Thursday, June 26, 2014

China tries to prop up a falling property market

In order to combat the growing lack of confidence in the real estate market of China, local governments are releasing restrictions on who can buy houses, offering incentives for those who can, and returning to the previous price control.

The means of the Communist Party also began to talk about the latent potential of the market, in what appears to be an attempt to bolster confidence in housing prices.

However, through China, real estate developers are struggling to get rid of inventory, using unorthodox techniques sales suggest a deep concern for the future.

A collapse of real estate prices would be catastrophic for the Chinese economy: the vast majority of Chinese wealth are invested in housing and real estate industry has been the engine of growth during the last decade.

'Saving the market'

In the intermediate cities throughout China, which are still huge compared to global standards, officials relocated restrictions that existed a few years ago in order to get people to buy more houses. Such measures are known in Chinese as "Jiushi" or "saving the market,"

Wuhan, a center of transportation in central China on the banks of the Yangtze River, encourages college students to travel there to study. They can get a local residence permit upon graduation, winning local employment, and most importantly, buy a house, as dictated by the new policy.

The official residence status in Chinese cities is controlled by the regime through what he calls the "hukou" or household registration system, which acts as an internal mechanism visa or passport within China.

People born in the country are relegated to rural hukous. Without a city hukou, they second class citizens to move to become a city, unable to send their children to school, or buy apartments or cars.

Other cities promote local hukous promise in exchange for the purchase of homes, according to Xinhua, the official Chinese news agency.

The city of Wuhu in Anhui Province in Central China canceled the restriction college graduates need to complete three years of full-time work before receiving grants for a first home purchase.

Zengchen and Conghua two second-tier cities in the province of Guangzhou also began to put restrictions on home prices, credit, inventory, and identity of the buyer, which was added in past years in an attempt to make the market does not unstable.

Because the restrictive economic policies, which are an essential part of the model of the Chinese regime for economic growth, have channeled a large portion of household income on housing, even minor changes in policies, amplified by the vast population of China, may have an effect immediate and significant.

But such measures can be at best a temporary cure. Signs of a slowdown are inexorable everywhere.


Deutsche Bank AG said in a report on June 13, according to Bloomberg, which cut prices only after 10 or 15 percent, developers were able to get an acceptable sales volume.

Official data show that from April to May, household prices declined in 35 of 70 cities, something unseen since May 2012.

Prices of capital goods in large companies listed Chinese roots in the U.S. also stumbled this year, SouFun a real estate website, losing 25 percent of its value in June, and E-house China Holdings Ltd., Chinese property agent, down 13 percent.

Property Market Index Shanghai fell 6 percent this year, reflecting the fortunes of two dozen real estate companies that monitor the.

Li Junheng an analyst at the Chinese economy of Warren Capital based in New York, recently told a newspaper that "larger cities including Shanghai are seeing price reductions both within and outside the inner ring road, 2 - 3 percent and 8-10 percent, respectively. "

The newspaper also said the slow economy led to high-end retailers to open new stores in shopping malls and large real estate projects make discounts of up to 50 percent. Even the always confident VIPs traveling to Macau's casinos were minimized.

"We think the market dynamics are significantly different from those of 2008-09 ... and 2012 ... when the market is seeing a fundamental and structural surplus, and a feeling of low energy," wrote Li Junheng.

taking Internet

The People's Daily, mouthpiece of the Communist Party, is on the defensive about the settings of real estate policies.

"Real Bears have ulterior motives, ajustamientos prices are normal," said the headline of a recent story.

"The real estate agreements have tended to decline this year, bringing suddenly shouting 'collapse', 'tipping point', 'bank runs' and other pessimistic theories," the newspaper said.

Actually, this is all part of a "normal adjustment", the newspaper said, setting the Party line in the politically correct way to see the real estate market.

Other officials were more sober. Pan Gongsheng, the vice president of People's Bank of China, said at a recent forum, as paraphrased quote, if the people of a country keeps its wealth in real estate, can bring many problems to economic development, leading to a real estate bubble it explodes and brings an economic crisis.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Latin Encourage Construction in Miami

Crossing the bridge from the Brickell area to downtown Miami, softens land a punch against Biscayne Bay while twenty workers with protective helmets load long iron rods in the place where another tower is built.

After five years of inactivity by the housing crisis of the late 2000s, the construction of buildings in Miami flight has risen again from the very wealthy Latin American buyers, mainly from Argentina, Venezuela and Brazil, seeking to diversify their investments and protect their savings buying expensive new properties in a city where you feel comfortable and safe.

There are 21 buildings under construction and preconstruction in the area, with a total of just over 6,700 apartments, according to a Miami Report ISG report, published in February. The average value of each unit is $ 400,000, but some duplexes in the most luxurious buildings in the area are offered at over 20 million.

Just over 60% of international buyers of South Florida are in Latin America, mainly from Venezuela, Argentina and Brazil, according to a 2013 report from the Association of Realtors in Miami. The rest are Canadians, Europeans? German, French, Spanish? and Russian, among others. There are cases in which 80% of buyers of a building are Latin American.

"It is thanks to the construction marketplace has started back," said Diego Ojeda, vice president of Rilea Group, a construction company that resumed their work in the area in January this year with the construction of a 44-story building in the heart Brickell.

"If there (the Latin American buyer) would be dead," he said, meanwhile, Liliana Gomez, director of international sales at ISG, a company dedicated to marketing products to build luxury South Florida.

Latin Americans, who helped the market at first buying cash condominiums whose values ​​fell on the floor during the crisis, are now building a new form of financing apartment building in South Florida brought by the Melo Group of Argentina.

Is payable in advance up to 70% of the cost of the property, in a phased manner. The rest can be paid in cash or financed by builders or bank once the department has been delivered. It is a system used for some time in some countries in the region, including Argentina, but again in Florida.

Local buyers, explained to the AP several experts, can not access these apartments as banks are not offering them funding as a result of the crisis and they do not have cash to make required deposits by builders.

Alicia Cervera Lamadrid, the realtor sells condos over a dozen buildings preconstruction area, estimated that between 60 and 70% of the buyers of those properties in the center and the financial district are Latin American, and Americans rest and Europeans.

"Many people buy to rent, to have an income, and believes in the appreciation of fine ... Miami continues to improve and then imagine it will be one of the great cities of the world and sees it as a good place to put your silver, "said Carlos Rosso, president of the condominium division of Related Group of Florida, which had losses of about 1,000 million dollars in 2008, during the housing crisis.

Related, whose projects were resumed in late 2010 after two years without building anything, has 15 works in the Miami area under construction or in preconstruction approval process levels. All were funded with deposits of at least 50% of the buyers, who are 80% of Latin America, Rosso said.

Other Latin Americans use the apartments to vacation or live there part of the year, according to interviews with experts and owners.

Alyce Robertson, executive director of the Downtown Development Authority of Miami, known as DDA by name in English, explained that buyers prefer the Latin American financial and downtown Miami area by urban life, the restaurants, the possibility of walk the streets safely, or to opt for a public transport route as the train or tram, and cultural offerings of museums and theaters, plus the warm weather and the proximity and ease of travel to their countries offering city.

These were the reasons that convinced the Venezuelan Nelly Fernandez to buy a two bedroom apartment for $ 390,000 in building boutique Le Parc Brickell area even before construction began.

In late 2013 I made a first deposit of 10% thinking it might make the apartment with her three daughters aged 24, 19 and 18, or rent if the monthly maintenance costs were very high.

"What am I threat (in Caracas) is the issue of insecurity," said the real estate agent of 53 years, often traveling on vacation to the city at least three times per year.

"I bought in Miami because I like the city, in case you need to move the situation in the country," Fernandez said, referring to the climate of social unrest in Venezuela. He explained that the investment made with money I had saved on a U.S. bank before the Venezuelan government imposed control regulations buying the dollar in February 2003.

"People buy because they nationalized their own country, they attack, they put taxes, no public insecurity," said Arturo Porzecanski, director of the Program for International Economic Relations at the American University in Washington. In some Latin American countries, the academic said in a recent phone interview with the AP, "There are all kinds of disincentives to investment and hence a number of incentives to invest abroad open."

Both Argentina and Venezuela there is a strong change control and restrictions to take dollars abroad, but that does not prevent capital flight.

In the past 10 years have left Venezuela 144.900 billion, according to estimates by consulting EcoanalĂ­tica based on official figures.

In Argentina, capital flight nearly doubled since 2002, when it amounted to 90,000 million, reaching 180,000 million 2012, according to information from the National Institute of Statistics and Census, an official entity. The authorities have even admitted that total offshore wealth could be much higher: 400,000 million.

Porzecanski and other experts consulted by the AP explained that some of those who buy apartments in Miami do with dollars that were already in foreign banks or other investment money already held in the United States.

"All quarters out billions of dollars in these countries. There are many ways to remove them, some buy dollars from the central bank, other under-invoicing exports or over-invoicing imports," said the academic, but warned that there is no national law that prohibit or discourage the purchase of assets abroad, whether in stocks, bonds, or real estate.

The embassies of Venezuela and Argentina did not respond to emails from the AP to discuss the issue.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Construction of houses in the U.S. rose 2.8%

Housing starts in the U.S. rose 2.8% in March and reached an annual rate of 946,000 units, the highest in three months, the Commerce Department reported.

The government also revised its figures for February month and indicated that the rate of construction of 920,000 units in the year was reached, that is 13,000 more than the preliminary estimate.

Most analysts had estimated in March an annual rate of 990,000 units building.

Despite the increase, last month the start of construction of houses was 5.9% lower than in March 2013, which represents the largest annual decline since April 2011.

Last March the pace of construction of houses I rose 6%, to an annualized rate of 635,000 units. Construction of multifamily units, such as apartment buildings and condominiums, fell 3.1% and remained at an annual rate of 311,000 units.

Building permits, which are an indicator of future activity, fell 2.4% in March to 990,000 in the year. Most analysts had calculated that the annualized rate of 1.01 million permits reach.

The U.S. industrial production in March was 0.7% higher than the previous month, according to the Federal Reserve (Fed).

The Fed also revised its figures for February and noted that industrial production rose 1.2% this month.

The advances mean that the country's industrial output grew in the first quarter to an annual rate of 4.4%.

The manufacturing sector, which accounts for nearly three quarters of industrial production grew by 0.5% in March after a 1.4% increase in February.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Improve sales and prices of homes in Florida

The home sales in Miami-Dade continue to rise as their prices, although these still remain at the level of before the housing bubble, according to the Association of Realtors in Miami.

"The majority of homes sold in the county in the first quarter were below $ 200,000, and prices remain what they were in 2003, creating opportunities for all types of buyers," said the resident president of this group, Francisco Angulo.

"Despite record demand for property in Miami, affordability remains a reality," he added.

According to the report of the first three months of the year, the increase in demand for both foreign and domestic buyers boosted the real estate market in the county.

"After three years of record sales in Miami, it is remarkable that the local market is experiencing strong results exceed demand last year," said Liza Mendez, president of the Board of the cluster.

"Despite strong demand for properties in Miami, increased inventory is creating a more balanced market between buyers and sellers," said Mendez.

The average price for home sales in Miami-Dade was $ 230,000 during the first quarter of this year, an increase of 11.8% compared to last year, while the average increased 15.7 percent to $ 187.500 .

According to the association, which brings together about 30,000 real estate agents, and are nine consecutive increases in single-family homes and condominiums in Miami-Dade County.

During the first quarter, 6,752 homes and condos, up 3.8 percent compared with the same period in 2013 were sold.

The association said sales of single-family homes rose 7.4 percent, with sales of 2,893 homes, while condo sales rose 1.3 percent to 3,859 compared with the same period of 2013.

Florida was the epicenter of the bursting of the housing bubble in 2007-2008, which among others, was characterized by the collapse of the subprime or high risk.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Real estate market in Miami-Dade advances its recovery

The tax basis of properties of the Miami-Dade County increased 6.5 percent compared to last year, the biggest gain since the historic collapse of the housing market that greatly damaged the economy of the region and forced the local governments to tighten their belts to survive.

"The center and oceanfront homes go ahead. These areas are stronger than the western suburbs and the south end of the county, "said Lazaro Solis, property appraiser of Miami-Dade. "Apparently we have a very strong market for real estate. We have taken a drastic turn up in poor areas, although there are still things to improve. "

For some municipalities, the largest growth than expected means at least a relief when balancing the budgets for fiscal years beginning on or after 1st. October. But for others, especially Miami-Dade County, which has a budget gap of about $ 200 million coming until next fiscal year, a larger taxable income will not solve the problems.

Among the municipalities that enjoy robust earnings are Miami Beach (9.4%), Surfside (17.6%) and Sunny Isles Beach (11%). Which had weaker results were Florida City (down 1.3%), Opa-locka (down 1.5%) and Medley (down 2.6%).

"For the most affluent neighborhoods are doing better than those who are not wealthy," Solis said. Liberty City and north-central area of ​​the county, for example, are moving more work to recover from the sharp drop in values ​​that took place between 2008 and 2011.

The growth in property values ​​in Miami-Dade, a county that comprises more than one million properties, reached $ 209,937,000,000 until the 1st. January, a little less than $ 210,000 million.

In addition to the real estate sector, the growth reflects changes in tangible personal property. FPL's investments in Turkey Point nuclear facility, for example, they added about $ 500 million in taxable income, Solis said.

Preliminary values ​​of property taxes are used by cities and counties to tax when making their budgets for 2014-15 and send rates property tax, the tax paid per $ 1,000 of taxable value.

"We look forward to the commissioners several options for them to enfrentrar some needs of the community," said Jimmy Morales, manager of Miami Beach. "It gives us some flexibility as we approach the new year."

Miami Beach could devote part of the increase to the ambitious projects undertaken to mitigate floods and problems regarding sea level rise, Morales said. In February, the city decided to use estimates of high tides at the time of building projects in the city to install new pumping out water from the streets, all at a cost of approximately $ 400 million. Moreover, growth could allow Miami Beach cutting taxes, building on increases during the worst of the economic crisis.

Elected officials, Morales said, can decide whether to "use the money to make some improvements or return it to the taxpayers.''

The preliminary report of the property appraiser, which will be adjusted and finished 1st. July also emphasizes the irregular has been the recovery of real estate industry in South Florida.

"The neighborhoods in the coastal area ... continue to show a strong real estate market with high growth. Some parts of the county that were hit hardest by the recession, Hialeah, Homestead and El Portal, have experienced the most substantial growth in 2014. However, Opa-locka, Florida City and Medley still not fully recovered and property values ​​continue to fall, "Solis said in the statement.

For this year, the value of the properties of Hialeah recovered by 4.7%, which means a big change compared to 2013, when property values ​​fell 3.5%.

For Miami-Dade, Friday's report was a pleasant surprise, but not something that will radically change the landscape. Economic experts forecast an increase of 4 percent rather than the 6.5 percent gain. The Budget Office of Miami-Dade said he has not yet determined how the new estimates could impact the earnings forecasts, although a quick glance at the numbers suggest that earnings could be around $ 20 million.

In a statement, Mayor Carlos Gimenez warned that healthy earnings outlook will not stop him demanding further concessions to the unions, including the proposed 10 percent reductions and benefits. The "net improvement is still not enough to avoid significant reductions in the operating budget of the county," Gimenez said. "Moreover, growth is not so great that it can overcome the increasingly high personal costs of collective agreements."

Alberto Carvalho, superintendent of Miami-Dade schools, said the increase in property values ​​makes it highly unlikely that the school district's tax rate has to be increased, but warned that the growth of home values ​​not fallen from heaven means money for the school system. By complicated formula of local / state funding for schools every year is the state that determines how much local taxpayers expected to contribute. In fact it is the state Floridian, who at first instance set tax rates to district property which then appear in the account property taxes.

Despite significant gains in property values ​​in some areas, homeowners exemptions from property taxes will see their value increases up to 1.5% this year, based on the amendment to the Florida Save Our Homes (Saving our homes). The amendment increases the limit on the value of the exemption to the property to 3 percent or the consumer price index, either to be lower. For homes that do not have property exemption, increases in values ​​are limited to 10 percent a year under the laws of Florida.

This makes it the third straight year in which the property values ​​rise after four consecutive years of declines during the devastating housing crisis that plunged into a swamp to the economy of the region and forced governments to make controversial and painful cuts budget.