The Reserve Bank of India, or RBI, has moved yet again in its ongoing fight against rising inflation, reports CNBC-TV18. It has hiked the Cash Reserve Ratio, or CRR, which is the portion of deposits that banks need to keep as cash with the central bank, by a steep 50 basis points. This hike will take effect in two stages. First, a 25 basis point hike on July 5, and another 25 basis point hike on July 19. By July 19, CRR will stand at 8.75%.

It has also hiked the repo rate by 50 basis points, which will be effective immediately.The central bank said there has been a turnaround in production of durables. “Consumption demand seems to be reviving.” The rise in non-oil imports reflects domestic demand pressure, it said. “Aggregate demand pressures are strongly in evidence. The priority now is to eschew the build-up in inflation pressures.” Read More

We have heard and read a lot over the past year regarding the weakening U.S. real estate market, but what about the red hot Chinese market? Some evidence is starting to show that the Chinese real estate market is also starting to soften a bit.

For the past several years, the Chinese government has started to try to curb the rapidly surging housing market, which kick-started around the start of 2001. Now the first signs of a housing slowdown are starting to show themselves, as property brokers are scaling back their operations, or in some cases closing their doors altogether.

The prospect of a U.S. recession has some homeowners and prospective buyers nervous about the impact on the real estate market in Canada, but one economist says a slowdown could actually boost activity in Canada’s housing sector.

It’s not surprising that economic uncertainty in the U.S. has been the focus of much discussion and speculation in recent days, since Canada has followed the American lead during four of the last six U.S. recessions.

But Gregory Klump, chief economist for the Canadian Real Estate Association, said it’s still an “open question” whether the U.S. slowdown will turn into a recession — as defined by two consecutive quarters of negative economic growth.

The highest loss reports following unrest in Kenya has been noted in the real estate sector where a whooping Sh100 billion could have been lost.

According to a fresh release last week, the losses accrued from looting and property destruction in residential, commercial and industrial areas.

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The loss is also attributed to the plummeting of the value of real estate properties like houses and offices following security fears around the country. According to figures released by the Institute of Surveyors of Kenya (ISK), the sector is headed for tough times ahead as loss of confidence takes its toll on the East African country.

ISK chairman Mwenda Makathimo said most of the losses could have been avoided if government had formulated a revised national land policy.

According to Makathimo ethnic hatred is as a result of glaring inequities in land allocations in the country that took effect immediately after the country attained independence. “As a sector, we are counting losses in excess of Sh100 billion in the skirmishes. We feel the election results were just the ignition point but most of this fighting has to do with the land inequities in the country,” he said.

Addressing a press conference at their, offices in Nairobi, a new land policy and far reaching constitutional changes could save the country from future turmoil and ensure economic stability.

“In a business dictated by the forces of demand and supply like ours, a minute of insecurity translates into massive losses in value,” said Makathimo. Players in the real estate industry have long adapted to using their properties as loan collaterals, however, the chairman said most loaning institutions will be reluctant to accept this.

He said the institutions were citing the plummeting property values as the reason for denying them loans. Also decried was the wide spread loss of employment opportunities for thousands in the construction and real estate sectors as a result of the insecurity in the country.

Dubai Property Group (DPG), Dubai’s only real estate professional association, today hosted Dubai’s Real Estate Regulatory Agency (RERA) team, at its monthly networking even. The team of RERA presented the Agency’s plans and projects to over 250 DPG members and other high ranking real estate professionals, urging all developers, brokers or real estate firms to register themselves with RERA immediately. The team included: Khawla Al-Tamimi, real estate researcher at RERA, Hamda Al-Shamsi, real estate studies specialist at RERA, Sheikh Jumah Al-Maktoum, RERA’s trust account manager, Judy Hely, project manager for real estate brokers at RERA.

GIC Real Estate is partnering with Russia’s PIK Group to develop a large township in the city of Mytischi in Russia.

The 114-hectare site is located in the Moscow region to the northeast of the capital.

GIC Real Estate will acquire a 25 per cent stake in the project for US$233 million (S$336 million).

A CB Richard Ellis appraisal carried out 12 months ago valued the site at over US$1.3 billion.

The township will contain 50 high-rise apartment buildings and 13 low-rise commercial buildings.

There will also be five schools, seven kindergartens, two polyclinics and over 17,000 parking lots.

When completed in 2013, the development can house about 50,000 residents.

Bulgarian house prices are expected to increase by 10 to 15 percent in 2008, according to a forecast Monday by local Real Estate agency Address.    The sharp price movements which characterized 2007 are expected to level off in 2008, Katya Tsenova, managing partner of Address, told a news conference here.

    The agency’s experts predicted growing prices for suburban property and property with good characteristics.

    Prices will level off or grow slower for flats in blocks with prefabricated panels, it said.

    The growth of land prices will continue to influence housing prices, and the real estate market in towns with a population below 50,000 will become more active.

    House prices in 2007 in terms of actual deals were up 18.6 percent from 2006, Tsenova said, noting that the average price per square meter in 2007 was 737 euros (1083 U.S. dollars) while the figure in 2006 was 624 euros (917 dollars).

    Real estate in Rousse (on the Danube) appreciated the greatest in 2007 with a jump of 41 percent.

    The most expensive house sold by Address in 2007 was in the suburb of the capital and fetched 1.3 million euros (1.911 million dollars).

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