While the UAE’s property market may be hotting up, Middle Eastern investors are playing a largely unsung role in boosting real estate sectors in other global cities as well
While the Middle East real estate market is in varying states of flux, local investors have been keeping an eye on the international property pie.
And, according to recent data, they’ve taken a sizeable slice. Jones Lang LaSalle found they purchased almost $4.9bn in commercial real estate in international markets in the first half of 2013, an increase of 6.5 percent year on year.
Regional investors are also estimated to be responsible for purchasing around 15 percent of all residential real estate sold in Central London this year, while real estate consultant Knight Frank found the region’s buyers made up 7.5 percent of all £1m-plus residential sales in the English capital in 2012.
While London and the UK overall remain the favourite international markets, JLL found in its latest sentiment survey of 300 high-level real estate investors that they were diversifying elsewhere in the world and into different asset types.
Buoyed by tight investment yields in Europe and improving economic data, some more risk-inclined investors were diving back into the US property jungle, while France was piquing interest, and “developing” locations such as Hong Kong and Singapore were also on the radar.
With this mind, it’s little wonder real estate agents the world over have been making big plays for the lucrative Gulf investment dollar.
An indicator was this month’s Cityscape Global in Dubai, where 17 countries outside of the Middle East, including Monaco, Italy, India, Switzerland, Cyprus, the Philippines, the US, China and the UK, were represented at the prestigious trade event.
The biggest contingent came from Turkey, where 34 property and development companies were making their pitch — something which did not go unnoticed by the local real estate fraternity.
Tolga Han, the international vice president of Turkish-based Projebeyaz International, says there is about $3bn of official investment in Turkey’s property market coming from the Gulf, with recent changes in Turkish regulations making it easier for foreigners to buy. However, the bullish Han wants this more than tripled to up to $10bn within the next five years.
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