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Elliman Report: Manhattan housing prices and sales activity have remained stable for the past three years, despite the general economic turbulence

Article provided by Prudential Douglas Elliman Real Estate

Manhattan Market Matrix

2011

% Chg (yr)

2010

% Chg (10yr)

2002

Average Sales Price

$1,426,912

-2.1%

$1,457,255

79.5%

$795,079

Average Price Per Sq Ft

$1,087

2.5%

$1,060

76.2%

$617

Median Sales Price

$850,000

-3.4%

$880,000

88.9%

$450,000

Number of Sales

10,161

1.0%

10,060

6.9%

9,509

Average Days on Market

127

6.7%

119

0.8%

126

Average Discount from List Price

4.3%

-0.2%

7.1%

 

3.5%

Listing Inventory

7,221

 

7,232

-3.8%

7,506

30 Year Fixed Mortgage (Freddie Mac)

3.91%

 

4.81%

 

6.05%

1 Year Adjustable Rate Mortgage (Freddie Mac)

2.77%

 

3.40%

 

4.12%

The number of sales remained above the 10,000 sale threshold for the second consecutive year and for the fourth time in the decade. There were 10,161 sales in 2011, the third highest total of the decade. The total was 1% above the prior year total of 10,060, but 24.3% below the 2007 housing boom peak of 13,430. The weakest period of sales activity for the decade was in 2009, the year after the “Lehman tipping point” in late 2008 when the credit crunch and low consumer confidence stifled sales activity.

There were 7,221 listings at the end of 2011, nominally less than 7,232 listings at the end of 2010. The 2011 result was 3.8% less than the 7,506 inventory in 2002. Modest inventory levels have been the key to market stability in the past two years.

The year-over-year price indicators were mixed but have continued to remain relatively stable for the past three years after the sharp price correction at the end of 2008. The 2011 median sales price of a Manhattan apartment was $850,000, 3.4% below $880,000 in 2010. The price indicator was at its fourth highest level in the decade and 88.9% above the 2002 level.

The number of days to sell a Manhattan apartment was 127 in 2011, 8 days slower than in 2010, but roughly the same as the 126 day average days on market for 2002.

Listing discount, the percentage difference between the list price at time of sale and the sales price, was 4.3%, down from 7.1% in 2010. Buyers and sellers were more in sync on establishing sales price in 2011 than they were in 2010.

Article provided by Prudential Douglas Elliman Real Estate. For more information contact Rocio Docal Neuman at Rneumann@elliman.com

Mexican Businessmen Look for Help to Purchase U.S.-Based Companies
Article provided by Securebridge Business Opportunities

An increasing number of Mexican businessmen are buying companies in the United States. This increase is due to a number of factors. First, it makes business sense. Owning a U.S.-based company gives Mexican investors an additional level of diversification and direct access to a huge and stable market, advanced technology, and high quality labor.

Second, U.S. visa law often gives foreign purchasers of U.S.-based companies a path to a Green Card, allowing them, their spouses, and unmarried children under 21 to live and work in the United States. Under current U.S. law, Mexican nationals who purchase a company in the United States might become eligible for a variety of different visas, each with different requirements.

Thus, more Mexican businessmen are realizing that combining companies on both sides of the border allows them to maximize efficiency and profits, and provide a measure of personal security. But while many of these investors are experienced in their own business, they often find it difficult to identify opportunities and complete an acquisition in the U.S. These investors frequently seek professional help when looking to purchase a business in the U.S.

Business brokers, attorneys and other consulting firms can all help a potential purchaser throughout the entire process, from finding the right business for sale, analyzing the financial statements, determining a fair valuation, negotiating the contracts, and even advising on immigration issues. Finding the right professional to partner with is critical. The following is a brief guide to some issues that you should think about when choosing a firm.

Quality and quantity of businesses for sale: Many business brokers advertise the ability to find a business for you to purchase. Marshall Rocke of SecureBridge Business Opportunities, suggests to “Make sure they inquire about your current business, where you want your U.S. subsidiary to be located, minimum profitability, and of course, how much you want to invest” Mr. Rocke adds. Do they have access to a network of investment bankers or venture capitalists representing a broad variety of industries, regions, and sizes? Or will they push you to purchase a company that is not a perfect fit just because it is the best they have?

Package of services or a la carte? Purchasing a business can be a lengthy process, with each deal requiring a specific combination of professional resources, depending on your particular needs. Ideally, the partner you choose will be able to provide access to professionals in a wide variety of specialties. You may need business lawyers, accountants, investment bankers, immigration lawyers and translators. Or you may need only one or two of these specialties.

Set or variable fees? As the services provided can vary greatly, so can the fee for this service. Some firms may charge a percentage of the ultimate purchase price, which can end up costing a significant amount. Others charge a flat fee. Whichever structure you prefer, make sure you understand how the fee will be determined.

By Stuart Seldowitz partner at SecureBridge Business Opportunities, a firm that helps foreign investors purchase U.S.-based companies. For more information, please contact Stuart Seldowitz smseldowitz@gmail.com

PUEBLA
Article provided by the Mexican Tourism Board

2012 is a very special year for the state of Puebla, since it is the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Puebla. In fact, Cinco de Mayo is often mistaken in the United States for Mexico’s Independence Day, when in fact celebrations on May 5 actually commemorate the Battle of Puebla. On May 5, 1862 General Ignacio Zaragoza successfully defended the city from invading French forces; this historic victory is celebrated around the world every year on May 5. Thus, this year marks a perfect time to visit Puebla, the place where Cinco de Mayo began.

The city of Puebla is a colorful mix of customs and history with abundant traditions and impressive sixteenth century architecture. Its fine cuisine – mole Poblano was invented here, artists’ quarters – many featuring characteristic talavera ceramics and museums all evoke its epic past. Puebla is famous for its Cinco de Mayo celebrations, making the month of May a great time to visit. Los Fuertes (Fuerte de Loreto and Fuerte de Guadalupe) - The forts, which sit atop the Cerro de Guadalupe is where the Battle of Puebla took place on May 5, 1862 are the focal point for Cinco de Mayo celebrations. The 20,000 strong Cinco de Mayo parade featuring local school children, students and military floats will finish at Los Fuertes in 2012.

Puebla is famous for its cuisine, not least Mole Poblano. As part of this year’s Cinco de Mayo celebrations the first International Mole Festival will take place in Puebla, celebrating the spicy/sweet sauce with culinary exhibitions, talks and tastings. Taking a cookery class is a great way find out about the food, culture and history of this beautiful city. Boutique hotel Meson de la Sacristia offers a range of cookery workshops.

Defined by the Sierra Madre Oriental and the Trans-Mexican Volcanic Belt the state of Puebla has a large number of volcanoes. Escape the city for a day of hiking in this beautiful mountainous landscape. Pico de Orizaba (or Citlaltépetl), Popocatépetl, and Iztaccíhuatl (or “Sleeping Woman”) are Mexico’s three tallest volcanoes, and they all make great destinations for hiking and mountaineering. Before setting off, just check on the volcanic activity of Popocatépetl as it remains active.  If you are looking for further activities outside the city tours to provincial towns around the state offer a glimpse of Puebla’s pre-Hispanic past. The archeological site of Cholula boasts one of the largest pre-Hispanic temple foundations in Mexico. 

   

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