Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content

News Release

London - Moscow

Hotel investment market EMEA will see structural change

First half 2009 will see pockets of activity with potential for increasing activity in the 4th quarter


London - Moscow, 12 March 2009 – Following five years of consecutive growth, hotel transaction volumes across the EMEA region fell by 60% to €7.8 billion in 2008, a clear example of the impact that challenging economic conditions and illiquid debt markets have had throughout the year. Despite this steep decline, the EMEA region fared slightly better than the global hotel investment market which saw volumes drop by 80% over 2007 levels. Moreover, EMEA contributed just below 50% of the global hotel transaction volume.
 
The first three quarters of 2008 still saw a number of transactions close, reaching a total volume of €7.2 billion. In the face of economic uncertainty, and with the collapse of Lehman Brothers in September, the debt markets became increasingly more cautious and expensive. Mark Wynne-Smith, CEO, Jones Lang LaSalle Hotels, Europe, Middle-East and Africa said: “The year end 2008 was the quietest I have ever known in my career.  However, there are signs of structural change in our industry that will cause more deals to be done towards the 2009 year end. We are also seeing some decisions being taken as a result of announcements on the various Government stimulus packages which we expect to feed through into to more activity in the 2nd half.”
2008 saw a change in recent trends as 2008 hotel investment volume was made up mainly of single asset transactions, reaching €4.3 billion, whilst portfolio transactions - which were mostly 2007 carry overs - achieved €3.5 billion. The majority of portfolio transactions recorded in 2008 were made up of two or three properties and we did not see many large corporate transactions which were prevalent in recent years. The exceptions to this trend were the sale of the Northern European Properties portfolio in Finland for €835 million to a real estate fund managed by Capman, and the sale of a 50% stake in Quinlan’s Jurys Inn portfolio to the Oman Investment Fund for €585 million. These deals were the last in a long line of great real estate exits but I think the model is going to change to reflect current conditions.
 
What we expect to see through 2009 is more consensus on pricing as both buyers and sellers accept that we saw truly exceptional conditions in the last two years and we have to look back to the mid 1990’s pricing metrics for where the market will settle certainly in the short term.  Investors’ focus has to be on making capex funds stretch further and effectively managing your operator and employees as you can’t rely on the market to carry you forward. 
 
We see the major lenders moving forward through 2009 with the selection of a variety of strategies to recover value in the medium term. This will mean some changes of ownership and control, including mergers, which will cause the transactional activity to increase. We also predict that M&A among some of the larger operators will increase as the development pipeline is reducing so quickly and the synergies between merged operators will become increasingly attractive as market demand falls off.
 
We also have to reset our expectations for a normal year representing perhaps 50% of the peak transaction volume. For EMEA deals above €10 million, that still means around €10 billion of total liquidity.  It will mean that private equity groups will have to write bigger equity cheques to stay at the same levels of activity. And while hotel operators were net sellers in 2007, market conditions made them net buyers in 2008 and we are likely to see a lot more of this type of activity in the short term simply because, apart from a small number of specialist hotel investors, the operators are the only groups who really need the properties in order for their business models to thrive. 
 
Looking at the source of investment in 2008, domestic capital became once again the dominant source, representing 34% of the total volume in 2008. But the market also saw an incredible uplift in Middle Eastern capital, from 5.6% in 2007 to 26.7% in 2008, as several countries have set up sovereign wealth funds for investment, driven by a desire to diversify from their natural resource based wealth.
 
Mark concludes: “As difficulties in the financial markets continue and investor sentiment takes more time to stabilise, it is expected that 2009 will be another challenging year.  We expect activity to be improving in the third and fourth quarters driven more by restructuring activity than by a return to the market by lenders.”
 
In 2009, hotel investors will generally favour lease opportunities given their more reliable income streams, and either trophy assets in prime cities such as Paris and London, or hotels in the economy sector, which trade well in down cycles.
 
 
 
About Jones Lang LaSalle Hotels
Jones Lang LaSalle Hotels, the first and leading global hotel investment services firm, is uniquely positioned to provide the depth and breadth of advice required by hotel investor and operator clients, through a robust and integrated local network. In 2008, Jones Lang LaSalle Hotels provided sale, purchase and financing advice on over $3.7bn worth of transactions globally relating to more than 120 assets. In addition, advisory and valuation services were provided on more than 600 assignments. The global team comprises over 220 hotel specialists, operating from 32 offices in 19 countries. The firm’s advice is supported by a dedicated global research team, which produced 87 publications in 2008 in addition to client research. Jones Lang LaSalle Hotels’ services span the hospitality spectrum; from luxury single assets and large portfolios to select service and budget hotels, resorts and pubs. Their services include investment sales, mergers and acquisitions, capital raising, valuation and appraisal, asset management, strategic planning, operator selection, management contract negotiation, consulting, industry research and project development services. Jones Lang LaSalle Hotels’ clients have access to the resources of its parent company, Jones Lang LaSalle (NYSE: JLL). http://www.joneslanglasallehotels.com.
 
About Jones Lang LaSalle
Jones Lang LaSalle (NYSE:JLL) is a financial and professional services firm specialising in real estate. The firm offers integrated services delivered by expert teams worldwide to clients seeking increased value by owning, occupying or investing in real estate. With 2008 global revenue of $2.7 billion, Jones Lang LaSalle serves clients in 60 countries from 750 locations worldwide, including 180 corporate offices.  The firm is an industry leader in property and corporate facility management services, with a portfolio of approximately 1.3 billion square feet worldwide. LaSalle Investment Management, the company’s investment management business, is one of the world’s largest and most diverse in real estate with more than $46 billion of assets under management.
In Russia and CIS Jones Lang LaSalle have offices in Moscow, St. Petersburg, Kiev and Almaty. Jones Lang LaSalle, Russia was voted Consultant of the Year in 2004, 2006, 2007 and 2008 at the Commercial Real Estate Awards (Russia). For further information, please visit our Web site,  http://www.joneslanglasalle.ru