Friday, July 28, 2006

Middle east set to be third largest property investor

Middle East spending on global real estate will surge 50 per cent in 2006 to $15 billion, making the region the world's third-largest foreign property investor, according to a top industry firm.

Tony M Horrell, international director for Jones Lang LaSalle, told Gulf News record oil revenues of the Gulf countries and the diversification of regional economies is leading Middle East investors to make significant investments in property outside their home markets.

"After a few years of absence, Middle East funds are again investing heavily in the US, followed by Europe."

According to Jones Lang LaSalle's latest Global Real Estate Capital Report, Middle East investors spent nearly $6 billion in buying foreign commercial real estate in the first half of 2006, $4 billion in the US and $2 billion in Europe, mainly the UK.

"My estimate is that this figure for the Middle East will get to $15 billion by the end of the year on the basis of the transactions that are under way," Horrell said.

That would make the Middle East the world's third-largest buyer of commercial real estate in foreign markets after the US and Germany, he added.

Jones Lang LaSalle, which recently acquired Dubai's RSP Group, has identified the GCC region as a key source of global capital against a backdrop of the rising investment by Middle Eastern investors in international real estate markets. The main buyers include private equity funds and family offices.

The year 2006 is also on target to be another record year as total direct real estate investments approach $600 billion, up from some $480 billion in 2005, according to Jones Lang LaSalle.

[Gulf News - October 6, 2006]

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