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Real Estate News - July 2008

The following news stories are those which are most important for understanding the house price crash and the impact on house prices going forward...

July 31

FT: Deutsche Bank takes further €2.3bn hit.

Times: £100-a-month fuel bill to become a reality as British Gas increases prices.

Times: The US Federal Reserve unveiled a barrage of measures yesterday to lend stressed financial institutions more funds, and for longer periods, as it stepped up its drive to limit the fallout from America’s housing slump and the global credit crunch.

FT: British Gas lifts prices by record 35%.

Mortgage Solutions: The latest house price results from Nationwide have revealed prices fell by 1.7% in July, with the price of a typical house now £15,000 lower than this time last year.

Times: Lloyds TSB became the latest victim of panic over banks' capital cushions yesterday when a £585 million credit crunch hit made it the FTSE 100's biggest faller.

July 30

Times: Mortgage market paralysis for three years.

Property Week: Credit crunch savages CBRE and JLL’s second quarter figures.

Property Week: Mortgage lending fall hardest since 1999.

Property Week: Central London office rents to plunge 20%.

Mortgage Strategy: Northern Rock reveals 1,300 job losses.

July 29

FT: Merrill Lynch underlined the depth of the credit crisis by taking dramatic action to bolster its depleted balance sheet, revealing a $8.5bn share offering and $5.7bn in writedowns stemming from the sale of toxic mortgage securities.

FT: US credit crisis is hitting the wealthy.

FT: Global financial markets are “fragile” and indicators of systemic risk remain “elevated” almost a year into the credit crisis, the International Monetary Fund said on Monday.

Times: Land Registry confirms housing market slide.

Marketwatch: US home prices fall 18.4% from peak: Case-Shiller.

Property Week: Spanish housing down.

July 26-27-28

Times: Two more US banks collapse as defaults soar.

New York Times: Worried Banks Sharply Reduce Business Loans.

Marketwatch: Five Credit Card Traps Everyone Should Know About.

July 25

Property Week: Can we get a mortgage?

Marketwatch: US new-home sales fall in June to lowest since March, prices down again.

July 24

FT: Weak lending adds to housing gloom.

Marketwatch: U.S. initial jobless claims jump past 400,000 mark in latest week.

Marketwatch: US Existing-home sales fall 2.6% to 10-year low.

Marketwatch: Mortgage rates spike - Inflation fears send 30-year rate up sharply; ARMs jump even more.

July 23

NY Times: Posting Huge Loss, Wachovia Tries to End Lending Woes.

Marketwatch: Brazil boosts interest rate to 13%.

Marketwatch: New Zealand surprises with a rate cut.

Marketwatch: Malaysia's inflation soars to 26-year high in June.

NY Times: Woes Afflicting Mortgage Giants Raise Loan Rates.

NY Times: Asia's central bankers will consider the worst inflationary threat in at least a decade when they hold their annual conference on Monday, July 28.

Property Week: Great Portland Estates, the West End property specialist, has seen a further £64m wiped off the value of its properties during the past quarter as market conditions continued to deteriorate.

Times: The 10 home improvements that add most value.

July 22

Marketwatch: AmEx falls as economy chokes growth - With bad debt occurring even in the superprime card segment, AmEx's earnings clearly show that the credit crisis is going upscale, which does not bode well for the U.S. economy

Wall Street Journal: US Home Prices Continued Fall in May.

July 19-20-21

Times: Average home asking price down £4,000 on a year ago.

FT: UK business property demand at decade low.

FT: US food groups plan hefty price rises.

FT: FT brings European house price indices under one roof.

FT: Tough year for US public pension funds.

FT: As much as £3.6bn of shares in HBOS could be offloaded on to the stock market from Monday after the flop of the bank’s ill-fated rights issue.

Bloomberg: Investors worldwide are betting more than $1 trillion on a collapse in stock prices.

July 18

Times: Drastic revision of key UK fiscal rules planned to allow the Government to borrow its way out of Britain's economic problems.

FT: Merrill Lynch hit by $9.4bn writedown.

FT: A benchmark auction of distressed debt assets has given investors a gloomy guide to the prospects of recovering cash from the troubled structured investment vehicles that have been at the heart of the credit crunch.

Times: Mortgage drought deepens on 32% lending fall.

Times: Wolseley, the building and plumbing supplier that has shed 6,000 jobs over the past year, said yesterday that it would cut more staff as it struggles with a downturn in its business.

New York Times: Citigroup, said that it lost $2.5 billion in the second quarter, due to $7.2 billion of write-downs of Citigroup's investments in mortgages and other loans and by a weakness in the consumer market, which cost Citigroup $4.4 billion in credit losses and $2.5 billion to increase reserves.

July 17

Marketwatch: U.S. single-family housing starts down 5.3% in June, at a 17-year low.

FT: Underwriters braced for HBOS hit.

FT: Sovereign funds cut exposure to weak dollar.

FT: Natixis, France’s fourth-largest bank, on Wednesday night said it would launch a €3.7bn ($5.9bn) rights issue after revealing that it would make €1.5bn of subprime-related writedowns.

Times: Hundreds more jobs are lost as economy reels.

Reuters: US home starts up on one-time event, still weak.

July 16

Marketwatch: U.S. retail-level inflation runs hotter than expected, up 1.1% for June.

FT: UK consumer inflation hits 16-year peak.

Marketwatch: US home builders index hits another record low.

July 15

Times: UK home sales fell to their lowest level in 30 years last month as the seizure in the mortgage market continued to drag house prices down.

Times: Santander in £1.3bn Alliance and Leicester takeover.

FT: House buyers hold off amid mixed signals.

Marketwatch: Bank of Japan leaves key interest rate unchanged at 0.5%.

Marketwatch: Euro hits new record vs. the U.S. dollar, trades above $1.60.

July 12-13-14 Feds close down IndyMac Bank - is fifth and biggest bank failure this year.

New York Times: Alarmed by the sharply eroding confidence in the nation’s two largest mortgage finance companies, the Bush administration on Sunday asked Congress to approve a sweeping rescue package that would give officials the power to inject billions of federal dollars into the beleaguered companies through investments and loans.

July 11

Times: slump in housing market brings desperate offers.

Times: The stock market sank deeper into the clutches of a bear market yesterday as confirmation of an unprecedented slump in Britain's house prices inflamed fears of recession.

FT: Aluminium hits record on China cuts.

New York Times: Alarmed by the growing financial stress at the nation’s two largest mortgage finance companies, senior Bush administration officials are considering a plan to have the government take over one or both of the companies and place them in a conservatorship if their problems worsen.

Marketwatch: Oil hit an all-time record of $147.27 a barrel in electronic trading in early morning trading.

July 10

FT: US financial stocks on Wednesday suffered their worst one-day fall since the credit crisis began nearly a year ago, pushing the S&P 500 into official bear market territory.

Telegraph: Bovis, one of Britain's largest housebuilders, is to halt speculative development of new homes next week as it struggles to deal with plummeting sales volumes. To cut 40% of workforce.

Mortgage Solutions: The Bank of England's Monetary Policy Committee has held Bank base rate at 5% for the third consecutive month.

Marketwatch: U.S. initial jobless claims hit lowest level since April.

Property Week: Barratt signs £400m debt facility and cuts 1,200 jobs.

Property Week: House prices fell a further 2% in June - making a 6.15 drop in the past 12 months - according to figures released this morning by the Hallifax.

Reuters: IndyMac Begins Dismantling Business As It Struggles to Keep Investors' Faith.

Reuters: Fannie, Freddie stocks and bonds plummet.

July 9

Times: Thousands of jobs go as the gloom deepens.

New York Times: Mortgage Lender Faces Rush to Withdraw.

July 8

Marketwatch: US Pending home sales index down 4.7% in May

Property Week: Savills shares dropped 14% to 186p in early trading on the back of a bearish trading statement released this morning, which pointed to redundancies.

FT: Shares in Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac plunged on Monday as investors worried that the two giant government-sponsored mortgage financiers would have to raise fresh capital.

FT: Bradford & Bingley shares hit new low.

FT: Housebuilders under threat from price falls.

Times: There are new signals today that Britain is on the brink of recession, with confirmation that the bulk of the economy is sliding rapidly into a severe downturn.

July 5-6-7

Telegraph: Troubled property giant Persimmon cuts jobs.

Property Week: Residential developer City Lofts has gone into administration.

July 4

July 3

FT: B&B shares slide after TPG walks away from rescue.

Times: Barratt Developments to cut 1,000 jobs as housebuilding crisis grows.

Times: America enters bear market territory as the Dow crashes.

Marketwatch: Japan's land prices climbed 10% in 2007, marking the third straight year of gains, and adding to the growing pile of evidence the nation is exiting more than a decade of deflation.

Marketwatch: Sweden's central bank hikes key rate 25 basis points to 4.5%.

Marketwatch: ECB hikes key rate to 4.25%.

Mortgage Solutions: Borrowers turn to personal loans to meet housing costs.

Marketwatch: The U.S. economy shed 62,000 jobs in June while the unemployment rate unexpectedly remained at a four-year high of 5.5%.

July 2

Times: Falling UK house prices raise spectre of a crash.

Property Week: Shares halve as Taylor Wimpey fails to secure rescue funding.

Wall Street Journal: Small Banks' Reckoning Day Is Coming.

Marketwatch: Consumer delinquencies up in first quarter.

Marketwatch: Dump your ARM now - if you can.

July 1

FT: Eurozone inflation soars to new high.

Marketwatch: British May mortgage approvals hit new low.

FT: Taylor Wimpey plans £660m write-down.

Telegraph: UK house prices in grip of slump that experts expect to deepen.

Telegraph: Struggling housebuilder Barratt Developments is close to securing a rescue refinancing with lenders that will relax its banking covenants and help it ride out the property downturn.

Wall Street Journal: In the Latest Chill for Homeowners, Banks Are Freezing Lines of Credit.

Property Week: City Lofts has become the first major residential developer to fall victim to the credit crunch with around 250 of its unsold properties today put into receivership.

Marketwatch: Facing foreclosure? Four ways to get the help you need - before you really need help.




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