EDITOR'S LETTER: It’s a big world

As time goes by, we are uncovering more markets to investigate than I can recall since PERE first launched back in 2005, constantly reminding us that real estate has indeed become a global asset class. Back in 2005, it was global as well, but sometimes I felt it was global for the wrong reasons. As you may recall, asset prices had become so inflated in the established markets that people were going off to some fairly exotic places in order to make returns.

Speaking personally, I should have realized that something was going seriously wrong in 2007, when I found myself on a plane to Morocco. One or two firms had decided in their infinite wisdom to launch real estate funds focused on the country. Having made the rounds to several offices in Casablanca (and being ripped off every time by the taxi drivers), I do recall thinking how weird it was that I should be there. I needn’t have bothered with the trip because we all know what happened to the world within a few months. 

Today, the industry has gone global for much better reasons, including institutional investors diversifying internationally. Of course, that only is the right strategy so long as investors know what they are doing. At the same time, ‘hot markets’ are no longer necessarily markets where only budget airliners dare to go. They can be large established ones with an element of distress.

Well, you can find out a lot about these two themes of globalization this month. Starting on page 35, we bring you a snapshot of the hot markets in 2013, taking you from Latin America to Europe and Asia. We also have a whole supplement devoted to Australia, where our senior editor Erik Kolb made the long flight to bring you the latest. Back inside this issue, from page 51 and on, four professionals walk you through events in Germany, where yours truly was in attendance to hear about the rise of real estate IPOs. Last but not least, we have an interview with UK specialists Brockton Capital, beginning on page 28.

I said last – but that isn’t quite right. There also is coverage from Japan, where Jonathan Brasse has been hanging out for a week, plus developments in France, where Sébastien Bazin quit as Colony Capital’s man in Europe to lead Accor, and in the US, where our reporting team led by Evelyn Lee and new recruit Katherine Bucaccio have been analyzing developments. By the way, PERE now has staff in Hong Kong, where Michelle Phillips is based, as well as New York and London, making us global in that sense too.

Enjoy the read, wherever you are, and don’t forget to catch us at two events this month – our Global Investor Forum in Amsterdam and our annual PERE Summit in New York. Details can be found on our website, www.perenews.com.

Enjoy the issue,

Robin Marriott