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REIA NEWS ISSUE THREE: JULY 2011

THE BIG ISSUES FOR THE PROFESSION: WE LOOK AT NATIONAL LICENSING, THE CARBON TAX & PROPERTY LISTING PORTALS

ALSO IN THIS ISSUE: FAREWELL TO OUTGOING PRESIDENT MR AIREY HOUSING TYPES WHAT DO AUSTRALIANS REALLY WANT? ATO COMPLIANCE KNOWING YOUR RESPONSIBILITIES PROPERTY TAXES AND CHARGES HOW THEY AFFECT BUILDING ACTIVITY?


WANT TO FIND OUT MORE ABOUT PROMOTING YOUR BRAND IN REIA NEWS? CONTACT REIA MANAGER COMMUNICATIONSRHIANNON MCCLELLAND ON 02 6282 4277 OR AT RHIANNON.MCCLELLAND@REIA.COM.AU FOR FURTHER INFORMATION.


PRESIDENT’S REPORT WELCOME FROM REIA’S NEW ACTING PRESIDENT This month’s edition is one of the most content-rich newsletters we have produced with a number of topical issues for the month of July.

I would like to welcome you to the July edition of REIA News and express how honoured I am to be your acting president until later in the year. As acting president, I will take carriage of a number of important issues that the profession is currently facing and involved in.

REIA, along with your state and territory institutes is getting the ball rolling early with lobbying efforts in the space of national licensing. As you would be aware, national licensing will come into effect on 1 July 2012, however, there is a lot that needs to be done before this time. REIA is calling on the government to make sure that the professionalism of the industry is not diminished in the implementation of this process. Our article on national licensing will provide you with an overview, what we are doing on your behalf and what you will need to do to prepare. In addition to national licensing, we have detailed and clarified

what the carbon tax will mean for the real estate profession with numerous messages circulating about this new tax. This is an important issue for the real estate profession as this new tax will have implications for housing affordability and first home buyers with an estimated $5000 to be added to new homes under the scheme. A number of other important articles this month include our policy manager’s piece on the importance of compliance when it comes to the ATO and our research officer’s story on property taxes and charges and the effect these have on residential building activity. Ms Pamela Bennett REIA Acting President


ON THE COVER THE END OF AN ERA REIA FAREWELLS MR DAVID AIREY Last week saw the end of an era for the Real Estate Institute of Australia with longstanding president Mr David Airey resigning as captain of the ship. Western Australia’s Minister for Housing Troy Buswell paid tribute to Mr Airey at a dinner held in Perth last week, attended by over 40 national guests, directors and REI executives. Mr Airey stepped down as president at the REIA national board meeting on June 30 after 2 years and 3 months in the role. REIA Deputy President Pamela Bennett will act in the role until

the Annual General Meeting is held in November this year. Mr Airey was elected as the WA delegate to the REIA board in 2006. He was elected deputy president in 2009 and elevated to president in April 2009 after the sudden resignation of his predecessor. He saw the REIA through a tumultuous period of change and lifted its profile with a prolific increase in media activities and appearances at industry events as well as home and property investment shows.

“He saw the REIA through a tumultuous period of change and lifted its profile...”

Mr Airey cited travel as the heaviest burden of his term in office. “Only West Australians know how tough it is to constantly travel from Perth to the eastern capitals. I have become friends with a few Qantas staff,” Mr Airey said jokingly. Mr Airey pointed to a resurgence in industry owned internet portals as a ‘watch this space’ issue. He said there was light at the end of the tunnel with the industry challenging prices and tactics of other listing providers. “I think this is the beginning of a new way that agents will do business with the major portals and it will be up to them to fight


“...the ongoing issue of National Licensing and Education is something that the REIA “needs to fight to get it right.” for a better deal and stop giving away data and information to commercial providers and then being asked to pay for it,” he said. Mr Airey commented that the ongoing issue of National Licensing and Education is something that the REIA “needs to fight to get it right” and make sure that Canberra doesn’t make it more complicated than it needs to be. “This single issue will bring about the biggest changes in the history of agency practice in Australia

with a national platform for educational qualifications and licensing,” Mr Airey added. Mr Airey said this makes great sense provided we achieve the outcomes that the REIA, on behalf of Australia’s 70,000 real estate agency employees, has argued for. “I am extremely proud to have been part of the REIA board over the last 5 years. REIA has an exceptional board and leadership team which will continue to deal with the challenges of the profession, lifting standards and ensuring that REIA becomes a better national body to represent all real estate agencies in the nation.” David will continue to run his agency business in Claremont WA and continues as Deputy President of REIWA, a role has held since 2006.

“...David will continue to run his agency in WA...” “REIWA is a great Institute and it’s a privilege to serve on its council with such a great group of councillors, executive and staff all dedicated to better member service,” he said. “I look forward to continuing in this role with REIWA for the balance of my term of office but I’m really keen to get back to real estate activity and start kicking some goals in this exciting period in the property market.” In coming weeks, REIA will be stepping up our advocacy over our concerns with The National Occupational Licensing System and continuing to argue for state tax reform, particularly in relation to stamp duty.


INDUSTRY ARTICLE INSURANCE CAN BE CONFUSING: SO LET US EXPLAIN IT Many property managers value the peace of mind that comes with knowing their landlords are adequately insured. But with different insurance covers available, it can be difficult to know which types of policies are best suited to landlords’ needs. Standard building and contents insurance Standard building and contents insurance is primarily designed for owner occupiers. A standard home and contents policy might offer insurance cover for the building when occupied by a tenant, but is unlikely to provide cover for many actions by the tenant that can result in financial loss for the landlord.

Strata insurance In a strata-titled apartment situation, strata insurance is held by the body corporate and paid for by owners’ levies. Under most strata titles, the body corporate is legally responsible for insuring the buildings at the site, as well as the owners’ legal liability for common property areas. However, strata insurance usually doesn’t extend to cover the fittings, landlord contents and other tenancy risks within the interior of individual units. This means that if a tenant damages the property or stops paying their rent, the landlord is likely to be left out of pocket if they don’t have appropriate landlord insurance in place. The landlord will ordinarily need a separate landlord insurance

policy in order to be covered for their own legal liability inside the rented apartment. Landlord insurance Landlord insurance is specifically designed to cover landlords against actions by tenants. In the case of a stand-alone building, it can also cover the building itself. Some of the specific risks that landlords face are malicious damage by a tenant, theft, accidental damage, legal liability (as landlords) and loss of rental income. Most of these risks are specific to landlords and most aren’t covered by standard building and contents insurance or strata insurance policies. For further information, visit www. terrischeer.com.au or call 1800 804 016.


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HOUSING CHOICE: WHAT DO AUSTRALIANS WANT IN A HOME? A new report titled, The Housing We’d Choose, examines the housing preferences of more than 700 Sydney and Melbourne residents in a detailed survey. It found that once people took into account real-world factors such as current housing costs and their income, they chose a far wider range of housing types than the stereotype of all Australians wanting a detached home on a large block would suggest. However, “we’re just not building the variety of housing that Australians say they want”, Jane-Frances Kelly, Cities Program Director at the Grattan Institute, said.

In particular, she pointed to shortages (compared to what we say we want) of semidetached homes and apartments in the middle and outer areas of both Melbourne and Sydney.

“... we’re just not building the variety of housing that Australians say they want.” The report argues that there are barriers to delivering more of the housing people say they want. These include the cost of materials and labour for buildings over four storeys, land assembly and preparation, and the risk and uncertainty of our planning systems.

“...there are barriers to delivering more of the housing people want.” Building enough of the right housing is not only vital to meet the range of choices individuals would like to make, but also for the way in which our cities will grow. City structure can significantly affect congestion, the distance we have to travel to work and to see friends, the cost of infrastructure, concentrations of disadvantage and other issues vital to both our everyday lives and the health of our cities. To view a copy of the report, click here.


NATIONAL LICENSING: FOR THE REAL ESTATE PROFESSION IS COMING The Council of Australian Governments (COAG – the Prime Minister, Premiers and Chief Ministers) signed an Intergovernmental Agreement to establish a National Occupational Licensing System (NOLS) for specified occupations on 30 April 2009. One of these occupations is the real estate profession. The purpose of national licensing is to remove overlapping and inconsistent regulation between states and territories for the licensing of a number of occupations. By so doing, it aims to improve business efficiency and the competitiveness of the national economy, reduce red tape, improve labour mobility and enhance productivity.

“The purpose of national licensing is to remove overlapping and inconsistent regulation...” When national licensing commences on 1 July 2012, a licence will allow the holder to work anywhere in the country without the need for further licence applications when moving across borders. Existing state and territory licences will be transferred across to an equivalent national licence on the principle of “no disadvantage.” That is, if a person is licensed to perform a certain scope of work in a particular state or territory, they will be entitled to perform an equivalent scope of work anywhere in Australia under their

national licence without the need to meet further eligibility requirements.

“...a person will be entitled to perform an equivalent scope of work anywhere in Australia under their national licence.” In working towards national licensing the Commonwealth Government, together with state regulators and industry representatives, has been developing the following elements of a national licensing policy: licence categories; licence types; scopes of work; qualifications and other


eligibility requirements, and; other licence characteristics (such as exemptions, endorsements, restrictions and conditions). These details will be contained in a Consultation Regulation Impact Statement (RIS) which is expected to be released by the Commonwealth Government in August this year. The RIS will be open to comment and a national “roadshow” will follow to seek responses from industry. Feedback will then be considered prior to finalizing a document for the consideration of the Ministerial Council for Federal Financial Relations of COAG in early 2012 with agreement required from all jurisdictions. REIA has had a policy of supporting national licensing for the profession but

“REIA has had a policy of supporting

of supporting national licensing for the profession but maintains that it is imperative that standards are not lowered...” maintains that it is imperative that standards are not lowered for the sake of political expediency. The REIA is adamant that the key to providing a low-risk professional service to home buyers is through mandating a high level of initial qualification and ongoing professional development. The REIA also believes that with more and more individuals having exposure to commercial real estate, either directly or through their superannuation fund, it is

critical that commercial agents are included in the national licensing system. The REIA has, accordingly, called for the Federal Government and state and territory governments to agree to a national licensing system which: requires real estate agents to achieve a diploma level for licensing; requires compulsory continuing professional development, and requires licensing for commercial agency work. REIA News will provide further information on national licensing as details become available.


CARBON TAX: WHAT WILL IT MEAN FOR THE REAL ESTATE PROFESSION? This month, the Government announced its carbon tax, but with all this new information circulating in the media, what will it actually mean for the real estate profession?

The important points for housing and small business are:

The carbon tax legislation will be introduced in the second half of 2011. With the Government confident that it has the numbers in both Houses, with the support of the Greens and three Independents, the legislation should pass with implementation of a carbon tax from 1 July 2012.

• The cost of undertaking renovations for existing home owners is also likely to increase with the average kitchen and bathroom renovation estimated to rise by around 2 per cent

What will be implemented at this time is a carbon tax of $23 per tonne, to be increased by 2.5 per cent per year until 2015 when an emissions trading scheme commences.

• The implementation of a carbon tax will see the cost of construction of new housing increase by around $5000 on a new home according to initial estimates which can be expected to flow on to the price of existing homes.

• The tax will be payable by around 500 businesses, however, small business will not be required to pay a carbon price. Small business will not have to monitor its carbon pollution or electricity use or have to fill in any forms as part of the carbon price reform.

The REIA is disappointed that the Government has not had the foresight to implement any compensation for the carbon tax for first home buyers given the current state of affordability which is already at low levels. The number of first home buyers has declined to only 15 per cent of all purchasers, compared to the long-run average of nearly 20 per cent. Before the announcement of the carbon tax, REIA continued to lobby the Government about a review of the First Home Owner Grant to bring it into line with increases in median house prices. Now we have an additional tax and no additional measures for affordability. REIA will continue to keep you up to date on this matter.


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PAYING TOO MUCH TO LIST PROPERTIES? USE YOUR INDUSTRY LISTING SITES Recently, the Australian Financial Review reported that the property sales portal realestate.com.au is increasing charges for its advertising, making it more expensive for real estate agents to advertise their listings and capitalising on the information they provide. (“Real Estate Revolution”, by Ben Hurley, Australian Financial Review, 23 June 2011). REIA and the state and territory REIs are committed to making sure that the profession is getting the best value for money when it comes to listing properties and

has access to the most credible data at a reasonable price. We don’t feel that agents are getting this service from the REA group.

Mr Hurley’s article mentions how the REA Group uses this information which it gets for nothing to provide value-added services.


The graph to the left shows the real estate web site traffic changes during the June 2011 quarter in Western Australia. In fact, there are various Instituterun property web portals around the country such as realestateview. com.au, reiq.com and reiwa. com where real estate agents can advertise their property listings at a comparatively low cost. So, if real estate agents want to continue saving on advertising costs, it is time to move and consider the alternatives offered by the real estate institutes. Members of the profession can also access credible, low cost data via the REIA - visit www.reia.com. au.

realestateVIEW.com.au gains ground nationally Operating in Victoria, New South Wales, South Australia, Tasmania and Northern Territory, realestateVIEW.com.au has experienced phenomenal growth year on year – nearly doubling its audience.* This provides agents with a cost effective alternative to advertise and generate enquiry for listing. In June 2011, realestateVIEW.com.au also announced a new national partnership with BigPond collaborating on their new BigPond Money personal finance and investment site. The new partnership will see realestateVIEW.com.au’s content in the form of articles, tips, guides, latest news and search tools integrated within the property section of the BigPond Money site.


ATO COMPLIANCE: ATO’S COMPLIANCE PROGRAM FOR 2011/12 The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has just announced its compliance program for 2011-12 which outlines areas that it will be focussing on. One of these areas is work related expense deductions made by real estate employees. Real estate agents, as well as some other occupations, have been identified as having

“Real estate agents have been identified as having relatively high amounts of workrelated expenses.”

relatively high amounts of work related expenses being claimed. Work-related expenses are expenses you incur in performing your job, such as the purchase of equipment or tools, expenses related to your home office and mobile phone. You can claim these expenses in your tax return. However, you cannot claim private expenses, travel to and from work, or an expense that has been reimbursed by your employer. The ATO has identified the following areas as ones where considerable non-compliance has been experienced: • Not having detail to explain how kilometres were calculated when using the cents per kilometre method to claim travel expenses. • Not having documentation to show when a car was owned or leased.

“Work-related expenses are expenses you incur in performing your job...” • Using an incorrect code on the tax return when claiming protective clothing. • Claiming sunglasses and sunscreen under an incorrect tax return form label. • Incorrectly claiming self education expenses for a course that relates only in general way to your employment. • Incorrectly claiming initial certificate/licence when only renewals are deductible • Not being able to substantiate excessive mobile phone claims . • Not having diary evidence that reflects work usage of


This article is brought to you by REIA Manager Policy, Jock Kreitals. Jock can be contacted at jock.kreitals@reia.com.au

computer/laptop use. • Not being able to substantiate the number of hours claimed for use of a home office. • Incorrectly claiming meals and drinks for clients. • Incorrectly apportioning the cost of newspapers – generally only the real estate section is deductible.

“The ATO has identified areas where there is considerable noncompliance...” In terms of record keeping, if a claim is less than $300 you do not need to keep your receipts but you still need to be able to tell the ATO, if asked, how you worked out your claim.

“If a claim is more than $300 then you need to keep written records of all your expenses...” If a claim is more than $300 then you need to keep written records of all your expenses for five years. The types of records the ATO will accept include: • Paper or electronic copies of documents like invoices. • Receipts or delivery notes. • statements from financial institutions, such as credit card statements. • BPAY receipt numbers. • PAYG payment summaries or warranty documents.

Need further information? The ATO has a work-related expense guide available for real estate employees at www.ato.gov.au. The guide outlines what you can and cannot claim and provides practical examples. There are also calculators that can help calculate work related expenses.


RESIDENTIAL BUILDING ACTIVITY: PROPERTY TAXES AND CHARGES Residential development taxes and charges are key factors that influence building activity as they add to development costs. Over the past two years, building activity in Sydney has differed substantially from that in Melbourne. Interestingly, this difference has been accompanied by a significant disparity in the amount of development taxes and charges paid by residential developers in those capital cities. A study of national dwelling costs made by Urbis shows estimates of the amount of taxes and charges for infill and greenfield developments in Sydney and Melbourne (see table to the right).

“There is a remarkable difference in the amount paid by residential developers... Table: Charges and taxes for infill and greenfield residential developments Source: Urbis

There is a remarkable difference in the amount paid by residential developers for stamp duties on land, local council fees, infrastructure charges and land tax: infrastructure charges are significantly higher in Sydney; stamp duty on land and land taxes are much lower in Melbourne. Although local council fees are not significant

Residential dwellingInfill

Residential dwellingGreenfield

Sydney

Melbourne Sydney

Melbourne

Stamp duty Land

$4,578

$1,609

$8,208

$2,699

Local Council Fees

$306

$11

$1,485

$39

Infrastructure charges

$15,000

$1,609

$37,300

$3,693

$2,971

$426

$3,613

$2,503

Land tax


This article is brought to you by REIA Research Officer, Johann Rojas. Johan can be contacted at johann.rojas@reia.com.au

compared to other charges and taxes, residential developers pay a higher amount of these fees in Sydney.

First of all, the amount of taxes and charges on residential development might be affecting building activity.

This substantial difference in development taxes and charges is reflected in the value of residential work done between New South Wales and Victoria.

Melbourne for example, where the amount of some taxes and charges is lower than in Sydney, has a greater growth in the value of work done for residential buildings than in Sydney, where taxes and charges are higher.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) figures show that the average quarterly growth rate of the value of residential work done (chain volume measure) over the period 2009-2010 was 1.0% in Sydney and 18.8% in Melbourne.

“...the amount of taxes and charges on development might be affecting building activity.�

What are the implications of this?

And secondly, dwelling supply may be more responsive to demand shocks in Melbourne than in Sydney due to lower development taxes and charges in Melbourne. This might imply that an increase in demand will lead to more building rather than higher prices in those cities where property taxes and charges are lower. The criteria for the greenfield and infill dwelling taxes and charges assessment were based on: location, zoning, 1

development size, lot size, dwelling type characteristics, proximity to services, land preparation and quality of finishes. The same specifications for each criterion apply for infill and greenfield developments in order to make accurate comparisons.


Industry Update

Industry news from around Australia

REIQ slams stamp duty legislation The Real Estate Institute of Queensland (REIQ) has slammed the Queensland state government’s decision to remove the stamp duty home concession. From 1 August, the government will remove the concession which non-first home buyers receive when buying a new or established home as their principal place of residence. In addition, the government said it would also introduce a $10,000 grant to people that are building or buying a new-build home or unit priced up to $600,000. REIQ chairman Pamela Bennett said while the incentive to increase housing supply and create jobs in the construction sector is a positive for the economy, the removal of the

stamp duty concession for nonfirst home buyers will wreak havoc on the Queensland property market. ___________________________

• This change may affect contracts signed from 10 June 2011 - and Revenue SA has issued a circular to provide clarity.

REISA state budget round-up

• The $7,000 First Home Owner Grant (federally funded), and its eligibility conditions remain unchanged.

REISA attended the State budget last month. There are two important announcements for members to note: • Land tax brackets will now be indexed in line with property price growth, as determined by the Valuer General. The Government will raise the land tax brackets accordingly. • The first homeowner grant for brand new homes (newly constructed), will be phased down from $8,000 to $4,000 over the next financial year and then phased out in the following financial year.

• First home buyers of an established or a new home will continue to be eligible for the $7,000 First Home Owner Grant.


Making News General national news

Australians want carbon cash spent on public transport Almost three quarters of Australians (72%) want to see revenue from a carbon tax invested in improving public transport, walking and cycling according to polling conducted by Auspoll.

under a carbon scheme as not just handouts from the Government, but also investment in measures like public transport that will make their lives better and reduce carbon emissions at the same time. ___________________________

Business confidence falling

The poll, of 1500 Australians covering all age and income brackets, was commissioned by a coalition of transport, environment, health and Local Government groups.

A second survey in less than a week has shown Australian businesses are facing deteriorating conditions and have become increasingly pessimistic about the immediate future.

The results were released at a Summit held in Canberra to identify transport based solutions to the issues of climate change, congestion, physical inactivity and population growth in major cities. This poll demonstrates an overwhelming majority of Australians identify compensation

The July 2011 ACCI Survey of Investor Confidence has revealed actual and expected business indicators have fallen over the June quarter. The fact that business conditions have fallen to a level not seen since the survey began in 1998 shows Australian businesses are doing it tough.

ACCI’s Greg Evans said; ‘More exposed businesses will find it increasingly difficult to cope with further costs imposts including the proposed carbon tax and the prospect of rising interest rates’. __________________________

Cash rate remains unchanged At its meeting on 5 July, the Board of the Reserve Bank of Australia decided to leave the cash rate unchanged at 4.75 per cent. The Board judged that the current mildly restrictive stance of monetary policy remained appropriate. To view REIA’s media comment on this issue, click here.


Political Watch

Information and news from government

Support line a reference for small business According to Small Business Minister Senator Nick Sherry, with the end of the financial year upon us and its usual requirements to meet, many time-poor small businesses will turn to the Australian Government’s Small Business Support Line for quick, expert advice. In the past 12 months, the Support Line has taken more than 18,000 calls from small businesses wanting help on matters ranging from registration and licensing to starting a business, legal, grants and assistance, and tax matters. Senator Sherry urged small businesses needing advice to make greater use of the free service. The 18,000-plus calls it took is a phenomenal figure in

such a short time, a success in anyone’s language - but we want more small businesses to tap into it,” he said. For further information about the Small Business Support Line, click here. ___________________________

Study into local government regulation of business The Productivity Commission will carry out the benchmarking study, which will examine the costs on business of regulation within and between local government jurisdictions. “Local Government has a direct bearing on the productivity outcomes of the nation and this study will be valuable in identifying the impact of its regulatory activities on business, Minister for Small Business

and Minister Assisting on Deregulation, Senator Nick Sherry, said. Virtually all businesses deal with local government regarding their regulatory obligations in areas as diverse as food safety to development assessment. REIA will keep you up to date with this matter. __________________________

Making tax time simpler The Commonwealth Department of the Treasury received 13 public submissions in response to its discussion paper Making Tax Time Simpler: Standard Deduction for the Cost of Work-Related Expenses and the Cost of Managing Tax Affairs. To view the submissions, click here.


Political Watch

Information and news from government

Accelerated land release to make Sydney housing more affordable NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell and Minister for Planning and Infrastructure Brad Hazzard have announced the accelerated release of land in two Sydney growth centres to help make home ownership a reality for young families. Mr O’Farrell said the NSW Government was taking steps to overturn the serious housing shortage. Mr O’Farrell said, “One of my Government’s first acts was to instruct Landcom to target the release of 10,000 housing blocks within four years.” The NSW Government has opened up the planning system to major reform, involving a complete overhaul. The review will be jointly chaired by Tim Moore, former Environment Minister and current Land and Environment Court Commissioner.

Population rate continues to slow Australia’s annual population growth rate slowed to 1.5% for the year ending December 2010, according to preliminary figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). This is down from a peak growth rate of 2.2% in the year ending December 2008. Australia’s population reached 22,477,400 people at the end of December 2010, growing by 325,500 people over the year. This is down from the previous year where the population grew by 421,300 people, and is the lowest growth since the year ending December 2006 when an increase of 316,200 people was recorded. To view the report, click here. __________________________

ABS Building Approvals The Australian Bureau of Statistics released Building Approvals, Australia, for May 2011. ABS Building Approvals show that the total number of dwellings approved fell 7.9% in May 2011, in seasonally adjusted terms, after falling 0.3% in April. Dwelling approvals decreased for the month of May in Victoria (-18.5%), New South Wales (-15.6%) and Tasmania (-0.4%) while South Australia (+5.7%), Western Australia (+3.0%) and Queensland (+1.2%) recorded increases in seasonally adjusted terms. In seasonally adjusted terms, approvals for private sector houses rose 0.7% in May. To view the report, click here. __________________________


The World

Property news from around the world

Washington DC outperforms the rest of the US Recovery is coming faster for the Washington D.C. metro area than any other metropolitan region in the country, according to a new report. The region’s average real estate prices rose 4.4 percent over the first six months of the year, according to a Clear Capital market survey. The real estate data collector predicts that from July to the end of the year, prices will rise by another 2.8 percent. The strength of the D.C. market contrasts with the story for the rest of the country, where prices continue to trend downwards. Across the United States, prices sank in the first six

months by 3.2 percent. Clear Capital noted that despite the continuing negative trajectory, there is less price volatility in 2011 than last year. In the report, the worstperforming major real estate market was in Virginia Beach. Clear Capital said that persistently high unemployment has kept prices on the decline. Values are projected to drop there by 8.6 percent in the second half of 2011. ___________________________

RBI calls for banks to tighten commercial lending The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has asked banks to go slow on lending to the commercial real estate sector. The regulator fears an asset price bubble.

The RBI advisory comes in the backdrop of a sharp increase in lending to commercial real estate projects in the last one year and non-performing asset (NPA) growth in the sector staying higher than the growth in overall loan delinquencies. _________________________

Taiwan to ease investment rules in China Taiwan will lift some of its restrictions on Taiwanese property developers’ investments in China in a bid to help the island’s real-estate companies expand more quickly than its fast-growing neighbour.


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