Posts in Category Real Estate Fairs

(II) CONSTRUMAT 2011: Construction fair in Barcelona

23 September, 2012 No Comments

Construmat 2011 focused on internationalization and in recapturing the refurbishment business, which is growing at a rate of 11%.

In the process of Internationalization, an agreement was reached with the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT)  – 中国 国际 贸易 促进 委员会 – whose goal is the promotion of international trade, developing economic agreements with foreign countries through the creation of professional networking to export the construction exhibition into China. The show took place in July, 2012 in Beijing, to which 200 local and international organizations attended, and who performed many activities dedicated to sustainable construction. The China Council promoted the participation of exhibitors, visitors and the industry associations in the country.

It is difficult for European companies to compete with the prices of major Chinese builders, however they can compete in the products’ quality. The idea was that Construmat China, besides offering sustainable products, offered finished products such as faucets, fences, painting and ceramics.

Here are some highlights regarding the current Chinese real estate market (some mentioned in previous posts):

1-For the most part, the idea of refurbishing buildings is not shared by Chinese, and as a consequence buildings degrade within few years, which are then subject to demolition, and then rebuilt from ground. In general, the quality of the materials used in construction is not good which brings to the eye the need to restore / paint facades.

2 – However, the Chinese market demands a European based design for their homes. The demand for designers / architects for residential or resort projects of a European – Spanish style can be very attractive. In fact, in one of the Chinese real estate fairs I visited last year, a leading developer requested a European technician capable of completing a Spanish-style design for a residential mega-project.

Brazil could be the next destination to host this fair with its own brand despite the deal not being closed yet. It is a country that everyone talks about. It’s a popular country given its economic growth, its upcoming sporting events (Olympic Games…), and for being an emerging market with great growth potential… The fair would be a great gateway to the Latin American market!! In the show held in Barcelona last year, ​​Brazil was the foreign country with the highest number of exhibitors.

The Manifest: The construction sector joined hands and elaborated a manifest in which they demanded support to overcome the crisis. They requested measures to support new construction, rehabilitation, and to maintain the appropriate level of investment in building as well as the level of attraction of foreign buyers for the residential sector. This was presented by the President of Construmat, J. Miarnau (Comsa-Emte), along with SEOPAN, the Association of Builders and Promoters (APCE), and the Colleges of Spanish Architects.

Sustainability: I would like to stress the European Solar Decathlon, a competition of scale models of solar buildings that involved fifteen European countries. A forum dedicated to sustainable thinking, with national and international presentations.

Rehabilitation in Spain: is the segment within the construction sector that is experiencing considerable growth.

(III) Real Estate in CHINA: Real Estate fair

20 September, 2012 No Comments

* Overseas Property & Investment Show-Beijing. * International Real Estate Fair-Dalian (April 2011). Exponents of the rapid growth of the housing market in recent years.

Being able to attend to both fairs gave me an idea of ​​the volume of business that the real estate sector moves in this part of the world. It is surprising to see how vague foreign investment is in the residential market, and not just Spanish, but European or American investment in this huge potential market (has an estimated population of 1,500 million). To outline some examples, there were English real estate developers (they’ve been introduced in China via Hong Kong), some Canadian developers, and only one Spanish developer (sold Chinese customers the Spanish product). The remaining foreign representation was made up of some other Asian countries, such as Malaysia, Singapore, Korea, Thailand, always as product vendors of their own material, since they are easily accessible to Chinese customers by its geographical proximity and generally with great weather.

These are some of the market trends offered in both fairs:

1 – A house or an apartment in European style communities, with clear influence from the French, Spanish, or Italian styles…, In many cases, located on the outskirts of large cities, since high speed rails allow a rapid communication with downtown.

2 – At the same time, a futuristic oriental architecture is rising in China (as I stated in my last post;  Mad Architects Studio in Beijing).

3 – A flat in the city, or near it. The last case referred to the second or third ring depending on its distance from the center of the city. For example, we would find these new skyscrapers whose floors are pretty much alike, are built in a simplistic way, do not attempt to follow any architectural trend, and whose solely purpose is to host as many people as possible.  That is to meet the needs arising from the internal migration that China is suffering. These flats are characterized to have 1 or 2 rooms (with little light), and long corridors.
Right now, it seems that China has become the leading country in the amount surface built each year: around 2 Billion square meters per year in recent years. About 30% of the world’s concrete and steel is used in China’s construction. In contrast, these buildings don’t last long, and buyers are not interested in second hand properties. In Europe instead (i.e. Spain), the second hand market is quite active, where remodeling is a common practice because houses last on average 50-60 years. In some cases, especially in large cities even more than 50 or 60 years as we intend to protect our historic patrimony. In addition, the owner of an apartment in Europe is also owner of the land on which the building is built.

In the Chinese model, land is state property and the buyer of an apartment has only the right on the ground for 70 years. The state auctions the land to private or public developers, creating the main source of revenue for local governments. This explains in part why so many are demolished in order to build new ones: the more space, the more buildings can be built.

(III) Mipim2011 the World’s property market: analyzing topics

14 September, 2012 No Comments

In this second post I limit myself to make a synthesis of ideas presented in Dr. N.Roubini’s conference at MIPIM 2011.  Due to the length of the presentation, I focused on what might be more relevant for the real estate investor. Nonetheless, for those who want full details about the presentation, I included the full video in its original version in my previous post.

Core Observations:

1-The question that Dr. Nouriel Roubini arises: Can countries such as China and other emerging countries tighten their monetary policy and their exchange rate to reduce inflation and maintain economic growth in order to get a soft landing of the economy rather than a hard one?

The strength of the economies of the growing emerging markets encourages the risk of a higher inflation. In these markets, there is a clear economic overheating, excessive credit growth, and note that about two thirds of their consumption basket is: oil, energy, food and transportation

2 – A vivid example would be the current situation in the Middle East: What’s happening right now in the Middle East? Nobody could foresee the political movement that took place in early 2011. We don’t know if this is going to stabilize soon, or if it will spread to other countries. This can have an effect on oil and energy prices … In such case, what would be the consequences of higher oil prices?

* There will be a severe problem of inflation of the overheated emerging markets.

* A lower risk of inflation in developed economies since the recovery from the financial crisis is very slow

* It also has an impact on economic growth. Specifically a destabilizing effect in the investor and consumer’s confidence in particular…

3 – In recent years there has been a massive injection of liquidity into the global economy. There were massive fiscal stimulus in the US, Japan, Europe, and other emerging markets, but if we take a look at the current market (as of 2011) we realize that we are in the opposite side: there is less monetary stimulus and more fiscal austerity (countries in Europe and the UK started to cut on spending and tax incentives, as well as the US, who began to cut costs ….. The question is: Will the private market have the possibility to consume in order to have economic growth when some of the fiscal and monetary stimuli are gone?

Areas with potential growth: the U.S. at a 3%, some parts of Europe at a 1.5 to 2%, and emerging markets, eastern countries and South America at a 5-8% growth rate.


Turkey’s growth prospect is very optimistic for the medium to the long term. There is still growth in its population and as a consequence there is a significant domestic market (As a contrary, China’s population is decreasing). It can be a fast-growing economy although structural reforms need to be done. If these reforms are made at a regular pace, the forecast of growth for the future is very positive (real estate growth comes along).

Prices will increase reasonably which will improve Russia’s fiscal balance, and consequently its economic growth. However, the fact that Russia is not a very well-diversified economy prevents growth of being even greater. For example, in 2010 where there was a global economic recovery countries such as India or China grew at a 9% rate or Brazil at a 7.5%, but Russia instead, grew at a 4.5% rate.

Its current situation (as of 2011) is slow growth and a 2 digit inflation, and unless structural reforms are put in place to accelerate growth, the former will be slowed down. Even though Russia has great potential for growth given its vast natural resources, a good education system, and good scientists, there will be a direct relationship between what happens to oil prices and the growth of Russia. If oil prices rise the Russian economy will be stronger because it will improve the country’s economic balance. But, what should really be a concern is the long-term growth of their economy, and foreign investors are aware of it, and with it, aware of the risk of expropriation.


Currently there is an oversupply of existing houses. Home sales fell up to 80% of its highs, even though now are gradually increasing. However, home prices are still adjusted downward, inflation is present in the economy, unemployment is still high and people who are forced to leave their homes because they can’t pay their mortgages. Prices have adjusted by a 30%, but may have not bottomed out, and it might require a longer period of time for these adjustments to run out.


Fiscal austerity is urgently needed in the Euro zone, the UK and Japan. Even though a period of austerity is a “must”, it will have in the short term a negative effect on economic growth. Austerity means to cut on government spending, to fire public officials… but it will make the economic recovery more effective in the long run.

(II) Mipim2011 the World’s property market: analyzing topics

13 September, 2012 No Comments

I would like this post to be a meeting point for reflection in this crucial time for the real estate and the financial sectors.  Dr. Nouriel Roubini in 2006, was one of the few to alert the financial community of the crisis that was underway.

Nouriel Roubini, who attended to the 2011 economic forum in Davos, is an advisor in the subject of international economics to the White House, the IMF, The World Bank, and is a professor at NYU’s Stern’s School of Business, and Yale University. Mr Roubini has a Phd. in economics from Harvard University among many other degrees and awards for his work.  In this video Mr Roubini presents in a schematically way the current and future situation of the advanced economies and emerging markets so that real estate investors can direct their investments to markets that they consider will have greater potential of response.

* In the first part of his presentation in 2011, Mr Roubini highlights the strengths and weaknesses of the global economy today:


1 + Despite the severe economic and financial crisis, we are at a stage in which we perceive a slight recovery. In the last two years (counting from 2011 and back) the economy, both in emerging countries (Brics..) and advanced economies (USA and parts of Europe) has shown symptoms of growth.

2 + Due to the crisis, corporations in both the U.S. and Europe have had to cut on expenses (personnel, and overall costs…). Therefore, they are now more prepared to invest as they are stronger than two years ago. HOWEVER, the question posed by Roubini is: Will these companies decide to invest in advanced economies (which are slow-growth countries) or in emerging market economies (for faster growth)?.

3 + The rapid growth of the economies of emerging markets, presents itself to the public as the new item that can be the locomotive of the world’s economy (until now it was solely the US and the advanced economies). Mr Roubini does not only speak about BRICS, China, or India, but also other countries from Central Asia, Middle East and Latin America, where great progress is taking place, as these markets are growing very rapidly.

For the real estate market, growth in emerging markets will be a positive event in the medium to the long term, as it leads to industrialization, and thus to the urbanization and the improvement of infrastructures. China and India are currently under a process of rapid and massive urbanization and industrialization.

4 + 2010 was a year of “risk on” “risk off”. Last spring season people got worried amid the recession in Greece, and the US’s double dip recession.

However, throughout the fall, things began to improve in the financial markets, and when looking at the overall 2010, we could say that it ended up with better perspectives as a result of the fiscal stimulus in the U.S. and other measures taken in Europe to help the countries whose economies were in trouble.

Since the global economy is slowly recovering, it follows that financial markets will also recover (becoming a vicious cycle). It would be the opposite of what happened in 2008 when prices and investment sunk, causing the economy to contract.

- Negatives:

1 – In many advanced economies, the recovery is almost inexistent, due to the large amount of debt of the public and private sectors. This will slow growth since corporations and governments must spend less and save more to reduce debt.

2-This paragraph is related to the previous one. There is a significant and sudden increase in risk of the advanced economies. Not only in countries of the Euro zone such as Spain, Greece, Portugal or Ireland but in countries such as the US, the UK, or Japan among others, due to budget deficits and a big stock of public debt. This increased risk due to public debt will remain a problem for many years to come.

Besides the amount of public debt in these economies, another factor comes into play; the aging population will mean an additional cost to social security, pensions, medical care for the elderly, … this will rise even more their debt.

3 – The financial and economic problems still exist in the Euro zone:  in countries such as Greece, Spain, Italy, Portugal and other potential countries, whose financial problems are becoming chronic and won’t be resolved anytime soon despite the aid given by the European Union. We also have to take into account that Spain and Ireland had the real estate bubble, which in hand with a large amounts of private debt will be even harder to straighten up.

Some of these countries are losing competitiveness in the Euro zone, and are experimenting a negative growth. Spain, Ireland and Greece are still struggling with a contracted economy, while Italy’s is a bit more positive.

A summary of the existing problems:

a-Large deficit and public debt as well as private debt

b-Lack of competitiveness in the international market

c-Lack of structural reform

d-Lack of economic reform.

4-Important public sector debt: lets take the US as example and set the problems the country faces

-Unemployment is high and job creation is insignificant.

-The housing sector has fallen again since 2010 to 2011, with the consequent negative effect on consumption. Failure to pay home mortgages requires owners to leave their homes.

-The states government’s fiscal deficit is very high. While Europe and the UK, are paying attention to their own fiscal problems, in the U.S., politicians don’t conclude any measures.

Until this point of the presentation, we have discussed Roubini’s  global economic analysis. In the next post, there is a reference to emerging economies, entering to further analyze the current economy and future prospects in certain specific countries.

(I) MIPIM 2011 Cannes & Asia “the world’s property market”

23 May, 2012 No Comments

This fair is among the most important real estate forums in the world for anyone to present projects and attract foreign investors. The fair it’s a showcase of cities and regions to acquire popularity among international companies.

MIPIM 2011, in Cannes on March 8-11 of 2011, had 18,600 visits, of which 5,000 were investors from all over the world, and 6,400 were companies. Even though the majority of the show stands was represented by European countries, especially France (hosting the fair) and the UK (guest country), a total of 90 countries participated in the event, here is a short list: Belgium, Luxembourg, Spain (Barcelona, ​​Catalonia), Italy, Germany , Nordic countries, as well as delegations from Russia, Baltics, Turkey, South Africa, Brazil, Uruguay, China, Japan, Singapore, Arab Emirates, Qatar and Egypt.

This fair gathered a vast amount of useful information that could help you determine where to invest and help you identify investment opportunities. It helped the investor understand the real estate market in a comprehensive manner, along with its trends for the short to the medium term. This, in part, was possible thanks to all of the international experts that conducted more than 40 presentations about to the housing market as well as “Investment Labs” or networking sessions that performed an in-depth analysis of the hot investment markets of the moment, such as Turkey, Brazil, Egypt and South Africa . Each workshop had an approximate duration of about 45 minutes, led by 3 experts and concluded with a debate or discussion from 5 key personalities.

A different format was the closed-door investor power meeting, that offered the opportunity to 30 investors (buyers or sellers) to find, through their network of contacts, potential business partners.

Another interesting kind of workshop was held as a competition game. Taking the British market as a referent, since it is one of the most dynamic real estate markets in Europe, all English promoters exhibited and presented their projects to a jury of potential investors, as if they were participating in a ‘competition’.
Urban debates were also offered in front of the different delegations of all the cities around the world, with topics such as the different measures adopted from the rapid population growth, carrying out with  an analysis of issues related to sustainability and quality of life.

The fair has gathered the most influential executives from the real estate sector of this time; Property Advisors, Investors, Bankers, Commercial Investment Advisors, Architects, Designers, International Real Estate Attorneys, Construction companies, Development Corporations, as well as local and regional authorities. Thus, a place to meet and exchange the supply and demand of all the real estate segments (commercial, industrial, infrastructure and development, engineering, residential, offices… and the largest projects worldwide).

It might be interesting to analyze in upcoming posts some of the highlights of the exhibition.
** Given that the number of Asian investors seeking new investment opportunities far from their borders had been increasing considerably, MIPIMASIA fair ( was held in Hong Kong on November 15-17, 2011. * *

Property investor show & OPP Live, Excel London Oct 2010

31 August, 2011 No Comments

You make your money When you BUY, NOT When You SELL.

This is one of those phrases that professional real estate investors believe and follow …. and the places with more supply per square meter is at the fairs.

The Property Investor Show & OPP Live was held in London in late 2010. The most relevant facts during this real estate exhibition were:

1 – There was a live auction with more than 200 properties. Even if you previously hadn’t participated in real estate auction, I encourage you to go see one to learn its dynamics, the purchase before and after the auction, the closing of good business, or the rules to perform this type of purchase, etc..

2 – In the English market, and in the international (but in a smaller scale), there is the possibility to “buy fractional”, ie. to buy a part or portion of the entire property. It is a figure that has considerable popularity in a market like the one we have today.

The approach is aimed at the holiday home as an investment. Second home buyers seek homes that require them to give a small down payment, with low building expenses, and few financial risks … but that allows them to benefit 100% from their investment. It differs from multiowners, which means only a right to use the property x weeks per year. (I’ll make a post detailing this type of fractional purchase).

3 – Almost half of the exhibition was dedicated to the international market, with potential countries such as Spain and Portugal for the English market, as well as new destinations to invest, such as Cyprus, Greece, Africa, Egypt, Brazil, Swazi and Turkey (the ones that had great reception in the English market were mainly: Cyprus, Turkey and Egypt).

4 – In particular, Egypt was the guest country, with many product developers offering the best destinations in the Red Sea. Egypt is considered one of the leading emerging markets in the property sector because it is generating great interest from international markets to invest there.

Many of the reasons to invest in Egypt are: good sustained economic growth, cheap labor and land, and a booming real estate market. A great thing is that the RE market is interesting to both, domestic and foreign customers.

Among the advantages of buying in Egypt is the exemption of tax rates:

* The purchase and ownership of a property is exempt from taxes, both inheritance and capital gains.
* The administrative charges, if any, are very low in general.
* There is an estimated return on investment between 5 to 11% depending on the type of property.
* The areas of the Red Sea are the most popular for tourists and the demand for vacation homes is located in Hurghada, Sharm el Shiekh, and Gouda.

* Theoretically, when buying a home it is not necessary that it be registered in the deeds of the property, although the possibility exists if a buyer decides to register his property paying a fee for it.

5 – There were about 130 seminars of about 45 minute each, in addition to the exhibition, with the idea to reflect this continuous change because new markets are opening at the same time, and new creative ways to face sales and marketing are emerging ….. It is said that the money exists, but will exist only for companies that are prepared to give in exchange good business prospects ….. It is also interesting the idea that investments in “passive properties”, for example student apartments or hotel rooms, should be part of investors’ portfolios as investment alternatives.


29 August, 2011 No Comments

A Real estate fair that shows a market undergoing a deep transformation

Former Minister of Housing, Beatriz Corridor, opened the show a year ago in company of F. Baltasar, Counselor of Environment and Housing of La Generalitat. This occurred during the time in which President Zapatero was considering to eliminate the Ministry of Housing in his government reshuffle, whose tasks would then be under responsibility of the Ministry of Development led by J Blanco.

The show was hosted in Montjuic showing the large supply of homes available at the time, both first and second-hand homes, as well as store and office space, parking lots, which, as was seen in other real estate exhibitions around the country, were a big chunk of the bank’s portfolio.
The show’s international section had a wide representation from Russia.  There was still a close relationship with the Arab Union for Real Estate Development, and there was a delegation from South American countries, i.e. Argentine and Colombian businessmen looking to find Spanish partners to invest here. In the Symposium, held at the same time, the representatives of Colonial and Morgan Stanley, believed that international investment was starting to show interest in the Spanish housing market, not so much for developers but to create personal wealth, and always at attractive prices … . this was referred to as possible competitors to the Spanish family offices, which were those that had been buying quite much in previous years.

Exhibitions and fairs are generally intended to present to the public and the specialized sector the latest industry trends, showing the existing product supply at the national and international level. That gives a quick overview of; the evolution, market trends at that precise moment and of the future for each particular sector…… But in this case it is very difficult to predict the evolution of the housing market but also the new skills that the job market will demand in the future (either by the changes that new technologies have introduced, or the differences in advertising, or the easy access to foreign markets to both buyer and seller (globalization), or energy conservation and respect for the environment, etc. ..).

It ‘s obvious that the real estate business that will emerge after this crisis, must come with drastic changes, as we currently witness this transformation process. When the market reactivates, it should be more environmentally responsible … To point out; the information about the crisis have proved to be inaccurate as well as the forecasts about the behavior of the economy …. and recovery in Spain seems to me like a snail trail.

A conclusion for the future could be that the new market must be created by all of us all, bearing in mind a greater economic rationality.

2010 World Expo Shanghai, China

17 August, 2011 No Comments

Much has been said about the Expo, which closed its doors on October 31 2010, but there are always uncovered pictures and details that dazzle and we were not aware of. The central theme of the exhibition is “A Better City, A Better Life,” representing the common desire of all societies to have urban nucleus in accordance with modern life, welfare and sustainable development.

At this Expo, cities were able to directly participate, and for that reason, a space referred to as Best Urban Practices Area was created, where several cities around the world presented their experiences and proposals, as well as their point of view of a better model of urban development. Spain was represented by three cities: Madrid, Barcelona, ​​Bilbao.

Given the size and the number of participating countries, the Expo was considered the largest international exhibition to date, with the representation of 192 states and 50 international organizations.

The Chinese Pavilion aimed to show visitors the Chinese culture and its traditions. Its shape was inspired by the ancient Chinese imperial crowns, and the facade, with four columns and a central body in the form of a truncated pyramid, is covered with painted steel beams, twisted in accordance to the Dougong Technique. The ceiling has the shape of a Sudoku. The urban development in China from old times to present times was shown in the Pavilion.

The Expo Cultural Center, designed by the ECADI team of Chinese Architects, was one of the 5 buildings that would remain intact after the Expo disappeared. It looks like a flying saucer, which at night, becomes what appears to be a floating city.

The EXPO HUB, a 1km walk that acts as the access point of the streets and the river, is built with a plastic membrane supported by 50 masts and six funnel-shaped columns.

this picture is the interior of one of the pavilions. They delve into different aspects of urban development:

* The Thematic Pavilion: based on the architectural techniques Shikumen (typical of Shanghai), with two facades with an origami design.

* The Urbanian Pavilion: dedicated to people living in cities. Made by the Dutch architect Herman Kossmann and Mark Jong

* City Hall Being: shows the daily life in the cities, seen as living organisms.

* The Urban Planet Pavilion: represents the process of urbanization at a global level and its interaction with the environment and the countryside.

* The Urban Footprints Pavilion: its purpose was to cover the development of cities from ancient times to current times.

Real Estate in Autumn 2010 : Barcelona Meeting Point and Residential Outlet

8 August, 2011 No Comments

If you are planning to buy a property it is recommended that you attend real estate shows.

Barcelona hosted last autumn ​​the 13th edition of BCN MEETING POINT, and MADRID the 3rd call of the RESIDENTIAL OUTLET. These fairs were held on different dates and its targets are quite differentiated by their search criteria.

BCN MEETING POINT: Professional Real Estate annual event. This fall will be held from October 19th to the 23th, offering all kind of real estate product:

– Housing; from luxury homes to official protection homes (VPO), but it is basically focused on first hand properties, and some second hand as well.

-Warehouses, shopping centers and industrial sites.

-Specialized housing, lofts, duplexes, penthouses, detached house

-Others: parking, land, hotels, offices, resorts combined of golf + homes….

It covers products at a national and international level, allowing a foreign country to present itself as a country and as a possible destination for international property purchase. The show also presents real estate developments in emerging countries.

RESIDENTIAL OUTLET: Organized by IFEMA Madrid from September 24th to the 26th

It is basically aimed at offering first and second hand housing in Spain at competitive prices. The show is also known as “affordable housing show” because it provides residential product at discounts of up to 40%.

It covers both the first and second home market from one to four bedrooms, and assets such as penthouses, apartments, studios, shops, offices or garages.

The Spanish areas that had a wider range of product offerings during the 2009 edition were the city of Madrid, PAU in Vallecas and Sanchinarro. Next in line the south of Spain, Andalusia, with several promotions around the coast, and Valencia. Finally at a smaller scale: Canarias, Castilla y León, Valencia, Balearic Islands and Cantabria.

Category: Real Estate Fairs

Invest in Natal – Brasil

17 March, 2010 No Comments

Last week we were in the real estate fair Natal (Brazil), IX Salão Imobiliário DO RN, held in the Natal Convention Center, from 10 to 14 March 2010.

The sensations that caused us Natal just when we arrived in the city, is that it’s in urban development, where currently are construction a large number of apartment buildings, condominiums and other real estate developments, both to the consumption of Brazilian emerging middle class to foreign investors who see Brazil as a rising economy and potential return on investment within a short period.

Natal is the capital of Rio Grande do Norte in northeastern Brazil. Those who live here can enjoy over 400km of magnificent beaches, many of which are protected by reefs and natural pools, interspersed with rivers, freshwater lakes, sand dunes and cliffs of colors. Natal is very clear, cheerful and sunny.

In the real estate fair, we could see ourselves that Brazil is in a great economic growth. Building contractors, property developers and real estate companies were present to offer visitors the many real estate developments for sale in Natal city, as in the rest of the state Rio Grande do Norte.

All these real estate developments will be announced very soon in the New Homes Real Estate Portal.