The United States and the countries of western Europe contain the most mature and transparent real estate markets in the world. Similar legal and political systems, stable currencies and shared histories make investors comfortable investing across the pond. But comfort isn’t everything. Although Europeans may understand the US market, and Americans may understand the European markets, the question remains: what does investing in overseas markets — particularly markets with similar characteristics — give participants that they can’t get at home?
From the Current Issue
Prime shop rents fell in 2008 and in early 2009 in most countries around the world for the first time in 20 years. But the deep recession has passed and brighter days lie ahead for the High Street retail property sector.
There was no pervasive air of imminent doom this time. The 2008 meeting of The Letter – Europe’s Editorial Board at the end of September 2008 was characterised by a sense that things were bad and were about to get worse. They were and they did. Lehman Bros collapsed just before the meeting, and the volcano that is the global banking sector was gearing up to erupt just a few weeks later. What a difference 12 months makes.
During these economically difficult times, a commercial landlord may find itself in the unfortunate position whereby a struggling tenant wishes to surrender its lease and chooses simply to vacate its premises and/or hand back the keys to the landlord.