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- July 1, 2011: Vol. 5, Number 7

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Don’t Fear the Norsemen: Nordic Markets Appear Safe Thanks to Favorable Economic Underpinnings, but Competition for Core Properties Can Be Fierce

by Alexis Petrakis

At the risk of oversimplification, southern and northern Europe have taken variant fiscal and economic paths in recent times. Laid back southern Europe is plagued by sluggish economies, some still contracting, and unsustainable debt-to-GDP ratios. The more austere north is (mostly) perceived as a safe haven of sorts, having its economic house in order. We should not be surprised, therefore, that investors gazing toward the north-west corner of Europe above the 54th parallel see a sunny outlook for real estate on the Scandinavian Peninsula.

From the outsider’s perspective, the Scandinavian countries are bound together first and foremost by geography and proximity. Beyond that, inquisitive investors can find favourable demographics and good population growth rates, very high scores on political stability, solid and well-respected legal frameworks, relatively low levels of corruption and high marks on global competitiveness. (The 2010

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