Direct foreign investments in retail real estate in Saint Petersburg
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Insinööritieteiden korkeakoulu | Master's thesis
Real Estate Investment and Finance
Master’s Programme in Real Estate Investment and Finance
AbstractInvestment real estate market in Russia is known to be highly centralized when majority of foreign investments is made in Moscow. However, Saint Petersburg holds the leading position at retail real estate investment market in terms of volume of retail real estate stock per number of inhabitants. Investments in retail real estate depend on consumers’ related demand factors and demand factors from tenants. Consumers’ related factors are presented by economic indicators such as GDP growth, inflation rate, population dynamics, unemployment rate and level of salaries. Economic indicators in Saint Petersburg outperform average Russian figures which creates favourable conditions for development of retail real estate market. Mentioned reasons created background and interest for the research. Main purpose of this research is to provide an analysis of direct foreign investments in retail real estate market in Saint Petersburg. Analysis is conducted within the theoretical framework of direct foreign investments in retail real estate, which is based on the literature review. The empirical part of the research is consists of interviews of foreign real estate investors at Saint Petersburg retail real estate market and real estate consultants. The interviews were utilized to analyse the factors of attractiveness and unattractiveness of Saint Petersburg retail real estate market for foreign investors, to investigate current challenges at the market and to find out how different real estate actors evaluate future situation at the market. The findings of this research indicate that foreign investors find Saint Petersburg retail real estate investment market attractive because of the factor of geographic location and because of more preferable conditions for investors in comparison to Moscow market such as land and development costs, transparency at the market. However, insufficient level of transparency at Russian and Saint Petersburg market is also considered as significant challenge for the foreign investors. Theoretical and empirical data of this research present evidence how estimations of same market indicators may differ significantly depending on the different sources of data. The research also concluded that investors find challenging such specific characteristic of the market as necessity for investors to act also as developers. The findings concerning the expectations about the future market situation indicate that real estate actors don’t have clear opinion how market may evolve and express their expectations as neutral. It is concluded that the most favourable investment options are direct investments in land and buildings.
Thesis advisorValtonen, Eero
real estate investment, retail real estate, investment in Russia