Some good property news

Housing reports on April are terrible. This is topped off with the Federal Housing Finance Agency report that housing prices posted the largest quarterly decline since the fourth quarter of 2008. Only three states saw house prices appreciate in the first quarter of 2011: Alaska, North Dakota and West Virginia. Depressing. An article by Bloomberg earlier Wednesday also weighed in on negative sentiment: “Dollar Unloved by Bond Managers Enticed by Emerging Markets.” Or as Marketplace Radio correspondent Heidi Moore tweeted succinctly: “Bond managers are dissing the U.S. dollar.” Moore is right in her interpretation of the Bloomberg piece. And I, for one, am getting a little tired of all of this disrespect going around, especially after looking at Rep. Patrick McHenry’s (R-N.C.) Facebook page (h/t Nick Timiraos of The Wall Street Journal). Clearly we need some good news. A web conference from Investment Property Databank, a independent global property analytics firm, Wednesday offered exactly that. IPD looked at property investments in a very singular way by charting the rate of return. It’s a great barometer, and it answers a fundamental question for fund mangers: How much will it earn? To be sure, the last few years were not so great, with a backward slide again in 2010 (see IPD chart below). Well, globally, the consensus from the participants of web conference is for bullish investment in various real estate segments this year. One commentator predicted a boom in multi-family performance, followed by the office sector. “The U.S. is going to have a great year in 2011, in terms of returns,” said another. All are taking overweight positions in the U.S. in their global property portfolios, they said, in order to maximize returns. Just thought we needed some good news. Write to Jacob Gaffney. Follow him on Twitter @JacobGaffney.

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3d rendering of a row of luxury townhouses along a street

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