Archive for May, 2010

US Internet Ad Revenues hit highest level on record

Tuesday, May 18th, 2010

Interesting stats as ad revenue rockets.

7.5% Year-Over-Year Increase a Bright Spot in Marketing & Advertising Media

Internet advertising revenues in the U.S. hit $5.9 billion for the first quarter of 2010, representing a 7.5 per cent increase over the same period in 2009, according to the numbers released on May 14th by the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) and PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC). This marks the highest first-quarter revenue level ever for the industry.

“The year-over-year growth we are seeing reflects marketers’ confidence in the value and effectiveness of interactive advertising,” said Randall Rothenberg, President and CEO of the IAB. “The Internet, together with explosive technological innovation in devices and platforms, has transformed consumers’ lives, giving them access to entertainment and information however, whenever, and wherever they want it. That’s why the vibrant interactive advertising and marketing industry lends major fuel to the U.S. economy.”

“We are seeing continued signs of an improved economy and interactive advertising market,” said David Silverman, PwC Assurance partner. “The media industry – like the economy as a whole – saw tremendous challenges this past year, and uncertainty about the recovery remains. However, entering 2010 with such strong Q1 revenues is a sign of the health and vitality of online media, and of marketers’ continuing investment in interactive as a cornerstone of their advertising campaigns.”

Source: IAB/USA, 13 May 2010

Vancouverites see value in buying a condo

Friday, May 14th, 2010

by Brian Morton, Vancouver Sun

If you’re a young adult looking for a condo, it might be best to approach your parents and just ask for one.

That’s one of the findings of TD Canada Trust’s Condo Poll, which shows Vancouverites not only see condos as a source of long-term income, but that 13 per cent — tied with Montreal for the highest in the country — would consider buying one for their adult children either to own or use.

“The number-one point [in this survey] is that Vancouverites believe condos provide good, affordable accommodation,” said Barry Rathburn, B.C. mobile mortgage specialist for TD Canada Trust, in an interview Wednesday. “It’s also interesting that 47 per cent of Vancouverites would invest in a condo, [mainly] for rental income. That’s the highest in the country.”

The high number of Vancouverites who would buy a condo for their children speaks to the fact that a lot of people in Vancouver have an urban lifestyle “that includes condo living,” Rathburn said.

A large number of parents now help their kids buy their first homes, perhaps with a down payment, so he said he wasn’t surprised by the survey findings.

“A certain segment would buy a condo in a major city so [their children] can attend a university. Afterwards, they could rent it out or sell it.”

According to the poll, Vancouverites continue to see the value in buying a condo, either for their own home or for their children.

The most common reason Vancouverites gave for buying a condo is affordability, with 45 per cent of residents citing that reason, compared to 24 per cent nationwide.

The two other top reasons were less maintenance (21 per cent) and wanting to downsize from a house (15 per cent).

However, respondents in Vancouver were also the most likely in the country to say that if they had more money, they would buy a house over a condo (53 per cent).

As well, Vancouverites are the most likely to consider raising a family in a condo (42 per cent versus 36 per cent nationally).

Rathburn said he’s seeing an increasing number of so-called snowbirds and other travellers who buy a condo for the summer and spend winter elsewhere.

The survey found that 66 per cent of Vancouverites would spend no more than $400,000 for a two-bedroom condo, although Vancouverites are also the most willing to pay more than $400,000 (31 per cent versus 15 per cent nationally). However, just eight per cent of Vancouver residents would pay more than $400 a month in condo fees.

The condo poll was conducted from April 14-20 in five large Canadian urban centres, with about 200 interviews in each centre.

Could Euro crisis spark new sales rush?

Tuesday, May 11th, 2010

By Stephen Harris of Overseas Property Professional.

Fears over Europe’s economy are set to make property cheaper for foreign buyers if the euro keeps sliding, with some firms hoping for a surge in sales.

A Euro 750 billion deal announced this week to halt the debt crisis affecting the eurozone has been greeted with scepticism by currency traders and fund managers. And stockmarkets in Asia and Europe have fallen as initial enthusiasm for the bailout wears off.

The UK’s slow progress in forming a government after its election last week has also shaken the pound but brokers believe sterling is still likely to rise against the euro later this year.

“The euro is overvalued at current levels and we will tend to see it move back to its long-term average against the pound and the dollar,” said Jeremy Cook, chief economist at World First currency broker.

“The Eurozone has a very inflexible system and another shock from somewhere like Spain or Greece is still a possibility. We could see the pound reaching €1.21 or €1.22 in the next three months.”

Magic number
Agents and brokers have claimed many UK buyers are waiting for the pound to rise above €1.20 before they spend their money abroad.

“We’ve already seen interest in buying property start to increase,” said Cook. “Some people have been putting off buying for a year – they have the finance and are all ready to go but want to get the best rate they can.”

But others in the market are sceptical this will make a real difference. “The same people are still looking for excuses – they’re waiting for something but they’re not sure what,” said Martin Sadler of UK-based agent Assetz.

Mark Bodega of currency broker HiFX said the investment aspect is secondary for most of the firm’s property clients. “There will always be those clients who will be holding off for a better rate but exchange rates are not driving buying decisions,” he said.

Fund Investment
Institutions and funds are also looking to take advantage of a weak euro, according to Oliver Georg, managing director of Behringer Harvard Europe.

“We’ve seen increased interest from North America as any US-denominated fund investing in property in Europe can get a substantial discount at the moment,” he said.

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