Mari Pinardo | Neinor Homes is the first housing promotor to return to the stock market 10 years after the crisis. Its CEO, Juan Velayos, recognises that many things have improved since then: Four years ago no housing was being built, and now 90,000 units are being built”. But he admits there are deep rooted problems in the sector: “Spain is seriously bad at generating supply, we are paying far more for apartments than we could do if there were transparent criteria.”
MADRID | The Corner |Besides naming the reshuffle of his Government, after a dispute over hauling the economy out of stagnation caused his government’s collapse, François Hollande has also committed to announce this week a package of measures to revive the economy, including specific stimulus for the construction activity, especially affected in terms of employment by a law to regulate the real estate market precisely adopted at the beginning of his term. It is estimated that construction activity in France represents about 8% of GDP and 1.2 million jobs.
MADRID | The Corner | After two months of decline, US construction rebounds in July at the fastest pace in eight months. As the Commerce Department reported yesterday, the number of housing starts rose 15.7% in July compared to June, reaching an annualized figure of 1.09 million units, the highest in eight months. Meanwhile, applications for building permits in the same month also advanced 8.1% to an annual rate of 1.05 million, after drops of 3.1 percent in June and 5.1 percent in May. Notably the permits to build single-family homes, a segment that accounts for three quarters of the U.S. housing market, increased in July by 0.9% to an annualized figure of 640,000, the highest since December 2013. In addition, permits for units in buildings with five units or more rose 23.6% in July to an annual rate of 382,000, representing its highest growth rate since January 2006.
MADRID | The Corner | The biggest uncertainty for China’s economy now and in 2015 is the nature and duration of the ongoing property downturn. Following a sharp drop in the beginning of 2014, Chinese property construction has shown signs of improvement in recent months as policies have been increasingly relaxed. Both have provided support for the economy and property related stocks, with the latter rallying by 17% from trough levels. However, UBS analysts expect that the property downturn will weigh more heavily on growth in Q4 and 2015.
MADRID | The Corner | Spanish mortgage business continued down the road and registered 13.4% less than last year in April’s property records. According to the National Statistical Institute (INE), the loaned capital for housing reached €1.5 billion, which is 8% less than the 2013 figure. Thus, the average amount of mortgages on dwellings in Spain is €100,394, i.e. +6.2% more than the previous year. The boards of technical architects awarded 11,680 building licences for new houses in the first four months of the year (4M2014), 9% less year-over-year. This construction visa remain far away from September 2006 maximum where they were beyond 255,000 in four months.
WASHINGTON | By Pablo Pardo | Freight trains and flipped houses are not ‘cool’ indicators. But they tell much more about the US than the unemployment rate or the GDP figures. The last figures show how the U.S. keeps on gaining strength.
NEW YORK | The institution that UK government is thinking of establishing, similar to US giant government controlled agencies Fanny Mae and Freddie Mac, will improve the housing market and therefore the economy. But it comes with the risk of a bubble.