News Alerts. Sept. 23, 2013. Afternoon Edition. #RealEstate

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  1. Judge Dismisses Bank Lawsuit Over City’s Mortgage-Seizure Plan – Forbes News Alerts. Sept. 23, 2013. Afternoon Edition. #RealEstate

    As we mentioned several posts ago, Richmond, CA said it was going ahead with its eminent-domain plan and that a federal judge blocked the banks’ law suit against the plan. We said we’d be bringing you more on the court’s decision. Here it is.

    A federal judge in California has dismissed a lawsuit by Wells Fargo WFC and Deutschebank that was seeking to halt the city of Richmond, California’s groundbreaking plan to seize mortgages on underwater properties to try and prevent future foreclosures.

    Judge Charles Breyer, in a terse, 2-page order, said he must dismiss the case because the claims in it “are not ripe for adjudication.” The banks’ claims that Richmond is unconstitutionally depriving them of their property don’t “rest on contingent future events certain to occur, but rather on future events that may never occur.”

    … critics in the banking industry have loudly and repeatedly noted, the city can’t claim it is paying “market value” for the loans if the properties can actually be re-mortgaged for a higher amount….

    The reporter also says that Richmond doesn’t have the 2/3’s supermajority needed.

    Read the source article …

  2. Treasuries Rally Most Since July as Traders Cut Fed Rate Wagers – Bloomberg News Alerts. Sept. 23, 2013. Afternoon Edition. #RealEstate

    (Bloomberg) — Treasuries rallied, with 10-year note yields falling the most since July, as investors pared wagers for early interest-rate increases after the Federal Reserve unexpectedly refrained from reducing debt purchases.

    Yields on the benchmark 10-year security posted the biggest one-day decline in almost two years on Sept. 18, after Fed Chairman Ben S. Bernanke said policy makers would await more evidence of sustained growth before tapering bond purchases being used to damp borrowing costs. The Treasury will sell $97 billion in two-, three- and seven-year notes next week.

    Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke said that “conditions in the job market today are still far from what all of us would like to see.”

    Markets shouldn’t have been surprised by the decision because Federal Open Market Committee members have repeatedly said the decision to slow, or taper, would be “data dependent,” Bullard [Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis President James Bullard] said.

    “The market made a big mistake,” said Jim Bianco, president of Bianco Research LLC in Chicago, said in a telephone interview. “Wall Street made the mistake of taking silence from the Fed as approval of tapering, when instead the silence was because of a lack of consensus among the policy makers there.”

    Read the source article …

  3. German elections 2013: The four European unknowns | News Alerts. Sept. 23, 2013. Afternoon Edition. #RealEstate

    Angela Merkel won the election on Sunday, September 22, 2013. Questions remain.

    Many issues remain unresolved. The first is the banking union. Or better yet, a system that would put EU banks under the supervision of the ECB. The aim is to avoid jolts linked to opaque positions, partially protected by national financial authorities. As indispensable as it is slow to implement, a banking union must overcome two hurdles: the reluctance of German banks to submit to the control of the ECB and Berlin’s multiple doubts regarding the European deposit insurance fund. These are precisely the two points that could soon become major differences between Germany and the other members of the Eurozone.

    Recalibrating the Eurozone

    The second main difficulty concerns recalibrating the relationship between the core of the Eurozone and its margins. […] It will also be up to Berlin to find a new development model for the Eurozone, in particular to battle what economists consider a true plague — unemployment.

    Read the source article …

  4. America’s real estate rich guys | Inman News News Alerts. Sept. 23, 2013. Afternoon Edition. #RealEstate

    Real estate developers, landlords and company owners account for 37 of the 400 wealthiest Americans in a new list compiled by Forbes. Berkshire Hathaway Chairman and CEO Warren Buffett was real estate’s king on the list, with a net worth of $58.5 billion. That makes Buffett the second-wealthiest person in America, behind Microsoft founder Bill Gates.

    The article lists all 37 with their ages and what they own (in brief).

    Read the source article …

  5. BBC News – English house prices at record high, ONS figures show News Alerts. Sept. 23, 2013. Afternoon Edition. #RealEstate

    House prices in England have reached a record high, according to figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

    The ONS house price index for England alone is now 0.9% higher than it was at the previous peak in January 2008.

    The index for the whole of the UK is just short of its peak in 2008, but very close to it.

    However, large rises in London and the South East are distorting the figures for the whole country.

    Prices in London rose by 9.7% over the past year, according to the ONS, and the capital is the only area in the UK where prices are rising faster than inflation.

    Read the source article …

  6. Hurun: half of world’s richest women Chinese-Shanghai Daily | Window to China News News Alerts. Sept. 23, 2013. Afternoon Edition. #RealEstate

    One out of four on the list of 50 richest women in China is involved in real estate business. And 18 percent of them are in the financial sector.

    Read the source article …

  7. No Confidence in China Markets Inflates Housing Bubble – Bloomberg News Alerts. Sept. 23, 2013. Afternoon Edition. #RealEstate

    Matthew Zhou and his wife spent 1.6 million yuan ($261,000) to buy a two-bedroom apartment last month in eastern Shanghai after seeing no potential for long-term returns in China’s financial markets.

    “Home prices keep rising, so I’d rather buy a place now than put the money in the stock market,” said Zhou, a 30-year-old information technology engineer at a state-controlled bank in Shanghai, who plans to leave the home empty while the couple live with her parents. Gains in equities “could never outpace the growth of home prices,” he said.

    Wow! No offense, but….

    The willingness of people like Zhou to shun other investments in favor of property shows why residential prices have defied a more than three-yearlong government campaign to rein them in and is among the forces crippling efforts by the central government to deal with an expanding housing bubble. New home prices in major cities, including Beijing and Shanghai, rose more than 10 percent in July from a year earlier, compared with a more than 10 percent drop in the benchmark Shanghai Composite Index (SHCOMP) during that period.

    Wang Jianlin, China’s richest man and owner of closely held Dalian Wanda Group, the country’s biggest commercial land developer, is seeing an overheated real estate market.

    The property market is “definitely” in a bubble, though it is “controllable, not big,” Wang said in an interview on Sept. 11 ahead of the World Economic Forum in Dalian, in the country’s northeast.

    “Let’s talk about bubbles when home prices in Beijing and Shanghai rank as the world’s top five most expensive cities,” said Chang, who believes home prices in Shanghai will rise 50 percent in the next five years. “You see home prices rally even when the curbs are in place, not to say when the bans are li fted.”

    Read the source article …

  8. Are Chinese companies sitting on the next debt crisis? | China Economic Review News Alerts. Sept. 23, 2013. Afternoon Edition. #RealEstate

    Nothing gets reads like a shadow banking story. Articles on China’s local government debt pull page views too, conjuring images of small-town officials erecting enormous stadiums or skyscrapers on the edges of corn fields. Often left out of the country’s overall debt picture is that which has been accrued in the corporate sector — simply not as tantalizing.

    But corporate debt could be one of the biggest risks lurking in China’s financial sector.

    By JPMorgan’s count, debt in China’s corporate sector stands around 105% of GDP, up from 90% four years ago and far higher than both its advanced and emerging market peers. In mature markets, average corporate debt-to-GDP ratios run between 80-90%. In emerging markets that average is much lower: 50-60%.

    Read the source article …