continue from the fast-spreading Delta variant of the coronavirus, Workspace's occupational signs looked encouraging.

      "The prospect of more passing trade and higher overall footfall is clearly giving small businesses the confidence to dip their toe into trading once more," Hargreaves' Susannah Streeter said.

      While short-term flexible leases and a heavy exposure to small companies battered Workspace's performance last year, the company could benefit from businesses seeking out flexible spaces as they are hesitant to commit to long-term leases.

      "Younger employees with little prospect of a regular desk in the office, may opt for a seat in one of Workspace's shared offices, instead of working from the kitchen table for the foreseeable future," Streeter said.










      workspace: UK's Workspace sees some signs of recovery in demand in London, Real Estate News, ET RealEstate (indiatimes.com)
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      • Re : International Realty News & Trends

        Hong Kong home prices flat in June but seen hitting record soon

        The index of June home prices in one of the most expensive property markets in the world was unchanged at 394.5, compared to a revised 0.8% gain in May.
        HONG KONG: Hong Kong private home prices were flat in June, official data showed on Wednesday, but realtors expect they will hit a new record high in the third quarter, supported by a recovering economy and hopes that mainland Chinese buyers will soon return.

        The index of June home prices in one of the most expensive property markets in the world was unchanged at 394.5, compared to a revised 0.8% gain in May.

        But, despite lingering COVID-19 pandemic fears, it just 0.6% lower than the all-time high of 396.9 in May 2019, before mass anti-government protests rocked the city.

        "A persistent hot property market and improving pandemic situation is good for buying sentiment," said Thomas Lam, executive director of Knight Frank.

        "If the border (with mainland China) can reopen by the end of year, some of the Chinese purchasing power will flood into Hong Kong,"

        Realtor Centaline expected transaction volume in the secondary home market this month will ease slightly from June, but the total transaction value will remain above HK$40 billion ($5.14 billion) for the fifth consecutive month, the first time since 1997.










        Home prices in Hong Kong: Hong Kong home prices flat in June but seen hitting record soon, Real Estate News, ET RealEstate (indiatimes.com)
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