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The majority of data and analysis at Financial Services Briefing is available only to subscribers. Each week, a small share of content from the service is made available to non-subscribers.

A series of tough measures, accompanied by equally tough talk, have made it clear that Bank of Israel governor Stanley Fischer is determined to prevent a crisis in Israel’s property market.

Israel’s latest directive imposing restrictions on the mortgage market was issued by its newly-appointed banking sector regulator, David Zaken, on April 28th and took effect on May 5th. It restricts the share of mortgages with adjustable rates that change at least once every five years to one-third of total lending. This restriction applies to all forms of financing in use in Israel, namely shekel floating-rate mortgages, loans linked to the consumer price index and loans linked to exchange rates (generally the shekel versus the dollar). According to the latest central bank data, these three channels comprise 48%, 32% and 6%, respectively, of total mortgage borrowing.

Read more at Financial Services Briefing: “Pre-emptive strike” (May 6th)

A candid survey of property professionals by the Urban Land Institute and PricewaterhouseCoopers serves as a valuable resource for those interested in the future of the US real estate market. The report is sprinkled with colourful quotes from property investors—the downturn produced “a deep canyon” separating “trophy” and “trash” assets, “with a lot more trash”—as well as quantitative expectations for the quarters ahead.

Even though it was conducted before the furore over faulty foreclosure processes hit fever pitch, the survey suggests that lenders are not in a hurry to foreclose on delinquent borrowers. Still, next year more repossessed properties are expected to be put up for sale, not least because buyers “realise they should not expect giant discounts on everything that comes to market,” according to the survey. Now, with the spectre of legal action and forced repurchases haunting distressed properties, activity may not bounce back as quickly as expected.

The majority of data and analysis at Financial Services Briefing is available only to subscribers. Each week, a small share of content from the service is made available to non-subscribers.

A victory for Barclays in Dubai’s first foreclosure case is a welcome development for lenders in the region. Although it marks an important step in the maturity of the emirate’s battered property market, it is unlikely to herald a flood of foreclosures.

Read more at Financial Services Briefing: “Closing time” (January 29th)

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