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NEWS By Sean Lightbown

ASIA is “fi nally turning down,” along with the US, as the global housing market faces a ‘double-dip’ according to Global Property Guide founder Matthew Montagu-Pollock. The online property research house

recently published its latest worldwide survey of house price indices, fi nding that prices fell in 22 of the 35 countries for which Q4 data was available. 21 housing markets performed worse in 2011 than 2010, it also reveals. And speaking exclusively to OPP,

Montagu-Pollock said: “The thing that sticks out the most for me is the fact that it looks like Asian markets are fi nally turning down.” “We’re not seeing many improving

countries, either. Generally, the fi gures are rather gloomy.” Pollock also commented on fi gures

released by Case/Shiller revealing 4% declines in American house prices, as reported in OPP. “It seems a pretty big downturn,”

Pollock told OPP. “As we have seen over the past few years housing markets are ever-important to economies. A downturn in the US is bad news for the economy in general.” With a lack of good news around,

Pollock said he hoped things would pick up in Eastern Europe to offset the gloom. “I’m hoping Eastern Europe will go

like the clappers. There’s been a lot of currency depreciation, which will be good for them.” “However if we take Poland, it

is such a sad case. There is a strong economy there but also a huge overhang of properties.” “People are very worried about

Greece and the eurozone crisis. A lot of what will happen this year depends on the economy.” There were few high points in the

data. India (Delhi) and Brazil (Sao Paolo) continued to perform well, registering 6.62% and 3.91% annual growth respectively. However, Montagu-Pollock was

Sinking? | There are renewed fears about the health of the global housing market

cautious on the results. “In India some places go up and some go down, so it isn’t representative of the whole. Though I understand that the central bank has stopped interest rate rises, which is good for the market.”

For Brazil, he told OPP: “The

perceived wisdom is that Brazil is risky. But currently they are enjoying a commodities boom that South America is benefi ting from. However, I don’t know if I would put my money into that.”

Foreign buyers returning to US says AFIRE

LOW prices and a recovering economic outlook are encouraging more and more overseas property buyers into the American market says the latest annual survey of the Association of Foreign Investors in Real Estate (AFIRE). The survey, which was conducted in

the last quarter of 2011, interviewed a group of AFIRE members who, between them, hold around $338 billion of USA real estate in their portfolios. It showed that they plan to increase their investment in the U.S.A. even


FRANCE will go on enjoying “a positive economic position and a perception of stability,” Danny Silver, managing director of developer The Villages Group has told OPP as the company launches a new syndicated ownership scheme.

further in 2012. Ray Withers, chief executive of agency Property Frontiers, told OPP that he was “not surprised to discover that there still exists an appetite for investment in the USA.” The survey highlighted that many investors still regard the USA to be one of the most secure and stable global markets. For Withers, “property prices in

the U.S.A. today are back to where they were around the turn of the millennium, with prices in some states up to 70% below their 2006


THE CANADIAN market is cooling down at its fastest rate for 18 months according to new fi gures from the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA). Volumes were down 4.5% on December 2011, the country’s fi rst monthly fall since August 2011.

peak.” And, he told OPP this month, “the market is full of opportunity.” Prices have crashed and - as a result

- the rental market is booming, leading to huge discounts for buyers looking to invest in properties in some of the best areas. But, he says, this opportunity will not continue forever. “Increasing investor activity within

the foreclosure market is already starting to stabilise prices and - in some instances – even push them up,” Withers has warned overseas proprty buyers. A recent report from RealtyTrac said

Flying | The US market is picking up CAPE VERDE BOOST

CAPE VERDE’S economy will benefi t from a new US $66.2 million investment agreement designed to reform sanitation and land-management policies and “foster further economic growth – in particular in real estate and tourism.”

that foreclosure sales are expected to rise in 2012.


A FLORIDA fast-track foreclosure Bill, which would reduce the time banks can pursue homeowners for debt from fi ve years to one year, has been approved. Senator Jack Latvala, said that getting banks to support the bill would be a major sticking point. |MARCH 2012 Global outlook takes turn for worse

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