Property Industry News

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Bangkok at night

Small and medium-scale property developers in Bangkok are being forced to sell their projects to larger developers as they start to face difficulties in obtaining financial support for construction. This is according to Visanu Suchatlumpong, vice-president of Asian Property Development Plc.

“Financial institutions did not approve project loans as they considered their (smaller developers) branding was not strong and their products might not be saleable,” he said.

But he also played down the role the global credit crunch was having, saying, “Some of them did not meet financial institutions’ conditions that required them to have sales of at least 40%.”

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The Dubai-based real estate investment company Istithmar World Real Estate, reported on the 26th December that it had closed on the sale of 230 Park Avenue to a American consortium which includes Goldman Sachs’ Whitehall Fund and Monday Properties for the sum of $1.15 billion. This transaction follows the sale of 280 Park Avenue to Broadway Properties in November for $1.35 billion.

The parent company – Dubai World, has been active in the United States real estate market for some years now, particularly in New York and still owns 450 Lexington Avenue, The W Hotel Union Square, The Mandarin Oriental Hotel, the QE2 and the Knickerbocker on Times Square.

A special meeting of Aberdeenshire council overwhelmingly backed Donald Trump’s plans for a £1billion golf resort in north-east Scotland this week.

Mr Trump’s spokesman, Mr. George Sorial said he was “very pleased and very grateful” for the council’s backing and that the support was a “very big step in the right direction”. Mr. Sorial had warned previously that failure by the council to endorse the plans could jeopardize the entire scheme. The meeting was largely symbolic however  last week the Scottish government said it would have final say on the application after being previously rejected by a council committee on environmental grounds.

The council also voted to unseat Martin Ford as chair of the committee which, on his casting vote, rejected the application last time round.

The leader of the Scottish National party group on the council, Joanna Strathdee, said councilors needed to restore the business and wider community’s confidence in the planning process and show the world that north-east Scotland was open for business, environmental issues be damned.

At the Qatar Property Investment Forum held in Qatar on Monday and Tuesday. Chadi Abou Daher, Regional Manager of the World Trade Center, welcomed the delegates. Daher highlighted the fact that Qatar has emerged as one of the most attractive real estate markets and hoped that the forum would be a yearly platform offering insights into the latest trends emerging in the Gulf region and Qatar in particular.

Said Bahjat Said, President of ‘The Land Holding’, said that the Forum has come at a time when the property Market is enjoying immense growth and the prospects looked reassuring. He stressed the importance of embracing the best international practices and standards.

A lavish Gala Dinner was held at the Royal Orchid Sheraton in Bangkok on Saturday night, to announce the winners of the 2007 Thailand Property Awards. More than 350 of Thailand’s real estate elite were in attendance to celebrate the award.

A three phase process is used to determine the winner in each category:
First, the real estate industry were invited to nominate companies in the 12 categories. Nominees could not nominate themselves, nor nominate in a category where there may be a conflict of interest. This phase closed on 31st August with over 260 nominations received.

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Soaring office rents combined with a shortage of apartments is luring developers like Donald Trump, Emaar Properties and Damac Properties to India.

Damac, a closely held developer based in Dubai, plans to invest an estimated $5 billion in India over the next three years as a booming economy spurs demand for real estate.

Damac plan to construct houses, offices and shops in Mumbai, New Delhi, Hyderabad and Bangalore. The first project will be started in 12 months time. Damac has built waterfront luxury projects in the United Arab Emirates and is investing in Saudi Arabia and Egypt as it expands it’s sphere of influence.

The Association of International Property Professionals has recently completed it’s 2007 consumer survey and, perhaps not surprisingly, the biggest fear of British overseas property buyers is the fact they feel a high chance of being mislead, either by an agent or a developer.

According to the AIPP’s survey, 69% of consumers are worried about being given unreliable or misleading information and 44% said that being unable to independently check information is a concern. Only 17% are worried about being pressured using hard sell techniques and only 34% were worried about overpaying for property.

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London retains the number one slot as the most expensive office market in the world, with occupation costs reaching as much as $329 per square foot in the West End and $181 per square foot in the City. Rents at the top of the market have been inflated by demand from hedge funds and financial boutiques competing for the best buildings.

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cityscape asia

The upcoming CityScape Asia exhibition in Singapore promises to be a spectacular event, with a golf tournament, cocktail parties and a number of conferences and workshops organized to allow visitors the opportunity to claim, “It was all work.” Last year’s event was a resounding success, attracting 4,600 industry professionals from 53 countries, showcasing 125 exhibiting companies.CityScape Asia will be held in Singapore, between 15th and 17th April, 2008. According to CityScape, Singapore was chosen as the venue for the following reasons:

Demand for property has increased dramatically in Vietnam since the government issued new laws that allow the lease of land for 70 years and then extensions without any payments. Thai developers are looking to bid for land plots in Vietnam for development. The Hanoi government’s issue of Decree 84 earlier this year brought Vietnam one step closer to opening up its real-estate market to foreign ownership, effectively leveling the playing field for international developers.