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The cost of having a mortgage to buy a property in the UK is cheaper than renting in 84% of towns and cities in the UK, but the figure is down from 94% three months ago, research reveals.

It is cheaper to service a mortgage than to rent in 42 of Britain’s top 50 towns and renting is now 16% more expensive on average than owning across Britain, the survey from property website Zoopla also shows.

And it found that renters in London pay £6,687 more on average per year than home owners and overall renting in Britain is costing 16% more on average than buying, up from 11% this time last year.

The average monthly rent in Britain has come down slightly by £9 on average over the past three months to £...

This year will be a reverse image of 2011, and a tale of two halves for the global economy and the world's commercial real estate markets, according to global real estate services firm Cushman & Wakefield's latest Market View report.

While there was a healthy start for 2011, rising uncertainty surrounding the resolution of sovereign debt issues in Europe and the US led to a slowdown in the economy and commercial real estate activity in the second half of the year. The exact opposite performance is expected for 2012, with a sluggish beginning giving way to improvements in the latter half of the year.

‘Despite uncertainties, there remains a well of pent up demand in most nations. As the year progresses and ...

Residential property prices in the United States have increased year on year for the first time in 18 months, according to the latest figures from RE/MAX.

February has seen a ‘very active’ season, according to the estate agent franchise whose survey shows national home increased1.1% from a year earlier and 1.4% from January to $171,881.

Of the 53 metro areas included in the survey, 24 experienced price increases from February 2011, including Miami up 20.5%, Orlando, up 15.8%, Phoenix up 12.5%, Tampa up 11.1%, St. Louis up 9.8% and Detroit up 8.9%.

Home sales in February rose 8.7% from a year earlier, continuing a trend of eight straight months above the previous year's total. February home sales climbed 8.1% above sales in January.

Of the metros, 45 saw increases over February 2011, with 26 jumping double digits, in...

Inexperienced first time buyers are ignoring the practicalities of owning a home, according to new research from HSBC published today (Friday 16 March).

The major considerations for first time buyers when looking for a property are location (35%), size of the outside space (27%) and local amenities (21%).

However, few consider more practical aspects important to their search such as plans for development in the area (1%), the condition of nearby properties (4%) signs of subsidence (5%) and the cost to update the property (6%).

HSBC asked 155 first time buyers what questions they felt were most important to ask the vendor when buying a property and 100 estate agents what questions they would advise first t...

With prices continuing to rise in Brazil and the country’s economy booming there is concern that something might crash at some point but real estate experts do not believe that the property market will burst.

Spain, Bulgaria, Dubai, Ireland and the United States have each experienced a severe property boom and crash but Samantha Gore, sales manager at Brazil property specialists uv10 believes there are few fears for the real estate market.

‘There have been some significant double digit percentage price hikes in Brazilian property over recent years but, instead of crashing, the consensus is ...

UK house prices fell for the 21st consecutive month in March but people are more upbeat about the outlook, according to the latest House Price Sentiment Index (HPSI) from Knight Frank and Markit Economics.

The house price index, which is based on a nationwide survey of 1,500 households, showed that London was the only region where households felt that the value of their property was higher this month than last.

But the survey, which also asks households about what they think will happen to the value of their home over the next 12 months, gave the most upbeat reading for future house prices in nearly t...

An extra four in ten first time buyers have been exempt from paying stamp duty as a result of the UK government raising the starting threshold from £125,000 to £250,000 over the past two years, according to estimates from the Halifax.

The temporary increase in the threshold has meant that 95% of first time buyers over the period have not had to pay stamp duty.

An estimated 150,000 first time buyers have benefitted from the increase in the threshold over the past two years with approximately 380,000 first time buyers paying no stamp duty.

Returning the starting threshold to £125...

Expectations for future house prices were more optimistic during February as transaction levels continued to edge upwards, according to the latest UK Housing Market Survey published today (Tuesday 13 March) by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors.

Expectations for future prices saw a considerable turnaround in February with surveyors reporting a net balance of zero percent compared with -14 in January.

This is the first time since May 2010 that respondents have not been predicting further price declines. Given the recent upturn in interest from first time buyers looking to beat the stamp duty exemption deadline, it would appear that surveyors are slowly becoming less pessimistic over prices, according to RICS.


The residential property market in New Zealand saw strong sales in February and prices were continuing to edge up, according to two leading market reports.

The latest data from the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand (REINZ) indicates strong sales growth in the residential housing market, with 6,168 unconditional sales for the month. The volume of sales is up by 37% or 1,666 sales compared with the same time last year, and is the best February result the market has recorded since 2008.

It also shows that the national median house price remained steady for the third straight month at $355,000 and is up 1.4% compared with February 2011.

While the latest QV index shows that values are now up 1.1% over the past three months, 2.9% up over the past year, and are 2.9% below the previous market peak of late 2007.

According to REINZ all ...

Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy is on a clean up mission to try to put his country’s mortgage market back on track.

Gone are the days when local newspapers had adverts offering fake P60s for credit purposes but it could take some time for the lending industry to become more mature, according to experts.

The Spanish government is, for example, forcing takeovers and mergers to accelerate the change. Banco Sabadell acquired CAM bank for €1 in December 2011 and BBVA acquired Unnim bank for the same price this month.

Whilst Spain didn’t have official subprime mortgages in the same manner as the United States, throughout the late 2000s it did fall victim to unrealistic mortgages being handed out by greedy banks with the help of unscrupulous mortgage advisers, real estate agents, lawyers, surveyors, valuers and accountants.

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