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Club Med has launched its first ever luxury chalet and apartment development in the ski-ing resort of Valmorel, France.

The company, which was founded with the aim of offering all inclusive holiday packages based on the values of friendliness, happiness and nature, has decided to build luxury villas and apartments and sell them to property investors who could enjoy the same kind of values that holiday makers had enjoyed for half a century.

Club Med Villas and Chalets isn’t just about buying a piece of property, it is about buying into a concept that is backed by a global business. There are also a number of financial and tax benefits and investors can choose between freehold or leaseback.

If they choose the leaseback option their property is managed by Club Med and owners...

Major Dubai developer Nakheel has announced plans to start rebuilding on its iconic Palm island development, the first activity since it received a government bailout in 2009.

The Pointe development will include shops, computer controlled fountains, a marina and a public walk on the tip of the palm shaped island, chairman Ali Rashed Lootah confirmed.

He said that Nakheel is in talks with banks to raise at least AED300 million ($82 million) for the project, which will be operated by the company when it’s completed.

Located across the water from the Atlantis hotel, The Pointe will also a new station for the monorail running up the centre of the palm shaped island and parking for 1,200 cars and should be completed in 18 months.

Meanwhile the owner of the Asia group of ...

Auckland has overtaken Central Otago Lakes as having the least affordable real estate in New Zealand, the latest home affordability report from Massey University shows.

In the past quarter, homes slipped further out of reach of buyers in Auckland while in Central Otago Lakes, which previously held the top spot, affordability improved.

The University’s home affordability index, which is calculated using the key drivers of interest rates, wages and house prices, shows that nationally, affordability fell 1.9% in the past quarter as the national median house price went up by 3%.

Report compiler Professor Bob Hargreaves, from the University’s School of Economics and Finance, said that in view of the financial turmoil in Europe it is surprising that house pric...

Investment activity in the core Eastern Europe property markets of Poland, Czech, Slovakia, Hungary and Romania increased in 2011, according to global property consultant Cushman & Wakefield.

It reached €6.1 billion, more than double the €2.9 billion invested in Central Europe during 2010.
Poland continues to lead the region, but Czech experienced the largest increase in transaction volumes year on year, increasing from €479 million in 2010 to €2.2 billion in 2011. Poland remained in front with €2.58 billion transacted in 2011.

Hungarian investment volumes increased from €240 million to €728 million, Romania edged forward with volumes increasing from €241 million to €320 million, whilst €263 million was transacted in Slovakia in 2011, up from €53 million in the previous year.

Transaction volumes in Centra...

Prime central London property prices finished 13% up last year compared with 2010 and have increased by 36% since October 2009, according to the latest index covering the sector.

Prices are expected to continue to grow in 2012 by approximately 4%, according to Hamptons International's latest Prime Central London index.

The figures are in stark contrast to the largely flat national house price growth, which is expected to finish down 2%.

Against a backdrop of strong international demand for prime London property in the first half of 2011, Hamptons International's buyer profile index tracking the nationality of prime central London purchasers, shows that international buyers accounted for 56% of all purchases in the third quarter of 2011, down from the 73% in the pr...

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors has announced its line up for the annual North East Summit which takes place on Friday 20 January at the Centre for Life in Newcastle.

The summit aims to highlight the role that property and construction needs to play in the region's economic recovery. The full day event will bring together a host of experts from politics, property, business and finance to provide a State of the Region report with a special focus on property.

Contributors will explain their aims and aspirations, provide up-to-date information on the latest developments in policy and practice, and debate the current issues vital to the North East.

‘The summit is open to all and will be of particular value to anyone passionate about the region and plann...

Lenders in the UK have money to lend, even to first time buyers, with independent estate agency haart reporting that it is currently processing 100 applications a day.

Indeed, haart has seen a dramatic rise in the number of people applying for mortgages with figures for 2011 up 21% compared to 2010, the biggest rise in applications since it began offering mortgages in 2001. Of those, first time buyers accounted for over 37% whilst buy to let investors made up a further 18%.

The average value of mortgages applied for also rose, up by 4.8% to £126,524 on an average purchase price of £181,875. But the size of the average deposit rose only 0.3%, reflecting a possible change in attitude among lenders to deposits, says haart. Close to 20% of all mortgages came with a Loan...

The latest research from the Association of Residential Lettings Agents (ARLA) indicates that the number of homes coming onto the rental market because they cannot be sold is increasing in some parts of the UK, causing a rise in the number of ‘reluctant landlords’.

During the third quarter of 2011, some 47% of ARLA member agents surveyed reported a rise in the number of ‘unplanned’ lettings as home owners turn to the PRS because they are unable to sell their property, or holding off until a higher price is achievable. This figure has risen from 40% at the beginning of the year.

In England, this trend was noticeable in the North East and North West in particular, where higher proportions of respondents reporting an increase in rental property coming onto the market because it cannot be sold, 67% and 62% respectively.

More than 60% of ...

A robust end of year mortgage market has meant that activity in the fourth quarter of the year outstripped that of a year ago, according to the latest Housing Market Activity Report by Connells Survey and Valuation.

The total number of valuations conducted during December declined by 14% on a monthly basis, a much smaller fall than the average drop of 20% between November and December since 2007.

The robust December performance contributed to increased demand for valuations in fourth quarter of 2011 as a whole with activity up by 3% compared to the previous quarter an up 71% compared to the fourth quarter of 2010. In fact, throughout the whole of 2011, there were 43% more valuations than in the previous year, the report shows.

‘The seasonal Christmas slowdown may have set...

The weak UK economy is impacting on rental prospects in the London lettings market but is likely to be contained by supply and demand fundamentals, it is claimed.

For two years from the middle of 2009 the prime London lettings market delivered very strong rental growth for landlords. Not only did rents recover all of the losses incurred during the 2008 financial crisis, but by early 2011 they hit all time highs.

This growth was underpinned by the recovery of the central London economy, which was gathering pace at least up until the middle of last year, according to Liam Bailey, head of residential research at Knight Frank.

In addition there has been a steady recovery in the ratio of demand versus supply but economic prospects have weakened, leading to slower rental growth...

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