December 12, 2016

Many Buyers Anticipate Prices Will Continue To Fall

A report from Bloomberg on the UK. “London’s housing market is in a state of flux, as a combination of Brexit and increased stamp duty lead to forecasts that values will drop. In many parts of the capital, though, those falls are already happening. Stratheden, The Bishops Avenue, N2: The vendor of this mansion on one of the two London streets known as Billionaire’s Row is now willing to sell for about 15 million pounds ($18.9 million), compared with an initial asking price of about 25 million pounds, according to broker Glentree International. ‘It’s a substantial reduction, fully reflecting the challenging post-Brexit market of today,’ said Trevor Abrahmsohn, managing director of the broker.”

From Radio New Zealand. “Let’s call it the moment of puncture. It’s that moment when an over-inflated balloon is pierced and either goes bang, with a hail of shredded rubber bits, or whizzes off up to the ceiling with a whoosh and then down under the couch, never to be seen again. New Zealanders are forever trying to pick that moment of puncture for the housing market: when a momentary slowdown in a 20-year trend turns into something more catastrophic. In retrospect, it will look obvious, but it’s never clear in the millisecond before the rubber shreds.”

“It’s tempting to look at the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand figures for November and see a slight tear in the rubber. In Auckland, volumes fell 2.9 percent and the median price fell 3.9 percent in November from October in seasonally adjusted terms. Auction clearance rates in Auckland in particular have dropped sharply through the middle of this year, and into the traditionally stronger spring open-home and sales season. There has also been talk that tougher capital controls in China, and a new reluctance by banks here and in Australia to lend to non-resident buyers, is dampening demand from overseas buyers. But it’s still too early to say this is that rubber-shredding moment.”

From Domain News in Australia. “Tenants should have more bargaining power with landlords as vacancy rates continue to rise in Brisbane. Renters may be able to name their price, get rent-free weeks when signing a new lease, and change the terms of their lease, industry experts said. ‘Apartment construction is overwhelming supply in pockets throughout Greater Brisbane,’ said Real Estate Institute of Queensland chief executive Antonia Mercorella. ‘This means rents are negotiable and rental incentives are becoming more commonplace.’”

The Business Times on Singapore. “The volume and value of transactions in Good Class Bungalow (GCB) Areas have risen so far this year, though prices continued to soften. After taking into account such factors to arrive at a like-for-like comparison, Realstar Premier Group managing director William Wong estimates that GCB prices today are about 10-15 per cent lower than the last peak in 2013.”

From Focus Taiwan. “The local property market remained weak in November, with the housing index, which gauges the market climate, trending lower and flashing a blue light signaling a contraction, real estate market magazine My Housing said. ‘Many home buyers have anticipated that house prices will continue to fall, while many homeowners remain reluctant to cut prices for the moment. Under such circumstances, the pace of making deals in the local property has been slow, pushing down transactions,’ said Ho Shih-chang, a research manager at the magazine.”

“CBRE Realty Associates’ head of luxury homes, Douglas Wong, noted that the lower GCB prices have boosted sales volumes this year. ‘While sellers were largely not under pressure, they could have envisaged that the market may weaken further in the near term. In the coming year, investors will be cautious given more uncertainty around employment, interest rates and the global economy. In addition, the Monetary Authority of Singapore has reiterated that it will keep the cooling measures in place for some time.’ This will put downward pressure on prices.”