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The State of European Real Estate: Interesting Stats and Facts

By Guest Author | January 19, 2013

Real estate has always been a universally strong commodity across the developed world, but an impossible to forecast mixed-bag of factors ranging from increasing economic uncertainty to trends within the industry itself, are giving analysts pause when it comes to predicting how the real estate landscape in Europe will look at the end of 2013.

Nothing is certain, but these interesting stats and facts give us an idea of where things are headed:

1. A Faltering Economy Means Tighter Wallets

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Foreclosure help for Oregon homeowners is on its way © MHChristine -

With the United States teetering on the brink of recession and some EU nations crossing the line of unpalatable debt, Europe's economy is on shaky ground due to effects both internal and external, and this has potential buyers suffering from indecision when it comes to parting ways with hundreds of thousands of dollars.

As evidenced in the United States over the past four years, an uncertain future is a major deterrent to making any large investment, and this is no more true than where real estate is concerned. Given the generally unstable economic environment that Europe is expected to navigate over the next 12 months, most analysts agree that the real estate market will be one of the first to take a noticeable hit, especially in the countries that are struggling most, such as Greece and Spain.

Keep in mind, though, that this uncertainty only serves to create a buyer's market! We all need a place to live, and real estate is one sector that can always be counted on to bounce back, so 2013 just may be the year to get your investment dollars injected into a property or two with an eye towards future profit.

2. Business Rentals On the Come Up

the commercial real estate market is still way undervalued.

Commercial real estate has a long way to go. Courtesy of Search Office Space

Even as those of us with limited money to spend are tightening up, businesses are continuing to inject extra cash into office and industrial space, and this translated into rising rates of business property rentals across most nations in the European Union over the past year. With even multi-billion dollar companies making massive changes to the way that they do business in order to survive the world's ongoing economic slowdown, these rates can be counted on to continue to inch higher in the coming months.

While residential rental rates dropped alongside other real estate transactions in 2012, previous trends suggests that that market is due for a pick-up as people look for short-term solutions in these difficult economic times. If you're a real estate agent looking to take advantage, you may want to consider a similarly short-term change in focus; if you're a renter looking for new digs, you'll want to get the ball rolling before others in a similar position serve to drive prices higher.

3. Sweet Spots

Real Estate Sweet Spots

Even as nations like the aforementioned Greece and Spain head into the new year with under the dark veil of a true recession, there are a few bright spots across the EU that investors and real estate professionals alike should keep their eye on.

First up for consideration is the United Kingdom, the owner of one of the few still-growing economies on the continent. With job uncertainty rampant around the developed world, most cities across the UK are continuing to experience at least small levels of growth in new homes built and sold, making this one market to which agents should be flocking in 2013.

Second up is Germany, but for an entirely opposite reason. The Union's largest economy has suffered alongside most of the rest over the past few years and its flagging economy is showing the effects, and that slowdown will continue for at least the first half of the year. While scary for those looking to sell, this will serve to create interesting conditions in the real estate market from a buyer's perspective. From previously unaffordable homes whose prices have fallen to within reach, to an increased business presence as companies flock to the perceived safe haven of a large economy, buyers are sure to find more available to them in Germany over the next six months than ever before.

Finally, we have France, a country no less affected by the global economic downturn than others, but with results that will suit buyers looking for luxury digs at prices that are lower than ever. Chock full of vacation homes, high-end properties, and centuries-old villas, France is a place of rare beauty that has often left those on the outside unable to enter the market due to extremely high pricing, but recent developments have lead to some of the best prices ever seen in the country, even in areas as sought-after as Brittany, Marseille, and Normandy.

If you're a buyer with cash to invest, you're not likely to find a better real estate deal anywhere in the world in 2013; check out the many houses for sale in France at for some exciting examples!

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