- December 1, 2014: Vol. 8, Number 11

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What’s going on? European real estate markets are saying one thing, European economies another

by Richard Fleming

It’s a definite dichotomy, this marked difference between the behaviour and performance of real estate markets across Europe — there is talk after the three quarters just finished that 2014 could be the best year for transaction activity since 2007 — and European economies, where growth is anaemic, inflation is heading for deflation, and the talk is not so much of “best” as of “worst”. We are back in Dickens’ “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times” territory. It’s not a good place to be. (And isn’t it just apposite that A Tale of Two Cities was about London and Paris?)

Or is there a dichotomy? Is the fact that real estate markets are buoyant not more a function of the mediocre performance of European economies? That the mediocrity is throwing up opportunities? That investors are able to take advantage of the sclerotic nature of European economies — or should that be of certain European economies? — and buy assets that meet th

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