According to Freddie Mac's latest Primary Mortgage Market Survey (PMMS), fixed mortgage rates broke their previous average record lows helping to keep homebuyer affordability high and refinancing strong to support an already improving housing market. All mortgage products, except the 5-year ARM, averaged new all-time record lows.
You no longer have to be a king or queen to stay in a British castle. Many historic castles in the U.K. have been transformed into magnificent hotels, affording you the chance to walk in the footsteps of royalty. And to dine and be lodged like royalty, as well - many of these castles are now four- and five-star hotels.
Thailand's business community is still buzzing over reclusive Thai billionaire Charoen Sirivadhanabhakdi's decision to drop his $7.2 billion bid for full control of Asia Pacific Breweries Ltd. and allow Heineken NV to proceed with its $4.5 billion bid for the largest brewery in Southeast Asia.
London-based Scarborough United Group Plc, SUGPlc, has announced it plans to invest N77.89 billion ($500 million US) in Nigeria's real estate, leisure and football (soccer) services in the next six to nine months. Sheffield United, owned by Scarborough, is a major sports brand in the United Kingdom.
Chambers Street Properties (formerly CB Richard Ellis Realty Trust), based in Princeton, New Jersey, has secured a $700 million revolving credit facility through a consortium of lenders led by Wells Fargo Securities, LLC and RBC Capital Markets. This capital infusion will help the REIT go on a shopping expedition, mostly for industrial properties, although it also buys office buildings.
It won't be until 2014 when commercial, industrial and residential real estate markets in most Australian major cities begin to recover, according to a new report from the Australian Property Institute. Melbourne, particularly, still waits for home prices to hit rock bottom. Listings at brokerages and at auction houses are down as potential sellers hold back placing their properties on market, waiting for a price rebound, according to the Institute's survey called Australian Property Directions.
After several years of being "cost-conscious" travel consumers, Americans are starting to place greater meaning and emphasis on the importance of their vacations. In other words, Americans are spending more freely and their starting to put luxury back into leisure travel.
According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), after reaching a two-year peak, pending home sales fell in August, but is at elevated levels compared with a year ago. The Pending Home Sales Index, a forward-looking indicator based on contract signings, declined 2.6 percent to 99.2 in August from an upwardly revised 101.9 in July but is 10.7 percent above August 2011 when it was 89.6. The data reflect contracts but not closings.
The Panama City skyline will be adding a 50-story tower in the heart of the city's financial district, including Central America's first W Hotel and premium office space. The new mixed-use Evolution Tower was recently announced as part of an agreement between W Hotels Worldwide and Evolution Tower Corp, a joint venture between F & F Properties and EFC Group Inc.
In a trend that will likely continue in the coming years, Chilean companies are increasingly entering northern neighbor Peru's booming retail market. Reflecting this trend, it has just been announced that Chilean mall operator Plaza S.A., through the entity Mall Aventura Plaza, has opened its fourth mall in Peru, Santa Anita.
The Texas Hill Country reveals itself in sweet vignettes, until you're taken away by the soft-yet-rugged beauty and the charming little towns and the surprisingly-good wineries rolling past. This is a different Texas, distinct from the flatlands to the east, the rolling Panhandle to the north, and the stark mesas and cliffs to the west. It's region of rolling hills, meandering rivers, horses grazing in roadside pastures, and hospitable people who love their country music and their heritage. .
According to the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), sales of new single-family houses in August 2012 were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 373,000.
On the 75th anniversary of its iconic Sheraton brand, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE:HOT) picked a perfect way to celebrate the occasion - opening the largest hotel in Starwood's global portfolio this past week in China. The opening of Sheraton Macao Hotel, Cotai Central also happens to be the largest hotel to open worldwide in 2012 and the 4,000-room hotel is the largest ever in Macau.
Israel has broken ground on its biggest construction project in 30 years, a $650 million (Dh2.4 billion) military training base for support troops in Hanegev, a desert sand site in the country's south end. The National newspaper in Abu Dhabi reports that beginning in late 2014, about 10,000 soldiers will be moved from their current quarters in a high-priced real estate area near Tel Aviv to the new base, about 30 kilometers south of the city of Beersheba.
Higher gasoline prices, a rebound in auto sales in July, and stronger sales of building materials and supplies gave a boost to US retail sales, which had a small gain in August, according to a Marcus & Millichap September 21, 2012 research blog entitled "Escalated Energy and Food Prices Erode Consumer Spending; Pace Remains Well Ahead of Last Year."
According to a report in ChicagoRealEstateDaily.com, Boston-based Hospitality Properties Trust (NYSE:HPT) will acquire the 437-room Hotel 71 in downtown Chicago, near the city's Magnificent Mile, just west of Michigan Avenue. The seller is Canyon Capital Realty Advisors, based in Los Angeles.
According to Zillow, 30-year fixed mortgage rates are currently at 3.18 percent, down 16 basis points from 3.34 percent at this same time last week. This represents the lowest rate reported by Zillow since beginning in 2008. After peaking at 3.35 percent on Wednesday, the 30-year fixed mortgage rate dropped to 3.28 percent and hovered between 3.32 and 3.35 percent over the weekend, dropping to the current rate this morning.
According to the American Institute of Architects (AIA), on the heels of a nearly three-point increase, the Architecture Billings Index (ABI) climbed into positive terrain for the first time in five months. Considered by many analysts as a leading economic indicator of construction activity, the ABI reflects the approximate nine to twelve month lag time between architecture billings and construction spending.
According to hotel data compiled by STR Global, despite economic slowdowns in many regions of the world, hotel markets globally still posted mostly positive performance results for the month of August 2012. Here is a breakdown of hotel markets by region from STR Global.
According to the California Association of Realtors (C.A.R.), California's pending home sales rose in August from July, but a continuing shortage of housing inventory sent pending sales lower from the previous year. Additionally, the lack of supply, particularly of REO properties, sent the share of equity sales to its highest level in four years.