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| Buyer focus

Peter Davy
On your marks Y
The race to break into the German buyer market has already begun – but are
they really the saviours of Europe’s overseas home market? OPP investigates
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The Germans are not, at fi rst US, for example, German investors were In a survey last year, the German Real director at CB Richard Ellis in Warsaw,
glance, the most promising reckoned by New York research fi rm Estate Association (Immobilienverband reacts to claims by some agents that
market for selling foreign Real Capital Analytics to be responsible Deutschland) found that 54% of Germans are set to play a role in the
property in. After all, property for about half the $2 billion spent on Germans believe that investment in buy to let market there with some
ownership in Germany itself is still a U.S. commercial properties by last real estate was the best protection skepticism. If they’re looking for yields,
minority pursuit, with only 43% of all October. In September DekaBank against falling investment values. That’s he points out, they’re more likely to
households in Germany owner- Group, the largest provider of open- good news given that Germans have prefer the stronger covenants and
occupiers. Furthermore, Germany was ended property funds in Germany, was among the highest savings rates and longer lease lengths on commercial
one of the few countries in the responsible for $208 million of that in lowest debt per capita in Europe, and a property; and in any case they don’t
developed world to avoid a property one deal alone in Washington. In the domestic property market that, since it really have to look outside their home
boom in the last decade. From 2001 to Czech Republic meanwhile, Deka was had no boom, also largely escaped the market for decent return. After all,
2006, German house prices actually fell also responsible for the two biggest bust; the November headline index for Munich and Hamburg were marked
fi ve per cent, and they haven’t really deals of 2009. Likewise in France, VEL
risen for decades. Ireland and others, the German funds German funds are very interested in overseas property at the
“We just don’t have that thing that have been behind some of the highest moment. It’s really any person in Germany with €10,000 or even
The Residence Club at Pronghorn, Oregon Quinta Real, Mexico The Regency Country Club, Spain
the British call the property ladder,” profi le recent deals. €1,000 to invest. Some of these funds don’t even have minimum
explains Dr. Johannes Bohmann, “German funds are very interested in investment levels.
international section editor of overseas property at the moment,” says
Lars-Oliver Breuer, Savills Immobilien Beratungs-GmbH
the property magazine Bellevue. Lars-Oliver Breuer, managing director
Nevertheless, his magazine claims a of investments at Savills Immobilien house prices was down by 2.2% y/y but as the top two investment locations in
“Winner of the Best Fractional Service
readership of 280,000 on a circulation Beratungs-GmbH. Institutional prices are currently rising by 2.7% on an Europe for 2009 by accountancy fi rm
Award – 2009 Overseas Property
of about 40,000 copies a month, and investors are putting money into these annualised basis (three month on three PricewaterhouseCoopers’ survey of real
to paint the Germans as unenthusiastic funds, but also a large number of month). estate executives and fund managers ARKE
Professional Industry Awards” about property is clearly wrong. individuals too. “It’s really any person Whether it really means more clients last year and, in all, four German cities
in Germany with €10,000 or even for the residential market is debatable. were in Europe’s top ten.
Commercial interest €1,000 to invest,” adds Breuer. “Some of Certainly the funds, says Breuer,
Contact Kelly Render on tel: +44 (0) 1536 536222
Look briefl y at the commercial side, for these funds don’t even have minimum stay away from residential or resort Outward bound
instance, and it was German funds that investment levels.” property, and to an extent that may be Despite that, Engel & Völkers, the
email: to arrange an
were providing the highlights in many In fact, appetite for property true of individuals too. Over in Poland, biggest agent selling overseas property
appointment or for further information
international markets last year. In the investment as a whole seems high. for instance, Mikolaj Martynuska, a to Germans - with 180 shops in the
FEB10_OPP_MAG.indd 39 28/01/2010 15:21
ST10_025 TRC OPP ad.indd 1 25/01/2010 12:10
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