BY Fraser Tennant
A busy and profitable 2105 is the outlook for the European real estate industry, according to the new 'Emerging Trends in Real Estate' Europe 2015 report published by PwC and the Urban land Institute (ULI).
The report, which features the views of 500 industry experts (investors, fund managers, developers, property companies, lenders, brokers, advisers and consultants), lists a number of cities which are considered to offer significant real estate investment opportunities this year. The cities, many of which were badly affected by the economic downturn, include Madrid, Athens, Birmingham, Amsterdam, and Lisbon.
According to the report, 70 percent of investors expect to see more equity and debt flowing into their markets in 2015, while 82 percent are of the opinion that “the availability of suitable assets will have a moderate or significant impact on their business this year".
However, despite such optimism, the report makes clear that major concerns remain with fragile economic conditions, weak fundamentals, and volatile geopolitical scenarios cited as the reasons for such uncertainty.
“Real estate investors will face a tricky balancing act in 2015," said Simon Hardwick, real estate partner at PwC Legal and one of the authors of the report. “The market is awash with capital surging into Europe from around the world. On the face of it, this is a nice problem to have, but we expect to see prices continuing to rise due to a shortage of assets. And despite an uncertain economic climate across Europe, investors will have to look beyond the major markets to secondary cities and assets they may not have considered before. This presents both an opportunity and a challenge.”
Lisette Van Doorn, chief executive of the ULI Europe, added “As confidence has returned to global real estate markets over recent years, there has been a progressive movement up the risk curve. Investors have found prime assets expensive and hard to source, and have in turn looked to find new opportunities in recovering secondary cities, secondary assets and development opportunities, as well as new or alternative real estate classes."
Now in its 12th edition, the 'Emerging Trends in Real Estate' Europe report forecasts real estate investment and development trends, cities, property sectors, and real estate finance and capital markets trends.