Archive for October, 2009

Reluctant landlords begin to disappear as house prices rise

Saturday, October 31st, 2009

The number of home owners who are being forced to become reluctant landlords has dropped for the third consecutive quarter, according to the Association of Residential Lettings Agents (Arla).

Over the past two years falling house prices and a shortage of mortgages caused many home owners to become “reluctant” or “accidental” landlords, as they could not sell their home.

But the upturn in the housing market has changed that – Nationwide said that house prices have risen for the sixth consecutive month.

Arla’s research shows that 60pc of its members’ offices reported property being rented out rather than sold during the third quarter of this year. This number has dropped from 80pc in the second quarter and 95pc in the first three months of the year.

It said that the figures suggested that fewer home owners were struggling to sell their property and being forced to rent it out – supporting industry-wide speculation that the housing market downturn is coming to an end.

Ian Potter, operations manager of Arla, said: “The fact that the number of reluctant landlords has dropped once again, and supported by the rise in demand for buy-to-let, suggests that movement is beginning to occur across the market. What remains key is that all landlords – reluctant or otherwise – are fully aware of their obligations to their tenants.”

Forty-eight per cent of members in “prime” central London areas reported rental property coming onto the market because it could not be sold, compared with 73pc last quarter.

Lebanon Properties Hot Despite Global Financial Crisis

Saturday, October 31st, 2009

The Global Financial Crisis may have devastated real estate prices in Dubai, causing a 48% fall just this last year, as well as causing serious drops in other countries, but one place that is seeing increased prices is Lebanon.

Lebanon

Lebanon

The head of the Order of Engineers in Lebanon has predicted a growth in the real estate sector of 10% to 15% per year until 2013. The reason for this is the influx of Lebanese expats and other Arab investors seeking a piece of Lebanese real estate. Many of these expatriate Lebanese had spent years in other Gulf states, Dubai especially, but many have now moved from the UAE to Qatar and Saudi Arabia, where job prospects are now better, or back to their home country to purchase a property there.

In 2008, transactions accounted for $4.3 billion dollars in Lebanon property, with most of the action taking place on small- to medium-sized properties in Beirut or Mount Lebanon. However, real estate brokers are not too surprised by the effect of this expat activity given the small size of the country compared to the population. If land and property is at a premium, prices can be significantly affected by a relatively small shift in the population either way, or just by the actions of speculative investors.

Property prices per square metre in Beirut are twice the national average, at $1,600, and most sales take place on properties between 150 and 300 square meters. It is also projected that the market will be given a further boost by recent incentives given to commercial banks by the Lebanese Central Bank to offer house loans at very competitive rates.