Investors fix their gaze on Eastern Europe

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Investment activity in the centre of Eastern Europe doubled in 2011 compared to 2010. The property markets of Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary and Romania reached €6.1 million in 2011, but only managed to reach €2.9 million in 2010.

Poland dominates the region, achieving the status of a core market in 2011. However, this year could potentially see the Czech Republic overtaking Poland as investors have found pricing in Poland less attractive than the more reasonable pricing available in the Czech Republic.

Whilst at present Poland is leading the region, the Czech Republic endured the largest increase in transaction volumes year on year in 2011. In 2010, the Czech Republic gained €479 million in transactions, but massively leaped to €2.9 billion in 2011.

Transaction quantities were, however, predicted to exceed €6 billion in 2011. This was due to a particularly convincing performance in the first and third quarters of last year. The fourth quarter was not nearly as successful due to turbulence in the Euro-zone market, resulting in restrained bank lending.

The areas in which investors were plundering their funds didn’t change drastically in comparison to the previous year. Retail investment was most certainly the most favourable in 2011, at 40%. The remaining investments were largely in the office and industrial sectors, with office investment remaining consistent at 37%, whilst the industrial sector increased from 8% to 15% in 2011.

Investment for 2011 experienced significant increases with Poland rising to €2.58 billion and the Czech Republic improving growth to €2.2 billion. Investors are most definitely looking for bargains, but some are still risking investment in less stable areas.

Transferring money to Europe

If you are looking to invest in Europe, think carefully about how you will be transferring money to Europe. Foreign currency exchange rates quoted by banks are almost always worse than the exchange rates available through specialist currency dealers.

So if you are looking to send money to Europe – which you will inevitably have to do if you are looking to make a property investment - be sure to compare the market before you buy your overseas currency.

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Investors fix their gaze on Eastern Europe

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