The Star Ledger,
9 August 2009
Couple sues landlord over
mold in Bound Brook rental home
SOMERVILLE -- A husband and his pregnant wife are suing their former landlords, accusing the Jersey City couple of failing to remediate "toxic mold" from the Bound Brook home they rented until May.
A complaint filed last week with Superior Court in Somerville alleges that the mold may have caused the health problems Floyd and Tabatha McColley suffered from while living in the Cedar Crest Road house, and also suggests that it had an impact on the woman's unborn child.
"There's a definite problem with the baby that will require... immediate action after birth," Floyd McColley said Thursday, but stopped short of saying mold is responsible for the unspecified medical issue that was diagnosed by an obstetrician.
The girl, expected in about two months, will be born at Columbia University Medical Center in New York "so she's right there with the best doctors when she's born," said Floyd McColley, who now lives with his wife in Brick Township, Ocean County.
10 August 2009
House prices rise for third month straight
Christchurch property values have risen for the third successive month, according to state-owned valuer Quotable Value (QV).
The average Christchurch house price in the three months to July 31 was $342,993, up from $339,993 in the three months to June.
QV Christchurch valuer Jess Maher said the city's housing market had recovered slightly, with the hill suburbs faring best and the south-western suburbs also holding up well.
Maher said there was "a great deal" of positive feeling, particularly regarding house sales under $350,000.
"With building consents still at low levels and net migration rising, it is expected that pressure will come on to existing housing stock."
House values in the three months to the end of July were 5 per cent down on the same period in 2008.Prices had risen slightly in the main centres since autumn, when lower mortgage interest rates boosted sales.
9 Aug, 2009
Dubai house prices fall 24 pc in Q2
Dubai house prices fell by 24 per cent in the second quarter from the prior quarter but the pace of decline slowed, in line with improving global property markets, Landmark Advisory said on Sunday.
Prices fell less in the same period in Abu Dhabi, as the United Arab Emirates’ capital, home to most of the country’s oil, continues to weather the global downturn better than its neighbour. The average sale price for villas in Dubai fell 24 per cent while apartments declined 17 per cent, Landmark said.
Prices for villas and apartments fell 32 per cent and 23 per cent respectively in the first quarter from the fourth quarter, the firm said in its May report. Dubai’s once-booming real estate sector has been hit hard by the global financial crisis, but the pick up in more mature markets such as the US and Britain, is starting to cheer investors.
9 August 2009
Recovery hopes on rising house prices
For homeowners around the world struck by the collapse of property markets, figures showing the downward spiral may be halting are the most meaningful signs yet of a possible economic recovery.
As battered banks and stocks rally again, news that US house prices are finally rising after nearly three years of traumatic decline offers the greatest hope to hard-pressed homeowners from California to Krakow.
The sub-prime home loan crisis in America was the pressure-point that exposed underlying global financial chaos - and many economists say property prices there are the linchpin for confidence in broader economic recovery.
US home sales have been rising and the latest Standard & Poor's/Case Shiller index of home prices in 20 major US cities showed a 0.5 per cent increase between April and May - the first monthly rise since 2006.
"This is the first time we have seen broad increases in home prices in 34 months. This could be an indication that home price declines are finally stabilising," said Standard & Poor's analyst David Blitzer.
6 August 2009
South African House Prices
Drop 4.2% on Recession
South African house prices fell 4.2 percent in July from a year ago as the economy’s first recession in 17 years and rising job losses curbed consumer spending, said Absa Group Ltd, the country’s biggest mortgage lender.
The average nominal house price dropped to 925,100 rand ($115,548), Absa said in an e-mailed report today. Prices fell 0.2 percent in the month, after declining 0.4 percent in June. In the year, prices slid a revised 4.1 percent in June.
House-price deflation may ease in the second half of this year as five interest rate cuts since December, 2008, ease consumer debt levels, Absa said. After gaining 3.7 percent in 2008, house prices will probably fall between 3 percent and 3.5 percent this year, the lender said.
“Although the South African economy is currently in recession after contracting in both the fourth quarter of last year and the first quarter of this year, a bottoming in the cycle and a gradual recovery is expected in the second half of the year,” Absa said.
The Reserve Bank left its benchmark interest rate unchanged at 7.5 percent on June 25, after lowering it by 4.5 percentage points since December.
New York Times,
30 June 2009
U.S. Home Price Declines
Moderating, Index Says
In a hint of hope for the country’s struggling housing market, home prices did not fall as fast in April as they did in previous months, according to figures released Tuesday.
Home prices continued to fall as unemployment rose and new foreclosures hit the market. But the pace of declines, which had been accelerating, levelled off slightly, according to the Standard & Poor’s Case-Shiller Home Price Index, a closely watched yardstick of the market.
“This is a real relief”, Ian Shepherdson, chief United States economist at High Frequency Economics, wrote in a research note. “With sales volumes now stable and likely to rise a bit over the next few months, we think sustained slower price falls are a decent bet.”
In April, home prices in 20 major metropolitan areas fell 18.1 percent from a year ago. Although that is a stark drop from April 2008 (when prices were already 15 percent below their April 2007 levels), it is milder than the 19 percent decline recorded in January.
“It echoes parts of the larger economy,” said David M. Blitzer, index chairman at Standard & Poor’s. “The stock market bottomed in March and started to go up. Consumer sentiment numbers have gotten better as well. There’s a little pickup in the way people view the financial world, and it’s beginning to show up in housing.”
Home prices in eight markets actually crept up in April from a month earlier as bargain-hunting buyers tiptoed back into markets. Prices in Cleveland, Dallas and Denver all rose more than 1 percent for the month, although those cities and all of the 20 metro areas in the survey were still down for the year.
30 June 2009
Russians lead demand for super
expensive property in central London
Prime residential property prices in central London rose 1.7% in June, the third successive monthly increase due to an increase in confidence from wealthy real estate investors.
The most expensive sector, properties selling for £10 million and more, saw prices rise up to 1.9% during June, according to the latest price index from Knight Frank. Buyers are lead by Russians, Greeks and Italians.
Overall prime prices have now risen 3.7% between April and June, the strongest rate of three monthly growth since September 2007.
On an annual basis prices in this sector are now down dome 17.2% but now they are moving upwards mainly due to tight supply, said Liam Bailey, head of residential research at Knight Frank.
There were 29.2% fewer properties available in June this year compared to a year earlier and the number of new applicants looking to buy property has increased by 14% over the same year-on-year basis. Viewing volumes are also up by 7% over the same period.
30 June 2009
Shanghai investigates property
developer of fallen apartment building
Authorities in Shanghai said late Tuesday they are investigating the identities of shareholders of the real estate firm involved in the apartment building collapse Saturday.
The apartment building in the "Lotus Riverside" compound of Minhang District collapsed entirely early Saturday, killing one worker who had gone into the building to fetch his tools.
The probe followed media reports saying some shareholders of Shanghai Meidu Real Estate are government officials.
The property development company was run by the Meilong Township between 1995 and 2001 and became a private company in 2001, official data showed.
Que Jinde, former chairman of the company, is assistant chief of the township government and holds a 15 percent stake in the company. Some other shareholders also work in the township government agencies.
1 July 2009
Singapore Q2 property
prices drop 5.9 percent
Singapore real estate prices fell in the April-June period for a fourth straight quarter amid the city-state's worst ever recession.
Private residential property prices fell 5.9 percent in the second quarter from the previous quarter after plunging 14 percent in the first quarter, the Urban Redevelopment Authority said Wednesday.
The property survey was carried out in the first 10 weeks of the quarter, and the authority said it plans to release more complete figures later this month.
Sydney Morning Herald,
1 July 2009
Stability returning to NZ housing market
A June snapshot of the residential property market showed stability returning, says the website Realestate.co.nz. According to the website's June report, released on Wednesday, the number of new listings declined for the fourth consecutive month and was down 24 percent compared to June 2008.
Reduced listings meant the available inventory of residential property - measured in terms of the number of weeks of average sales it would take to "clear" the market - fell to 31.5 weeks, a 37 per cent drop from the 50.2 weeks level of June 2008.
The combined drop in new listings and available inventory was a major turn-around from the stagnated market of six or nine months ago, said Realestate.co.nz chief executive Alistair Helm.
Property sales were then at record low levels and the lack of buying interest meant available inventory had built up to over 52 weeks of average sales.
With sales volumes on the rise but the stock of available properties reduced, it could mean that after the traditional quiet winter period the market could become very active in spring, Mr Helm said.
30 June 2009
Property assessment shows Chicago's
first drop in median home values
For the first time in recent memory, the median values of residential property in a Chicago neighborhood have dropped, according to the Cook County assessor’s office.
Assessment notices for Rogers Park Township residential properties that are being mailed today show a median decrease of 6.1 percent, after condominiums are excluded, said Eric Herman, spokesman for Assessor James Houlihan.
Individual assessments vary, however, and in the far southeast portion of the township, the median assessment increased by 4 percent. By contrast, in the far southwest part of the township the median decrease was 12 percent.
The median assessed value of a condominium, meanwhile, went up 3 percent, because the condo market boom outlasted the rest of the residential market before it went into decline.
“This is really the first time we are seeing the effects of the collapse of the real-estate market in the city reassessment,” Herman said.
How the lower property assessments will affect property taxes when they are first
30 June 2009
Residential property price increase brings
hope to depressed Dubai real estate market
Residential property prices and rents in Dubai rose slightly in June bringing much relief to the embattled real estate sector.
According to an analysis by Deutsche Bank the average price for apartments and villas increased 6.5% month-on-month in June to AED1,285 per square foot, while rents rose 1.1% over the same period following a 10% fall.
Nabil Ahmed, head of research at Deutsche Bank in Dubai said that one month's figures should be viewed with caution and the real estate market has not yet bottomed out but he is confident that the worst is over.
'Although monthly data should be viewed with caution given the limited number of transactions, recent numbers tend to confirm the stabilization in the market we saw in May. This might not be the bottom yet but the worst increasingly looks behind us,' he said.