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European Outlook 2022 – Focus on CEE

Real Asset Live, Live Online Event: Timezone CET | 10:00 – 11:30

Central and Eastern Europe has been hit by the pandemic but can look ahead to 2022 with more confidence as prospects for the year ahead look positive. The economy is bouncing back from the coronavirus crisis and foreign capital is returning, as investors continue to show their interest in the market, especially in the Logistics sector. Transaction volumes reached €7.3 billion in Q1-Q3 2021, with a forecast of €11 billion for the year. Still a far cry from the €14.4 billion recorded in 2018, but a definite improvement on the lows of 2020.

What are the opportunities and the main challenges ahead for the region? Western and Northern European funds have dominated in 2021, accounting for 50% of volumes, with capital coming mainly from the UK and Germany. CEE domestic investors, consisting of mainly Polish, Czech and Hungarian capital, have also remained very active, particularly in their own respective domestic markets. Will they continue? As travel restrictions are lifted, US, Asian and Middle Eastern capital is expected to make a significant return. What will the impact on the market be? Will Poland, which last year represented 51% of total transactions, continue to power ahead of the rest of CEE? Will regional cities, especially in Poland, be even more attractive for investors? What impact will political uncertainty and tense relations with the EU affect investor sentiment on Hungary and Poland? Will the Czech Republic remain  a haven of stability? As ESG issues come to the fore, CEE seems to have as an advantage compared to Western Europe which has to battle with obsolete buildings and stranded assets. The region has seen large-scale development in the last few years, which means that most buildings are new and built with modern construction techniques. How will this impact investors’ choices?

Looking at sectors, residential for rent has seen a significant increase in attractiveness and offices still represent half of total transaction volume. Will the current pick-up in activity continue? Will prices remain stable? Given the level of interest in the logistics sector, is further compression in the asset class inevitable? Prospects are positive, with the nearshoring trend and China’s Belt and Road Initiative making the region even more pivotal. The retail sector has always been strong in CEE on the back of a strong economy and increasing consumer demand. What has the impact of the pandemic been and what are the prospects for the sector in 2022? What is the outlook for the hotel, tourism and leisure sector, that has been penalized by the pandemic?

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