Monthly Archives: April 2016

How to up your finance

unduhan-30With continued, significant volatility in the U.S. and global financial markets, driven primarily by a post-Brexit fallout, lower oil prices, and an economically weaker China, investors looking for a “safe harbor” are turning to real estate, either through direct investing or via real estate investment trusts (REITs).

Why real estate?

In a word, it’s all about performance. Consider these figures:

  • According to a 2014 report from CEM Benchmarking, equity real estate investments outperformed all other alternative investments in a recent 14-year period, with 11.3% annualized returns.
  • Another recent study from Real Capital Analytics, shows that foreign investors plowed $87 billion into the U.S. commercial real estate market in 2015. That’s up from $5 billion in 2009. (According to Real Capital, office towers, warehouses, apartment buildings, shopping malls and hotels were the main targets acquired by overseas investors in search of higher yields.)
  • A report from REIT.com spells it all out for investors looking for opportunity in the global real estate markets for the rest or 2016. “Post-Brexit, U.K. and other European returns look ugly while U.S. listed equity REITs come out looking great,” REIT.com states. S. equity REITs have gained 6.8%, since late June, while investors in listed U.S. real estate “now have 5.5% more wealth than they did when the Brexit vote happened just 22 days ago-and 27% more than their counterparts in the U.K.,” REIT.com reports.

While Brexit has driven those safe harbor investors into the commercial U.S. real estate market, there’s little doubt that real estate is a reasonable, profitable and diversified play for any investment portfolio. That will be the case well after the Brexit-vote fallout subsides, and investor attention turns to other volatile global bourses.

So why commercial real estate and the U.S. market? Here are five reasons to join the safe harbor crowd:

1. Look to the New York City Market

The New York real estate market has traditionally been a bellwether for the U.S. real estate market, and this year, it’s been a profitable one for investors. In 2015, for example, Manhattan produced $23.5 billion in real estate deals in 2015.

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Economists have long considered the Big Apple to be a “gateway” into the U.S. commercial real estate market, and with the Brexit vote driving more foreign investors into the U.S. market, and with a two-year period before the E.U. and the U.K. can iron out a Brexit exit, expect that rush into New York City, and the U.S. real estate market, to accelerate.

2. Non-Brexit Market Trends Already Favored U.S. Investment

Metaphorically, the Brexit fallout was only the topping for an already robust U.S commercial real estate market. Global real estate investors have historically viewed the U.S. real estate sector as stable and profitable, with an underlying economy that offers relatively low interest rates (a specific attraction now, since the U.K. raised rates last month), low inflation (0.8%-to-1.0% from 2014 through mid-2016), and a rising economy. That viewpoint is only solidified given softer economics, in all of the above categories, in the U.S. and Europe in 2916.

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3. Foreign investors would be here, cash in hand, Brexit or not

According to a recent report from KPMG, 74% of global economists anticipate that foreign investment in the U.S. will rise through the end of 2016. “Strong economic fundamentals, a reliable legal system and other structural advantages in the U.S. have continued to fuel foreign interest in the US real estate market,” notes Greg Williams, KPMG’s national sector leader, building, construction & real estate. “The continued inflow of foreign capital has led to a significant increase in competition for the best investments, leaving many investors with a major challenge in their hunt for yield across a variety of assets and markets.”

Luxury and Affordable Hotel

We all have our own vision and version of luxury, particularly when it comes to hotel accommodations.

For some it’s hotel staff catering to every whim; for others its opulent rooms, outstanding views and over-the-top spas.

And for still others, it’s as simple as free Wi-Fi and designer toiletries.

Hotels.com recently released its list of the luxury hotels most loved by the site’s 20 million users, and in many ways, the ranking reveals what luxury has come to mean for the masses.

The properties that made the top ten were singled out for such things as having free Wi-Fi, a nice bar, intriguing design or free coffee, pastries and shoe shines.

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“It’s really all about the details and finding the details that resonate with you,” says luxury travel aficionado Anthony Berklich, who founded the site Inspired Citizen, which chronicles the planet’s latest high-end offerings in travel, food and fashion. “Luxury is not a one size fits all thing.”

Nor is luxury always ultra expensive – at least according to the Hotels.com ranking, which reveals a decidedly affordable or middle-market take on luxury. Rooms at several of the properties on the list can be had for less then $200 per night.

Some of the properties that made the top ten include Hotel Sofitel New York; the Dolce CampoReal Lisboa, in Lisbon, Portugal; the Mondrian London; and the W Taipei in Taiwan.

There’s also such heritage luxury brands as Waldorf Astoria (whose Orlando property made the list) and Four Seasons (Hotels.com users love the Sydney property.)

“Affordable luxury is the term we have seen show up in a lot of the reviews,” says Josh Belkin, Hotels.com general manager for North America. “If people shop smart, take advantage of promotions and loyalty programs, they can stay in luxury properties affordably.”

What’s more, that affordable luxury Belkin is talking about is available at four to five star properties.

If you’re on the hunt for budget-friendly, luxurious accommodations, here’s a closer look at the top ten hotels on the list (and the details guests raved about).

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A pool with a view — that’s the luxe takeaway for this property. The W Taipei is known for its glitzy, sky-high outdoor pool, located on the hotel’s tenth floor.  In addition to sweeping views of the city while lounging, there’s also larger-than-life stainless water drop sculptures to behold and a poolside beach.

“It’s quite a dramatic scene, if you can imagine,” says Belkin. “The crazy architecture is not something you’re likely to see at other hotels.”

Guests also give positive reviews to the hotel’s overall vibe and its fantastic service.

Four Seasons is among the legendary luxury brands, so it’s not exactly shocking that one of their properties made the list.

The details that put this property in the top ten include being located in a historic part of Sydney, near the beaches, and outstanding service.