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New light in Eastern European cities

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Gipfelstürmer: Die Immobilienpreise in Warschau erreichen westliches Niveau. Quelle: dpa

Gipfelstürmer : Property prices in Warsaw reach Western levels. Source: AP

VIENNA. Patience is the new virtue in Eastern Europe for real estate investors. Long story is the boom years from the time before the financial crisis with some double-digit returns. Two hard years with value losses of up to 60 percent of real estate investors and project developers had to survive . But will now be the first time such a thing as a silver lining on the horizon: The free fall seems to stop on the Eastern European property markets are distinguished from a slow consolidation and soil formation.

The real estate markets react , although with a delay, but they are mainly on the overall development of the region . And after deep fall just in the past year , there is now the first time positive growth rates. " Yields have stabilized, " Gernot Jany , real estate analyst says of the First Bank in Vienna.

German property funds are among the most active buyers

For investors this means , however, that they must now look in more detail. For Eastern Europe is not just Eastern Europe, as many investors believed in the times of boom. During the past months has established itself among the countries of the region, a clearly recognizable economic differentiation. biggest exporters in countries like the Czech Republic , Poland and Slovakia, it goes back quite clearly upwards . In the southeast, with traditional economic exportschwächeren other hand, there still more melancholy . In countries such as Croatia and Romania ‘s economy will shrink this year , until 2011 is to be expected with positive growth rates. Those who invested there already in commercial real estate needs , especially a lot of courage and perseverance.

Nevertheless, can the international real estate consultants CB Richard Ellis ( CBRE ) not shake in his optimism for the region. According to Andreas Ridder , Managing Director Eastern Europe , investments in the region have re- captured. After the steep fall a year ago were in Eastern Europe in the first six months of the year has been invested approximately € 1.7 billion – an increase over the first half of 2009 by almost 200 percent. In particular, real estate funds in Germany possessed the courage again to new investment. They accounted for about 17 percent , or about 300 million euros, the current real estate investments in Eastern Europe.

Poland is and will remain unchanged , the most attractive location in the region . € 600 million has been invested according to the calculations of CBRE Richard Ellis in the first half alone in the largest country in Central and Eastern Europe.

The real estate market Warsaw reached Western European standards

Other states will follow until a wide margin . At most, the Czech Republic – and almost all of the capital Prague – can compete with the market leaders from Poland to some extent. For Poland, it speaks its fairly stable economic situation : even in the crisis year 2009 , the country now have a positive growth rate. In particular, Warsaw is the medium term, not too far away from Western property markets. "Poland real estate market changes from one country to the threshold established commercial real estate site, " says Karl -Joseph Hermanns -Engel, Managing Director of Union Investment Real Estate ( uire ) , real estate owned subsidiary of cooperative banks.

Good prospects for the office market , retailers still faltering

Pronounced in Eastern Europe still is the urban-rural divide. attracts Western investors are therefore always been mainly in the capitals of Warsaw , Prague , Bratislava and Budapest. This is certainly the case today . So enjoy , especially in the metropolitan areas around the cities, the real estate activities again. Right to develop differently , the various segments of the commercial real estate. The best prospects are currently in offices, because there At length the need for the slow revival of the economy the fastest.

Slightly longer the recovery will take commercial real estate. In part the rising unemployment in various countries of the region nor to crisis . The current leads in states such as Hungary and Romania still to continued consumer spending with the corresponding impact on the commercial real estate. Increases in VAT – also during the forthcoming fiscal consolidation in Eastern Europe brakes – private consumption one more time Just last week, for example , Slovakia had announced plans to raise taxes.

The fact that the industry still slowly getting better , still shows a different example . In the summer homes of the Vienna Group CA Immo real estate subsidiary of the Austrian Volksbank for nearly 300 million € has taken over. Europolis , the name of the former subsidiary of Volksbank , is engaged primarily in Eastern Europe. A year ago, a real estate developer almost certainly would have dared such an acquisition under any circumstances. " This is a clear positive signal , "said Erste Bank analyst Jany .