News & Views on Indian Real Estate

Thursday, July 24, 2008

International Real Estate transactions dip 46%

Credit crunch and economic uncertainty have taken their toll on the global property market, with transaction volumes falling by 46 per cent in the first quarter, according to a property report. Property sales figures for April and preliminary results for May show sales in Asia have started to weaken and drop in sales in the United States and Europe have become more severe. The United Kingdom has led price declines with the United States following behind. Since September, the initial yield on acquisitions of commercial property has increased by more than 25 basis points in the Americas and by almost 40 basis points in Europe. Cap rates in Asia have continued to fall, reflecting both the growing wave of capital and expected upside for its emerging markets. Acquisition of land and development rights in Asia has totaled almost $29bn so far this year, making it the most popular target for investors. Office properties in Europe are a distant second with just under $20bn of transactions, followed by offices in the Americas and Asia with each recording between $15bn and $16bn of transactions through April. Developable land in Asia posted not only the greatest growth in transaction activity but also the largest gains in pricing in the first quarter. However, all other property types in Asia except apartments recorded gains in both volume and prices. Prices fell lower for all property types in Europe, but several did manage gains in volume. Conversely, no property types posted higher sales volume in the Americas although average prices in the industrial, retail and hotel sectors did increase modestly. Sellers in the United States in particular are opting not to sell at discounted prices, causing volume to plunge while prices for the few transactions that are successfully completed appear rather resilient. However, land prices in the US are falling quickly and have experienced the greatest decline in value so far this year.