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Berlin: Rental Index Axed

As the HANDELSBLATT (12 May), DIE WELT and the SÜDDEUTSCHE ZEITUNG (13 May) as well as the FRANKFURTER ALLGEMEINE ZEITUNG (13 and 15 May) reported, a judge at the District Court of Berlin-Charlottenburg threw out Berlin’s Rental Index for 2013. She thereby ruled in favour of a landlord who had sought to raise the rent. The landlord’s tenant had refused to agree to the rent hike by referring to the official qualified rental index, which lists a lower rent level for the neighbourhood in question. The papers said that the qualified rental index had not stood up to scrutiny by the judge. The judgement read: “Hearing the evidence revealed that the 2013 Berlin Rental Index does not represent a qualified rental index because it was not compiled using recognised scientific methods.” With her ruling, the judge axed a rental index that is compiled biannually at a cost of 500,000 euros and which industry insiders consider one of the finest in Germany. “The judgement serves as a signal far beyond the capital because the court’s reasoning applies to many rental indices in other cities,” commented Jürgen Michael Schick of the IVD Federal Investment and Asset Management Association.

There are 124 qualified rental indices in Germany today. The judgement was said to highlight the problem that many municipalities wilfully engineered the figures in order to keep rent levels low. It is an idea now backfiring. Kar Warnecke of the Haus & Grund property owners’ association expects other rental indices to be disqualified as well.

Even the rent freeze – the rent control scheme that will enter into force on 01 June – is now at risk, the papers suggested. After all, the so-called local reference rent is the decisive benchmark for determining the rent level of new leases. “The introduction of the rent freeze will drastically elevate the significance of the rental indices because the local reference rent will be the decisive parameter for setting the rent level of new rentals,” Schick was quoted to have said. He added that he anticipates “a barrage of lawsuits once the German states introduce the rent freeze.” Many landlords in other cities doubt “that the rental index of the respective city was compiled on the basis of scientific principles.”

“Special Event: Berlin’s Residential Property Market – which Locations Present Opportunities, and which are Overpriced?” Hans-Joachim Beck will talk about ramifications of this latest judgement, among other topics, at this event. Request your copy of the program by e-mailing us at: info@immobilienrunde.de.

Sundown on the Rental Index? The Ministry of Justice is up to Something

by Dr. Rainer Zitelmann

“So far, most lessors and lessees have accepted the rent table. But this is bound to change. After all, it has only been a year that the rent increase cap for current rents was lowered to just 15 percent over a three-year period. It prompted first law suits against the rent table, filed by landlords in Berlin. … I expect the courts to be positively flooded with law suits once the rent freeze is introduced, because the rent table will – unlike now – also be definitive for setting the rent level of new leases.” This is what I predicted as early as September 2014 in a commentary in the newsletter “Berlin Residential Investment Market.”

So the judgement by the District Court of Charlottenburg (file reference number: 235 C 133/13) comes as no surprise. More than that: It is just a beginning. The introduction of the rent freeze will hugely boost the significance of the rental index because existing flats may not be let for rents that exceed the local reference rent by more than 10%. That is why I anticipate a barrage of lawsuits that will unhinge rental indices across Germany.

Even without the rent freeze, rental indices have been compiled using dubious methodology. The fact that those who compile them call them “qualified” does not necessarily mean that they are. Article 558d of the German Civil Code requires that the compilation of a qualified rental index be based on scientific principles.

In truth, however, rental indices tend to be political compromises negotiated between tenant unions and landlords associations. The methods used to compile them do not stand up to scrutiny. Berlin’s Rental Index is but one of many examples. In methodological terms, it is by no means inferior to the rental indices of other cities.

The recent judgement by the District Court of Charlottenburg is devastating: The expert whose opinion the court drew on reached the conclusion “that Berlin’s rental index was not compiled in line with accepted scientific principles. He elaborates in this context that the sample underlying the rental index raises considerable doubts regarding its representativeness, that the definition of the rental index units and the allocation of the flats to these units is in some instances systemically incorrect, that the service charge discounts brought into play when calculating the net rents fail to match the rental market reality, and that the premiums and discounts determined via regression analysis are merely figments of the imagination. They were said to be essentially based on assumptions and speculations whose legitimacy was not demonstrated in any satisfactory way.”

The court did not say whether it shared the expert’s observations on all counts. Just two serious flaws sufficed to make the court conclude that the rental index was not compiled in line with scientific principles. It established as a given that

the extreme-value adjustment undertaken by the creators of Berlin’s Rental Index for 2013 did not follow accepted scientific principles, and that therefore even the early data collection stage failed to take principally rental-index-relevant rents in field K1 of the rental index into account.”

“on top of that… even the classification of the different residential locations into the categories ‘medium,’ ‘good’ and ‘fair’ [does not satisfy] accepted scientific principles,” because the apartments found in medium locations, for instance, are highly heterogeneous in nature.

Which way forward now? The rental index will be ripped to shreds in a flurry of lawsuits. It is actually downright impertinent of German lawmakers to pass a law in full awareness of the high number of legal disputes it will trigger. Even the official commentary for the rent freeze legislation states that there is reason to expect the rent freeze to trigger an increased number of civil lawsuits.

But perhaps this is playing into the hands of the Social Democrats, for they are currently preparing to deal property owners a real blow: Civil servants at the Federal Ministry of Justice have been busy for months trying to draft a new bill that will institute binding regulations for the compilation of rental indices. I have it from first-hand sources inside the Federal Ministry of Justice.

This would mean that judgements like the one just handed down by the District Court of Charlottenburg might actually suit the purposes of DMB German Tenant Union and Social Democrats, for they could argue that it highlights the importance of legally regulating the methodology used to compile rental indices. After all, the rent freeze will hardly function without an accepted rental index.

What is truly at stake for the Social Democrats in this context, however, is the creation of a legal basis for lowering rents. For according to the new draft bill currently in preparation, the rental index will no longer be based – the way it has been so far – on the rents of the past four years, but on the basis of the rents of the past ten years!

The Christian Democrats have let it be known they will refuse to back this. That’s all very well, except I don’t buy it. In the past, the Christian Democrats have always caved in. Whatever the Social Democrats seek today will be signed into law tomorrow or the day after tomorrow at the very latest – be it the rent freeze, the minimum wage, retirement at 63, the phase-out of nuclear energy, or now the new rental index law. It may well come to a “compromise” deal that will mandate calculation of the rental index on the basis of the past six or seven years’ rents. Which would be bad enough. So there is trouble brewing.

Read also Rainer Zitelmanns Finance Blog.

Crowd-Investing Platform for Property Developments

As the IMMOBILIEN ZEITUNG and the SÜDDEUTSCHE ZEITUNG reported on 15 May, private investors will soon have the chance to buy into property developments by AK Immobilien via the crowd investment platform Mezzany. The first project on the new platform is reportedly the development of the listed bell foundry Franz Weeren in Berlin-Neukölln. Here, 74 flats are to be created on a 4,100 sqm plot at a costs of approximately 20 million euros. The company AK Immobilien finances plots, their infrastructure provision and planning up to the point of the planning consent. Once the planning permit has been obtained, the equity capital is replaced by crowd capital. “The advantage for the investors is that the project will be realised no matter whether the funds are raised or not,” Jürgen Kelber of AK Immobilien was quoted to have said. Starting on 18 May, investors will be able to acquire a stake of 1,000 euros or more. In return for the bearer debenture, investors get a fixed interest rate of 4.5% p.a. plus a term-based participation in the project profits. Eventually, investors are to reap a pre-tax yield in the low double-digit range.

Property Prices at New High-Water Mark

The prices for German residential and commercial real estate climbed by 5% year on year in Q1 2015, thus achieving a new all-time high. This was reported by the BÖRSEN ZEITUNG (16 May), the IMMOBILIEN ZEITUNG (21 May) and the FRANKFURTER ALLGEMEINE ZEITUNG (22 May) on the basis of the real estate price index published by the Association of German Mortgage Credit Banks (vdp), which analyses the data of real-life transactions for the purpose. This means that German condominium prices rose by 5.9% over prior-year quarter. The steepest price growth at 6.8% was registered in the segment of multi-family residential buildings. The prices for detached and semi-detached homes were also said to have perked up (by 5.8%) whereas the prices for condominiums increased by only 2.8%. Price growth for office and retail property seems to have been much more modest at just 2.3%. According to vdp, investors are getting increasingly cautious when buying, and are no longer willing to pay any price for a given property. The papers also noted that the rental growth for office and retail real estate has slowed to a minimal 0.2%.

IC Immobilien Group Reports Foreign Client Share of 60%

On 21 May, the IMMOBILIEN ZEITUNG discussed the development of IC Immobilien Group from being purely an investment manager into an asset and property manager especially for clients from outside Germany. While IC continues to have 35 property funds and 15 leasing funds under management, the group started to shift its focus to the asset and property management in 2010. Without these services, the fund management is hard to handle anyway, as Mark Balkenhol, the CEO of IC, believes. Last year, IC reportedly arranged 670 million euros worth of transactions involving 40 commercial real estate for its investors. About 60% of the clients hail from places other than Germany. IC was said to be quite content with the 2014 financial year. The management board expects 2015 to be another “robust” financial year, or so Marc Balkenhol was quoted to have said.

BBSR: Brisk Market Action for Housing Portfolios

As the IMMOBILIEN ZEITUNG reported on 21 May, portfolios of more than 800 residential units accounted for a total of 304,000 flats traded in Germany in 2014. The figure more or less matches that of the previous year. More than by anything else, the heavy market action was said to have been triggered by financial investors who exited their residential investments through the stock exchange in H1 2014. The paper based its article on a report by the BBSR Federal Institute for Research on Building, Urban Affairs and Spatial Development which covered the major portfolio shifts. It identified a total of 43 sales involving portfolios of more than 800 residential units. While this is a step down from the 52 sales transactions on record for the previous year, the average size of the portfolios traded was larger. The institute expects the ongoing year to deliver a similarly robust market performance. Large-scale takeovers such as that of Westgrund by Adler will boost the trading volume of the first semester of 2015, the paper added.

German Tenant Union Calls for 400,000 New Apartments per Year

As DIE WELT wrote on 22 May, the DMB German Tenant Union calls for an annual construction volume of 400,000 apartments across Germany. In the eyes of the interest group, even the figure of 272,000 to which the German Government recently raised the target benchmark falls short of the demand created by incoming migration (including refugees) and by the trend toward smaller households. While demand is greatest for rental flats let at rates between 6.50 and 8.50 euros/sqm, the bulk of recent completions falls into the bracket of 10.00 to 15.00 euros/sqm.

Growing Market for Micro-Apartments

As the FRANKFURTER ALLGEMEINE ZEITUNG wrote on 22 May, micro-apartments represent an up-and-coming market in Germany, particularly in the country’s metropolises and campus towns. Apartments of this type, furnished or unfurnished, tend to have a footprint of less than 30 sqm and to be integrated into blocks of 100 flats or more. Out of the entire housing stock in Germany, the share of flats with less than 30 sqm equals just 1.8%, according to student housing specialist GBI. JLL and GBI assume that private investors stand to earn returns between 4% and 6% with micro-apartments. These may be boosted by the fact that rental indices list no figures for furnished flats, so that the rent freeze does not apply. At the moment, CG Group is developing the New Frankfurt Towers with 700 micro-apartments between Frankfurt and neighbouring Offenbach under the Vertical Village brand. Additional schemes of the Vertical Village concept are planned in the cities of Berlin, Leipzig, Cologne and Düsseldorf.

Berlin: Number of Apartments Completed Doubles Year on Year in 2014

The number of apartments completed in Berlin in 2014 totalled 5,208 and was therefore twice as high as the previous year-end total, as the IMMOBILIEN ZEITUNG reported on 21 May quoting the latest figures released by the Berlin-Brandenburg Statistics Office. The borough with the greatest increase in apartments were Pankow, Mitte, and Treptow-Köpenick.

Rising Condo Prices in Munich

On 15 May, the IMMOBILIEN ZEITUNG covered the latest figures released by Munich’s Land Valuation Committee. The upshot appears to be that while prices keep going up the number of properties sold is declining as a result of short supply. That said, approximately 4 billion euros worth of residential real estate changed hands in 2014. The average price tag for condominiums in good to medium locations is 6,000 euros/sqm. Experts are watching the rise in resold condominiums with some concern. As the paper reported, property prices for assets from the 1950s were much quicker to rise than those for apartments from other periods. The average price paid was said to have been 5,000 euros/sqm. Accordingly, surveyors revised the benchmark land value upward by 30% on average.

Immowelt: Condo Prices in Berlin Have Gained by 83% since 2010

As the IMMOBILIEN ZEITUNG reported on 15 May, an analysis of asking prices for condominiums in Berlin by the immowelt.de real estate marketing portal determined a price growth by 83% over the past five years. As recently as early 2010, the going square-metre rate averaged 1,668 euros. The fastest surge in prices was registered between 2012 and 2013 at 31%. Between 2014 and 2015, it was said to have slowed to 15%. Purchase prices for two out of every three apartments on the market ranged between 1,929 euros/sqm and 4,406 euros/sqm in Q1 2015. In 2010, purchase prices for most apartments were still between 1,043 euros/sqm and 2,660 euros/sqm. Investors from inside and outside Germany will have to brace themselves for diminishing returns, the paper went on to say. For unlike the asking prices for condominiums, the asking rents increased by only 45% over the same period of time.

New Hotels for Care-Dependant Individuals and their Relatives

As the IMMOBILIEN ZEITUNG reported on 15 May, Hopag intends to close the supply gap between hospitality and care home by offering hotels under the brand name “carehotels.” The idea is to offer a holiday experience both for those in need of care and their family relations. The first such asset, carehotel Niddasee, is already under construction and scheduled to open for business in July 2016. The issuance volume equals 10 million euros. The construction of a second hotel, this one in Bad Liebenzell, is to kick off in spring of 2016. The quoted investment volume is 18 million euros. The plan calls for the development of around ten carehotels over the next five to six years. Concept partner is the hotel operator Sonnenhotels, which runs ten hotels in Germany and Austria. Investors are to be given the opportunity to acquire an equity interest in individual property vehicles.

Holiday Properties in Demand as Investment-Grade Assets

Holiday cottages in German tourist regions are sought as capital investment assets, and promise high rates of return, or so the FRANKFURTER ALLGEMEINE ZEITUNG wrote on 22 May. More and more investors seem to be buying holiday properties as private investment. According to a survey compiled by the Fewo-direkt holiday home letting portal and the Engel & Völkers estate agency, the main purpose of buying this type of property, which needs to be let for at least 17 weeks of the year in order to turn a profit, is either capital investment or a retirement scheme. However, the business of letting holiday cottages is highly susceptible to economic cycles, so that the asset chosen should be located in a region attractive to tourists and with a sound infrastructure. These are important criteria for the capital preservation of the property. In addition, “the distance from the cottage to the beach should not exceed 900 metres,” said Patricia Deneke of NCC. Other important criteria to ensure easy lettability include a view of the ocean or the lake and a garden.

Recommended Reading – by Dr. Rainer Zitelmann

George Soros – a Biography

Robert Slater, George Soros: The Life, Ideas, and Impact of the World’s Most Influential Investor, New York, McGraw-Hill, 2009, 336 pages

Most readers will know George Soros as the man who brought the Bank of England to its knees through a huge currency speculation against the Pound, and who made a billion dollars in the process. While Soros is a multiple billionaire and counts among the wealthiest people in the world, he is also a well-known philanthropist who committed himself most notably to the cause of freedom in Eastern Europe. Finally he is also known as one of George W. Bush’s fiercest critics – and as a critic of precisely the finance capitalist system to which he owes his wealth.

“I was born poor, but will not die poor” read a note that was pinned to the wall above his workplace. It was George Soros’s creed. But it was not, as his biographer shows, Soros’ most important goal to be recognised as a genius investor. All his life, he would have preferred to be a philosopher, and he was positively aching for recognition as an intellectual mind. Despite a number of publications with a philosophical bend, however, it is precisely this sort of recognition that has eluded him.

He likes to say of himself that he is a critic – the world’s best-paid critic. “I am a critic of the processes. I am not an entrepreneur who builds businesses. I am an investor who judges them. My function in the financial markets is a critic, and my critical judgments are expressed by my decisions to buy and sell.”

Soros grew up in Hungary. Even as a child he showed an enterprising spirit and initiative. At the age of ten, he edited a newspaper called Lupa Horshina, literally “Lupa Trumpet.” He penned all of the articles in it himself, and for two summers sold the copies for a pittance to other families vacationing on Lupa Island, a summer retreat in the Danube River close to Budapest. Being Jewish, he and his family went into hiding during the time of the German occupation, and thus survived the holocaust.

In the fall of 1947, at the age of seventeen, he left Hungary, and two years later enrolled at the London School of Economics, attending lectures by Karl Popper, among others, whose idea of an open society would fascinate Soros throughout his life. He wanted to become a social philosopher or a journalist, and present the world with major insights – “like Freud or Einstein.”

Even later, as a financial investor, he kept trying to elevate his actions with a philosophical angle. That said, “George Soros’s theories revealed only a part of his investment secrets, the framework that explained how he believed financial markets operated. … The framework did not, however, reveal how George Soros operated.”

Chances are that his character traits go a longer way than his theories in explaining his success as financial investor. “One of Soros’s most useful qualities was his ability to detach his emotions from his dealings in the financial markets.” Whenever events proved him wrong, he would freely admit to his error rather than trying to prove that he had been right. He was also very bold in this speculations, often bolder than others. “The worst error in Soros’s book was not being too bold, but too conservative. ‘Why so little?’ was one of his favorite questions.”

Rather than talking to brokers all day, Soros prefers “to think and read and reflect.” To one of his employees he once said: “The trouble with you, Byron, is that you go to work every day and you think that because you go to work every day, you should do something. I don’t go to work every day. I only go to work on the days that make sense to go to work. … And I really do something on that day. But you go to work and you do something every day and you don’t realize when it’s a special day.”

Time and again, Soros would look into real estate, too. In fact, the first industry that Soros focused on for his extremely successful Double Eagle Fund was REITs. “In 1969, Soros established a solid reputation by pointing out, in a widely circulated memo, the advantages of investing in a new vehicle called the real estate investment trust (or REIT).” He returned to real estate in the early 1990s when teaming up with Paul Reichmann and forming a real estate fund worth 225 million dollars, the Quantum Realty Fund, in 1993. He soon acquired a 634 million dollar package of foreclosed real estate and announced his intention to spend 1.5 billion dollars in real estate projects in Mexico City. Four months after having set up the fund with Reichmann in the United States, Soros formed an even larger one that was supposed to serve as instrument for investments in UK real estate. His Quantum Fund joined with a London-based developer called British Land, and this time Soros earmarked 775 million dollars for property investments.

But Soros has never focused on just one asset class. At times, he made a lot of money through currency speculations, at other times with gold or real estate. Unlike Warren Buffett, for instance, his investments have never been long-term in nature. Soros cannot be considered a long-term investor, but counts among those investors that take advantage of short-term imbalances within the financial system.

A trait he does share with Buffett is that he has left-wing liberal political leanings rather than conservative ones. That said, he is more radical in his political activities than Buffett. He spent a lot of money supporting a number of left-wing groups in their fight against George W. Bush. Above all, however, he committed large amounts – both before the fall of the Iron Curtain and after – to the effort of spreading democratic values in Eastern Europe, and to his foundations and their cause of an open society.

The book also touches upon George Soros’ private life: He spends little time watching TV because he feels he has no time for such

things. He reads “serious stuff – more philosophy such as a book on the origin of wealth, which is complexity theory, that kind of stuff, and at the same time I have been reading a biography of the bin Laden family, which is a very good book, so biography is probably my favorite.” The British newspaper Independent once characterised Soros as follows: “He looks a decade younger than his years, perhaps as a result of his compulsive tennis playing and lack of interest in the flashy lifestyle that New York offers to the seriously rich. He neither drinks nor smokes, and his taste in food is modest. He comes across like an earnest, rather untidy Middle European professor” (p. 12). R.Z.

For more reviews of interesting business books, see Zitelmanns Book Reviews


Only the contributions titled “Commentary – by Dr. Rainer Zitelmann” reflect the editor’s opinion. Responsible: Dr. Rainer Zitelmann. The facts represented in press items are not checked for accuracy. Copyright for GERMAN REAL ESTATE NEWS: Dr.ZitelmannPB.GmbH, Rankestr.17, 10789 Berlin, Germany. Copying or electronic forwarding of the newsletter, except by contractual agreement with Dr.ZitelmannPB.GmbH, constitutes a violation of applicable copyright laws.

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Dr. ZitelmannPB. GmbH is Germany’s leading consulting company for the positioning and communication of real estate companies and fund companies. It advises national and international clients in the areas of strategic press and public relations work, capital market communication, and positioning. Other spheres of activity include the compilation of track records and statements of account, surveys and research documents, as well as the conceptualising of, and copywriting for, customer newspapers, newsletters, Internet presentations, and brochures. Dr. ZitelmannPB. GmbH supports the market entry of foreign companies in Germany, and brokers collaborations for real estate and fund companies. For detailed information about service spectrum and reference customers of Dr. ZitelmannPB. GmbH, please visit www.zitelmann.com or send an inquiry directly to info@zitelmann.com.

Feri Real Estate Market Rating

The Feri Real Estate Market Rating provides a forward-looking assessment of potentials and risks for investment return on regional real estate markets. Ratings are based on detailed econometric forecasts of regional real estate markets including regional economic development. The rating currently includes more than 150 cities in Europe, in the United States and in Asia.

In this issue:

Real Estate Market Rating for Rotterdam

Rotterdam, like Amsterdam, is an international center of trade, transport and services, and its geographical location offers an exceptional advantage – it has the biggest harbor in Europe. Due to its harbor, its airport, and also its proximity to the international airport in Amsterdam, Rotterdam’s transport links are outstanding. The industrial sector, which is significantly influenced by the harbor, mainly specializes in shipbuilding, oil refineries, and the chemical as well as metal industries. In addition, during recent years, the service sector has become much better established. In particular, the share of financial and business services has increased and is nowadays above the Dutch average.

Feri rates Rotterdam as a business location “B+”, which is upgraded to the 1st quarter 2014. It translates into “above average potential, below average risk”. With this rating result the city ranks 8th in the comparison of European Centers.

Office Real Estate

Regarding office real estate Feri rates Rotterdam “D”, which is upgraded to the 1st quarter 2014. The city ranks 17th among office locations of European Centers. Feri awards the office top locations “D” and the side locations “D-”

Through 2008, demand – bolstered by quite lively service sector expansion – outran supply on Rotterdam’s office market. For several years rents rose sharply, as low new building activity reinforced the market upturn. Rotterdam, with lower office rents than Amsterdam, presents itself as an optimal European location for international firms. However, as a consequence of this tight demand situation and the rising rents that it fostered, a period of supply augmentation ensued. By 2008, the economic crisis, coinciding with the added supply, negatively affected rents – rents here began dropping as they did in most European cities. The medium-term outlook points to steady rent increases. Anticipated further expansion of Rotterdam’s service sector will boost demand for office space, and thus support a trend of rising rents.

Retail Real Estate

In the comparison of European Centers regarding retail real estate Rotterdam placed 1st with a rating result of “A”, which is unchanged compared to the 1st quarter 2014. Feri awards the retail top locations “A” and the side locations “A”.

The seaport is the second largest city of the Netherlands. The excellent infrastructure and the modern architecture attract a high number of tourists which bring additional purchasing power to the region. The high-streets in the city centre are Lijnbaan, Beurstraverse, Korte Lijnbaan and Hoogstraat. Last year the short supply and the high demand for retail space in these locations led to slight rent increases. Secondary locations have also benefited from attractive building measures. Nevertheless the positive rental development is expected to stay behind the rent increases in primary locations. The supply – especially for top retail space – will continue to be limited notwithstanding several building projects which are already in the pipeline.

Residential Real Estate

When it comes to residential real estate, Rotterdam placed 8th among European Centers with a rating result of “B”, upgraded to the 1st quarter 2014.

On Rotterdam’s apartment market rents have risen only very little in recent years due to the financial crisis. Even the correction of inflation was partly not possible. Two factors have mitigated the negative development on the apartment market: First of all, the positive population development stabilizing demand. Secondly, the current weakness of the property market. In the years to come the supply of new appartments will slightly grow due to the historically low new building activity which can be currently observed. The present housing programm under discussion will stimulate this development. Nevertheless, despite the supply increase one can expect residential rents in Rotterdam to continue to rise, because demand seems likely to stay solid, and enable the new supply to be absorbed without imparting significant slackness to the market.

Since 2008, in the wake of the financial crisis and an ongoing weak economy, the Netherland’s real estate market has registered significant price adjustments. However, the Randstad regions compare slightly better to the rest of the country. At present the performance of incomes is pretty weak. Thus, hardly any stimulus comes from demand. On the other hand, building activity has decreased since 2009 limiting the supply of new housing property. The balance between demand and supply will consequently agree again over the medium term. From 2014 on the economy and development of incomes will stimulate demand again. The population is also expected to increase above the overall average for the Netherlands. These conditions will then support slightly rising prices.


Franz Wolfgang Kubatzki, wolfgang.kubatzki@feri.de, phone +49 (0) 6172 916-38 11

Feri Real Estate Market Rating

The “Feri Real Estate Market Ratings” issued by Feri appraise the value potential of regional real estate markets, taking into account the attendant risks. The methodological approach underlying Feri Real Estate Market Ratings is rooted in the empirical observation that the performance of a given real estate market depends essentially on the economic power of the respective city. Before this background, Feri develops a separate prognostic model for each city, mapping the regional economy as a system of independent equations.

For the purpose of compiling its ratings, Feri uses a detailed regional forecast to analyse the socio-economic development, the economic structure, as well as the ten-year indicators specific to the respective real estate market. The forecast findings are evaluated using a mathematical rating algorithm.

The objective behind the ratings is to make the markets more transparent, and thereby to support pending investment decisions of private and institutional investors. Feri ratings are updated on a quarterly basis, and are currently available for 67 German cities and counties, as well as for 60 European cities outside Germany, and 45 cities in the United States.

Feri EuroRating Services AG

Feri EuroRating Services AG is a leading European rating agency, specializing in the analysis and valuation of investment markets and investment products. Feri is also a major economic research and forecasting institute. At present, Feri employs a staff of around 60 professionals to manage about 1000 customer accounts. The company is headquartered in Bad Homburg near Frankfurt, Germany, with sales offices in the United Kingdom, France, and the United States. In addition to its global industry analyses and ratings of companies, countries, capital and real estate markets, Feri regularly appraises the investment funds registered in each country. Annual market surveys on institutional and mutual funds as well as on closed-end participations provide an overview of the perspectives and actions of institutional investors. In the real estate sector, Feri conducts global real estate research, performs real estate valuations, and provides ratings of companies, REITs, real estate, real estate portfolios, and indirect real estate investments (open-end and closed-end real estate funds).

For more information on Feri EuroRating Services, please go to http://fer.feri.de/en/about-us/portrait/.

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