It wasn’t too long ago that most European real estate investors stayed pretty close to home, investing either domestically or venturing cross-border only into neighbouring countries. Today, pan-European funds spanning the European Union’s 27 countries and beyond are commonplace, and investors are reaching well beyond the mature markets of western Europe to the emerging markets of central and eastern Europe (CEE).
The convergence of several forces has catalysed strong and sustained economic growth in these emerging markets, making them very attractive to investors looking for higher returns than those found in the more mature western European markets. These factors include favourable demographic trends — young populations entering the workforce, urbanisation and a growing middle class — a decade of economic and political reforms, and powerful linkages created by communications technology and globalisation.
As a result of economic p