Trends in Real Estate Industry
Jean-Paul Loozen comments on trends in the Belgian real estate industry in 2005
“The year 2005 in the Belgian real estate industry was characterized by the persistence of a dual trend: on one hand, a soft take up of new space in the private corporate sector mainly, correlated with an ever increasing sophistication of end users in terms of tenant requirements and value for rent money, while on the other hand the appetite from institutional and private investors remained very strong for quality end investment assets. This recognition of real estate as a distinct asset class was further confirmed by the continued flow of foreign investment, especially the Ireland originated one, into Belgian real estate, because of its comparatively high yields and relative market value stability when compared to other Western European professional real estate markets.
The development of real estate into a sophisticated stand alone asset class was corroborated by the development of new cross-border investment structurings, new public construction PPP's, the emergence of local CMBS programs, investment transactions by way of forward purchases of to be completed developments, and the preparation of several new Sicafi-Vastgoedbevaks all of the latter being assisted by our professionals.
Responding to such new market demands, our real estate and construction industry multi-disciplinary program grew in 2005 to some 40 partners, directors, managers and staff, in order to provide cross-border or domestic recurring services, as well as transaction origination or support services, to now 75% of the Belgian top developers, institutional investors and largest construction companies of the country.
An example of such increasing market sophistication is the combined sale of land, property rights and construction debt of the 70,000 m² new Antwerp Courthouse by the Belgian State, where we acted as real estate advisors to the State's buildings agency, and which led - with a 250 million Euro underlying value - to the largest single asset transaction in Belgium in 2005.
Head of Real Estate and Construction - Belgium
Europe & Middle East Real Estate Industry Deputy Leader