NEW YORK CITY-Compared to their counterparts in markets such as Brazil and Venezuela, US commercial property professionals remain a relatively downbeat crowd when assessing the near-term outlook, RICS Americas says in a report released Wednesday. In key indicators such as capital value expectations and tenant demand, Latin American industry members share a bullish outlook, while US professionals believe these indicators still have farther to fall.

Globally, Brazil tops the rankings in expectations about rents and values. By contrast, the US ranks near the bottom, with only the United Arab Emirates and Japan taking comparably dour assessments. Regionally as well, industry members in the US maintain a negative outlook, coming in with the lowest expectations for about values and rents and coming in second only to Central American professionals when it comes to a downbeat view of tenant demand and investment activity. Brazil is at or near the top of the charts in all four indicators; other Latin American nations that score high include Argentina, Peru and Venezuela. “Our membership anticipates hot spots, and Brazil and its neighbors are inspiring attention,” Matt Bruck, the New York-based managing director of RICS Americas, says in a release.

Naturally, Brazil’s sunny outlook is grounded in recent experience. According to the quarterly RICS Global Property Survey released earlier this month, Brazil led the way for investment sales rebounding. Sixty-one percent of survey respondents said they’d said an uptick in property sales during the fourth quarter of 2009, compared to 29% in Q3. In second place globally was China, with 58% of respondents saying the same thing. “With low interest rates and relatively high yields, investors have returned” to Brazil, according to RICS.

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