- November 1, 2018: Vol. 12, Number 10

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Storms on the horizon: Many observers predict a slow and measured increase in interest rates once QE winds down. But Brexit could whip up some treacherous weather

by Stephanie Hawthorne

Fuelled by QE and nimble government responses to the global financial crisis, Europe’s economies have mostly enjoyed growth since 2008. But serious questions are being asked now as to how long real estate investors can rely on the perhaps somewhat prematurely labelled “new normal” landscape of low interest rates and inflation.

And there are clouds on the horizon. In Europe there is mounting Italian debt and turmoil in Turkey, while President Trump’s aggressive trade tariffs pose a global threat. And then there’s Brexit, from which there could be few winners. Across Europe, economic growth is now constrained by weak productivity and modest demographics, while inflation remains subdued. It is not surprising that commentators such as Greg Kane, head of European investment research at PGIM Real Estate, say that there is little reason to expect interest rates to rise rapidly in this environment, even though central bank efforts to scale back and start to unwind QE are li

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