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Desperate developers become main focus on the property forums this week

Just a year ago Brazil was one of the most talked about property markets in the world and it is not unreasonable to wonder what is happening there now.

But there is not much information out there. There are general noises coming from real estate agents that prices are still moving in an upward direction but little hard facts. It is hard to find out what is really going on.

What little information there is on the property forums this week is sparse and it is clear that what is happening varies from location to location? For example, on the forum some people report that the economic downturn is having no impact while others are seeing a quietening in the market.

North East Brazil seems to be relatively unscathed but other parts of the country are not doing as well, according to reports on the forum. There are also warnings about violence in Rio but other places are described as charming and welcoming.

But when it comes to opportunities London might be one place worth a look. Recently analysts have been predicting that prices in London are reaching bottom and there is evidence on the forum of bargains if you take the time to hunt for them.

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One example is a repossession flat that changed hands for £230,000 last year but it was repossessed and has been up for £165,000 with no takers. It is apparently going to be re-advertised at £145,000 and benpincus reckons he could get it for £140,000 and rent it for £1,000 per month.

But what is causing consternation among property investors in Dubai right now is the sheer number of projects being put on hold and cancelled. A list of many of them can be found on the forum which along with articles in PropertyWire's news section gives a pretty devastating picture.

The concern for investors is that developers, especially the smaller ones are not very forthcoming when it comes to telling them what is going on, it is claimed. Some believe that they are waiting for people to default on staged payments so they can keep the money.

A similar situation is poised to hit the property market in India with major developers now admitting they have financial problems. Many large developers are discounting like mad and a key question for property investors is whether to buy now at a discounted price or wait for further price falls.

Issues raised on the include whether it is wise to buy into a discounted project at all as it might be put on hold or cancelled, just as is happening in Dubai at present.

Also if the developer is getting less money having discounted heavily, will this have any impact on the quality of the finished project?

Several posters on the forum report that they have postponed decisions to invest because of concerns about the job market. The once booming IT industry in India is now being hit with job losses as are finance and banking.

Some more pessimistic posters predict that the market in India will not bottom out until 2010 or even 2012.

Although experts believe that further cuts in interest rates in the UK will not do much to help property prices as the key to boosting the market is increasing lending, the sheer extent of how tricky it is at the moment to sort out a mortgage or a re-mortgage is highlighted on the forum.

Re-mortgaging to make use of lower interest rates is not always cost effective, it is revealed. For example when you take into account the fees involved, including revaluation etc, then on a two year fixed rate deal the maths just don’t work out.

Even those on five year fixed deals taken out before the massive rate cuts might not been in a bad position. As one poster points out she at least knows what her mortgage is going to cost every month for the next few years.

Also lenders, such as Bradford & Bingley, are informing current customers that they are reducing their mortgage books and will not be offering re-mortgages, thus limiting choice for many people.