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Positive trends in the Brazilian real estate market are expected to continue fueling investor interest and appetite, in spite of slowed growth in the country's economy. While Brazil has not been immune to turmoil in the global financial markets, strong nearand longterm economic drivers have allowed it to weather the storm better than most. Tourism, for example, has remained strong and will continue to flourish, particularly with the upcoming 2014 FIFA World Cup and 2016 Olympics. Also, the recent decision to develop offshore oil and gas resources shows long-term economic promise for investors and developers.

Much of the forward momentum in Brazil is being driven by the country's young, growing middle class, which demands new housing, more retail options and better infrastructure. Recently returning from a trip to Brazil, Michael Straneva, Americas director of our transaction real estate team, commented that there is extremely high demand for multifamily and condominium development in large urban centers, such as Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo, where the cities' central populations are more than six million and 11 million, respectively, and growing. “Condominium projects can sell out before building even starts,” he noted. While this is telling of the need for new residential properties and a blessing for developers, high commodity prices and debt scarcity continue to hamper development potential.

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