LONDON-Real estate professionals across 19 of 25 countries, in asurvey by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, expect thenumber of distressed properties coming onto the market in secondquarter 2010 to increase. Respondents in Ireland and the US expectthe fastest growth, followed by Scandinavia, New Zealand andHungary.

According to the locally-based organization, there is positivenews from Hong Kong, Australia, China and India where agents expectdistressed sales to decline. In Europe, apart from Ireland, agentsreported fastest distressed property growth in Switzerland, Italy,Hungary and Portugal. In Russia and France the property market isimproving and distressed sales fell over this quarter. RICS memberswork on both sides of any distressed deal. Consequently, the surveyasked surveyors whether interest from specialist funds in suchassets is increasing. It found levels of interest rose across 20out of 25 countries down from 21 in the previous quarter.

Oliver Gilmartin, RICS senior economist, commented: “The issueof distressed property assets has not yet gone away despite amodest recovery across most global property markets in thepast six to 12 months. Indeed, this is the thunderous cloudwhich overhangs the market despite some glimmers of light havingshone through in the past year as risk appetite has improved. Theresults suggest that banks may be starting to manage down theirproperty loan books particularly in parts of western Europe.Clearly, Ireland and the UAE stand out as markets where thisprocess is expected to accelerate in the coming months.”

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