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CHICAGO-Investment Property Databank released this morning its very first US index. The London-based company has been in existence since 1985 but has kept a vast majority of its focus on the investment climate outside the US borders.

“IPD has been working in the State for four or five years and we have been offering private benchmark work to investors,” Ian Cullen, head of Systems and Information Standards and a founding director of IPD, tells GlobeSt.com. “But it needs a public face.”

Additionally, IPD has needed to use “surrogate information” to inform clients about investment potential, Cullen says. It was time to take the next step. Now that IPD will no longer need to rely on outside information it is creating a kind of global powerhouse of information. The national US index will fit into the company’s global index, due out next week, and will provide one standard of measurement for all 24 markets it tracks.

With the launch of the index today, IPD has included figures for the past 10 years, since the company first started actively following the US market place. Cullen tells GlobeSt.com the numbers show a 9.9% capital appreciation over the past ten years, with an annual income return of 7.3%.

Nothing about the report is particularly surprising. Cullen says, “It is broadly speaking what we expected.” Although the interesting thing to note is that the “US market has responded relatively slowly to the recessions worldwide.” Cullen says this could be a result of the country lagging behind or weathering the storm better.

Interestingly, as the US data is compared with the other 23 markets, IPD has found one remarkable common thread – a synchronized downturn. “Never before have all the markets gone all in the same direction,” Cullen says, citing the downturn in 2005, when some markets fared well despite economic turmoil. Every market in 2008 saw a significant decline. Despite the varying degrees of decline, “This is a very synchronized investment market response.”

IPD currently has databanks tracking the investment markets in Austria, Australia, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Korea, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, South Africa, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland. The company has more than 600 clients, which run the gamut of pension funds, life assurance and property companies. Here in the US the properties it invests in are split with 31% located in the East, 35% in the west, 21% in the South and 8% in the Midwest. The US office of IPD will be located out of Chicago.

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