French Government Seeks Stimulation
The French government has introduced a slew of measures to stimulate the market, aiming to make home loans easier to get and to simplify building regulations.The government has decided to continue providing interest-free loans to first-time homebuyers with low incomes, too, extending the deadline for the end of the scheme to at least three years. The French government has also set out to widen access to interest free loans, while about 50 new measures will be introduced to make building regulations less restrictive. Many of these are blamed for standing between developers and launching new projects, while regulations on parking spaces in new apartment blocks are also to be lifted. The government hopes to stimulate the currently sluggish French market with measures intended to increase access to homeownership.
US foreclosures are at their lowest level since 2006. According to data released by RealtyTrac in their Midyear US Foreclosure market Report, a total of 613, 874 US properties were faced with foreclosure in the first six months of 2014 - a 19% fall on the same period in 2013. Total housing foreclosure activity was at its lowest in 2014 since the 2006 housing bubble collapse in 10 states, including Texas, Georgia, Arizona and Nevada.
Foreign Buyers Trade London for New York
In New York, an increasing number of multimillion dollar apartments stand empty most of the year. The reason? The overseas buyers who once flocked to London, paying large sums for prime real estate and inflating the market there, have begun to turn their attention to New York.
The booming trade is thought to be influenced by the less restrictive regulatory environment, and by what one reporter called ‘a relaxed approach to buyers’ backgrounds.’ Many of the purchases are for part-time or second homes - but others are for investment purposes as people look for safe haven investments, a traditional appeal of property.
Greeks Return to Building - and Buying
After a year that saw the Greek property market in freefall, with estate agents there struggling to keep pace with the number of vendors, it seems as if the corner might finally have been turned. In an interview, Theodoros Kalantonis, the executive general manager of retail products and non-performing loans at Alpha Bank AE, said, ‘People will realize prices won’t fall any further, latent demand will continue to increase and banks will be more active in promoting new loans.’ His words were borne out as Greece’s four largest banks announced plans to double their mortgage lending this year, and double it again in 2015.
South African House Price Growth Expected to Remain in Single Digits This Year
South Africa has seen excellent property growth over the last few years, but the acceleration of home prices in the country may now be slowing. One good sign of that is that the popular middle sector of the market has seen only nominal growth, according to Absa Bank’s latest real estate report. The report also showed that both price growth and rental yield are down slightly from their positions in the last quarter of 2013. Reduced single-figure price growth across the market is predicted for 2014 and 2015: ‘Real house price growth will be the result of the combined effect of nominal price trends and inflation, with some real price deflation projected for this year and next year,’ the report says.
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