Metro Vancouver – Chinese Investors Surge

February 28, 2011

Good, president of The Key, a Vancouver-based sales and marketing firm that’s focusing on a new wave of Chinese buyers, figures he’s sold more than 500 homes to mainland Chinese investors and immigrants in January and February in Vancouver and Toronto.

He’s also opened an office in Beijing’s business district -The Key China -where Chinese buyers can purchase Canadian condos from a presentation centre and view videos that showcase various condo developments and the virtues of Canada.

“[Chinese investors] have really picked up a lot of steam in the last two or three months,” Good said in an interview. “And I believe this is just the tip of the iceberg. There’s an über-wealthy upper class forming and there’s a strong middle class growing in China. This massive middle class is now getting to a point where they can afford international real estate. And Canada is viewed by the Chinese as a very stable place to put their money.

“There are literally planeloads of Chinese coming here to buy real estate.”

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US: Housing Prices Slip across the Nation

February 24, 2011

According to the LA Times, there has been a 2.4 percent decrease on the S&P Case Schiller Index, the leading indicator for tracking changes in the value of  US real estate.  This marks the fifth straight month of declines in the housing market, prompting questions about whether the housing market may be entering a double-dip recession.

The trend illustrated in the Case Schiller Index showed the downturns were not constrained to any one section of the country, but rather nearly all metropolitan areas have reported declines. Specifically, the index showed downturns in Atlanta, Charlotte, Chicago, Detroit, Las Vegas, Miami, New York, Portland, Phoenix, Seattle, and Tampa.

Reports indicate that California endured the downturns better than most, but the Case-Schiller Index doesn’t specifically measure the areas in California that were initially hit hardest when the housing market bubble in 2007, such as the Inland Empire or California’s Central Valley. Foreclosures remain commonplace in these areas.

Experts such as Robert Shiller, an economics Professor from Yale University, indicated that the prices could drop further. The professor mentioned that he foresees housing prices dropping by another 15 percent to 25 percent. He stated that this was not meant to be taken as a forecast, but rather as an indication of the considerable risk the housing market faces.

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Avison Young releases 2011 commercial real estate forecast for U.S., Canada

February 24, 2011

CHICAGO – Commercial real estate markets across Canada experienced moderate-to-strong recovery in 2010, and some markets performed better than expected. In the U.S., select markets improved while broad recovery remained elusive.  Historically, Canadian markets tended to lag U.S. recovery by a year. But in 2001 and again in 2010, Canada led the U.S. in terms of recovery and the patterns of recovery followed the same trajectory.

These are some of the key trends noted in Avison Young’s 2011 Forecast, released today. The annual report covers the Office, Retail, Industrial and Investment markets in 17 regions: Chicago, Washington DC, Atlanta, Houston, Boston, Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Lethbridge, Regina, Winnipeg, Mississauga, Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, Quebec City and Halifax.

“The Canadian picture remains positive. But the bottom line is this: without improved confidence and growth in employment, consumer spending, industrial production and gross domestic product (GDP), the North American commercial real estate market as a whole will have a difficult time recovering,” comments Mark E. Rose, Chair and CEO of Avison Young.

Read on for Summary or download the report here.

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US: Sales Rebound in 2011, Prices Nearly Flat

February 24, 2011

NAR forecast anticipates quicker recovery for new homes.  In its latest real estate and economic forecast, the National Association of Realtors anticipates that sales of existing homes, after falling 4.8 percent in 2010, will rise 7.9 percent this year, to 5.3 million, and another 4.5 percent in 2012, to 5.53 million.  The median price of existing homes, meanwhile, rose 0.3 percent in 2010 after a 12.9 percent drop in 2009, and is expected to rise 0.5 percent this year, to $173,800, and another 2.4 percent in 2012, to $177,900.

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US: Price Stability In 75% of U.S. Metro Areas By 2011 End

February 24, 2011

Index estimates all metro markets will be healthy by the end of 2012.

While most home price indices point to an imminent double-dip, one of the few leading indicators forecasts that pricing stability will hit 75% of metro markets by the end of 2011.  The Fiserv Case-Shiller Index, which measures price changes in single-family homes in over 375 U.S. metropolitan markets, estimates that home prices have already leveled out in one out of four metro U.S. areas, despite price declines of 1.5% in the third quarter of 2010.

The Index shows that after a record five years of home price declines, some metropolitan area housing markets are beginning to find their bottom.   Amongst those where prices have already stabilized are San Diego, Washington, D.C., and San Francisco, according Fiserv.   As the year goes by, 75% of metro markets will have hit bottom and prices will subsequently stabilize.  New York City, Minneapolis, and Portland, Oregon are amongst those that will join the ranks of stability by the end of this year.

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US – San Francisco Bullish 10 Reasons

February 24, 2011

SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) — Almost five full years into the housing downturn, it’s still cool to be bearish on real estate. But cool isn’t always right.  Despite headwinds such as looming shadow inventory, a lackluster job market and geopolitical instability, there are plenty of reasons why rose-colored glasses may be the real-estate eyewear of choice.

The local bottom that the broad housing market experienced in April 2009 may yet be surpassed to the downside. If it is, housing bears will pound their chests, stubborn pessimism vindicated. This recovery, which in many areas remains in full force, has been, and will continue to be, highly local in nature.

More home buyers paying cash

Increasingly, home buyers are selling investments to raise cash to pay for real estate, sensing a bottom in the housing market. Fundamentally strong markets have thrived, while weak ones have languished. National, state, and even city-level indicators have been masking trends that are ongoing on a neighborhood level. This will continue, and those that ignore it will miss out on countless opportunities. Read Minyanville’s “Searching for a Real Estate Recovery.”

So without further ado, 10 reasons to be bullish on housing:

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Vancouver still on Seller’s Market

February 23, 2011

The Canadian Real Estate Association’s (CREA) latest figures for December showed it had snapped a four-month uptrend, and analysts have largely described the residential market as balanced. 

TORONTO, VANCOUVER “SELLERS’ MARKETS”

 Four of six tracked metropolitan markets retreated in November, including third-straight monthly declines in Toronto, down 0.5 percent, and Ottawa, down 0.9 percent. The Calgary market posted a drop of 0.7 percent, its fourth in a row, while Halifax prices were down 0.8 percent.  Prices were flat in Montreal for a second straight month.  But Vancouver prices rose, up 0.6 percent for the month.

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