It"s Not Me - I"m My Brother

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Successive interest rate increases by the Fed have left everyone wondering what is going to happen next with Real Estate.
Will the boom continue or is this the beginning of a gradual slow down? As Jim Jubak, writing in Jubak's Journal, points out, the effect of steady increases will have a much broader impact than just on those who have adjustable-rate mortgages or are locked in because of bad credit ratings.
He reports that many large mortgage companies are now selling off riskier holdings to third and fourth parties -- parties prepared to put their faith in the ever upward march of prices.
But as Jubak says, "It's never a good sign when the folks that know an asset best are selling.
" Commercial Real Estate Prices in Japan Show Increase Tokyo's commercial land prices are still down 80 percent from the peaks of 1990, but are starting to make a come back.
With interest rates at record lows and Japan's economy showing growth for four straight years, commercial property prices have actually increased this year for the first time in 15 years.
As a sign of their confidence in the Japanese economy, American International Group Inc.
, the world's largest insurer, has begun negotiations for the purchase of a $3.
4 billion office tower in downtown Tokyo.
Builder Confidence Declines Slightly in US Builders of single-family homes across the US showed slightly decreased confidence in the market going into December.
According to a recent survey of members, the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing market Index (HMI) showed a slight decline from November.
The December index was down from 61 to 57, with anything above 50 indicating "good" sales conditions.
Ratings are based on total traffic, resistance to current pricing, interest rate concerns and several other factors.
While December's number is still above 50, it is at its lowest point since April, 2003.
The national average was brought down by a 33 reported for the Midwest.
Magna owner misused influence according to minor shareholder The founder of Magna International Inc, Frank Stronach, is being accused of misusing the assets of MI Developments, a publicly-traded company that acts as the real estate wing of Magna International.
According to lawyers for Greenlight Capital, Inc.
, a 10% owner of MI Developments, Stronach used "oppressive conduct" to direct the resources of MI Developments towards propping up another of his companies, Magna Entertainment Corp.
This third company runs several racetracks across North America.
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