European property markets are at a near standstill over coronavirus

Retailers worry about rent payments and deals are put on hold

New York Weekend Edition /
Mar.March 21, 2020 12:00 PM
Nantes, France (Photo by Estelle Ruiz/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Nantes, France (Photo by Estelle Ruiz/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

European real estate markets have all but ground to a halt as the threat grows from the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic.
The pandemic is impacting just about every sector in Europe, from retail to residential, according to Bloomberg.

Property sales are on hold across the continent and landlords are trying to assess which tenants will be able to make rent. There is about $12.7 billion frozen in British property funds because managers struggle to valuate assets.

Retailers including H&M, Superdry PLC, Burger King, and New Look have either asked for concessions from landlords or said they’d hold rent payments, according to Bloomberg.

Some malls have been forced to shutter as well, putting pressure on landlords like Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield. British retail landlord Intu Properties Plc has been forced to postpone a 1.3 billion pound capital raise.

While the European property market has been buoyed by cheap debt, investors worried about a European bubble even before the virus became a real threat in Europe.

Concerns over Brexit and the bubble prompted some investors to turn to other markets — for the first time in three years, foreign investors put more money into U.S. real estate than European real estate. [Bloomberg] – Dennis Lynch


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