- May 1, 2014: Vol. 8, Number 5

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Charted territory: We have been here before

by Richard Fleming

A speaker at our recent VIP – Europe conference in Copenhagen pointed out that the last three real estate downturns were all spaced 17 years apart. That’s useful to know, especially if you’re concerned about when (not if) the next real estate downturn might come. 2007 plus 17 equals 2024. Just a thought.

You might not need to wait that long. Another speaker at the same conference suggested that alarm bells were ringing already in some European real estate markets. It’s all to do with fears about asset shortages and overpricing, but apparently buyers are not being dissuaded by that. It’s a combustible mix; buyers overpay usually only if they’re certain they’ll get their money back, and more, down the line. We have seen how that can go wrong.

People are at least alive this time to the possibility of a crash. One of the peculiarities of the 2007 downturn, which morphed into the 2008 global financial crisis and the 2008–2009 general recession, is that plent

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