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The opinion of Belgian and International investors on the evolution of property investment in Belgium in 2017
Brussels, 13th March 2017 – Early this year, JLL performed a market sentiment survey amongst the main domestic and international players active on the Belgian investment market. JLL provides an analysis of the responses in its report: Belgium investment market survey 2017. Our capital markets research focused on the market sentiment of 3 distinct types of market players: Belgian investors, international investors and other market players such as fund managers, developers and consultants. The analysis was assembled in four chapters: volume, prices and yields, demand and outlook.
With a total invested volume of €3.7 billion in 2016, the wall of money aiming at real estate in Belgium remains solid for the second consecutive year. With rents remaining broadly stable, yield compression is the main driver of growth. The results of the JLL Investment Market Survey amongst the main domestic and international investors active in Belgium confirm that investors remain risk-adverse. Their first option is core, followed by core+ opportunities. Interest for secondary property remains limited to Belgian investors, whereas international investors express an increased interest in alternative investment types such as senior housing and student accommodation.
Market players forecast volumes in 2017 to be similar to those of 2016, which would mean repeating an excellent market performance for the third consecutive year. One quarter of the Belgian investors expect annual volumes to rise.
Prices and yields
A majority of Belgian investors indicate that the closing price was comparable to the asking price in 2016, whilst a majority of international investors claim that the closing price was higher than the asking price.
Both international and Belgian investors forecast stable yields except for logistics where particularly international investors expect further yield compression.
There is a broad consensus between market players with regard to office rents, in that 40% of respondents across all categories expect the prime office rent to rise. Other rental levels are expected to remain broadly stable. In general, international investors are more positive than Belgian investors, both on future take-up and rents. All investors target the Brussels Region, which remains on top of the list of their preferred locations.
Both domestic and international investors expect institutions and pooled funds to be the most active investor categories in 2017. The parties differ in that a vast majority of international investors are convinced that institutions will dominate the market, whereas Belgian investors expect a more balanced market activity from private investors, pooled funds, institutions and REITs.
Much more details of the results of the Investment Market Survey 2017 in the attached report.
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