Showing posts from 2008

A White Christmas 2008 in Valletta - Malta


Rent-Stabilized life in New York

Editta Sherman has celebrated more than half a century's worth of new years in her palatial studio apartment above New York's Carnegie Hall. But it's unlikely the celebrated portrait photographer will be raising her glass there next year...........

The city of New York wants to renovate the space above Carnegie Hall, where Marlon Brando once lived and where Sherman and five other renters, including iconic New York Times' photographer Bill Cunningham, have enjoyed rent-stabilized bliss since Frank Sinatra cut his first demo.
Sherman pays $650 a month for her studio, a drool-inducing space basked in natural light with floor-to-ceiling windows. An enormous skylight hangs over bold, black-and-white tiled floors; a cast-iron circular staircase leads to a loft stuffed with props.......

Read the full article here.

Madoff Scandal Shaking Real Estate Industry

Almost no segment of New York City’s real estate industry was spared in the Madoff scandal, which may be history’s largest Ponzi scheme: commercial brokers large and small, little-known developers and prominent families like the Wilpons and Rechlers all lost money to Bernard L. Madoff, industry executives say..............

“They knew him from golfing in the Hamptons. They knew him from the locker rooms,” Mr. Reisman said. “He was considered a wizard.”

Mr. Reisman said his clients were especially concerned because they counted on Madoff investments to complete some of their real estate projects, pledging their investments as collateral for projects. Those developers fear that when their banks realize that their investments with Mr. Madoff have disappeared, they will demand new collateral from other sources, Mr. Reisman said.
Finding those alternative lenders will be difficult given the financial crisis — and given that many other real estate investors have been hurt by the Madoff case.


MEPA proposes street categorisation

The Malta Environment and Planning Authority (MEPA) is in the final stages of proposing several schemes involving the categorisation of streets in urban conservation areas.

The four areas in the Malta Local Plan set to be categorised are: the North West Local Plan, the South Malta Local Plan, the Marsaxlokk Bay Local Plan, and the Central Malta Local Plan. The proposals were presented to several non-governmental organisations on Tuesday for consultation and will be presented to local councils on the week starting December 8.

The Parliamentary Secretary for Public Dialogue, Chris Said said that government worked hard to seriously consult the involved sectors so that the best results could be achieved in realising these schemes. 02 December 2008 -- 19:50CEST

US Government seizes mortgage giants.

NEW YORK ( Federal officials on Sunday unveiled an extraordinary takeover of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, putting the government in charge of the twin mortgage giants and the $5 trillion in home loans they back.
The move marks Washington's most dramatic attempt yet to shore up the nation's housing market, which is suffering from record foreclosures and falling prices.
The sweeping plan, announced by Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and James Lockhart, director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency, places the two companies into a "conservatorship" to be overseen by the Federal Housing Finance Agency. Under conservatorship, the government would temporarily run Fannie and Freddie until they are on stronger footing.
"A failure [of Fannie and Freddie] would affect the ability of Americans to get home loans, auto loans and other consumer credit and business finance," Paulson said at a press conference in Washington. "And a failure would be harmful…

Malta and US sign historic double taxation agreement

During the “historic moment” which took place yesterday when Malta and the US signed a double taxation agreement, Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi announced that the Malta-US visa waiver is at an advanced stage. Finance Minister Tonio Fenech and US Ambassador Molly Bordonaro, in the presence of the Prime Minister, signed the agreement yesterday morning – an agreement which has been long in the making.Full article from The Malta Independent online here.

Maltese Property Market History @ EMCS Forum

The following speech was given by Mr. Frank Salt today 4th June 2008 at the EMCS Property Forum, Hilton, St. Julian's.

I will start by giving you a brief summary of the history of the Maltese property market.

We shall start in the 1960s. Malta at that time was very dependent on the income generated by the British forces, who were at that time living and working in Malta. When the Maltese Government were told that the British bases were soon to leave, a different way of earning money had to be found.

One of the ideas that came forward was the introduction of a permanent residency scheme, that took advantage of the many British that were leaving the old colonies in Africa. This scheme was very successful, as the climate in Malta was very acceptable and the taxation being offered of sixpence in the pound was very attractive.Those were the days of taking foreign clients out in coaches, and each salesperson selling over 25 properties a month.

Then there came a change in Government...

A st…