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NEWS IN BRIEF Japan’s move into China

NEWS By Geoff Hadwick

Asian developers are moving into the Australian housing market on a large scale. According to a new report out this

JAPAN’S Sekisui, which develops and sells houses and apartments in China, Australia, Singapore and the US, expects its new overseas property division - which was created this year - to account for as much as one fi fth of the company’s total profi t in three years. Sekisui chairman Isami Wada says “we want to bring our expertise into China, where profi ts are far higher than those in Japan.”

Fractional fi rst for Mexico

THE La Paz, Mexico-based beachfront resort development CostaBaja is bringing DCP International in to help it develop the region’s fi rst fractional residence club strategy. DCP International will “consult on the structuring, marketing and sale of a new fractional ownership strategy opportunity,” CostaBaja told OPP. The Residence Club at CostaBaja is the fi rst and only residence club to be off ered in La Paz.

Azuri sells Mauritius fast

THE luxury Azuri development in Mauritius, located in the North East of the island, 25 km from the capital, Port Louis, has now become the country’s fastest-selling international property development with 70% of its units sold since its launch in September 2011. The scheme “has proved extremely popular with buyers from France,” according to its joint venture partners IOREC and FUEL. French buyers have snapped up half of all the units sold to date, and investors from South Africa are in second place, with a 31% share of sales. Murray Adair, Chief Executive of IOREC, told OPP that “Mauritius has long been a popular destination for the French due to its colonial history.”

Shared ownership confs

VACATION service provider Interval International and Marriott Vacation Club have joined forces to host a series of “Shared Ownership Investment Conferences in Dubai and Abu Dhabi” designed to “off er an industry overview to anyone considering entry into the business or converting an existing asset.” Taking our message into the market is a sure way of getting the shared ownership story out says Darren Ettridge, Interval’s senior vice president of resort sales and business development EMEAA.

week from the global agency CBRE, Asian developers and other overseas investors are planning to develop an estimated 13,000 new residential units across Australia. The inward investors involved will

make up 90% of the country’s total planned apartment-build activity in the next few years. Local developers continue to have problems in getting the right sort of fi nance, says CBRE, and fi rms from Singapore are now building 37% of Australia’s foreign-backed projects, with companies from Hong Kong taking a further 20% share and developers from Malaysia a 12% slice of the maket. Kevin Stanley, executive director

for global research at CBRE, told OPP that “there’s still occupier demand for residential (property), and if the local developers aren’t able to deliver, then that presents an opportunity for overseas developers.” Stanley thinks that overseas developers

are going to be in the Australian market “for the long term.”

Mapping the future| Reveals increasing overseas involvement in Australian homes Apartment prices were down 2.5%

year-on-year in Q1, right across Australia, with house prices down by 4.7% over the same period, according to the latest research from RP Data. Home unit prices have also fared

better than detached houses whilst the number of permits granted for home units or renovations dropped 16% in February compared to January, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics fi gures. For instance, Frasers Property Australia, a division of Singapore’s third-biggest developer, is building a A$2 billion ($2.1 billion), 2,000-unit project in Sydney in partnership with with Japan’s Sekisui House Ltd. And

in Melbourne, Malaysia’s SP Setia is constructing the two-tower Fulton Lane development. Also in Melbourne, Hong Kong-based Far East Consortium International Ltd is building the 2,600 apartment Upper West Side complex. A decline in apartment permits is partly

the result of limited access to fi nancing following the global fi nancial crisis, the government’s National Housing Supply Council said in its State of Supply report in December. With an increasing number of single-

person households and those without children, demand for apartments is expected to outstrip demand for detached houses, it said.

Dubai sets 20% rule New laws

New legal proposals in Dubai could prevent developers from selling off- plan property units until projects are over 20% completed. The initiative proposed by the

Dubai Land Department, could be passed into law in June according to DLD’s director Sultan Bin Merjen He said: “The department has completed finalisation of the new draft law on the protection of the real estate investor. It is expected to be passed [soon] and applied by the end of June.” And, Bin Merjen added, “the

real estate investor protection law in Dubai, when it is released and implemented, will be the first law of its kind in the country, if not the world, dedicated to the protection

of the rights of a certain category of investors.” The new legislation covers four distinct areas in the process: data and information provision, authority to conclude an agreement, delivery and maintenance and finally the sale or investment stage. Penalties and fines for firms which

contravene the law have not been disclosed.

Debate is raging in the States as a new timeshare accountability act comes into force across the USA, active from July. The new law will take action against fraudulent timeshare companies. The Timeshare Resale Accountability

Act will force companies to disclose all terms and conditions of their business relationship with a consumer as well as requiring that such companies provide a reasonable right of rescission, with penalties for those resale companies that fail to comply. Gordon Gurnik, president of

Sign here| And be safe is the new idea

vacation exchange firm RCI, supported the move, saying: “The passage of this law is a significant step in cutting down on fraudulent companies taking advantage of innocent consumers.” |MAY 2012 Asians dominate Australia

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