A tiny Swiss village threatened with extinction after an exodus of residents has come up with a novel way of turning around its fortunes. Albinen, a picturesque village near Leukerbad in Valais, has seen its population shrink to just 240. The local school has been forced to close and many of the houses in the village are used as holiday homes, laying empty for much of the year. As a result, local residents have demanded that the council do something to help reverse the decline and ensure the village’s future.
The latest PwC/ULI Emerging Trends in Real Estate Europe report sees Berlin take the top spot for real estate investment and development for the fourth year in a row. Frankfurt has risen to second place after a year of solid growth, much of which has come from the financial sector in the aftermath of Brexit. Tied with Frankfurt is Copenhagen, whose booming residential sector has captured the attention of the international real estate industry. At number four is Munich, which—while expensive—has remained an attractive market for investors and developers alike. Madrid, benefiting from positive office rental growth prospects, has jumped four places to take the fifth spot.
Li Ka-shing's CK Asset Holdings confirmed Wednesday that it had sold his interest in The Center, the fifth-tallest building in Hong Kong, for $5.2 billion, setting a record for a Hong Kong office tower and showing that the city's commercial property market remains red hot. CK Asset Holdings said it expects to make a profit of $1.9 billion. The buyer is C.H.M.T. Peaceful Development Asia Property Limited, an investment vehicle registered in the British Virgin Islands that was created for the purchase.
Two separate house price surveys published Monday, report a further decline in London property prices in September and October. According to the monthly house price index from Acadata and LSL Property Services, the average house price in England and Wales fell 0.1% on the month and rose 1.3% on the year, in September. However, excluding London and the south east, annual house price inflation was 3.3% higher.
Alphabet's Sidewalk Labs will develop a futuristic, billion-dollar community along a sizable swathe of Toronto's waterfront. On Wednesday, the City of Toronto and Sidewalk Labs — which is the urban innovation arm of Google's parent company Alphabet — announced a partnership to radically re-imagine 800 acres of the city's largely vacant, post-industrial Eastern Waterfront, and turn it into a tech-integrated neighborhood called Quayside.
The UBS banking team has released its annual survey on factual inaccuracies in Australian mortgage applications, and the results aren't pretty. The latest detailed survey of more than 900 people who took out a home loan in 2017 has found that only 67 per cent responded that their mortgage was "completely factual and accurate", down from 72 per cent of 2016 borrowers.
The EUR/USD currency pair confirmed an upward trend on Thursday, as the US economic reports failed to provide sufficient support for the Greenback. The Euro gained 0.17% against the US Dollar to continue a side move above the 1.1890 mark until the Friday morning session. The National Association of Realtors revealed that pending home sales in the United States fell 0.8% over the month of July, as the property market kept facing hurdles form a limited supply of available houses, which pushed prices up.
Asia Pacific’s (APAC) population, at almost 3.5 billion, is twice that of Europe and the Americas combined. The tremendous speed of migration from rural to urban locations has led to the creation of many large, densely populated cities, such as Hong Kong and Singapore.
Institutional investors in the UK and other developed markets are finally beginning to wake up to a truth that their counterparts in US, Germany and the Netherlands have long known: residential property is an attractive source of income that complements commercial property beautifully. The bedrock of the appeal of residential is the shortfall of homes across most of Europe. Even if populations stay stable, there is already huge under-supply as a result of low development and this is exaggerated by the total number of homes required is growing, because the number of households is increasing: people are more likely to live alone and less likely have large families. In Germany, for example, the population has increased by only 12% since 1961, but the number of households has risen by 110%. Housing supply is notoriously unresponsive to changes in demand – certainly much less so than commercial property. Because of planning restrictions, particularly in countries in Europe with a strong tradition of preserving green open spaces, residential does not work like a free market. This supply constraint buoys rental incomes and, indeed, values.
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