Top Housing Official Jumps Ship For Lobbying Job



Last week David H. Stevens announced he would step down as commissioner of the Federal Housing Administration, and this week its being announced that he will be named the next chief executive of the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA). During his two-year stint in the Obama administration, he was a key adviser on housing-finance policies. He will succeed John A. Courson, a former mortgage banker who took the helm of the MBA in 2008. Mr. Courson’s departure is seen as a unexpected upheaval to a trade association that has had an extremely vociferous three year period.

Barwa Real Estate Nearly Doubles Profit in 2010



Barwa Real Estate says that profits soared after an acquisition spree in 2010. Qatar’s biggest publicly traded developer by assets, posted some impressive numbers, and in a filing to the Qatar exchange yesterday its full-year net profit rose to 1.4 billion rials.

Spain’s Cajas Have $137 Billion in Potentially Bad Loans



In news from Spain, total exposure of Spanish savings banks to real estate and building now amounts to 217 billion euros, and of that 100 billion euros are seen as problematic, the Bank of Spain reported yesterday.

Washington D.C. Still Leads Recovery



Washington D.C. remained the leader among major U.S. markets in commercial real estate pricing recovery in 2010. The region posted a 5 percent increase in the fourth quarter last year. More specifically, commercial property pricing in that area gained 15 percent for the year and 19 percent since its market low.

The 25 Toughest Real Estate Sales Worldwide



During these tough economic times, real estate agents everywhere have it rough. But imagine the agents who get saddled with some of the ugliest homes in the world to unload. RealtyBizNews presents, arguably, the ugliest houses in the world. For any number of reasons, ugly can just kill a home sale. What is your ugly home worst nightmare?

Asia Markets Afford Best Margins



Rising markets and boisterous share issuance in the Asian-Pacific region have returned well for the bottom lines of Wall Street and elsewhere. As reported by the Wall Street Journal, total investment-banking revenue from the region excluding Japan rose 56% last year to $12.2 billion, increasing its total proportion of industry fee revenue to 17.4% from 12.8% in 2009, according to estimates from data provider Dealogic.

Canadian Real Estate Investment Way Up



In news from Canada, the real estate market there saw a 48 percent increase in commercial investment volume in 2010, to the tune of $18.9 billion. The increase was sparked by a stronger economy and “surging investor confidence,” according to CB Richard Ellis. Toronto ended 2010 with $7.4 billion in trades, up almost 4 billion, from $3.8 billion in 2009, according to the 2010 National Investment Report released yesterday by the CBRE.

Calpers Looks at Dropping Stocks From Property Portfolio



Calpers, better known as the colossus California pension fund, is proposing to eliminate Real Estate stocks from its property portfolio. The proposal significantly weakens efforts by Real Estate investment trusts to convince institutional investors to increase their Real Estate investment trusts (REIT) holdings.

Four Safe Bets for Real Estate Investment



Generally speaking, real estate experts base their forecasts and predictions of the top markets on job growth, migration and an evaluation of home prices, along with closely watched ‘outside’ metrics such as interest rates. Here are four cities that many expects think are a safe bet where investment is concerned.

Pending Home Sales SOAR in D.C. Up 31%



MRIS data showed that the Washington region posted its highest monthly and yearly increase in pending sales in more than a decade, with 3,198 purchase contracts signed in January. Was this just luck? Or, is someone in DC actually working for their dinner?

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