It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.
Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.
Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.
U.S. commercial real estate activity slowed to its weakest level in 12 years in the fourth quarter, signaling another six- to nine-month slump, the National Association of Realtors said on Thursday.
Commercial real estate prices, meanwhile, fell 14.9 percent in 2008 to levels last seen in 2005, Moody's Investors Service Commercial said in a separate report on Thursday. From their peak in October 2007, prices have fallen 16 percent, Moody's said.
The NAR's index of commercial brokerage activity declined 6 percent to 109.2 last quarter from a downwardly revised 116.1 in the third quarter, the industry group said in a statement. It was the lowest reading since the last quarter of 1996, an NAR spokeswoman said.
By Julie Haviv NEW YORK (Reuters) - A record number of U.S. homeowners thought their homes had depreciated in value in February, according to a Reuters/University of Michigan survey published on Friday. Among those surveyed, 64 percent reported declines in the value of their homes, sharply up from 35 percent a year earlier and just 3 percent in the February 2006 survey. Just 9 percent thought the value of their home had risen, the lowest recorded since that question was first asked nearly two decades ago. The outlook for home prices in the year ahead was grim as only 8 percent anticipated any increase in the value of their home and 30 percent expected a decline, the most negative balance of opinion recorded. Overall, an average nationwide decline of 2.0 percent was anticipated during the year ahead, just ahead of a 1.9 percent drop expected in the January survey and the largest expected decline recorded.
Latvian Prime Minister Ivars Godmanis and his government have resigned, amid political turmoil triggered by the Baltic state's economic crisis. President Valdis Zatlers has accepted the resignations. Earlier the two largest parties in the ruling centre-right coalition had demanded the PM's resignation. International lenders, including the IMF, World Bank and EU, have pledged 7.5bn euros (£6.6bn; $9.5bn) to shore up Latvia's struggling economy. Protesters demanding the government's resignation clashed with police in the capital Riga on 13 January. But Mr Godmanis then survived a parliamentary no-confidence vote on 3 February. Latvia's economy is in recession, having shrunk at the fastest rate since the early 1990s, when it split from the Soviet Union. It is expected to contract by 12% this year.