News Alerts. Sept. 19, 2013. Evening Edition. #RealEstate

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  1. China's new richest man worth $22 billion – Sep. 11, 2013

    Among the list of China's 1000 richest people, "one in four made their money in real estate, which overtook manufacturing to become the key source of wealth," stated the Hurun report.

    So, if much of that is in Chinese development and the Chinese real-estate market pops, many Chinese fortunes will be slashed.

    Read the source article … http://money.cnn.com/2013/09/11/news/eco nomy/china-richest-billionaires/index.ht ml


  2. Is Europe Out of the Woods? by Barry Eichengreen – Project Syndicate

    The banks remain weak. Now that the European Banking Authority has finally issued new prudential rules, they can get about the business of raising the capital they need as a buffer against losses. Société Générale has moved in this direction, but few other banks have followed so far. So long as European banks remain undercapitalized and overleveraged, a sustainable recovery supported by robust bank lending is unlikely.

    Nor has the debt overhang been removed. In the first quarter of this year, the eurozone's public-debt ratio actually rose, to 92.2% of GDP. Given policymakers' reluctance to contemplate write-downs, specifically of debt held by official lenders, governments have been forced to levy high taxes to service their obligations, in turn depressing investment.

    Read the source article … http://www.project-syndicate.org/comment ary/the-case-for-guarded-optimism-in-eur ope-by-barry-eichengreen


  3. Get your business prepared – floods – YouTube

    A :15 Second Public Service Announcement targeted at Small Business Owners. For more on preparing your business before disaster strikes, visit http://www.Ready.gov/business.

    The source … http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2U0EFYKGn 50


  4. Manhattan Rents | Citi Habitats Rental Report

    Closing out a summer of consistently high rents in Manhattan and Brooklyn, tenants are seeking greener pastures, literally. The lush, relatively suburban streets of Queens saw a huge spurt in interest in August, execs from top brokerages told The Real Deal.

    "Inquiries for Queens rentals have jumped 38 percent in August over July," said Mark Menendez, director of rentals at Douglas Elliman, citing figures not disclosed publicly. "The number one requested neighborhood is Forest Hills."

    Manhattan rents have continued to hold steady, …

    "$3,000 for a studio Downtown is a big number." You're not kidding.

    Read the source article … http://therealdeal.com/blog/2013/09/12/s ummer-of-queens-renters-flee-manhattan-a nd-brooklyn-for-gentler-borough/


  5. Poll: Will China's New "Super Agency" Lead to Faster Financial Reforms and Liberalizations? | Enterprising Investor

    The lack of coordination among regulatory agencies within China's financial sector is a common concern. Thus, it is not surprising that a majority of poll respondents view the new super agency favorably, believing it might pave the way for faster reforms and liberalizations. With only 19% of respondents voting no to the question, the reception appears better than expected, given that many remain highly skeptical about the new leaders' resolve and ability to push through reforms and liberalizations, which are among the main themes that have been frequently mentioned by officials since the 18th Party Congress last year.

    Let's hope they succeed at better coordination. As for "liberalization," let's hope it doesn't mean throwing caution to the wind, as the US did leading up to the Great Recession.

    Read the source article … http://blogs.cfainstitute.org/investor/2 013/09/03/poll-will-chinas-new-super-age ncy-lead-to-faster-financial-reforms-and -liberalizations/


  6. JPMorgan Removes Lending Barriers in Booming U.S. Markets – Bloomberg

    Extensive excerpt:

    JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM), the nation's largest bank by assets, is easing mortgage lending standards in housing markets hard hit by the crash where prices are surging.

    The bank lowered some down payment requirements in Florida, Nevada, Arizona and Michigan because they will "no longer be considered distressed states," it informed smaller lenders it buys loans from in July. The second-largest U.S. mortgage lender also loosened underwriting requirements for a refinancing program for Federal Housing Administration borrowers.

    As the economy rebounds and home values climb at about the fastest pace since 2006, lenders including the largest, Wells Fargo (WFC) & Co., JPMorgan, Bank of America Corp. (BAC), and mortgage insurers are easing the tightest credit conditions in two decades, lifting restrictions put in place after the worst real estate bust since the Great Depression. Banks are being forced to compete harder for customers after a spike in borrowing costs from near-record lows slowed refinancing by more than 70 percent and curbed what had been record profits.

    "Historically, you make underwriting as tough as possible when people are lined up at the door and when the lines go away, you start loosening underwriting to get people back," said Guy Cecala, publisher of Inside Mortgage Finance.

    Last month, the third-largest U.S. mortgage insurer limited rules so borrowers whose loans qualify for purchase by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac with credit scores of at least 620 and a loan-to-value ratio up to 97 percent can get insurance coverage, according to Miosi.

    Additional restrictions "weren't contributing to the credit quality, they were just adding to complexity," he said.

    Genworth Financial Inc., the fourth-largest mortgage insurer in the country, broadened credit gui delines in the first quarter of 2013 and reduced pricing, Rohit Gupta, chief executive officer of the company's U.S. mortgage insurance business, said in an e-mailed statement.

    Banks are still taking a cautious credit posture, according to David H. Stevens, CEO of the Mortgage Bankers Association.

    "You're starting from a very narrow market, so any expansion wouldn't go near the reckless lending practices of the early 2000s," he said. "We're in the most conservative overall credit environment for housing finance that we've seen in almost three decades."

    Risky Lending

    A decrease in access for interest-only loans and those with terms longer than 30 years led to a slide in a Mortgage Bankers Association measure of loan availability last month.

    Those types of loans are less attractive to banks as planned rules created by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to curb abusive or risky lending kick in next year.

    "The reaction post-bust was a bit extreme but we're returning to more prudent underwriting standards," said Erin Lantz, director of mortgages at Seattle-based Zillow Inc.

    We're concerned that standards may continue to slide and slide too far as memories fade.

    Read the source article … http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-09-11  /jpmorgan-removes-lending-barriers-in-b ooming-u-s-markets.html


  7. 5 Ways Luxury Homebuyers Are Forging Fresh Trends

    Landlords can put this info to use to attract tenants.

    … luxury buyers are investing time and money into a home that fits their needs and lifestyle.

    1. Tech-Friendly Homes are the Future

    Eighty-seven percent of luxury homebuyers surveyed said they would not consider living in a home if it was not technology friendly and 66 percent said they would prefer a smart home over a green one.

    2. Square Footage is Out and Amenities are In

    Luxury homebuyers are foregoing the oversized and often ostentatious McMansion and instead shifting their focus toward amenities.

    In point of fact, 94 percent of homeowners said amenities are so important that they would be willing to trade a sizeable chunk of their square footage for a better neighborhood, the ability to live in a house with "character," attaining a larger lot, a shorter commute to work or easier access to dining and entertainment.

    Our understanding is that developers can provide both hi-tech and green to a great extent. Also, we've seen that square footage is trending upwards. So, it looks like the wealthy want amenities and size again.

    Read the source article … http://bhgrealestateblog.com/2013/09/11/ 5-ways-luxury-homebuyers-are-forging-fre sh-trends/


  8. Chart of the Day — Government to Workers: You're Fired! | PRAGMATIC CAPITALISM

    This has been Ben Bernanke's muted complaint, that the government hasn't done enough fiscally to put people back to work but has left all the heavy lifting to the Fed and even made the Fed's load heavier without giving it enough tools to make up for it.

    One of the more interesting things during the recent recovery is that it has occurred almost entirely without aid from government employment. The USA lost 8.6 million jobs during the financial crisis (from peak to trough) and has recovered about 6.7 million of those jobs. The private sector has recovered 7.4 million of those jobs all on its own. But what's interesting is that the government has actually shed 700,000 jobs since the 2008 peak.

    Read the source article … http://pragcap.com/chart-of-the-day-gove rnment-to-workers-youre-fired


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