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10 | INDUSTRY


NEWS IN BRIEF French head for London


NEWS By Sean Lightbown


FRENCH super-rich buyers are taking a stronger interest in London property as politicians in their own country threaten greater taxes on high-earners. Global consultancy Knight Frank said it has seen a 19% jump in enquiries from France for prime London homes in Q1 2012…despite enquiries from elsewhere in Europe declining by 9% over the same period.


Bumper year in Germany


2012 will be a bumper year for large-scale residential transactions in Germany, international agency group Savills has told OPP. According to Karsten Nemecek, Savills Managing Director of Corporate Finance, “for the fi rst time since 2007, residential packages of 10,000 units and more are being sold again to a signifi cant extent in Germany. 2012 is set to be the year for big deals.”


Bugaria is on the up


INTERNATIONAL agencies based in Bulgaria have released new data this showing that homes sales volumes are starting to climb again, despite being way below the numbers reached in 2007. The overall number of real estate transactions in 2011 was up 22% year- on-year with mortgage approval up 4.2% YoY says agency group Yavlena.


More foreclosure starts


FORECLOSURE start fi gures were up by 7% from February to March across the USA. For the fi rst time since November 2011, foreclosure starts surpassed the 100,000 mark, according to RealtyTrac. However, starts were still down 11% compared to March 2011. Thirty- one states saw monthly increases in foreclosure starts last month.


NZ RENTAL BOOM


THE New Zealand housing market is experiencing surging levels of tenant demand and a lack of supply, especially in earthquake-hit Christchurch. The local market has become highly attractive to international property investors, looking for growth.


Australia’s government doubled the number of approvals it gave to foreign investment purchases last year according to the country’s latest annual Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) report. Roughly 9,770 international property


purchase approvals were processed during 2010/11, compared with 3,897 in 2009/10. This took the value of approved proposed residential investments by buyers based abroad to $41.5 billion last year, compared with $20 billion in the the year before. Chinese investors were responsible


for about 5,000 approvals, followed by buyers from the UK (1,000), Malaysia (896), Singapore (536), South Africa (347) and India (320). In total, real estate made up 23%


of total approval of proposed foreign investment.


“(Investment approval figures)


were affected by changes to the policy and administrative arrangements for residential property and in no regard do they provide a comparable view


www.opp.org.uk |MAY 2012 Foreign approvals double in Oz


Sydney | and other leading Australian cities are attracting thousands of foreign buyers


of investment activity in this sector,” said the report. “As of 24 April 2010, temporary residents residing in Australia are no longer exempted from notifi cation of proposed acquisitions of established residential real estate for their own residence, established residential real estate for the purpose of redevelopment,” it added. The changes were introduced to


ensure “investment in Australian real estate by temporary residents and foreign non-residents, is within the law, meets community


expectations and doesn’t place pressure on housing availability for Australians,” say the authorities. “The changes mean that all temporary residents and foreign non-residents seeking to invest in Australian real estate have been brought within the notifi cation, screening and approval process. Temporary residents may seek approval to acquire one established dwelling only to be used as their residence. No objections are raised subject to the condition that they sell the property when it ceases to be their residence.”


Repossession orders fall in the US


The number of foreclosure fi lings in the USA is continuing to fall, dropping 16% year-on-year in Q1 according the latest numbers from market monitoring service RealtyTrac. Q1 2012 foreclosure volumes were


also down 2% on Q4 2011. RealtyTrac defi nes foreclosure fi lings as default notices, scheduled auctions, and bank repossessions. Filings are now at their lowest quarterly total since the fourth quarter of 2007. In the fi rst quarter of


NEW THAI SHOW


THAILAND is about to get its fi rst major overseas property exhibition. The “Thai & Overseas Property & Lifestyle 2012” event runs from November 9 to 11 2012 at the Bangkok Convention Centre. The 3-day exhibition already has bookings says the organisers.


this year, one in every 230 U.S. homes received a foreclosure fi ling, according to the report. Take things with a pinch of salt


though, says RealtyTrac CEO Brandon Moore. “The low foreclosure numbers in the fi rst quarter are not an indication that the massive reservoir of distressed properties built up over the past few years has somehow miraculously evaporated,” Moore told OPP this month. “There are hairline cracks in the


HAMPTONS EXPANDS


GLOBAL agency group Hamptons International announced this week that it is planning to expand its UK network by 10% during 2012. Mark Goldberg, head of sales at Hamptons International, told OPP that “we are reviewing our international network.”


dam, evident in the sizable foreclosure activity increases in judicial foreclosure states over the past several months, along with an increase in foreclosure starts in many judicial and non-judicial states in March.” “The dam may not burst in the next


30 to 45 days, but it will eventually burst, and everyone downstream should be prepared for that to happen—both in terms of new foreclosure activity and new short sale activity.”


BID FOR 500 HOMES


FOR the second time in fi ve months, Bank of America (BofA) is seeking bidders for a bulk off ering of several hundred single-family foreclosed homes. BofA wants bids for a bulk deal that includes up to 500 largely vacant single-family homes.


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