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March 13, 2012

Exclusive: Cushman's CEO Sees Slow Start, Strong Finish for Global Market in 2012

By Paul Rosta, Senior Editor

The moderately upbeat projection of services firm Cushman & Wakefield Inc. paints a global real estate picture that is on track to brighten by the second half of 2012, as the U.S. leads an uptick in investment sales growth and vacancy rates will decline in more than half of the world’s major office markets.

The good news will have to wait for the second half of the year, largely as the global capital markets and the real estate industry take time to bounce back from a sluggish end of 2011. “That fourth-quarter delay will definitely continue the first quarter, maybe into the first half,” the firm’s president & CEO, Glenn Rufrano, told Commercial Property Executive. Government deleveraging in many industrialized nations is generating uncertainty about both deficits and tax policy, doubts that are hampering growth in Europe, the U.S. and even Asia — the latter of still which remains the strongest region overall.

This year investment sales volume will reach $867 billion globally, a 7.5 percent increase from 2011. That growth rides mostly on the strength of a 25 percent increase in the Americas, where volume will hit an estimated $275 billion. Though the increase is significant, Rufrano noted that it is still a far cry from the $500 billion in annual volume the market recorded during its pre-recession peak.

The moderately upbeat projection of services firm Cushman & Wakefield Inc. paints a global real estate picture that is on track to brighten by the second half of 2012, as the U.S. leads an uptick in investment sales growth and vacancy rates will decline in more than half of the world’s major office markets.

The good news will have to wait for the second half of the year, largely as the global capital markets and the real estate industry take time to bounce back from a sluggish end of 2011. “That fourth-quarter delay will definitely continue the first quarter, maybe into the first half,” the firm’s president & CEO, Glenn Rufrano, told Commercial Property Executive. Government deleveraging in many industrialized nations is generating uncertainty about both deficits and tax policy, doubts that are hampering growth in Europe, the U.S. and even Asia — the latter of still which remains the strongest region overall.

This year investment sales volume will reach $867 billion globally, a 7.5 percent increase from 2011. That growth rides mostly on the strength of a 25 percent increase in the Americas, where volume will hit an estimated $275 billion. Though the increase is significant, Rufrano noted that it is still a far cry from the $500 billion in annual volume the market recorded during its pre-recession peak.

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