BUSINESS IN SHORT

Big drop in real estate investment

INVESTMENT in real estate dropped by about 60 percent year-on-year in 2008. The overall volume of investment in three main sectors - office space, retail and industry-logistics - reached roughly €119 million last year, according to data from Cushman & Wakefield, a service provider in commercial real estate.

INVESTMENT in real estate dropped by about 60 percent year-on-year in 2008. The overall volume of investment in three main sectors - office space, retail and industry-logistics - reached roughly €119 million last year, according to data from Cushman & Wakefield, a service provider in commercial real estate.

The 60-percent drop in investment was the biggest among the countries of central Europe, according to the head of Cushman & Wakefield’s investment department in the Czech Republic and Slovakia, James Chapman, as quoted by the SITA newswire.

Real-estate investments worldwide fell by 59 percent last year to 435 billion US dollars, the lowest volume of investment since 2004.

A further fall in real-estate investment is expected in 2009, but on a much smaller scale. Overall world investment in commercial real estate should be around 412 billion US dollars, SITA reported.

“In central Europe we expect another drop in prices this year,” Chapman said. “Investors want secure income from their investments. Unlike in western Europe, in central Europe one can find only a few examples of transactions that offer guaranteed income thanks to long-term rental of real estate.”

Estimates of a revival in prices in 2009 are generally optimistic, but an increase in investment activities is only expected in the last quarter of the year, SITA quoted Chapman as saying.

In the world ranking of countries with the biggest share of investments Slovakia ranked 41st last year; the Czech Republic ended up 30th. The highest share of investment, 25 percent, was located in the US, SITA reported.

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