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Residential property sales in the United States edged upwards for the seventh month in a row in January, according to the latest RE/MAX national housing report.

It shows that real estate sales are now 3.4% above levels seen a year earlier in the 53 metropolitan areas covered by the survey.

In January, the median price of homes sold in the 53 metros was $129,306, only 0.8% lower than a year earlier and a 3.4% drop from December.

Perhaps due to falling foreclosure numbers, for the 19th consecutive month, inventory levels dropped in January. The average inventory of homes for sale dropped 24.1% from a year earlier and 4.2% from December.

‘If sales continu...

Restricted supply and strong demand has meant office rents have risen sharply in some parts of London, particularly Covent Garden and Soho, according to the fourth quarter report from property consultants EA Shaw.

The report says that a buoyant end to 2011 took take up over the year to four million square feet for the Soho, Covent Garden, Midtown, City Fringes and Southbank markets, making it the best year since 2007.

Take up in 2011 was 500,000 square feet more than in 2010 and 600,000 square feet more than the long term average with Covent Garden emerging as the year’s strongest performer. Take up exceeded long term average levels by 55% at 1.241 million square feet in contrast to WC1 which had the lowest level sin...

Residential property rents in prime central London fell by 0.2% in January and are now 0.6% below their September 2011 peak, according to the latest report from Knight Frank.

However, despite the drop, rents are still around 7% higher than a year ago and Liam Bailey, head of residential research pointed out that rental falls in winter are not uncommon as the employment market is quieter and fewer people are typically looking to move to new positions.

‘However, there are signs that the weakness in the City of London jobs market, where new employment vacancies are currently down 51% year on year according to Morgan McKinley, is beginning to feed through to the rental sector,’ said Bailey.

‘With ...

The first units on Bahrain’s $1.6 billion Dilmunia Health Island project are expected to be ready to handover by the middle of 2014, the developer behind the project has announced.

The first of four infrastructure development phases, which will include the 125 hectare island's highways, bridges, landscaping, power, water, sewerage, drainage and telecommunications supplies has been offered to 30 contractors.

The winning firm will be appointed by the end of the first quarter of 2012 and work is due to start in the second quarter. Construction is expected to take 24 months to complete, enabling subcontractors to begin work in parallel.

‘End users can be handed the keys to their units by the middle ...

Residential property sales in Canada fell 4.5% from December last year to January 2012, the biggest monthly fall since July 2010, the latest figures from the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) show.

It was also the first monthly fall since August 2011. The monthly decline reversed a string of monthly increases over the closing months of last year, and returned national activity to where it stood at the end of the third quarter of 2011.

Last year was also muted in terms of price increases, with the national average home price up less than 2% year on year in January, one of the smallest increases of the last 12 months.

The actual (not seasonally adjusted) national average price for homes sold in January 2012 was $348,178, representing an increase of 1.2%from its year ago level. This ranks among the smallest increases since late 2010....

The economy in Cape Verde is expected to rise 7.1% by 2013 from 5.6% in 2011, according to the International Monetary Fund which experts believe will foster growth in the real estate sector.

In addition a $66.2 million aid grant from the United States to reform water, sanitation and land management is expected to increase growth even further as infrastructure improves.

‘Cape Verde is a nation on a rapid up. It has halved its 1990 poverty level and in 2008 officially graduated from Least Developed to Middle Income Country status. Much of this positivity stems from one of the fastest growing tourism industries in the world and active encouragement of substantial foreign investment,’ said Adam Cornwell, managing director of Feltrim International which promotes real estate on the islands.

He explained that as the country has scant natural resources and l...

A landmark tribunal case ruling has resulted in much needed clarification regarding the taxation of holiday lettings and has also criticised the conduct of the UK tax authorities.

The case revolved around whether or not the letting of a holiday cottage consisted wholly or mainly of holding an investment. Property consisting of a business or an interest in a business carried on for gain and consisting of something other than the making or holding of investments (relevant business property) is entitled to relief from inheritance tax.

The property in question was a large bungalow overlooking the sea on the Suffolk coast in England. The property could accommodate up to eleven people and was typically let for less than two week...

January was a quiet month for Hong Kong property markets as the uncertain global economic outlook keeps transactions low, according to the latest monthly report from Knight Frank.

But while the office and residential markets recorded low levels of activity, the retail leasing sector continued to outperform as international brands entering and expanding in Hong Kong competed for prime spaces.

The number of residential sales dropped further in January 2012, falling 18.4% month on month to 3,507 in January, the lowest figure since November 2008. Sales of luxury homes valued over HK$10 million fell 17.4% to 385.

In the leasing market, an increasing number of landlords released their flats for lease. However, absorption ...

Housing affordability conditions improved in most metropolitan areas in the United States in the final quarter of 2011 with rising sales and lower inventory creating more balanced conditions, according to the latest report from the National Association of Realtors.

The median existing single family home price rose in 29 out of 149 metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) in the fourth quarter from a year earlier. Two were unchanged and 118 areas had price declines.

According to Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, the figures reflect greater home sales activity at lower price points. ‘Sales have risen strongly in lower price ranges from one year ago, while sales at the upper end remain sluggish,’ he said.


Anecdotal evidence from across the UK shows a rising number of deliberate fraud cases involving landlords being hit by fraudulent tenants.

Let Insurance Services is warning that applicants fill out tenancy application forms fraudulently as they move from property to property, with no intention of keeping up with the rent. It is not unknown for this to happen within the same small town.

Fraudulent tenants often give false information on where they have been living previously to throw referencing companies and letting agents off the trail. They are very difficult to evict as they seem to know their way round the legal system.

‘Tenant fraud is a growing problem for agents and landlords alike. And...

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