Global commercial property sales down nearly 50% in first half 2008

Posted On Wednesday, 13 August 2008 02:00 Published by
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World sales of major commercial properties fell 49 percent to $306 billion in the first six months of 2008 from the same period last year

According to a recently released Real Capital Analytics report, the sales in developed countries were hit hard by the credit crisis and slowing economies.

The report said dramatic shifts in the capital flows for commercial property became evident in the first half of 2008 as Tokyo overtook London and New York as the most active sales market and investors began favoring Asian markets.

Sales activity fell sharply in many developed Western economies while Brazil, Russia, India and China, and most other emerging markets posted gains.

Emerging markets accounted for 25 percent of all property sales in the first half of 2008, up from 10 percent in the same period a year ago, according to the report that tracks transactions worth at least $10 million.

Development sites were the only type of property to see a rise in sales, up 11 percent and led by a record $2.3 billion paid for Chelsea Barracks in London.

"However, with new developments in Europe being delayed and new regulations limiting land sales in China, this sector may soon experience the same declining investment other property types have," the report said.

Overall office sales were down 60 percent in the first half of the year versus a year ago, and sales of hotels were off 68 percent.

Sales of shopping centers were down 54 percent in the first half of 2008. Industrial property, comprised of warehouse and distribution centers, fell 38 percent. Apartment building sales were off 34 percent.

Of the 84 countries the report tracks, 35 posted higher property sales in the first half of 2008. All but five were emerging economies.

Indian sales doubled, Brazil rose 40 percent, Russia was up 19 percent, while China's previous robust growth slowed to 7 percent.

Among developed countries, U.S. sales dropped 63 percent. UK sales were off 57 percent and Germany slid 65 percent.

Publisher: reuters

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