AFIRE – Canadian and Foreign Boosts Investment US Real Estate

February 29, 2012

Canadians and other foreign investors in U.S. real estate aren’t planning on slowing down anytime soon.

A survey by Association of Foreign Investors in Real Estate (AFIRE) found 60% of respondents, with a combined $338 billion invested in the U.S., plan to increase their investment in the country this year.
Low home prices and a view that the economy will eventually show some recovery were among the key reasons, said Ray Withers, chief executive with Property Frontiers, a property investment agency.“In real terms, property prices in the USA today are back to where they were around the turn of the millennium, with prices in some states up to 70% below their 2006 peak and around 50% of current rebuild cost,” said Withers. Read the rest of this entry »

Are Fears of Imminent Drop in Canadian Housing Prices Overblown?

February 29, 2012
SUMMARY
• For several months now, various analysts have expressed fears regarding the residential real estate sector in Canada based on ratios of house prices to income or rent. In our opinion, these analyses do not paint a correct picture of the situation in that interest rate levels were not taken into account.
• The recent advance in house prices in Canada is due to recordlow interest rates at a time when the labour market has registered one of the best performances among the advanced countries since 2007. What’s more, Canada’s demographic profile is playing in favour of the housing sector given that the cohort of first-time homebuyers is presently growing at one of the fastest rates among the advanced countries.

Property sales in Canada fall for the first time in months

February 28, 2012

Residential property sales in Canada fell 4.5% from December last year to January 2012, the biggest monthly fall since July 2010, the latest figures from the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) show.

It was also the first monthly fall since August 2011. The monthly decline reversed a string of monthly increases over the closing months of last year, and returned national activity to where it stood at the end of the third quarter of 2011.

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US – Top 10 ‘Affordable Housing’ Lenders of 2011

February 28, 2012

The affordable housing debt industry posted another strong year in 2011, as historically low interest rates drove refinancing and acquisition opportunities, and the New Issue Bond Program (NIBP) resuscitated the 4 percent market.

For owners, developers, and lenders alike, there was a lot to cheer about in 2011. Low-income housing tax credit (LIHTC) prices rebounded in a big way, climbing up in a year when both LIBOR and the 10-year Treasury were dropping down to rock-bottom lows.

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US – Reis Warns Commercial Real Estate Market to “Buckle Up” in 2012

February 28, 2012

During a conference call yesterday, New York City–based Reis hosted a fourth-quarter capital markets briefing and shared its 2012 commercial real estate outlook.

“The key concern is debt maturation in 2012. Expect there to be more defaults, and look for us to reap what we had sewn back in 2007,” said Severino, referring to the large number of five-year term loans set to expire this year. He believes there will be opportunity to refinance in 2012 but that it will almost certainly be a bumpy ride, and he warned investors to “buckle up.”

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US – Apartment Owners Anxious about REO-to-Rental Program

February 28, 2012

As the federal REO-to-rental program begins its pilot phase, multifamily owners are anxious to see how it might affect their business.

The shadow market has always been an elusive X-factor in the apartment world. It’s a notoriously difficult part of the rental market to quantify. But now that the shadow market has its own government stimulus program—and with about 250,000 for-sale homes languishing on the agencies’ books—apartment owners are growing a little apprehensive.

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US – Renters face fewer vacancies, rising rates

February 28, 2012

During the boom years of home buying, property manager Charlie Biter used to offer new apartment tenants one or two months’ free rent as a lease enticement.  Now, as rental demand continues to surge, no such offers are necessary.

“Back then, everybody was being creative to bring renters in,” said Biter, who oversees 2,000 apartment units in the Nashville area for Continental Property Management. “But now I’m not aware of any units offering concessions.”

Across the country, as more people compete for apartments in the wake of the housing collapse, the market has swung in favor of landlords. For tenants, that means saying goodbye to move-in incentives and watching rents edge higher.

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