Klaus Franken, Catella Property Deutschland

Here Klaus Franken, CEO of Catella Property Deutschland, talks to Real Estate Publishers’ Ilona Taillade about the unique set-up of the company and the trends and outlook for the German property market.

“Catella is a Swedish company, listed on the Stockholm stock exchange, but is different to a lot of other typically Anglo-Saxon transactional advisory companies, in that there is not so much reporting, and it’s not a centralized business.

“Our Scandinavian philosophy includes more freedom for individuals to create business for themselves. There are a lot of entrepreneurs in the company so we’re able to offer more individual solutions and special services. We are a relatively small, compared to the likes of Jones Lang LaSalle and CBRE, but we focus on specific needs of clients. We don’t just offer the standard services, but look at special situations in each deal – we’re particularly interested in the more complex and difficult transactions and how to find solutions for these.

“Our sister company based in Munich, Catella Real Estate AG, focuses on developing and managing specialized fund products with the same market philosophy.

Market trends

“The German market is quite interesting for foreign investors at the moment, so we are highlighting the investment opportunities here to our colleagues in Scandinavia, France, Spain, etc.

“We see the focus of the market as still on the core products, so there is huge demand and little supply in this area, which is driving up prices; it’s our task to find other solutions.

“A lot of investors are just focused on very long lease terms of 10 years or longer. But we believe that this doesn’t take into account the quality of the building. Just because a building offers a long lease term doesn’t necessarily mean it’s any good.

“We are looking for new buildings in development projects to create new core products. We are also looking for older buildings with special qualities to create a secure investment. There are opportunities out there and it’s up to us to find them for our investors.

Outlook for 2012

“The German market saw €23.5 billion transacted last year, which is huge, and we expect the same amount this year, maybe a little more. From a demand point of view, we should be able to create a transaction volume of €30-40 million. There’s enough money in the market, but not enough suitable properties.”

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