Mar 17, 2009

How sexy is Germany?

Some days ago some of the German press echoes a speaker (from the Senior Management of a leading european agent) who said the following about Germany: "For 15 years since reunification, Frankfurt and Munich have seen virtually no rental movement at all Germany is boring and was boring It will never be a sexy market". This comment stroke me as at the time of alstria's IPO, one of the main drawback we had was that alstria's portfolio was not sexy enough for Germany. Leases were too long, not enough vacancy, not enough short term reversion, in a nutshell not enough growth. Reading this new comment it seems that alstria's portfolio had exactly the characteristics of a German portfolio. Boring.

Mar 11, 2009

MIPIM 2009 - 20 years of real estate

The MIPIM in Cannes is 20 years old. I was having breakfast this morning with a French friend who was a participant at the first MIPIM back in 1989, and is invited tonight to join the "veteran" dinner that is offered by the MIPIM organizers.

During the years this real estate fair has grown in size, number of participant to a scale where a lot of first year participant felt that it was becoming too big to be really efficient. At breakfast this morning, we both agreed that this year MIPIM may not be the most joyful one, but will clearly be one of the most efficient in years. People who came are here for business. Not for fun.

Mar 8, 2009

Corporate blogging: Lesson one.

I must confess that I am surprised by the number of direct comments or emails that are arriving at alstria following the recent start of the blog. I would not have expected to have so many people reading it. So thanks for your time and your interest.

One of the issues of having this blog is reflected in the comment of Thomas on my previous post (see the comment here). I do realize that it is hard to make the difference between alstria specific situation and general market comments. I will need to break my oath to Isabelle (which is alstria General Counsel) and will from now on address Thomas concerns even if it means discussing from time to time alstria’s specific. After all he is right to say that I am still writing this as a management board member of a listed company.

Mar 5, 2009

In the credit crunch, the credit might have already left, but the crunch still has to come

In November 2008 a panelist at the ninth annual European Real Estate Opportunity & Private Fund Investing Forum had the following remark: “Is CMBS dead? It can't be dead--there's no other place to get [that money] from” I guess it is relatively fair to say that if CMBS is not clinically dead, it is in a very deep coma.

European real estate markets were less relying on the CMBS market than the US markets. Nevertheless the share of the CMBS market has been constantly growing and it is estimated that more than 20% of the commercial real estate financing was financed through these markets. That still leaves us with a significant number of billions of commercial real estate financed in the CMBS markets…