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Oil Exporters and Emerging Nations Catch Global Property Contagion 04/03/09

RICS Global Commercial Property Survey Q4 2008

Collapsing oil prices have pulled oil rich countries into the global property malaise with capital values falling in emerging nations for the first time in the survey’s history, says RICS Global Property Survey today (4 March 2009).

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The previously strong performing UAE (United Arab Emirates) saw capital values plummet from a positive balance of 65 percent to a negative balance of 83 percent. The outlook for future performance has in consequence turned very gloomy.

In the UAE, 85 percent more Chartered Surveyors expect capital values to fall compared to a positive balance of 45 percent in the previous quarter.

In Dubai, 96 percent more Chartered Surveyors expect capital values to fall even further over the next three months, a drop from a positive balance of 22 percent in the previous quarter.

In Russia, worries over macro stability has seen investment sentiment fall, sending capital values lower. Eastern Europe has also seen an acceleration in price declines with Hungary, Poland, Ukraine and Turkey reporting price falls at almost double the pace of the preceding quarter.

Commercial property in China has until recently remained relatively firm in the face of the global economic downturn.

Most of the Chinese indicators have previously remained in positive territory, with both supply and demand holding up and expectations generally upbeat.

However, the number of surveyors reporting a fall than a rise in capital values hit its worst level in the survey’s history.

72 percent more Chartered Surveyors reported a fall than a rise in capital values compared to a positive 18 percent in the previous quarter with surveyor sentiment for future rises also turning negative for the first time.

Rents fell across more than 90% of the countries surveyed with the greatest downward pressure occurring across parts of Asia. Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore and India were ranked in the bottom five for rental performance as the collapse in world trade has smashed export earnings and business confidence.

RICS senior economist, Oliver Gilmartin said:

“The withdrawal of capital from higher risk markets and collapsing oil prices has hit confidence towards the outlook for activity in property markets such as oil rich Russia, UAE and Ukraine.

“With yields in developed markets having already seen a significant re-pricing, concerns are shifting to financial stability in many emerging economies where a similar process is now underway.

“This is no more evident than in Eastern Europe, where fears over a systemic banking crisis have raised alarm in recent days.

"With growth forecasts in emerging markets significantly scaled down, yields may revert back towards historic norms amid a backdrop of falling rents.

"This would see the emerging market correction gain pace during 2009.”

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