The price expectations of players in the Swiss real estate investment market have dropped considerably. Nearly half of the respondents of the annual Swiss Real Estate Sentiment Index survey conducted by KPMG Switzerland anticipate stagnating prices over the next 12 months. Around a quarter expect prices to drop. Declining prices are anticipated for all commercial investment segments with the exception of special-purpose properties.
KPMG surveyed investors and appraisers about the Swiss investment property market for the sixth year in a row to compile data for the Swiss Real Estate Sentiment Index (sresi). The aggregated sresi stands at 15.2 index points (pts.) across all participant groups, 44% (-11.9 pts.) lower than the previous year.
While the Price Expectation Index experienced a sharp year-on-year decline from 39.1 pts. to 10.3 pts., the index is still higher than the negative scores of 2013 and 2014. This index measures how respondents expect prices on the real estate investment market to develop over the next 12 months. The results of this year’s survey show that the respondents expect the price rally on the real estate investment market to end.
Standing at 34.6 pts., the assessment of the overall economic situation was considerably more optimistic than last year (-20.9 pts.), thus moving the index back into positive territory following two years of negative scores.
The gap between different location qualities opened up again in 2017. While the price index for principal centers fell by -18.5 pts. to 65.5 pts. and that for secondary centers has now dropped -19.4 pts. to negative territory at -5.7 pts., peripheral areas suffered the most significant year-on-year decrease with their index falling by 37% to -97.8 pts.
After hitting a record high of 70.8 pts. last year, the Price Expectation Index for residential properties has declined considerably by -34.8 pts. to 36.0 pts., the lowest it has been since the survey was first conducted in 2012. 46% of all respondents expect prices to rise.
The Price Expectation Index for retail property, on the other hand, has been negative ever since the start of the study and continues to fall. It reached a new low of -111.7 pts. in this latest survey (2016: 100.6 pts.). Respondents’ opinions reflect declining sales figures for store-based retailing. In the remaining commercial real estate segments, prices are expected to develop similarly to the previous year.
Price expectations for principal centers are also reflected in the breakdown by economic center. Rising prices are being forecast for six of the eight economic centers. Like last year, respondents of the survey expect prices to rise in all economic centers except Lugano and St. Gallen.
The general risk assessment in 2017 is the lowest it has been over the past five years. The threats posed by interest rate risks and declining property prices, on the other hand, are considered more acute than in the previous year. As in the past, respondents identified stricter regulations as the biggest risk while 53% of the respondents expect market risk to increase over the next 12 months.
42% of the investors surveyed are inclined to take on greater risks in their real estate investments, at least to a degree, over the coming 12 months (previous year: 36%).
91% of those who responded to the survey expect declining demand for retail space. 70% anticipate ongoing decreases in demand for retail space as a result of technological transformation, whereas 21% of the respondents even expect this decline to be sharp.
The KPMG Swiss Real Estate Sentiment Index (sresi) serves as a leading indicator for anticipated developments in the Swiss real estate investment market. The main index is generated based on assessments of economic developments and price trends in the real estate investment market. The sub-indices reflect the assessments of market players in terms of individual market and use segments. This data was first collected in 2012, and the survey is repeated every year to generate an index which permits a comparison of market assessments over time. Investors and appraisers of Swiss investment properties participate in the survey. Additional information on one topical area of focus that is currently of interest to the industry is also collected. This year’s survey featured an analysis of the structural changes taking place in the Swiss employment market and the impact this can be expected to have on the real estate market.
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