At the conference, which was organised by the Bank’s Economic Studies and Forecasting Division, were also presented the results of a Greek household survey conducted in the last two months with the support of the
The organisation of the conference is part of a new series of initiatives of
This initiative was launched in 2005 with the staging of a similar conference on the topic of “Sources of growth: Can
Opening the conference that was attended by over 600 people,
In his introductory speech, the Bank’s Deputy Managing Director, Nikolaos Karamouzis, referred, inter alia, to the dramatic increase in total housing value, in developed countries in the past five years, an increase that is very close to the GDP’s value in those countries. “This dramatic price rise, which is not unusual for share or other securities markets, has led a number of analysts to affirm that this is an excessive, unsustainable increase, a
distortion with severe effects, a significant deviation from real estate fair value. Most extreme statements describe it as a value bubble that will collapse leading to a real estate market with high price volatility” noted Mr. Karamouzis.
Speakers were introduced by the Bank’s Financial Adviser and Head of the Economic Studies and Forecasting Division,Gikas Hardouvelis.
The conference included three thematic sessions and the speakers were all senior executives of investment companies, real estate development companies, central banks and distinguished academics.
The conference speakers at the first thematic session were:
Dr. Jonathan McCarthy, SeniorEconomist, FederalReserveBankofNewYork, who maintained that although housing prices in the USA are at historically high levels, there is no overvaluation on a national level.
Dr. Fernando Restoy, DirectoroftheMonetaryandFinancialStudiesDepartment, BankofSpain, who stated that the overvaluation of house prices cannot be ruled out in the case of Spain, a country whose economy’s characteristics are similar to those of the Greek economy and that any future drop, were it to happen, would be gradual.
Dr. Matteo Iacoviello, Assistant Professor at the Boston College Economic Department in the
The second thematic session focused on investments.
Ian Marcus, General Manager of the EuropeanRealEstateInvestmentBanking Group of CreditSuisse, former CSFB, presented the REITs (RealEstateInvestmentTrusts).
MichaelWalton, Founder and Managing Director ofRynda Property Investors, a London holding and property development company, expanded on the role of private equity funds in real estate, saying that private equity funds contribute to the alignment of interests of investors and managers, whilst offering a wide choice from a broader range of investment options.
Costas Tsatsaronis, HeadofFinancialInstitutions, BIS, Head of the InternationalInstitutions Division of the BankforInternationalSettlements (BIS),presented a comparative analysis of house price behavior in 17 developed countries.
In the last thematic session, which focused on the Greek market,
The last speaker of the conference was Dika Agapitidou, General Manager of Athinaiki Oikonomiki and representative of JonesLangLaSalle in
The conclusions were summarised by Gikas Hardouvelis, who emphasised the risks of the international real estate market, as well as the relative optimism of the speakers and Greek households regarding the market’s progress.