Thursday, 20 November 2008

German Property Market: Cautious optimism despite sustained crisis atmosphere

Thomas Daily reports: William P. Kistler, the president of ULI in London, painted a dreary picture of the situation on international property markets yesterday at the Euro Finance Week in Frankfurt. A “slow recovery” cannot be expected until 2011, he said, and 2010 might, at best, “ease the pain.” ZIA's president, Eckart John von Freyend, also made worried statements about the present situation, but showed cautious optimism regarding the German market. Compared internationally, he argued, Germany is well positioned, since properties here are still undervalued. Barbara Knoflach, CEO of SEB Asset Management, made similar comments. To her, Germany still appears to be “one of the most stable markets in the world.” She said her firm started intensifying investments in German A locations some time ago. Thomas Ortmanns, CEO of Aareal Bank, expressed hope at the convention for enlivening capital markets. He is expecting improvement during the first half of 2009. Louis Hagen, executive director of the Association of German Pfandbrief Banks (VdP), is expecting a return of the Pfandbrief as the most important source of refinancing next spring, but added that higher margins were probable.

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