As part of a continuing trend, Hotel investor sentiment in Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) has moved further in favor of 'hold' and 'sell' as the credit crisis becomes more substantial and impact on the hotel industry is felt through falling income - according to the latest Hotel Investor Sentiment Survey (HISS) research report by Jones Lang LaSalle Hotels.
The survey findings report that the increasing effects of the financial turmoil, together with worsening global economic conditions, have begun to exert substantial pressure on trading performance expectations. Mark Wynne-Smith, CEO of Jones Lang LaSalle Hotels in EMEA said: "Both short term and medium term expectations turned negative across the region and investors are adopting a very bearish outlook for the coming six months. Expectations in the medium term were only marginally negative but the fall was the largest that we have experienced over the life of the survey."
The most negative outlook was recorded for the UK, particularly for cities such as Manchester and Birmingham. These cities are highly dependent on domestic demand which is forecast to drop rapidly in the coming year.
Overall, trading performance expectations in the medium term prove more optimistic. Strongest medium term expectations were reported for Moscow, Paris, Rome and London. Moscow is expected to have strong income growth potential in the longer term. The city's visitor base and corporate market have expanded substantially in recent years. This growth, combined with a low supply of graded hotels has led to substantial increase in room yield. Germany, too, was expected to weather the storm relatively well.
"As with trading expectations, yield requirements have been affected by the current turmoil," added Mark. "Yield requirements have softened across all cities. The greatest increase in yield requirements has occurred in central and eastern Europe. The gap was narrowing until the end of 2007 but recent events have rapidly reversed this trend. We expect the gap to widen further with investors expecting more severe softening in eastern European yield requirements in the coming months compared to those in the west. The range between best and worst has also increased hugely".
Looking at investment strategies, the survey reveals some notable changes in this sentiment. Although the region remains dominated by the buy sentiment, more weight has been given to sell and hold intentions. The current uncertainty in the economic environment has in particular had an impact on build intentions, which fell by 7% across the region. Investment intentions have remained strongest in western Europe and even increased for the UK.
Mark concluded: "This may be based on expectations of fairly priced opportunities across the country as it struggles with the economic recession and a weakening property market. First signs of distress are starting to appear amongst secondary assets but this will accelerate towards summer 2009".