Playtime in the Periphery: Despite Sizeable Risks, Investors See Intriguing Development and Opportunistic Plays Outside the Core
The economic problem children of peripheral Europe — Greece, Italy, Ireland, Portugal and Spain — are at it again. Many pundits believe that they are causing the single currency experiment to veer seriously off the rails. Given both growth and political uncertainties within these countries, what are we to make of their real estate markets? Are they total non-starters for investors, or are there hidden gems and strategies that investors should consider?
Surprisingly, we hear varying degrees of (mostly) guarded optimism for a longer-term recovery, with varying degrees of continuing pain in the near term. Although the most conservative institutional investors are not boarding planes to Lisbon or Athens any time soon, there are still viable strategies and attractive assets even in the most challenging of these peripheral European countries. At what price is the real question? For the moment, the dearth of transaction activity makes data scarce and price discovery dif