Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Massive influx of Chinese investors revolutionizes US housing market

The Chinese are coming and would like to buy your house "; with this provocative title The Washington Post published a column about the phenomenon that occurs in today's real estate market USA and everyone is talking about, because it promises to profoundly change the map of homeowners in the country. After the outbreak of the subprime mortgage crisis in 2007, the gradual recovery of the American real estate market comes with the surprise of discovering a new member in the investment community, possessing a high purchasing power and the potential for significant growth in the coming years.

According to the annual report of the National Association of Realtors (National Association of Realtors, NAR), between March 2013 and March 2014 ethnic Chinese investors bought houses in different parts of the country by value of u $ s 22,000 million. This makes the non-resident foreign group that has spent these last 12 months, ahead of other nationalities historically brick buyers in USA as Canadians (u $ s 13.800 million) and Mexicans (u $ s 4,500 million).

Preferred by Chinese investors cities are on the West Coast, especially in California: Los Angeles, San Francisco and Irvine (south of Los Angeles), because there are already many years large Asian communities. But there have also been shopping in Las Vegas, New York and Washington, especially in the most sought after neighborhoods.

According to the report, March 2013 to March 2014 grew by 35% the volume of investments in real estate by foreign non-residents, reaching a total of $ s 92,000 million (equivalent to 7% of the total amount of operations throughout the country). "We live in an international market; even though all properties are local, that does not mean buyers are also properties, "said Steve Brown, president of the NAR. The organism has been reported in recent years on this process of internationalization of real estate .. For more USA which still embraces a minority share of the total (below 10%), growth remains strong and sustained.

In the case of the massive influx of Chinese investors, no phenomenon of this magnitude in such a short time imagined, although it did note that, before the subprime bubble burst, there was a growing buyers of that origin. But the financial crisis affecting the American economy from 2008 onwards, together with the consolidation of emerging countries in the same period (with China at the head and about to overtake the United States as the world's economic power), allowed the emergence of this new investor group.

In fact, this year is expected to travel abroad 100 million Chinese tourists, equivalent to the entire population of Mexico. So you do not have to wonder that this increased spending is also reflected in the housing market. "What we see is only the beginning of a tsunami," said Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the NAR and one of the report's authors.

While Canadians continue as leaders of statistics in amount of acquired properties (and not on the total amount disbursed), soon the Chinese will also rise in this item, the report said. The participation of Chinese buyers rose from 5% to 16% of the total between 2007 and 2014, and also is a group that aims to more expensive homes, with an average value of $ 590,000 s, more than a hundred thousand dollars what they pay half British investors, the second biggest spender in American bricks, and more than double the average purchase of a Mexican.

Specialists explain this shopping spree for low prices that still exist in the housing market, below the peak of 2007, before the bubble burst. But also because the dollar is depreciating and that creates more purchasing power among foreigners. Also, if you are looking to invest in assets denominated in dollars, today may be safer bricks Treasuries, against the possibility that the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates in the short term.

For the Chinese, buying a home on American soil also becomes a strategic issue. If the vast majority (76%) of these investors made ​​the payment in cash because he could not access a mortgage loan for non-residency, own property they can help you get the visa, if the children end up studying at a local university . By investing in the United States, many Chinese manage to hide some of their wealth in the eyes of the government and thus avoid the risk of seizure might suffer in their own country. Moreover, in China there is a bubble in real estate that drives many to protect their wealth by transferring it from abroad.

Meanwhile, U.S. property are rubbing their hands at the arrival of these powerful investors. In recent years, more than nine million Chinese millionaires moved abroad (his favorite destination is USA) and up to 64% of the wealthy who still reside in China intends to leave. The NAR report describes the case of a woman from Hong Kong who paid u $ s 6.5 million in 2013 for a two bedroom apartment in the tallest tower in New York, the One57, so your daughter can go to Harvard study. The odd thing is that the girl just turned two years.

Monday, July 14, 2014

The Chinese also rescue the housing market in the U.S.

Chinese investors are leading the wave of purchases of residential homes in the U.S. by foreigners, which rose 35% in 2013, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR).

In total, foreign real estate acquired amounting to $ 92,200 million (over 67,700 million) between April 2013 and March 2014, compared with 68,200 million (over 50,000 million euros) last year. Chinese investors became residential property by $ 22,000 million (16,000 million euros) in the period, compared with $ 12,800 million (over 9,400 million euros) last year, according to NAR.

"The favorable exchange rates, attractive home prices and increased purchasing power abroad continue to attract international buyers to the U.S.," the association said in a statement.

Steve Brown, president of NAR, said that foreign investors are seduced by the perceived as "an amazing investment opportunity for the future."

China, Canada, Mexico, India and Britain accounted for about 54% of international transactions, according to data released. Of all transactions carried out by foreigners 60% are made ​​in cash, according to NAR.

The association also noted that European and Latin American investors have helped push prices of residential property in the southern state of Florida to record levels. Asians, meanwhile, concentrated primarily in Los Angeles, San Francisco and Las Vegas.

The NAR said that although China has become the largest investor in dollar volume and represents the sector purchasers of higher growth, Canada still accounts for the largest number of purchases by number of transactions. The average investment of Chinese around half a million dollars.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Portugal luxury homes come with residence visa

For the African construction worker Mamadou Diallo, Portugal's success in attracting investors to its real estate market is full of bitter irony.

The Guinea 38 years said he lives in the country for seven years, working in various construction projects and paying your taxes. That was not enough to obtain residence in Portugal. However, if the buyer of a property of more than 500,000 euros (U.S. $ 682,000), the guy who helps build Diallo, the visa can come with writing.

"If I had half a million euros to buy a house all my problems would be over," Diallo said in fluent Portuguese during an interview in downtown Lisbon. "It's very unfair."

Fairly or unfairly, this practice was announced by the governments of Southern Europe as a much needed boost for economies seeking to leave behind the financial problems of the continent.

While Malta attracted the attention of the European Union this year to implement a program that, in practice, selling citizenship, Portugal is the country that seduced newest residents.

The country granted 1,161 visas since it began its program in 2012, representing 699 million euros of investments, especially Chinese, said this week the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Portugal.

In Spain, 72 visas to non-EU country property investors were issued, newspaper El Pais reported on May 17, citing data from the Department of Immigration. Greece granted 100 visas, according to figures from the Ministry of Interior. Both countries started their programs visas last year.

Luxury Homes

"There is no doubt that the program has achieved the golden visas promote the sale of luxury homes in Portugal," said Jose Brandao de Brito, chief economist at Banco Comercial Portugues SA Lisbon. "The problem is that most of the assets they need to sell are cheaper apartments on the outskirts of the cities that are unemployed due to high unemployment."

Opposition to the peculiar programs can forge political alliances: the anti-immigration party, which received unprecedented support in the European parliamentary elections in May, and organizations that defend the rights of immigrants.

Timothy Macedo, president of the Association of Immigrant Solidarity Lisbon, leads a group of 25,000 members of 97 nationalities. Estimated that an immigrant can expect up to seven years to be granted a residence permit in Portugal since many find it difficult to have a stable job. However, the waiting time for an investor who acquires a golden visa is less than six months, he said.

"The golden apartheid visas are the worst in modern history," Macedo said this week. "These golden visas granted to immigrants first level, while overlooked the poor immigrants and workers who risk their lives to reach Europe."

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

What is a Power of Attorney

Most people do not know what really represents grant power of attorney "Power of attorney" to someone else, and the implications and possible consequences of such action.

It is convenient to start by saying that a power of attorney authorizing, who has to execute any action it deems appropriate on the person or property of him who gives it.

Sometimes I have heard from seniors who entrust their assets to others, trusting that they will act in the same way that they act in a given situation. In most cases this occurs because the person is considered insecure, tired and want to delegate all responsibility to take for fear of making mistakes; but my advice is that while a beam of lucidity, who have worked it, worked hard and managed to build wealth should control; though I make mistakes in their performance.

There is no point someone (either a professional, the representative of an institution, a close friend or the most reliable of all family members), seems to be a good person full of good intentions and to ease life, accept handle him any business, financial transactions and banking background. As you are deciding on any issue affecting its assets, decide it as you see fit, not as you wished it, it is another mind and not yours which is deciding for you, with his own.

More corrosive than sulfuric acid or nitric acid is money, which leads to power. Money has the ability to corrode the soul, shame, loyalty and good feeling that everything within it cradles a human. For money has been made the worst meanness that can be committed by humans. For money he has killed, has been stolen and even has betrays close relatives. So if we know that, why should we tempt the devil?

I know of cases of elders who have been granted power of attorney to children, grandchildren and other close relatives, so that should give good use of their property and shall mantuviesen accompanied comfortable and carefree, until the end of his days; and have gone to nursing homes while their property was dilapidated and they lived their last days among strangers, just waiting to die. One such case was that of a man who told me, in the doorway of a nursing home: "If I had known this I would have spent on pig farming; pigs that at least appreciate the food they were cast, and eventually give meat and butter. "

If you are considering giving a power of attorney never do so without first consulting a lawyer. Recommend it know what suits you best, and perhaps to suggest the advice of a financier to temporarily helpers. Avoid mistakes that can spoil the end of his existence.

Seek advice on insurance condo associations

The confusions are usually paid dearly. That is why we must be very well advised when ownership of a property located in a condominium association is taken.

Usually condominium associations maintain insurance to protect the real property they represent. The most common insurance are to be protected from damage from natural disasters, accidents, conflicts and criminal activities occurring within the premises of communal property.

Other insurance that is mandatory is directly related to flooding (flood insurance), in places that require it. But it understood, the concept flooding in the language of the insurance industry is related to the water that rises from the earth to the heights and not one that falls from the sky, although there is a direct correlation between the two.

It is useful to know that the insurance covers the structure, the policy covering the homeowners association covers only structural property belonging to the group, ie, walls, ceilings and common areas.

The interior of a private drive, must be covered by a single insurance to cover the particular unit and is the sole responsibility of the owner.

There are other related insurance condo associations, such as related to the damage that can cause winds and storms to the property or those that focus on protect unit owners against activities of vandalism in public areas, or lawsuits conducted third party, to the association.

I have seen an owner claim, to justice, the losses caused by a flash flood in your unit, because of water from another unit on the top floor, without obtaining a judgment that favors you, since this required set culpable negligence of the inhabitants of the upper deck in the flood that occurred; and all for want of a liability insurance that would protect the interior of your home.

Any owner should take into account the structural damage insurance protects property, under the umbrella of the condo association to which he belongs, is limited to the exterior of the building; so if the lining of the inner wall Plasterboard (sheetrock), carpets, furniture or electrical appliances that are within the unit are damaged, that it shall assume full responsibility of contents insurance which has concluded owner of the house with the insurance agency and is very unlikely to have any relation to general insurance association or condominium owners.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Islamic funds increase their confidence in real estate in the region

The Jordanian Ashraf Hamdan began investing in Dubai's property market in 2006 with a modest business rents and then concentrated in more extravagant projects, as a number of luxury developments than the market.

But the housing crisis of 2008 left investors like Hamdan with half-finished projects and difficult to recover losses.

"It was a costly learning experience for a real estate investor. But real estate is in our blood here in the Arab world.'s A tangible investment and from an Islamic perspective, that I find attractive," said the businessman of 53 years.

"I'm just going to start looking for alternatives and brightest to enter the market in future forms," ​​Hamdan said.

The emergence of Islamic funds real estate investment trust (REIT, for its acronym in English) at East Middle East, offering shares in a portfolio with a payment sustained dividend income generated from those assets, might return to investors Hamdan sector.

Islamic REITs differ from their conventional counterparts by banning investment in any asset that pays interest or conducting any business in any industry vetoed as gambling, alcohol or adult entertainment.

Parallel to offer an alternative investment in the Gulf Islamic finance industry could also inject more transparency and regulation, plagued by unrealistic expectations of results and occasionally obscure real estate agreements.

"In the last two or three years, people were frozen in a mode where the focus was on cash and other things," said Daniel Diembers, director of Booz & Company in Dubai.

"The Dubai bubble really helped the housing market matured. This is the time when everything is changing. Much wealth out there," he added Diembers.

Globally, the market capitalization for REITs was close to U.S. $ 570,000 million at the end of 2009, according to a study by Ernst & Young in 2010. REITs Islamic play a small role and Asia functions as the dominant pole supported funds with sharia.

The real estate investment trust Axis Global, based in Malaysia, plans to conduct a public offering of shares (IPO) with an active volume of 1.050 million, making it the world's largest Islamic REIT.

Islamic REITs launched in Bahrain and Kuwait have been relatively small in size: Inovest REIT Mahrab Al Bahrain and Kuwait Tower REIT ripped on less than U.S. $ 95 million of capital each and none were listed yet traded.

But an expected boom in listed infrastructure markets such as Saudi Arabia and Qatar and the launch of the first Islamic REIT in the UAE could maintain confidence in real estate investments, creating more niche to thrive compatible with Shariah funds.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

The price of housing in Ireland rises 10.6 percent in a year

The price of housing in the Republic of Ireland rose 2.3 percent in May from the previous month, so the increase in the year was 10.6 percent, reported today the Central Statistics Office (CSO) .

The increase between the months of May 2013 and 2014 confirms the recovery of the price of housing in Ireland, which had fallen 1.1 percent over the same period last year, although the recovery is recorded mainly in Dublin .

Housing prices rose 2.3 percent last month compared to April, compared to the monthly increase of 0.3 percent in May 2013, in line with the recovery of one of the sectors hardest hit by the outbreak of the housing bubble in 2008.

The collapse of the sector then dragged the Irish banks, which led to the Dublin government to rescue and take on a debt that forced him in 2010 to ransom the European Union (EU) and the IMF to 85,000 million euros, program help to quit last December.

According to the CSO, housing prices in Dublin rose 4.2 percent in May compared to April, while the annual increase was 22 percent.

In the Irish capital houses became more expensive by 4.4 in the month and 22.4 percent for the year, compared with increases of 1.9 and 19.5 percent, respectively, the price of apartments.

The CSO said that the "sub-indices" for the apartment market are made ​​from "the observation of reduced volumes" transaction and therefore subject to a "more volatile" price.

In the rest of Ireland, house prices rose 0.6 percent in May and the annual increase was only 1.8 percent, confirming that the sector's recovery progresses at two different speeds.

Houses and apartments in Dublin are now 44.4 and 53.4 percent, respectively, cheaper than in February 2007, when the sector reached its highest point, to experience a combined decrease of 46.3 percent.

Outside the capital, the price of houses and apartments combined is 47 percent lower and cheaper in Ireland is 45.1 percent.