A multi-speed recovery is taking place in commercial real estate fundamentals, just as it is in the underlying economies of the world. Yet, the capital markets are recovering at a uniformly high speed in nearly every major country. This is but one of many unanticipated trends faced by investors in international real estate. A review of recent surprises and an attempt to identify future surprises, illustrate how a US-centric view misses important trends and interesting investment opportunities. High growth markets in Brazil, China and India are awash in domestic capital. Better risk-adjusted returns might be found elsewhere. Gaps in the capital stack of lower-growth countries could provide returns similar to those earned in emerging markets, but with much lower levels of development and leasing risk, and much higher levels of transparency.
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