European Property

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Investment Property Databank has revealed that the value of UK commercial property fell by 5.6% in 2009. This was the third consecutive annual decline; following a fall of 26% in 2008 and 7.7% in 2007 the London based research body said.

This means that commercial property in the UK has taken a far bigger bashing at the hands of the international downturn than the residential sector has.

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rightmove-house-price-index The UK’s largest property portal Rightmove has found that asking prices of UK properties for sale on the portal were raised in January, because, it says, demand outstripped the supply of homes for sale. According to the portal’s monthly index, people selling property in England and Wales on the portal, raised their asking prices by an average of 0.4% during January.

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Having been on the market for just over a year, the US embassy building in London’s Grosvenor Square is to be bought by Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund, Qatari Diar Real Estate Investment Co. The building was designed by Eero Saarinen and built in 1960, although the American embassy has been located in Grosvenor Square since 1938, and America’s ties to London’s Mayfair district date back to 1785, when John Adams, the first US ambassador to Britain and later the second US President, lived there.

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After about two years of static and falling traffic, UK property websites appear to be making a come back with increased growth in traffic recorded in October by Hitwise, an online competitive intelligence provider. From October 2008 to October 2009 website traffic to UK Property websites increased by 4.8%.

Thanks to the supposed demise of the global credit crunch, traffic to top online property sites appears to be making a resurgence and no doubt increased income.

We are a nation obsessed by house prices, we are obsessed when house prices are rising, and we are even more obsessed when prices are falling.

Once again it is the season to be jolly, and none more jolly than the big-city bankers who receive multi-million Pound and Dollar bonuses if they have done well. This has been known for having a very positive effect on the central London prime property market, as the bankers spend their fortuitous fortunes on lavish homes. The question is, with so much regulation on the horizon, and so little supply on the market, will this year be the same?