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An improvement in the exchange rate between the UK and the Euro is encouraging buyers in France who are snapping up ski properties, it is claimed.

According to Richard Deans, who heads the UK sales office of MGM French Properties, the firm’s sales to UK buyers in January were more than three times the number achieved in the same month last year and the trend is continuing.

‘While many firms were enjoying a break between Christmas and New Year, we became very busy during the last week of December, dealing with a huge number of new enquiries from what I describe as ‘true buyers, not dreamers,’ he said.

‘It seems that many of them had just been waiting for the exchange rate to go back to 1....

There were fewer property foreclosures in the United States in 2011 than in the previous year, according to the latest figures from CoreLogic, a leading provider of information and analytics.

Completed foreclosures for all of 2011 totalled 830,000 compared with 1.1 million in 2010. In December 2011 there was a month on month decrease in completed foreclosures to 55,000 from 57,000 in November 2011.

The December 2011 completed foreclosures figure was also down from one year ago when it stood at 67,000. From the start of the financial crisis in September 2008, there have been approximately 3....

A leading developer in the UK is calling for more companies in the construction industry to offer apprenticeship schemes, to help reduce unemployment and promote long term growth in the industry.

As youth unemployment levels reach record highs in the UK, with 22% of 16 to 22 year olds currently without work, apprenticeship schemes are seen as one of the best ways to help promote long term skills growth in the sector.

Andy Hill, chief executive of developer and contractor Hill, said that he is committed to apprenticeship schemes. ‘These are difficult times in the construction market, but there is a wealth of resourceful young people who are willing to work and learn on the job, and they represent the future,&rsq...

The number of properties in the UK being bought with buy to let mortgages increased by around 84,000 in 2011, modestly helping to increase the supply of private rented housing in the UK, according to latest data from the Council of Mortgage Lenders.

During the fourth quarter of 2011, a total of 34,800 buy to let mortgages, of which 15,600 were remortgages, were advanced, with a total value of £4 billion.

This was virtually identical to the volume of business in the third quarter when there were 34,300 loans worth £4 billion, but up on the fourth quarter of 2010 when there were 26,300 loans worth £2.9 billion.

Compared with the height of the market in the third quarter of 2007, when quarterly lending...

Demand from first time buyers in the UK looking to beat the end of the stamp duty holiday bolstered mortgage market activity in January, according to the latest Housing Market Activity Report by Connells Survey and Valuation.

The total number of residential valuations conducted during January increased on an annual basis, with 43% more valuations than a year ago. However, this represented a slight decline of 15% on a monthly basis, following the valuation market’s strongest December performance since 2007.

Increasing demand from first time buyers was a key factor in the annual growth in activity, the report says. The number of valuations conducted for first time buyers rose by 52% comp...

The total number of properties taken into possession by first charge mortgage lenders in 2011 was 36,200, the lowest annual total since 2007, according to new data from the Council of Mortgage Lenders.

For the fourth quarter of 2011 the number of repossessions was 8,500, nearly 9% down from 9,300 in the third quarter, but 5% up from 8,100 in the fourth quarter of 2010.

On arrears, there continued to be a modest improvement across all arrears bands in the fourth quarter, and in 2011 as a whole compared with the previous year. At the end of 2011, 159,400 mortgages had arrears equivalent to 2.5% or more ...

The decision today (Thursday 09 February) by the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee to increase quantitative easing in the UK has been met with a mixed response by property experts.

Adrian Coles, director general of the Building Societies Association, said that it may help to ease conditions in the mortgage market. ‘However demand is currently subdued particularly as a result of low consumer confidence,’ he added.

But it might not be so good for those wanting to buy property overseas. Robin Haynes, managing director of Currency Index, said that injecting more money into the economy has the effect of diluting sterling.

‘The Pound tends to suffer, giving us lower exchange rates fo...

UK Housing Minister Grant Shapps has announced a new £20 million safety net to help ensure that mortgage repossession remains the last resort for struggling home owners.

The Preventing Repossessions Fund gives councils the opportunity to offer small interest free loans to struggling home owners and ensure that court desks can offer on the day advice for those facing the prospect of repossession.

Shapps urged anyone facing financial difficulty to use the range of free and independent advice available to get help and avoid losing their home.

The new funding includes £1million to ensure that free, on the day, legal advice is on hand in every county court for home owners at risk of repossession. Shapps ...

A recovery in the real estate sector in Kuwait is expected in 2012 after property sales increased by 35%, in 2011.

According to the latest GCC Economic Outlook report from the National Bank of Kuwait (NBK), the total value of purchases last year reached KD2.7 billion.

It says that there was a renewed interest in real estate among investors with that sector showing an increase of 53%. Residential increased 32% but the commercial sector under performed with just a 3% gain.

Demand for distressed property is rising in more countries than it was previously, according to the results of the latest Global Distressed Property Monitor from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors published today (Friday 10 February).

The quarter four survey shows that respondents in 21 of the 25 countries included in the report indicated that interest in distressed assets increased during the fourth quarter, higher than the 19 in the previous quarter.

Demand from specialist funds rose at the fastest pace in Scandinavia, where 45% more respondents saw interest rise, rather than fall. This was closely followed by the United Arab Emirates, Italy, France and Japan. Only three countries reported falling investor appe...

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