Real Estate

Walgreens to shut down 200 Stores in US

Walgreens to shut down 200 Stores in US

Retailer Walgreens announced that it will close about 200 stores across the United States. According to the company, it has planned to remove those stores that were not meeting sales expectations. In August 2014, Walgreens, which is the largest drug retailing chain in the United States, announced that it is set to build on a $1 billion charge-reduction strategy.

The company also said that customers and people linked to the company have nothing to worry about. According to reports, shut down of 200 stores would only affect the company's 2% locations in the United States, Puerto Rico and US Virgin Islands.

Mortgages could be reason behind increased US bank earnings

Mortgages could be reason behind increased US bank earnings

US bank earnings have been supported by mortgage lending in the first quarter as lower rates led to an increase in applications to refinance home loans. This is good news for the sector that has struggled with weak growth for the past many quarters.

There were probably other factors offering boost for the biggest US banks in the first quarter, together with higher underwriting revenue and bond trading. The big banks begin reporting for the quarter next week. On Tuesday, Wells Fargo & Co and JPMorgan Chase & Co started reporting.

Home Values no Higher than their 2004 level

Home Values no Higher than their 2004 level

On Tuesday, the S&P/Case-Shiller home price index unveiled that in the 12 months ended in January, home price in the region increased 2.1% in the New York metropolitan area. It shall however, be noted that the rise was less than half the national increase.

Though things are progress, as per experts, housing market is recovering at a very slow pace from the worst recession since World War II. The index unveiled that home values are not that higher as they used to be in 2004. The condition remains the same at national and state level.

At the regional level, single-family prices are around 19% below their highest levels seen in mid-2006. Also, national values are around 17% below their peaks.

New Jersey home prices increase more than wage growth

New Jersey home prices increase more than wage growth

According to a new report by RealtyTrac, home price appreciation has outpaced wage growth in 76% of housing markets amid the economic recovery. This has increased over the past two years by a 13-to-1 ratio. But in New Jersey, the condition is totally different.

According to Daren Blomquist, vice president of Realty Trac, "Generally, you would think that wages outpacing home price growth would be a good thing because it would indicate that there is more room for home prices to grow and I do think that is the case in New Jersey".

He also added that home prices are not growing and this is one of the reasons behind wages outpacing home price growth in some regions. He also added that they're observing a small decline in most of the New Jersey markets.

KB Home faces Decline in Net Profit for first quarter

KB Home faces Decline in Net Profit for first quarter

On Friday, home builder KB Home said that it has faced a 26% decline in net profit for the first quarter from last year. The company has reported first-quarter net income of $7.80 million or $0.08 per share, down from $10.56 million or $0.12 per share in the prior-year quarter.

The decline is considered to be due to increased tax expenses and reduced margins more than strong revenue growth. But twist came in as earnings have surpasses the expectations of analysts, which has led to the stock higher.

Jeffrey Mezger, president and chief executive officer, was of the view, "We are pleased with the robust growth in our first quarter net orders, net order value and backlog levels, which was fueled primarily by our expanded community count and healthy buyer demand".

Simon Property Group raises Takeover Bid for Macerich

Simon Property Group raises Takeover Bid for Macerich

American commercial real estate company Simon Property Group has raised its takeover bid for rival mall owner Macerich Co. to about $16.8 billion. The company has also termed it as the final offer. Indianapolis-headquartered Simon Property is the biggest mall owner in the country. On Friday, the company released a statement where it said that it offered $95.50 a share, up from $91 on March 9.

Both Simon and Macerich have a significant presence in Philadelphia. Simon has about nine areas malls, which include King of Prussia, Philadelphia Mills, and Oxford Valley. As per reports, Macerich will invest over $100 million in the redevelopment of the Gallery at Market East.

Mortgage Interest Rates dip to 3.78%

Mortgage Interest Rates dip to 3.78%

This week, Mortgage interest rates plunged to about 3.78%. According to experts, people, who are thinking to buy a house, should lock in their rate now. Chief economist at Realtor. com, Jonathan Smoke, said that it is the last call before the bar closes at these historically low levels.

As per reports, rates are low at present, but they are expected to rise very soon. The Federal Reserve issued a statement on Wednesday, where it warned that Mortgage interest rates will increase in the near term because the United States economy has stabilized. The Federal Reserve has supported the economy by keeping rates at zero since 2008, when the country's housing market had collapsed.

Fannie, Freddie need More Bailouts

Fannie, Freddie need More Bailouts

Regulators of the United States housing finance companies Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac said on Wednesday that the mortgage loan companies could require more bailouts from United States taxpayers as risks are increasing because of shrinking reserves.

The two companies were bailed out by Washington in 2008 at height of the financial crisis. That time, the companies were ordered to reduce their capital buffers.

In an earlier report, Federal Housing Finance Agency Office of Inspector General said that future profitability is far from assured. The Inspector General also pointed out that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac could again overcome losses on their derivatives portfolios, same to those that they reported in the fourth quarter.

US Household Wealth Reaches Record $83 Trillion

US Household Wealth Reaches Record $83 Trillion

In the final three months of 2014, Americans' net worth, fueled by higher stock and home values, has reached a record high.

On Thursday, the Federal Reserve said that household wealth has shown a 1.9% rise during the October-December quarter and has reached to nearly $83 trillion.

Stock and mutual fund portfolios have gained $742 billion, whereas the value of Americans' real estate assets increased by $356 billion.

The typical household didn't gain much, as most of the wealth remained concentrated among richer families. About 80% of the stocks are owned by the wealthiest 10% of US households. This greater wealth could still help improve spending and economic growth.

Simon Property Group bids for Macerich

Simon Property Group bids for Macerich

A hostile bid of $16 billion has been launched by Simon Property Group. The bid for Macerich Co was launched when the competitor mall operator declined to talk about a deal to join two of the largest mall operators in the US.

Simon, an American commercial real estate company, has proposed $91 per share in cash and stock for each share of Macerich. On November 18, it also represented a premium of 30% to the closing price of the mall operator's shares.

It has been revealed that the offer is valued at about $22.4 billion, including Macerich's debt. According to Indianapolis-based Simon, shareholders of Macerich is going to accept its proposal. Macerich representatives did not say anything about the matter.

Number of contracts signed for buying homes hits 18-month high

Number of contracts signed for buying homes hits 18-month high

In January, better-than-expected number of Americans signed contracts to purchase homes. The increase in number of signed contracts has hit an 18-month high. This means that home sales will increase after a slow start in the beginning of the year.

As per the National Association of Realtors, last month, its seasonally adjusted pending home sales index rose 1.7% to 104.2. In December also, there was a decline of only 1.5%, which was significantly better than earlier estimation of 3.7% fall. At present, the index is 8.4% above its level a year earlier.

Retail real estate markets in India, China to witness greatest growth in 2015

Retail real estate markets in India, ChinaWashington, Jan 13 : Retail real estate markets in India and China will witness the greatest growth in 2015, according to Collier International's 2015 Property Outlook.

Simon Lo, Executive Director of Research and Advisory Services, Asia, said that the increased spending power of the younger generation, the rapid growth in middle-class families and the sustained pace of urbanisation across the continent have been the driving forces behind retail sales over the past few years.

Lo added that these were the positive factors and look that was set to continue for at least another five years, Enterprise Innovation reported.

Affordable housing scheme for EPFO subscribers in the works

New Delhi - The Labour Ministry is preparing a mega housing scheme to offer affordable houses to over 5 crore subscribers of retirement fund body EPFO in the backdrop of the government's mission 'Housing for all by 2022'.

The Ministry intends to collaborate with PSU banks, housing finance companies, state-owned construction firms like NBCC and authorities like DDA, PUDA, HUDA to build houses at a price to be fixed by the government.

'Bring real estate bill to Parliament for passage soon'

'Bring real estate bill to Parliament for passage soon'New Delhi : To provide relief to consumers in an "unregulated" real estate sector, a parliamentary panel has asked the Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation (HUPA) Ministry to urgently bring the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Bill, 2013 to Parliament for its passage.

In a report presented on Thursday in Lok Sabha, the Standing Committee on Urban Development headed by BJD MP Pinaki Misra said the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Bill was introduced in Parliament on August
14 last year after wide consultations with all stakeholders.

DDA housing scheme 2014 draw likely on Wednesday

DDA housing scheme 2014 draw likely on WednesdayNew Delhi : The much-awaited draw for the DDA Housing Scheme 2014 has been reportedly pushed back to Wednesday (November 12) as the authority as still receiving corrections from the banks.

DDA vice chairman Balvinder Kumar is said to have told a leading daily that the draw is likely to be held on November 12.

The draw was earlier fixed for November 5, but was postponed to November 10 due to the delay in processing of the applications.

Reports said Monday that the DDA conducted a mock trial draw of about 5 lakh forms.

DDA gets over 10 lakh applications, dry run for draw today

New Delhi - DDA has received over 10 lakh applications for the flagship 'Housing Scheme 2014' and it will on Monday conduct a dry run to check its preparedness for the much-awaited draw of lots.

The tentative date for holding the draw of the lots for the new scheme was November 10, but a senior official of the housing authority on Sunday said that the exact date would be decided based on the outcome of Monday's trial.

Property prices likely to remain stable for next 6 mths: Survey

Mumbai - Even as the overall sentiment in the real estate sector has improved, buyers feel property prices across top 10 cities are likely to remain stable for the next six months, according to a recent survey.

The Housing Sentiment Index (HSI) assessed by IIM Bangalore and real estate portal Magicbricks home buyers across 10 cities -- Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Chennai, Delhi, Gurgaon, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Mumbai, Noida and Pune -- suggests that real estate prices are likely to remain stable over the next six months.

Godrej Properties adds new housing project in Mumbai

New Delhi - Realty firm Godrej Properties Ltd on Monday said it has entered into an agreement with a land owner to develop an affordable housing project near Mumbai.

The project will have 1.3 million sq ft of saleable area.

"Godrej Properties has entered into a development management agreement to develop a property situated in Badlapur, Mumbai Metropolitan Region. It will be developed as an affordable housing project," Godrej Properties said in a statement.

Godrej Properties is the real estate arm of the Godrej Group.

Goldman exits Bangalore Four Season property

Mumbai - Global private equity major Goldman Sachs has sold its entire 73 percent stake in City View Bangalore Properties to a JV floated by Blackstone and realty player Embassy Group for an undisclosed amount, exiting the project after several failed attempts since 2012.

Consultant firm J Sagar Associates, which advised Goldman, confirmed the deal but provided no details. Neither Goldman nor other PE funds could be immediately reached for comments.

City View Bangalore is building a hotel under Canada's Four Seasons brand besides apartments and offices in the garden city.

Housing Scheme 2014: DDA posts video guide for filling forms

Delhi Development AuthorityNew Delhi - The Delhi Development Authority on Friday posted an online video guide on filling up of forms for its new housing scheme and precautions to be taken for it.

Running into over six minutes, the video is available on the 'DDA Housing Scheme 2014' page on its official website www.Dda.Org.In.

The video gives details, column by column, of the steps to be used in filling the form. It also elaborates on the precautions which could be taken while filling up the form, the urban body said.

DDA had earlier uploaded a video detailing the process of conversion of property from leasehold into freehold, it said.

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