World's Best 50 Cities to Invest In
Toronto, Vancouver and Calgary top the list of the world’s best 50 cities to invest in real estate for long-term gains, according to Grosvenor Group. The London-based firm spent over three years building up data for the report, ditching shorter-term metrics like immediate returns and focussing instead on resilience, adaptability and the fact that all three Canadian cities offer ‘a high level of resource availability’ and are ‘well governed and well planned.’
Grosvenor’s research director, Richard Barkham, said, ‘these Canadian cities have a great deal of economic dynamism. A lot of people just look at real estate investments in terms of short-term risk and return on investment. But we believe you need to look beyond that — to look at cities holistically in terms of their ability to adapt and improve. In the round, Canadian cities — and Toronto in particular — are exceptionally good real estate destinations in the long term.’
Regulation crosses the Gulf while markets swing up
Oman is the latest Gulf country to move toward greater housing market regulation, creating an official state - real estate index. Abdullah al Mukhaini, Oman’s Secretary of Land Registry at the Ministry of Housing, said that the Ministry was building up a record base and ‘waiting for the National Centre for Statistics and Information to complete its task as we plan to launch the index immediately after approving it.’
While Mr. al Makhaini is adamant that the register is not being created to combat the problem of expatriates acting as brokers, he did point out that the Oman market was underregulated generally, especially considering its meteoric growth – the Sultanate saw 34% growth year-on-year from 2012 to 2013.
Elsewhere in the Gulf, Dubai’s housing market is rising and forecast to rise further. Jones Lang LaSalle reported on Monday that the Dubai market, already up 33% year-on-year, is heading upward, though the pace is expected to slow. Part of the city’s growth is attributable to the 2020 Expo. Tasweek Real Estate Development and Marketing pointed up that the market jumped 20% immediately after the Expo win. ‘However,’ the report went on to say, ‘growth slowed down in the first quarter of 2014, bringing the property prices to a more realistic level of a 10 per cent to 15 per cent increase. This trend will continue for the year as businesses wait for the government to announce projects related to the World Expo.’
USA prices, sales jump
In the United States, the US housing market is showing further green shoots. The housing inventory was up in March for the first time since 2010, but that’s best interpreted against the background of continuing rises in home prices: rather than being an adjustment in the demand/supply balance, the inventory rise is an attempt to service growing demand by an industry that’s growing.
Motovo Real Estate’s report, based on 38 unique markets, found that the median list price rose by 7.1% year-on-year from March 2013, and was up 23.2% from March 2012. Price growth was greatest in metropolitan areas, especially focussed in Houston, Chicago and Minneapolis. Inventory rose across the board by 11.1% year-on-year, and month-on-month growth was 2.6%.
Spain levels out
The housing market in Spain is pulling up out of its nosedive. While prices have risen, the real standout figure is sales. The number of transactions is up 59.2% year-on-year to January 2014, according to statistics released by the General Council of Notaries. Breaking that down, flats saw a 55% year-on-year increase in sales, while single-family homes saw an 80% rise in sales in the same period.
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