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Up to 30% Decline in Russian Buyers of Overseas Property Expected  

The fallout from Russian economic and political troubles is transforming the buying habits of the country's international property investors who are turning from the residential sector towards higher yielding commercial real estate deals.

The reason, says leading Russian website, Tranio.com , is that they are searching for higher yields from buy-to-let residential property or commercial real estate, predominantly in Europe.

As a result, there is set to be a significant switch in 2016 for Russian buyers of international property and a possible 30% fall in volume according to Tranio.com's managing partner, George Kachmazov.

" The recession in Russia has forcibly transformed buyer habits and transaction volumes. Market players should expect interest in personal dwellings to dwindle but plan ahead as demand increases for income–generating property ".

" The number of Russian-speaking buyers for overseas residential property will shrink by another 20-30% in 2016. We also expect to see 30-40% more Russian nationals trying to sell their foreign property as a weak ruble induces higher maintenance costs. Nevertheless, the amount of Russian-speaking investors for commercial property should grow by 20–30% in 2016 ".

Tranio has just published its Russian and CIS Overseas Commercial Property Buyer Report 2015 , which features the views of 561 real estate agencies from 37 countries and 153 Russian-speaking potential and actual investors.

Foreign property purchases by Russian buyers were halved following the successive Russian ruble devaluations in 2014–2015. However, the percentage of commercial property investments increased, the study discovered.

Most of the top 10 destinations according to search results by Yandex – Russia's largest search engine – for commercial property in 2015 were all in Europe. The United States and Turkey were the exceptions.

Germany on 22.1% of all foreign commercial property searches in 2015 was the clear winner, followed by Spain on 6.5%, the United States on 6%, the Czech Republic on 4.9% and Italy on 4.8%. User requests for foreign commercial property in 2015.

Tranio survey results confirm the popularity, though not necessarily the rankings, of these countries. The top twenty destinations as reported by participants in the survey are mostly in Europe with the exception of Turkey and the USA as well as Thailand and the UAE.

Wealthy Russian investors are likely to continue their foray into commercial real estate, seeking the the security of income-generating real estate assets.

" Most Russian-speaking investors are successful entrepreneurs, owning and operating businesses in Russia and/or CIS countries. Due to the volatile financial situation in the region, they are looking for income-generating property with moderate yields and stable returns in a dependable currency, " explains George Kachmazov

" Russian nationals frequently buy commercial property where they already own residential property. This is because they know the features of these locations well and are familiar with the local market. Usually they spend time in their homes abroad and find it more convenient to manage commercial property located nearby ".


Article by +Roxanne James on behalf of Propertyshowrooms.com
Qatar's Tourism Expected to Reach $7.2bn by 2025  

Qatar's tourism and hospitality industry is expected to reach $7.2bn in 2025, a new report has shown.

The industry is building momentum in the country as it enters the second half of the decade, with an ambitious target of 4 million visitors by 2020, supported by $40-45bn worth of sector investment under the country's National Tourism Sector Strategy 2030 plan.

Qatar returns to Arabian Travel Market (ATM) this year to showcase its expanding hotel and tourism infrastructure pipeline following a successful 2015 with visitor numbers in the first nine months of 2014 growing to reach 2.2 million in Q3, representing a year-on-year increase of 7.7%, and booming air connectivity which saw Hamad International Airport exceed forecasted capacity of 30 million passengers last year.

According to a Q3, 2015 HVS report entitled " In Focus: Doha, Tracking Progress ", travel and tourism contributed $4.2bn – or 2% - to the GDP in 2014, with a figure of $4.6bn forecast for 2015 (a rise of 7.3%).

" Looking further ahead, this is expected to grow annually by 4.7%, to reach $7.2bn in 2025 as Qatar works towards its strategic goal of positioning itself as a 'world-class hub with deep cultural roots', by creating a high profile product that will appeal to all market segments from cultural tourists and families to sports fans and business travellers, " said Nadege Noblet-Segers, Exhibition manager, Arabian Travel Market.

Other third party officially released data revealed that, in Q3 2015, GCC residents accounted for 45.2% of total visitor numbers followed by visitors from Asia and Europe at 25.3% and 13.9% respectively.

The HVS report notes the addition of 11 new hotel properties with a total of 1,400 rooms to the market in 2015; as part of its commitment to reach 50,000 additional rooms by 2022, when it will host the FIFA World Cup.

Kempinski Marsa Malaz Hotel , Banana Island Resort by Anantara and Melia Doha Hotel were a few of the brands to enter the market last year with Qatar Tourism Authority reporting an estimated 10,000 rooms currently under construction and expected to enter the market by 2018-19.

Official statistics tally current hotel room capacity at 17,900 keys, 84% of which are four and five-star accommodation.

" As we are seeing in other GCC countries, an increasingly diversified tourism portfolio requires an equally broad hospitality offering, looking at both the luxury and mid-range categories, which is something that we are focusing on this year at ATM with midmarket travel our spotlight theme, " said Noblet-Segers.

" This is responding not only to the needs of the more budget-conscious traveller, but those for whom quality and experience-led travel doesn't necessarily have to mean a five-star price tag, " she added.


Article by +Roxanne James on behalf of Propertyshowrooms.com
Luxury Condo Prices to Remain Flat in Malaysia  

As new development projects are completed in Kuala Lumpur and fringe locations, competition in the rental market is expected to heighten amid a weak Malaysian housing market.

Property prices in the high-end condominium segment will remain flat, while rental prices fall, due to increased competition between existing units and new launches, said property consultancy firm Knight Frank Malaysia.

The increasingly competitive property market is also forcing developers to be more innovative, with attractive packages and creative deals being offered to boost sales, it said.

In its report called Knight Frank Malaysia Real Estate Highlights 2H2015 , the firm said this may also lead to some of the projects scheduled for launch by the first half of this year, to be deferred.

" There has been an increased trend of projects offering leaseback arrangements and pool management programmes with guaranteed rental returns to boost sales and attract potential buyers and investors looking for long term investment in terms of rental returns and potential capital appreciation, ".

The report added that potential buyers and investors, however, would continue to adopt a " wait-and-see " approach as market sentiment remained weak.

In the third quarter of last year, Kuala Lumpur recorded 1,694 transactions in the condominium and apartment segment, 6.3% less than a year earlier.

For the office market segment, in Kuala Lumpur and Selangor, it said there was growing pressure on rental and occupancy levels due to the high supply pipeline of existing as well as new stock, and a weaker leasing market.

" The depreciation of the local currency and volatility in commodity prices coupled with economic and political uncertainties do not bode well for the office market which traditionally have been driven by the services sector and oil & gas (O&G) businesses ".

" The contraction of the O&G sector, the main lifeline of the office segment following the plunge in crude oil prices, has negatively impacted the market ".

" Tenants continue to be spoilt for choice with attractive rentals, incentives and tenancy terms ".

The firm said rental rates could fall due to heightened competition in the tenant favoured environment.

With business confidence at a low, coupled with the economic slowdown, it was inevitable that the take-up rate and overall occupancy levels would be impacted, it said.

" Nonetheless, rental rates of well-located good grade, dual-compliant office space are expected to remain resilient, " said Knight Frank.

In the Klang Valley retail market, Knight Frank said the weak local currency and recent toll hike were expected to further dampen consumer sentiment over the next six months as disposable income falls.

" Majority of retailers are adopting a ‘wait- and-see’ approach and caution in their expansion plans amid poor sales performance and reduced profitability ".

" A handful of regional and local retailers operating several brands are taking up larger lots at competitive tenancy terms with attractive rentals and incentives to improve space and cost efficiencies ".


Article by +Roxanne James on behalf of Propertyshowrooms.com
Real Estate Fund Buys Dublin's Central Quay for 51m EUR  

Last month, Hibernia REIT announced the €51.3m purchase of Central Quay, a modern office building in Dublin's docklands.

Only completed in 2007, the block covers 5360m² over six floors, with 26 car parking spaces and is 88% occupied. The contracted rent is €2.5m, representing a net initial yield of 4.5%.

Once fully occupied and following the re-letting of the third floor, where the current lease expires in September, the yield on cost is expected to exceed 5.5%.

The purchase price equates to a capital value of €8900/m² for the office space.

" With some vacant space and upcoming lease expiries, there is an opportunity for us to increase the yield on cost of Central Quay to above 5.5% in the next 12 months and to above 6% in due course, " said chief executive Kevin Nowlan.

Elsewhere, Green REIT yesterday reported a profit of €67.1m for the six months to the end of December, the first half of its current financial year.

While down from €74.3m for the same period last year, its net asset value nudged the €1bn mark, rising by 7% year-on-year to €961.5m.

The company's recently announced €169m asset disposal programme - being undertaken to maintain its borrowing ratio following the acquisition of the Central Park office development in south Dublin - should result in a €60m profit for the business.

" Our focus in Green REIT continues to be on the active management of our €1bn investment portfolio, where we have 99% occupancy, and the development of our five projects in Dublin, where we expect to add to our very strong list of existing tenants, " chief executive, Pat Gunne said.

Chairman Gary Kennedy added that the company's investment strategy continues to deliver shareholder returns.

Regarding the Cork office market, where Green REIT was recently active via its purchase of the One Albert Quay building, the company said that a lack of new development in the city is hampering activity.


Article by +Roxanne James on behalf of Propertyshowrooms.com
Property Prices on the Up in Spain  

According to reports from two real estate firms, the Spanish property market is showing significant signs of improvement.

Spanish property valuation experts Tinsa say that average prices are increasing, but homes are still around 41% of their peak value recorded in 2007 before the market collapsed.

The biggest moves were in the Balearic and Canary Islands, among the most popular investment destinations holiday home owners.

Prices were 5.4% in January compared to December 2015, recording an increase of 3.2% year on year.

Taking Spain as a whole, the average increase was 2.9% for the month and 1.1% for the year.

Tinsa also observed that although prices were holding up in the larger cities and coastal resorts, rural and small town home values were suffering.

" The market is showing some healthy signs of recovery but has a long way to go before reaching the price levels last seen in 2007, " said a Tinsa spokesman.

The other report, from realtors Fotocasa , showed the value of resale homes showed a slight increase of 0.3% month-on-month and a similar decrease for the year.

The study goes on to show that average prices are 45% below their 2007 peak and that 12 of Spain's autonomous 17 regions have reported home prices declining more than 40% since the peak.

Rioja prices fell the most, says the firm, by almost 55%, followed by Castille-La Mancha, Navarra, Aragon and Murcia, which all registered a fall between 50% and 55%.

The Canary Islands recorded the largest average price increase of 2.1%.

The firm confirms the most expensive place to live is the Basque country, with an average price of €2,730 per square metre.

" Smaller apartments have fallen in price the most, " said a Fotocasa spokesman. " They were among the most expensive homes when prices reached their peak in 2007 and cost an average €3,424/m² ".


Article by +Roxanne James on behalf of Propertyshowrooms.com

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