August 26, 2014

Snapshot: The Romance Only Works In A Rising Market

The Daily Mail reports from the UK. “One in five of the 171,000 loans taken out in the second quarter of this year had a term of 30 years or longer, according to the Council of Mortgage Lenders. Among first-time buyers the figure was even higher, at 28 per cent. Ray Boulger, of mortgage broker John Charcol, said: ‘Is there anything inherently wrong with 30-year mortgages? No, it depends on individual circumstances. The idea that a mortgage has to last 25 years is outmoded. Most people will be better off with a long-term loan, if the only alternative is renting.’”

This is Money UK. “Falling temperatures have put summer on hold — and our overheated housing market is following suit, cooling so rapidly that thousands of sellers are slashing prices. Rightmove says the average asking price of a home on sale in England or Wales has plummeted £7,750 in four weeks. That’s a 2.9 per cent fall, the biggest ever in August. London was the worst-hit region with prices collapsing 5.9 per cent in one month. In July alone, there was a 20 per cent surge in homes on the market, meaning supply now significantly outstrips demand in certain areas.”

“‘This is evidence of a summer sales mentality. We expect more price falls next month,’ says Rightmove’s market analyst, Miles Shipside, who believes the sharp price decrease is down to the public realising ‘a five-year holiday of low interest rates is coming to an end.’”

The Khaleej Times. “Johan and Alejandra are the kind of Swedes the IMF has been warning about - piling up debt to keep up with an ever-rising property market and fund a lifestyle of travel, maids and nights out. The couple plan to buy a flat in Stockholm for five to six million Swedish crowns (724,000 to 869,000), initially with an interest-only bank loan, among other spending plans. ‘I may travel, I may want to invest in a new business,’ said Alejandra, who runs a cafe in the city centre.”

“Four in 10 mortgage borrowers in Sweden are not paying off their debt, and those that are repaying the principal do so at a rate that would on average take nearly a century. Swedish property prices have nearly tripled in just two decades. In July, home prices rose at a double-digit pace from a year ago - the first time in more than four years.”

From Todays Zaman. “Sales of new houses fell for the sixth straight month in July, the Turkish Statistics Institute announced. In July, the number of houses sold was down by 20.2 percent compared to the same period of the previous year. In the same period, mortgage house sales also dropped by 32.9 percent year-on-year. July’s drop in house sales is a remarkable one, pundits argue, adding that upcoming months could see even sharper declines in sales.”

“‘It is not hard to predict further declines in house sales through the end of this year amid increased debts, low demand and high prices. … The housing markets face bigger risks,’ Yeliz Karabulut from securities company ALB Menkul Değerler told Today’s Zaman. She recalls that the Turkish construction companies had TL 95 billion ($43.6 billion) in unpaid debts in June, adding that this was an astounding 61 percent rise over the end of 2012, when the figure was TL 59 billion.”

“Cemal Gökçe, president of the İstanbul branch of the Chamber of Civil Engineers, told Today’s Zaman that housing sales would drop more than 20 percent during the last five months of this year. ‘The current picture reveals serious structural problems in the Turkish housing industry… there are not enough affordable units for the lower class,’ Gökçe said. He also referred to the growing risk of a housing bubble in Turkey markets. ‘The number of housing units on sale has exceeded the 1 million mark in Turkey; prices are high and this is not a sustainable situation.’”

The Business Recorder. “Many of Brazil’s biggest retailers, homebuilders and carmakers are cutting jobs as Latin America’s largest economy teeters on the edge of recession. Now jobs are disappearing in retail, construction and food processing, which had been reliable engines for growth and new employment over the last decade. In Bahia and Pernambuco, construction companies have cut over 14,000 jobs this year. New project launches by homebuilders in the second quarter, a leading indicator for construction jobs, fell 25 percent from a year earlier, according to J.P. Morgan Securities analysts. ‘There is no outlook for improved hiring among builders by the end of the year,’ said economist Danilo Garcia.”

The Sun Daily in Malaysia. “As part of an effort to curb speculative buying of properties by investor clubs, which is one of the causes of runaway prices of properties in the Klang Valley, Local Government Minister Abdul Rahman said developers who intend to sell more than four units to a purchaser must obtain prior approval from the Controller of Housing. According to him, the market has slowed down considerably with developers’ sales falling 50% so far this year. In Sabah, the Sabah Housing and Real Estate Developers Association (Shareda) announced a 65% drop in sales.”

“‘The romance has left the group buying clubs because it only works in a rising market…the lure of group purchase is not so much there anymore,’ he said.”

“‘Between 2011 and 2013, the market rose too high, too fast and too quickly. Now the market is screeching to a halt,’ said Malaysian Institute of Estate Agents president Siva Shanker. He said talk of a property bubble, property prices rising and responsible lending guidelines have created a negative market perception, which has slowed down the market but values are still ‘grossly inflated.’ ‘The market is in a tailspin and it has yet to recover,’ he told SunBiz.”

Want China Times. “China’s authorities have taken anti-corruption measures up a notch by mandating all government officials register their real estate on a digital platform. Officials with multiple properties have already begun dumping onto the market, reports our Chinese-language sister newspaper China Times. Zhang Xu, a real estate analyst said that the information platform might cause multiple house owners to undersell their properties. Zhou Feng, a manager at real estate firm Man Tang Hong, said that the demand for houses has been declining in the past few months, but that owners began underselling their properties several years ago when the war of corruption was first declared.”

The Globe and Mail in Canada. “One of the largest real estate companies in British Columbia says that more than one-third of all the single-family detached homes it sold last year went to people with ties to mainland China. Those buyers, the company added, tended to spend more money, too, with the average cost of a house sold to these clients topping $2-million, compared to $1.4-million on average overall. Richard Kurland, a Vancouver immigration lawyer who works with wealthy Chinese immigrants, believes Vancouver may see a slowdown in foreign investment. He said some wealthy Chinese buyers might get anxious and sell off second properties because of the current crackdown on corruption in China.”

“In meetings with top real estate agents earlier this year, Mr. Kurland predicted that luxury residential real estate could drop in value by as much as 25 per cent as foreign investment dips. As evidence, he points to July real estate figures that showed 106 homes for sale on the west side in the $3-million to $3.5-million price bracket, and just nine sales, compared to 73 active listings and seven sales during July of 2013.”

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Comment by Ben Jones
2014-08-26 03:28:30

‘The sharp drop in China’s housing prices has led to an outburst of anger among property owners, leading to violent clashes in some cases, according to local media reports Tuesday.’

‘In one case, scores of property owners surrounded a Shanghai sales office of Greentown China Holdings Ltd. to protest the developer’s 25% cut to prices within a five-day period, according to a report.’

‘Protesters held banners with slogans such as “You cheated us!” and “300,000 yuan [$48,750] worth of assets evaporate within five days — years of work in vain!” according to photographs of the demonstration posted on the site.’

‘In other Chinese cities, such confrontations between buyers and developers have turned violent.’

Comment by Puggs
2014-08-26 09:50:39

“You cheated us!”

- Ahhhh, capatalism. You can cheat others too, you just gotta be first sucka.

Comment by Ben Jones
2014-08-26 09:56:45

‘years of work in vain!’

Someone should get out a Confucius saying about how it’s only money and don’t be such a baby.

Comment by Puggs
2014-08-26 10:38:04

Xactly! Chalk it up to being schooled for $48K and move on. Lot’s of us got schooled in the last run up. Won’t fool me again : )

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Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2014-08-26 18:27:08


Comment by Combotechie
2014-08-26 03:52:56

“‘Is there anything inherently wrong with 30-year mortgages? No, it depends on individual circumstances. The idea that a mortgage has to last 25 years is outmoded. Most people will be better off with a long-term loan, if the only alternative is renting.’”

This depends on how you choose to define renting.

Renting space from a landlord is one form of renting, renting money from a lender in order to buy a house is another form of renting.

In either case one ends up renting a place in which to live.

The main difference between the two forms of renting is the landlord - the owner - is stuck with all the hassles of maintenance and such while the lender - also an owner - isn’t.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-08-26 05:12:50

“The main difference between the two forms of renting is the landlord…”

Financially speaking, the difference is analogous to that between buying a long-term (e.g. 30-year) Treasury bond versus purchasing a series of short-term (e.g. 1-year) Treasury bills and rolling them over each year.

Given the same quality of housing, if one knew that inflation over the next thirty years was going to rapidly and systematically push up rents and purchase market prices, locking in the future price of housing now by using a 30-year mortgage to finance a purchase could be less expensive over the long run than renting and rolling over a series of 1-year leases. Folks who use a thirty-year mortgage to finance a home purchase are making a long-term bet that either home prices are going to rise relative to rents for comparable housing, providing an advantage to ‘locking in’ a fixed monthly payment, or else that they will be able to either stick it out or else get out of their mortgage in case of falling home prices and rents in the future.

Comment by Jingle Male
2014-08-26 08:12:12

The average 30-year loan is retired in 7 years. People sell and/or refinance. That is why 30-year debt is relatively cheap. The actuarial model determines the pricing.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-08-26 09:35:34

J._Fraud….. debt is never cheap especially when leveraging up on a depreciating asset at a grossly inflated price.

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Comment by azdude
2014-08-26 06:11:55

landlording is a tough business. Getting money out of people is always a challenge.

Comment by Puggs
2014-08-26 09:52:17

Especially when they have none.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-08-26 04:54:13

“Is there anything inherently wrong with 30-year mortgages? No, it depends on individual circumstances. The idea that a mortgage has to last 25 years is outmoded. Most people will be better off with a long-term loan, if the only alternative is renting.”

Doesn’t this depend on the future trajectory of home prices and inflation?

For example, I’m guessing the Japanese households who used mortgages of over 30-years duration to buy homes circa 1989 had some second thoughts by 2009, after two straight decades of falling home prices and deflation.

But perhaps deflation can’t happen in the UK, due to their central bank’s ability to steer markets.

Comment by Jingle Male
2014-08-26 08:13:36

The Japanese situation is driven primarily by their closed society and declining population count. I don’t think the U.K. has that problem.

Comment by 2banana
2014-08-26 10:54:27

Yes - opening your countries to hordes of muslims fixes all sorts of problems..

In two generations - Japan will still be Japan.

In two generations - England will look like Syria

Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-08-26 05:27:59

cooling so rapidly that thousands of sellers are slashing prices.

Plummeting housing prices. Plummeting plummeting housing prices. The longer you wait to sell the more they plummet.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-08-26 07:20:30

Wouldn’t this suggest that sellers would be wise to sell now rather than selling later after waiting for their losses to increase?

Comment by Ben Jones
2014-08-26 06:33:44

‘It is a fact that Turkish investors, developers and customers have been piling up debt to keep up with an ever-growing property market over the past few years, market experts note. Data from the Banking Regulation and Supervision Agency (BDDK) reveals that credit holders in Turkey’s 82 provinces failed to repay the country’s lenders a total of TL 2.97 billion. A total of TL 2.25 billion of these non-performing loans belonged to customers from the two largest cities of İstanbul and Ankara.’

‘The figures have reached worrying levels, especially given the fact that İstanbul and Ankara are the busiest cities in terms of construction with a large portion of new projects being built in the country’s financial and political capitals.’

‘Other provinces also face a bleak picture regarding bad construction loans. Of the total non-performing loans, 33.2 percent in Bilecik province is comprised of construction loans. Kayseri, Tekirdağ, Bitlis, Karabük, Aksaray and Yozgat followed Bilecik in terms of the the proportion of their non-performing loans that is comprised of construction-sector loans.’

‘Despite continually rising prices, home sales nationwide declined 7.8 percent during the first of half 2014 in comparison with the same period last year. Encouraged by recent central bank interest rate cuts, Turkish lenders have been reducing the interest rate on housing loans for the past two months. Interest rates have dropped to as low as 0.9 percent for 10-year terms at some banks, enticing customers to take out relatively cheaper loans to buy a house.’

Comment by Ben Jones
2014-08-26 06:43:18

‘Monaco, the tax haven on the French Riviera is experiencing a luxury-housing boom that includes the world’s most expensive penthouse as developers prepare for an influx of millionaires and billionaires escaping higher taxes or a loss of banking privacy.’

‘A ‘flow’ of new residents is emigrating from Switzerland where financial-secrecy laws are crumbling said Jean Claude Caputo managing director of broker Savills’s French Riviera unit.’

‘One in three of Monaco’s 38000 residents are millionaires according to a study by Spear’s magazine and WealthInsight. As that number increases home values will rise by about a fifth by June 2015 according to London-based Savills. That would almost erase losses sustained since the market’s 2007 peak.’

‘Asking prices for luxury homes in Geneva have fallen by an average of about 30 percent in the last 12 months and values have dropped by as much as 6 percent according to Alex Koch de Gooreynd a partner at Knight Frank. Central London’s luxury-home market has also shown signs of cooling amid new taxes and more on the horizon.’

Comment by Ben Jones
2014-08-26 06:47:04

‘Brazil’s government unveiled a flurry of measures on Wednesday aimed at pumping credit into a languishing economy, its latest effort to avoid a recession as a tightly contested presidential election draws closer.’

‘The Brazilian central bank increased the amount of capital available for commercial loans by at least 25 billion reais ($11.1 billion), the second such move in less than a month. The total potential stimulus offered by the central bank since July adds up to 70 billion reais ($31.1 billion).’

‘Later in the day, Finance Minister Guido Mantega announced steps to boost mortgage and auto loans, including the creation of a new debt instrument to support real estate purchases.’

“This will irrigate some segments of the economy that ran completely out of credit,” Mantega told journalists as he announced the measures. “Credit retreated too sharply but will improve, though at a gradual pace.”

‘Shoring up Brazil’s sluggish economy has proven a hard task for President Dilma Rousseff since she took office in 2011. Signs of a possible recession have piled up in recent months, including job cuts in some sectors, despite a string of tax breaks and targeted subsidies.’

‘Brazil’s economy may have contracted nearly 1 percent in the second quarter, according to private estimates of gross domestic product data due out later this month. Mantega said Brazil’s economy is picking up speed gradually since July and blamed the recent slowdown on tight credit. Bank lending grew in June at the slowest pace in a decade, according to central bank data.’

Comment by snake charmer
2014-08-26 07:15:18

It’s amazing that, in the eyes of the world’s economic leadership, the problem uniformly is perceived as credit and not debt. This dogma is like the ideology of monarchy in 1910. It will come to an end sooner than its proponents think and with substantial loss.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-08-26 07:26:44

‘Brazil’s government unveiled a flurry of measures on Wednesday aimed at pumping credit into a languishing economy,…’

It’s this openly acknowledged willingness and ability of westernized governments to pump credit into the economy which leads me to believe those who think buying a home on a thirty-year mortgage will typically come out ahead of renters. The widely-held belief amongst government economists that deflation is catastrophic and must be avoided by deliberately creating inflation suggests those who believe ‘real estate always goes up’ will eventually be proven correct by government policy to inflate asset prices.

The wild card: Is it possible that future inflation is already fully priced into today’s prices? What is in it for investors to hold on rather than sell now, inadvertently driving down values for those who aren’t selling?

Comment by Ella58
2014-08-26 12:22:08

‘Is it possible that future inflation is already fully priced into today’s prices?’

A very astute observation. It certainly seems that today’s prices reflect tomorrow’s salaries and tomorrow’s rents - that is if salaries were still going up, which of course they’re not.

I guess the rational for investors to hold on rather than sell would be the increasing scarcity of productive assets to reinvest in. If you have positive cash flow from a rental and sell, where else will you put your money?

And every bubble sale essentially removes a productive asset from the economy (a seller/investor who bought low and has positive cash flow sells at a high price to the next buyer/investor, who now has negative cash flow because the asset price was so inflated), making the few remaining productive assets ever more valuable. Frankly I think we may have reached a point where no amount of appreciation would induce investors with positive cash flow to sell, simply because actual income is so rare these days.

Comment by Ben Jones
2014-08-26 06:49:44

‘Middle East-based Keralites are on a property buying spree in Kochi, pushing prices to as high as those in the National Capital Region, according to India’s realtor association.’

“By and large, Kerala is a non-resident Keralites (NRK)-driven market. I find the real estate prices of Kochi as high as that of National Capital Region. Solely because of NRKs, the prices here are up by 30 per cent, whereas, it should have been as low as that of Nagpur, Coimbatore, Bhopal or Jabalpur,” PSN Rao, chairman of National Association of Realtors-India (NAR-India), told The Times of India.’

“All the pre-launch functions of Kochi-based projects are done in the Middle East, whereas builders or realtors in other parts of the country prefer local events,” said Abjo Joy, president, Kerala Realtors Association (KRA).’

“Brokers in Kochi need online tools as they are dealing mainly with Middle East-based clients. Also, after the purchase, these clients won’t live here and hence the agent should also have skills in property management,” he added.’

Comment by Ben Jones
2014-08-26 06:52:26

‘Executive directors of China Mining Resources Group and Natural Dairy (NZ) were found guilty of corruption and money laundering respectively in separate cases yesterday. The two were jailed by the District Court for two years and 15 months respectively.’

‘Chen was charged with money laundering after taking HK$73 million and two properties in New Zealand from May Hao as reward for helping Natural Dairy acquire 22 farms from Hao’s New Zealand firm.’

Comment by Ben Jones
2014-08-26 07:00:25

‘As of Monday, more than half of 90 Chinese real estate developers, which have released their half-year earnings reports, reported a year-on-year decline in net profits.’

‘Leading developer Gemdale Corporation reported a year-on-year drop in net profit of 49.91 percent for the first half of 2014. Another major developer China Merchants Property Development Co also saw its net profit decline by 30 percent year-on-year.’

‘The earliest indicator of Chinese economic performance for this month tumbled, shocking analysts. Foreign direct investment plunged 17.0%; imports fell 1.6%; and total social financing, China’s most-inclusive measure of lending, dropped 86.1%. New credit of 273.1 billion, the lowest since October 2008, suggested fundamental weakness throughout the economy.’

‘Housing also signaled trouble. Prices of new homes fell for the third-straight month in July.’

‘The result of the Wen-Li pump priming—“binge spending” is a more descriptive term—is that China is now floating on an ocean of cash. Businesses, however, are not taking advantage of the opportunities. The China Beige Book, a private survey of 2,200 firms across China, shows that in the second quarter of this year companies, because of a lack of promising opportunities, did not apply for much new credit.’

‘As Reuters reports, “Some economists worry there is already more money in the system than it can digest and any new injections would flow directly into speculation, not the real economy, a view echoed by the central bank in recent statements.”

‘A week ago, a Beijing-based economic tracker, referring to the Chinese economy, wrote this to me: “Might be falling apart for real.”

Comment by Ben Jones
2014-08-26 07:35:52

‘François Hollande could live with a housing bubble. That would at least signal euphoria in a significant part of the French economy. But house prices are declining, a reflection of the depth of the country’s economic woes, and its president’s inability to address them.’

‘It would have been worse without declining interest rates. According to industry sources, the average rate on a mortgage is now 2.7 percent, down from more than 3 percent a year ago. Even with cautious banks, as they are now, low rates should be a significant incentive in a country where fixed-rate mortgages are standard. But buyers aren’t rushing in. Parisian flats sometimes can’t find takers, and the few buyers can routinely negotiate previously unheard-of discounts of up to 20 percent.’

‘The government has put itself in the absurd situation of facing both falling prices and a dearth of available housing.’

Comment by rj chicago
2014-08-26 08:20:50

Could this be part of the problem in France?

Comment by Ben Jones
2014-08-26 07:39:52

‘The boom in farmland prices of recent years could be cooling, setting up a potential economic blow to Minnesota farmers. The most recent quarterly survey agricultural bankers by the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, which tracks the important asset, shows Minnesota farmland prices have started to decline, said Joe Mahon, a regional economist for the Fed. Prices per acre have fallen about four and a half percent from a year ago.’

‘That would reflect a decline of about $4 billion in farm wealth across the state, reversing a steady upward trend for much of the last decade, when land prices more than doubled in value.’

‘With incomes down, fewer farmers can afford land, and with a smaller number of farmers bidding for the available acres, land prices are slipping. Grain prices are not expected to recover any time soon, given record supplies of corn and soybeans predicted for the nation’s fall harvest. “Farm incomes have come down,” Mahon said. “And they’re probably going to stay down for a little while.”

‘One way to measure whether a bubble is about to burst is to watch the pace of the land price decline, said Sterling Liddell, senior vice president for food and agribusiness research for Rabobank. Little said the danger comes if prices drop only a little and then hold steady or even climb again. That would increase the chances that the high cost of land is a bubble, with land priced too high for what it generates in revenue.’

‘Prices need to drop slowly, he said, to match the reduced income lower priced crops are generating. “Land has to follow these fundamental drivers or we will start to be concerned that there’s a bubble building in this sector,” Little said.’

Comment by Ben Jones
2014-08-26 07:43:09

‘When America’s housing bubble burst and the subprime loan market tanked in 2007, banks around the world found themselves exposed to subprime debt through an array of complex and opaque financial arrangements. But here in South Africa, financial institutions and government regulators puffed out their chests in pride.’

‘The regulations they’d put in place left the banking system largely unaffected and insulated local investors from much of the subprime fallout. But South Africa’s government failed to take heed of a similar credit bubble, precipitated by the business practices of micro-lenders, growing right under their noses. This was because the government was blinded by good intentions and an unquestioned belief in a market-based path to socioeconomic development.’

‘Seven years later, this failure has come back to haunt the country amid the collapse of African Bank, a small, listed commercial micro-lender with big ambitions. Its implosion — and subsequent bailout — earlier this month has exposed how little South Africa’s banks and regulators actually learned from the subprime crisis.’

‘In reality, borrowers’ incomes hadn’t grown fast enough to keep pace with the extremely high interest payments and fees after they had paid for basic needs like rent, food, transport and telephone bills. This trapped borrowers in a vicious cycle, whereby they had to take on more debt just to survive, and African Bank gladly obliged, until the inevitable default happened.’

Comment by snake charmer
2014-08-26 13:46:51

At all levels — national, corporate, and individual — we are the African Bank and its borrowers writ large. It should be a tautology that credit, when not tied to borrowers’ ability to repay with interest, inevitably leads to a default, absent political intervention. But we’re not able to grasp that; it’s just too hard. Is this style of economics akin to a religious cult or what?

Comment by Ben Jones
2014-08-26 07:55:47

‘The National Party’s proposed home loan subsidies could help many young people into their first homes - although experts warn that the extra money will also push up house prices.’

‘A Weymouth couple fit the target group for extra help for first home buyers - but the mother still plans to go back to work just six weeks after having the couple’s second baby to keep a roof over their heads. Their combined income is just under $90,000 a year, close to the Auckland household average of $95,100, both have paid into KiwiSaver since it started, and they both plan to withdraw their KiwiSaver savings and use the new higher Government grants to pay a deposit on the house, which is valued at $447,000, after the new subsidy rates come into force next April.’

‘But Lisa will still have to go back to work fulltime six weeks after their second child is due in November. “What I would get [otherwise] wouldn’t be enough to cover mortgage repayments or the rent,” she said. The couple has calculated that their deposit will reduce their payments from $470 to just under $400 a week once they start paying the mortgage, thanks to the proposed new rules.’

“There is no way that anyone of our age with our income would be able to buy a house in Auckland if it wasn’t for this scheme,” Lisa said.’

‘Steven Kerr and Kelly Chang have missed out on extra subsidies for new home buyers because they have signed up to buy a house too soon. The couple, both aged 32, agreed to buy a five-bedroom house in the new Waimahia Inlet development at Weymouth for $498,000.’

‘Mr Kerr, a technician in the agricultural industry, has been in KiwiSaver for five years but did not pay in for two years when he was studying, so he is not sure whether he will qualify for any Government grant as a first-home buyer. Ms Chang, a warehouse dispatcher, has only just joined KiwiSaver and would not qualify for a grant for three years.’

“It’s pretty hard to find a house under $550,000,” Mr Kerr said. The couple had saved about 13 to 15 per cent of the house price as a deposit. “I think we are a loser based on the fact that we are paying over $485,000 [the current house price cap for first- home grants in Auckland].”

Comment by Ben Jones
2014-08-26 08:06:10

From Australia:

‘Agents report the $3 million to $8 million range is now the sweet spot for offshore Asian buyers, but there has been a notable absence of Chinese activity in the $20 million-plus trophy market this year. Department of Immigration figures show a continued rise in foreign investment…More than 220 of those visas were approved this year and 90 per cent of them were to buyers from China.’

“Even those buyers who can afford the $30 million or $40 million homes are going for the more affordable homes because getting money out of China is too hard,” said immigration agent Sandra Li, the owner and founder of AOYE Immigration Services.’

“It’s easier for investors to buy in the $3 million to $8 million market because it’s easier to exchange that sort of money with friends who are out of the country.’

Comment by rj chicago
2014-08-26 08:56:18

May want to listen to Kudlow’s talk from last Sat. and what is going on at the Fed level in funding mortgages - take a listen at about min 99 on to about min 105 +. Yikes - same as it ever was.

Comment by Ben Jones
2014-08-26 10:17:55

‘A former general manager of a State-owned enterprise in South China’s Guangdong province stood trial on Thursday accused of corruption.’

‘The Guangzhou Intermediate People’s Court heard that Zhang Xinhua misappropriated nearly 400 million yuan ($65 million) between June 1998 and May 2013, when he was manager of the Baiyun Industrial and Agricultural Corporation.’

‘Zhang, 52, allegedly embezzled property and land belonging to the Baiyun Corporation during his tenure by fabricating debts and underrating assets. In 2006, he founded a private company named Xinyutian Property Co Ltd, so as to privatize State-owned assets worth 284 million yuan, according to the prosecutors. He is also suspected of taking bribes of 97.8 million yuan and HK$2.38 million in bidding.’

‘Li Xuedong, spokesman for the Guangzhou City People’s Procuratorate, told Xinhua that the case was extremely serious. “There are an uncommonly high number of people involved and the illegality took place over such a long time,” he said.’

Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2014-08-26 18:30:29

His big mistake was not joining the other Chinese embezzlers fleeing to California.

Comment by Ben Jones
2014-08-26 13:06:31

‘Opinion: This house market is falling apart’

‘Housing recovery is an illusion, real estate expert says’

When I was reading this, a line from an old song popped into my head:

‘We’ll meet again, don’t know where, don’t know when’

Comment by Prime_Is_Contained
2014-08-27 08:40:10

‘We’ll meet again, don’t know where, don’t know when’

HBB meet-up???

Comment by Bubbabear
2014-08-26 17:29:47

This house market is falling apart… Housing recovery is an illusion, real estate expert says… “for the first time since February 2008, all cities showed lower annual rates than the previous month.”

Comment by Ben Jones
2014-08-26 17:37:13

‘The unabated demand-supply gap in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR) residential market has created a pile-up of 2,13,742 unsold units, according to a Knight Frank India report released on Tuesday. The unsold inventory could take almost three years to sell.’

‘Demand in the region dropped by a whopping 25% during this period in comparison with the same period last year.’

‘The most expensive location (south Mumbai) accounts for less than 1% of the 4,47,294 under-construction units in the MMR. “A comparison with all other micro-markets in the MMR indicates that the inventory level in south Mumbai market will take maximum time of 18 quarters (4.5 years) to sell,” it said.’

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