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Thursday, January 12, 2012

Skyscrapers = Economic Recession?

ART HISTORY/POLITICS - According to a report by Barclays Capital they've found a correlation between skyscraper construction and recessions.

Barclays looked at the last 140 years of recessions and noticed an “unhealthy correlation” between skyscraper construction and financial turmoil.

When the Great Depression hit the finishing touches were being put on three of the tallest buildings in New York: 40 Wall Street, the Chrysler Building and the Empire State Building, which were all completed between 1929 and 1931.

The economic crises of the 1970s coincided with the completion of New York’s World Trade Center twin towers, in 1972 and 1973, and Chicago’s Sears Tower in 1974.

The Asian financial crisis hit when Kuala Lumpur’s Petronas Towers were finished in 1997.

Dubai’s $4.1 billion Burj Khalifa, completed in 2010, is now the world’s tallest building. However as it was being built, Dubai nearly went bankrupt and the world slid into the Great Recession.

Right now China is building 66 new skyscrapers (buildings over 240 metres tall). The sheer number currently under construction makes China home to 53% of the 124 skyscrapers now under construction globally, China will increase its stock of skyscrapers by 87% by the time they're completed.

India is not far behind. India currently has 2 skyscrapers completed, but have another 14 under construction, including building the world’s second-tallest tower, in the financial capital Mumbai.

But why is building skyscrapers a sign of trouble ahead?

“Building booms are a sign of excess credit,” says Andrew Lawrence, director of property research at Barclays Capital in Hong Kong.

Historically, skyscraper construction has coincided with easy credit, rising land prices and excessive optimism, but by the time the skyscrapers are finished the economy has slipped into recession.

Combine that with China's already huge real estate bubble and the economic prediction for China and India is dire.

About 80% of new buildings going up are in tier two and three cities, which Barclays called “evidence of the expanding building bubble.”

China's residential property sales are down 50% in Beijing and Shanghai and developers have slashed prices 5 to 20%.

The problem is that in both countries a substantial number of real estate loans aren't being collected. People in China and India are already defaulting on those loans, while simultaneously more skyscrapers are being proposed. In India non performing loans went up 33% in the first half of this fiscal year, according to the Reserve Bank of India.

Its unknown exactly how many people are defaulting on their loans in China, but its believed the number will be huge. China doesn't do anything small.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Real estate schools in the USA

Real estate schools is an interesting phenomenon. I wonder who first invented them???

There is even Graduate / Masters level programs in real estate. eg. Master of Science in Real Estate or Master of Real Estate Development.

According to my research the first universities to introduce real estate programs were MIT and Harvard in 1983. Columbia University (1985), Texas A&M University (1985) and University of Southern California (1986) soon offered similar programs in real estate studies. Today there is literally dozens of places in the USA offering educational programs in real estate. I count a total of 40 universities in the USA with some kind of real estate masters program.

Overseas they are no so common. More often they are in the UK (15 universities), Germany (7 universities), France (5), Italy (5), Australia (4), and a few others in Europe and Asia.

As far as I can tell there is NO masters level programs in Canada for real estate studies. (This might be a good thing.)

There is also hundreds of places offering certificate programs.

Key Realty School Logo
So what are these real estate schools actually preaching?

Before selling real estate for a living, you need to know about a few different tactics that can help you make those big sales. As an agent, you are only going to be paid on commission, so getting the sales is incredibly important to the success of your new career. KeyRealtySchool.com is the premier Nevada real estate school, and you can learn many things that will help shape your future if you attend classes.

Staging the House Helps Tremendously

You can often sell a home very quickly if you stage it, rather than leaving it empty. Do not put too many things in the building. You still need it to be a blank slate so that potential buyers can imagine what it would be like if they lived there. However, having it be entirely empty often makes the rooms look small since people have a hard time understanding the space without couches or tables filling it. Their minds will make the rooms look smaller than they really are, and putting in a few items gives them the correct scale.

Always Be on Time

Few things can prevent a sale like showing up late or forgetting that you are showing the house at all. If the buyer has to call you and ask where you are, he or she will come to the table with a negative opinion of the house before setting foot inside of it. You need to be on time or early so that they are feeling positive. 

Now I presume there is more to it than that. After all, they're selling a certificate in this program, right? So there must be a lot more things they are trying to teach you about the process of selling homes. There should be some gritty legal explanations, some MBA stuff about good business practices, some sales/advertising/marketing advice. Probably some other things I am not thinking of.

In theory a savvy person who goes through such a program could make a lot of money selling homes - especially if they are a people person who is charismatic. Unfortunately I have a hunch they don't teach people how to be charismatic.

Business savvy and charisma, the two things a real estate agent needs more.

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