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Bringing blockchain to real estate: Q&A Special

Imbrex is an Ethereum blockchain based real estate marketplace. The aim is to open communication channels between the world’s real estate networks creating an environment akin to a global Multiple Listing Service (MLS).

Syria land law amounts to 'forced eviction', HRW says

Beirut - Human Rights Watch warned Tuesday that Syria's new property law does not satisfy international standards and amounts to the "forced eviction" of vulnerable people unable to prove land ownership.

Fed-up Spanish cities are bursting Airbnb's bubble

Madrid - Spain may be one of the world's top tourist destinations, but many people in its biggest cities have grown exasperated with Airbnb-style rentals.And now, their city councils are taking action.

Lebanon fears Syria land law will hinder refugee returns

Beirut - Lebanon's top diplomat warned Saturday that a recent Syrian property law could dispossess hundreds of thousands of Syrian refugees from their land back home, leaving them permanently displaced in Lebanon.

Germany auctions ruins of vital WWII bridge

Frankfurt Am Main - German authorities are selling part of the remains of the "Bridge at Remagen" -- a World War II bridgehead into the country immortalised by a 1969 US film -- in a one-of-a-kind auction.

NY judge rules building can dump Trump name

New York - A New York judge on Thursday ruled that residents in a luxury Manhattan apartment building can remove the Trump name from their facade, ruling against the US president's family real-estate firm.

Real estate turning to technological solutions: Interview Special

New York - The real estate company Ideal was founded in 2007 by Aleksandra Scepanovic and partner Erik Serras. The duo identified a need to build a technologically innovative infrastructure for sales and rentals in key neighborhoods.

The plunder of Albania's coastline exposes deeper ills

Tirana - Only when the police questioned him in January did Rrahman Qosja discover he had been the victim of identity theft -- some of Albania's publicly owned coastline had been sold in his name.

Blockchain starting to reshape real estate

Real estate has been slow to adopt blockchain technology. However, the key benefits of reduced central authority, increased speed, and, perhaps most importantly for property transactions, trust, can each be realized through the development of blockchains.

Soul-searching as symbol of 70s Singapore faces demolition

Singapore - The looming demolition of a horseshoe-shaped tower block that symbolised Singapore's growth from a port town to an affluent city-state has sparked soul-searching about whether enough is being done to protect the country's recent history.

Dubai property giant Emaar profits surge on high sales

Dibai - Dubai construction giant Emaar Properties posted a sharp rise in third quarter profits Sunday as residential sales in the glitzy emirate gathered steam.

Packed with tourists, Ibiza struggles to house locals

Ibiza - Gabriel Alberto Andrade has lived in a van for a year, unable to pay for a home in Spain's Ibiza where rental prices have shot up as mass tourism takes its toll on locals.

Palestinian family faces Jerusalem eviction after half century

Jerusalem - Fahamiya Shamasneh, a 75-year-old Palestinian woman, refuses to pack her things despite a looming deadline for evacuating the home she has lived in for more than 50 years.

Egypt squatters lose homes as state seizes land

- Hala Gamal looks at a pile of rubble on Cairo's Warraq island -- all that's left of her house after a police operation to evict residents accused of squatting on state land.

Wonderland Villas: A tale of Hong Kong's property rollercoaster

Hong Kong - Red-whiskered bulbuls start chirping around 5:00 am at Wonderland Villas, a hilltop complex in leafy northern Hong Kong whose own history charts the city's political, economic and social fortunes.

Wonderland Villas: A tale of Hong Kong's property rollercoaster

Hong Kong - Red-whiskered bulbuls start chirping around 5:00 am at Wonderland Villas, a hilltop complex in leafy northern Hong Kong whose own history charts the city's political, economic and social fortunes.

Wonderland Villas: A tale of Hong Kong's property rollercoaster

Hong Kong - Red-whiskered bulbuls start chirping around 5:00 am at Wonderland Villas, a hilltop complex in leafy northern Hong Kong whose own history charts the city's political, economic and social fortunes.

India's new property law seeks to protect home buyers

Surajpur - In 2010, Neena Nagpal and her husband spent their life savings on a flat outside Delhi that was never built. Now, a new law seeks to protect thousands of home buyers like her from unscrupulous property developers.

Britain steps up fight against dirty London property

London - Britain took a significant step towards exposing dirty money in the London property market this week, passing a law allowing the seizure of homes from foreigners who cannot explain how they paid for them.

Britain plans £369 mn refit for Buckingham Palace

London - Buckingham Palace will get a £369 million overhaul to replace leaky pipes and old cabling under a taxpayer-funded plan unveiled on Friday by royal officials and the government.

Trump name becomes liability in luxury NY real estate

New York - Trump Place Apartments are luxury living at one of New York's finest addresses, with marble floors, grand entrance halls, attentive doormen and magnificent views across the Hudson River.

Lock-up to library: France reinvents its decrepit prisons

Rennes - The ad on the French finance ministry website is deadpan and succinct: "For sale: late 19th century prison in the centre of Grasse, 1,277.42 square metres (13,750 square feet). No garage or parking space. Needs renovating.

Playboy Mansion sold to Twinkies chief

Los Angeles - The Playboy Mansion, the legendary party house where Hollywood's elite cavorted with scantily-clad "bunnies," is being sold to the billionaire Twinkies owner who lives next door, a spokesman said Monday.

'Kleptocracy Tour': London sightseeing with a difference

London - A black bus winds its way through some of London's most expensive neighbourhoods for a sightseeing tour with a difference -- a guided visit around luxury houses bought by shady international tycoons and officials.

Panama Papers: UAE president leads London property holdings

London - The president of the United Arab Emirates owns London properties worth more than £1.2 billion ($1.7 billion, 1.5 billion euros) through offshore companies revealed in the so-called Panama Papers, The Guardian reported on Wednesday.

Cash for Cardinal's luxury pad sparks Vatican probe

Vatican City - The Vatican has opened an investigation into the financing of renovations at a luxury penthouse occupied by Italian cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, the former number two in the Holy See hierarchy, officials said Thursday.

Serbia returns seized property of Holocaust victims to Jews

Belgrade - In 1945, Aleksandar Lebl returned to Serbia after escaping the extermination of Jews in World War II and reclaimed his family's confiscated house.

Polar bear patrols reduce bear deaths in Canada, WWF says

As sea ice in the Arctic continues to thin and decrease, polar bears are spending longer periods prowling coastlines. Separated from seals, their primary source of food, the bears scavenge for meals and are attracted by cooking odors and human waste.

Australia probes hundreds of home purchases by foreigners

Sydney - Australia is cracking down on foreigners who unlawfully own residential properties, investigating hundreds of cases ahead of the introduction of tougher penalties, Treasurer Joe Hockey said Saturday.

Cashing in on the Pope's visit to Philadelphia

New York - For enterprising dwellers in Philadelphia, the pope's maiden visit to the US means one thing: mega bucks and listing their apartments on Airbnb for thousands of dollars a night.
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Terraced houses in Burnley  England.
Terraced houses in Burnley, England.
Alexander P Kapp
There are one billion squatters globally  that is  about one in every six people on the planet. Yet ...
There are one billion squatters globally, that is, about one in every six people on the planet. Yet, squatting is largely absent from policy and academic debate and is rarely conceptualized, as a problem, as a symptom, or as a social or housing movement.