Posts tagged with Economic growth

(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) 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.

4 – TURKEY

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).
5-RUSSIA

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.

6-USA

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.

7 – EUROZONE

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.