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CoStar World News for Nov. 30

Tourism demand for Portugal has reached record highs in 2023, boosted by rising visitor traffic at resorts and other remote destinations geared to wine country and luxury amenities.

After a record first quarter in Portugal, the International Monetary Fund upgraded the forecast for Portugal’s economic growth from 1% to 2.6%, largely driven by tourism. Portugal’s National Institute of Statistics reported that between January and July, the country welcomed 16.8 million tourists and booked 42.8 million hotel room nights, a 10% increase compared to the same time in 2022, which held the previous record.

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Global commercial brokerage Savills bought prominent retail, restaurant and leisure-focused advisory firm Nash Bond, as the buyer aims to increase its profile in those categories in central London and other regions.

Savills said the acquisition, for an undisclosed price, gives it the opportunity to strengthen its existing central London retail business to take advantage of the recovering retail market. Officials said this is clearly evidenced by the recent closing of London deals involving tenants such as Uniqlo, Footasylum and Gucci, as Savills also looks to expand its global retail offerings to clients. 

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With the exception of a few niche categories, the commercial property investment market has stalled in 2023, with year-to-date transaction volume down 55% from a year earlier in France through the end of September.

With high expectations for appraisal values at the end of 2023, executives at real estate consulting firm Arthur Loyd spoke with Business Immo on their latest mapping of prime investment rates in the Paris region. That now includes a property valuation discount to be applied in relation to pre-crisis levels, according to Arthur Loyd research and investment analysts Cevan Torossian and Jean-Christophe de Felice.

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German fund manager KanAm has written down the value of the properties in its open-ended fund known as Leading Cities Invest by about 10%, at a time of challenges faced this year by several real estate investors and developers in Germany.

The writedown was prompted by current market conditions now being taken into account by the firm’s valuation analysts, KanAm officials said, noting the overall quality of the properties remains good. At the end of July, the 10-year-old fund held 41 properties across multiple categories valued at €1.2 billion, with most of the portfolio consisting of office and logistics buildings. KanAm said it has sufficient liquidity to meet current redemption requests.

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Tech giant Microsoft plans to spend US$500 million — about $687 million in Canadian dollars — over the next two years as it builds four data centers in the Quebec City region to expand its cloud computing and artificial intelligence infrastructure in the Quebec province.

Microsoft said it would start building the centers in the coming months in three areas to the west of downtown Quebec City, in Saint-Augustin-de-Desmaures, Donnaconna and L’Ancienne-Lorette, along with one in Lévis on the city’s south shore. Microsoft has recently posted rising revenue because of cloud computing and AI operations, prompting the Redmond, Washington-based firm to set aside at least $13.5 billion for new data facilities.

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The once-frenzied market for large U.S. livestock ranches may have cooled this year, but deals are still getting done as older landowners look to part with their wide open spaces.

NFL legend Terry Bradshaw and his wife spent more than five years marketing their nearly 800-acre ranch just north of the Red River in Texas, listing it for $22.5 million, before selling it this year for an undisclosed sum. Bradshaw is part of a generation of ranch owners taking advantage of rising valuations in recent years by seeking to either turn over the family ranch to a new generation or sell it to another legacy owner wanting to carry on the traditions of the American West.

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This report was compiled from CoStar’s news publications in the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, France and Germany.