A nationwide housing credit crisis, Michigan’s precarious economy, and a number of other factors have conspired together to make the local real estate market about as flat as it has been since Kincheloe Airbase closed, according to local officials.

Although the Eastern Upper Peninsula is viewed as a “stable” housing market, not nearly as susceptible to wide swings of nationwide trends, Chippewa County Register of Deeds Sharon Kennedy indicated there is no denying that times are less than good in real estate these days.Kennedy said foreclosure filings so far in 2007 are about twice the average from recent years, with 81 on record so far this year. That is up dramatically from the 67 registered all last year and a recent average of about 40 repossessions per year dating back to 2001.

Kennedy warned against reading too much into the foreclosure statistics, saying the Register of Deeds has no way of checking whether or not foreclosures recorded continue on to full repossession.

A Wellington real estate agent has been fined $7,500 for misleading buyers with his use of a particular phrase.The charges against Tim Whitehead are being seen as a test case for the real estate industry.

In 2004 he advertised a property in a Wellington suburb as buyer enquiry over $380,000, when he knew the vendor wouldn’t sell for less than $400,000.He was found guilty of breaching the Fair Trading Act last month.

The judge ruled the buyers who saw ‘buyer enquiry’ figures had the right to believe an offer just above that would be seriously considered.

The price tag for the first plot was Rs 5,04,000 a square metre or Rs 831 crore and the 16,500 square metre plot was bought by Mumbai’s Wadhwa Builders.Wadhwa Builders have paid 229 per cent higher than the reserve price. Reliance Industries bought the second plot — a car park-cum-commercial complex — for Rs 918 crore, valued at Rs 27,917 per square foot. The bid by Reliance was the highest and winning bid.Reliance paid Rs 3,00,500 a square metre, for the 30,550 square metre plot. They bid 96 per cent higher than the reserve price set for the particular plot.Meanwhile, the TCG and Hiranandani joint venture have bagged the third plot, for a commercial complex at Rs 1,041 crore.

Mumbai Metropolitan Development Authority (MMRDA) has raked in Rs 2,790 crore with the sale of these three commercial plots.Prices were expected to touch such dizzying heights, because of the lack of supply existing at the Bandra-Kurla complex on Monday. The MMRDA has positioned it as an international financial business hub and demand kept increasing so far.Consultants said there will be no respite for the next one year. Commercial property prices are expected to touch as high as Rs 60,000 a square foot. But the MMRDA has reacted and said that Rs 2,790 crore is precious little compared to the Rs 260,000 crore that they require in terms of funding to develop and improve the Mumbai Metropolitan region.
It is 230 per cent higher than the reserve price. The reserve price was set at Rs 163,000 a square metre, which was the highest the last time MMRDA sold plots at the BKC. Prices have more than doubled between last year’s auction and this year’s auction.

When a market goes through uncertain times, investor caution reigns. And whether you’re talking about the housing market or the financial services sector, there’s been so much bad news lately that it makes sense for buyers and investors to remain wary.

But the good news is that market slumps often result in good buys, and solid investments get tagged with bargain prices due to the volatile market. One place to look for these deals is the housing sector, where worries about a continuing dip in home prices are keeping many buyers on the sidelines, and keeping a lid on prices. Looking across the country for undervalued markets, we came up with five picks for city markets or submarkets that are cheap based on what their particular market fundamentals suggest. Forbes reports

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 Dean Newberry is leading CREW’s aggressive campaign to bring more women into commercial real estate.

In many ways, her name is fitting. Dean Newberry could be considered the dean of real estate in Miami-Dade County. Newberry, director of Interiors at Spillis Candela DMJM, has been in the local market for 38 years and has weathered the cycles of the commercial real estate industry. Now, she takes the helm of the 145-member Miami Chapter of Commercial Real Estate Women Network at a pivotal time in the industry. More Reports

DLF is No.4 in the world

September 29, 2007

Piggybacking on the India growth story, Indian realty major DLF is making its presence felt amongst the world’s largest real estate players. On the basis of market capitalisation it appears in fourth position. The market cap of DLF is Rs 1,28,563 crore.

What makes the achievement even more remarkable is the fact that it was only a few months back that DLF listed on the bourses raising $2.4 billion of funds. Having appeared in this list in such a short span of time is a big achievement for DLF. Not only is this big for DLF but also for the Indian real estate sector.

The other players on the list include Hong Kong-based Sun Hung Kai, Country Garden and Cheung Kong, and Japan-based Mitsubishi Estate Co. While DLF does reasonably well in terms of market cap the company still has some way to go when it comes to profits and sales.

In terms of profit contribution DLF accounts for just 7% of the total profits generated by the top five companies in this list and 4% in terms of sales contribution. The phenomenal market cap then is perhaps an indication of the high valuations being given by investors because of the growth potential that they see in DLF.

Clearly, the Indian real estate industry has come a long way since the days when the largest Arab developer Emaar Properties and CapitaLand, the biggest developer in South-East Asia, which partnered with Indian players, were regarded with awe by the Indian industry. Today DLF has left the two biggies way behind in this list.

To add to this fact DLF leads the domestic real estate sector with the largest market capitalisation. Till some time back real estate sector was absent in the BSE market capitalisation. Since the listing of DLF and a couple of other real estate players the share of this sector has risen from less than 1% to a little over than 5% now.

HSBC seems to be finding it hard to survive in India’s increasingly costly bazaars. Almost unbelievably, the world’s fourth-largest bank has closed its ATM booth in central Delhi’s prestigious Khan Market because, senior executives tell me, it does not consider it economically viable to pay the admittedly astronomical six lakhs of rupees ($15,000) rent a month that its landlord wants for the 150 square feet of potential retail space. It is moving its money machine, and its usually sleepy guard, to cheaper location, possibly in a nearby gas station that will be far less accessible for local shoppers and tourists who used the old ATM. The bank’s customers can still use their cards to withdraw cash at a (rather luxurious) Citibank ATM just a few yards away from the former HSBC location, at no extra cost.Despite a strong business strategy that led to its Indian operations declaring a 67% increase in annual profits two weeks ago, the bank is losing high visibility in one of Delhi’s leading middle class and expatriate markets, which struck me as odd when I flew into London’s Heathrow airport this morning and saw HSBC logos plastered all over the docking gates, where (as in other airports) they have been for years. That cannot be cheap advertising, even compared to Khan Market, and I have never understood why HSBC associates itself with the hassle and misery of arriving at such airports – though I guess HSBC’s senior executives are pleased to see the name displayed so prominently.But coming back to Khan Market, HSBC’s experience is the result of India’s real estate boom, which is hitting prime sites in Delhi and elsewhere. Cushman & Wakefield, a real estate consultancy, said late last year that Khan Market was India’s costliest retail location and the 24th highest in the world.A survey by Richard Ellis, another consultancy firm, found in April that office space in Connaught Circus, at the heart of central Delhi, was the seventh highest priced internationally after locations in London, Tokyo, Moscow and Mumbai, India’s commercial capital. Office rental values for prime Delhi sites have risen 80-130% over the past year, largely because of a lack of quality real estate. Ironically, the property boom means that HSBC is being hit harder than mom-and-pop shops in the parallel boom that is hitting India’s current rapid retail developments. While HSBC has allowed itself to be driven out, owners of other small shops are getting rich by leasing their sites out to foreign and Indian brand names that seem to care little how much they pay for the location. The old owners find they can make far more money leasing their sites to names such as Zeiss, Adidas and Levi than they could ever do selling, for example, medicines and electrical goods. The high rents are bad news for regular shoppers who value the friendly service of the old style shops. It is also bad news for the image of HSBC.Courtesy: Fortune Reports

The malling of Bangalore

India’s richest man goes over the top