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Essential IR Insights Newsletter - February 2023

Gulf investors to prefer Amsterdam as top office market; Emaar denies deck sale

* Investors from the Middle East are expected to focus on Amsterdam as the top alternative office investment destination in 2020, deterred by political uncertainty in the U.K. and high prices in France and Germany, Arabian Business reported, citing Savills' latest European Office Outlook report.

Prime office rents in Amsterdam are expected to increase 6% in 2020, marking the highest growth prediction along with Stockholm and Luxembourg. Other European cities surveyed by Savills are expected to have an average 2% growth, the report noted.

* Emaar Properties PJSC said it is not selling the At The Top observation decks of the Burj Khalifa skyscraper in Dubai, in response to a recent media report that said the business could fetch as much as $1 billion.

Emaar said it is contemplating a "structured transaction wherein financing is being raised against the cashflows" of the business, adding that it is raising the financing "in the normal course of business."


* Following the recent U.K. elections, the three-year period of uncertainty after the Brexit vote is expected to finally recede, which could be good news for the London property market, Bloomberg News reported. According to Deloitte, new construction declined every year since the Brexit vote, and the latest election may give investors and developers a sense of clarity to commence deals and projects.

James Beckham, CBRE Group Inc.'s central London investment head, expects deals and prices to rise in 2020 as the election has already boosted investor confidence, the news outlet noted.

* Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors chief economist Simon Rubinsohn does not expect the recent U.K. election result to have a considerable impact on the housing market, while many estate agents have been predicting a property boom after the elections, The (U.K.) Daily Telegraph reported. Rubinsohn said only a short-term improvement in sentiment is likely.

Middle East

* Dubai logged a record 44,590 real estate transactions between November 2018 and the end of November 2019, Arabian Business reported, citing Data Finder of the Property Finder platform. Between January and November 2019, residential property sales totaled 36,799, and are expected to reach a 10-year record after December's figures are added.

* The average loss in capital values per month for Dubai property prices came to 0.8% in 2019, compared to an average 1% drop in 2018, Arabian Business reported, citing consulting firm ValuStrat.

Other real estate news

* Bloomberg News featured a report on the construction boom in São Paulo, which saw an industry expansion in the third quarter after 20 consecutive quarters of contractions. More than 36,000 residential units broke ground in the city during the first 10 months of 2019, and the year is on track for the highest number of new projects since at least 2004, the news outlet noted, citing the city's chapter of the Builders' Association, Secovi.

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