ITB to spotlight holiday real estate, second homes

The sun, sand and sea will dominate a new section on second homes and holiday real estate at this year’s ITB. CLARK KELLY has the details
A skyline view of the Jumeirah Beach Residence

A new section at this year’s ITB Berlin is the ideal showcase for much of the region’s breakneck development.

In response to the increasing importance of the holiday real estate market, the ITB Holiday real Estate section and the ITB Holiday Real Estate Congress 2007 will offer a wide audience expert information on holiday real estate and second homes.
And as visitors might expect, Dubai is right up there with such regular suspects as Spain, France and Italy. The emirate will be part of a presentation by Stefan Albert, managing director Engel & Vِlkers International at the congress.
The section fits right in with Dubai authorities’ stated strategy of using tourism to bring in real estate investors for its freehold projects. Other destinations in the region, too, will benefit from such a section, notably Abu Dhabi, Ras Al Khaimah and Umm Al Quwain in the UAE, Qatar and Bahrain.
Germany is one of the key source markets for the region, alongside the UK, and while three-quarters of all foreign properties owned by German households are in Europe, the relatively sunnier Mediterranean countries top the list. “Real estate in Spain leads the rankings at 17 per cent, followed by Italy with 10 per cent, and France at seven per cent,” says industry expert Rene Meier of the website
Peter Schِllhorn, chairman of Deutsche Schutzvereinigung Auslandsimmobilien, a firm that advises Germans on foreign real estate, agrees: “Sun, sand and the sea are important items on people’s wish lists. Warm weather comes early in the spring and winter temperatures are mild, neither of which the North Sea and the Baltic can offer.”
The Middle East and North Africa, which has naturally exploited those very elements to bring in the tourists, would do well to make a play for this market. While Spain remains ever-popular, according to Dr Johannes Bohmann, head of the international desk at Bellevue magazine, “Currently in fourth place, and directly behind Italy and France, is Turkey.”
The new ITB Holiday Real Estate section is located in Hall 2.1, in direct proximity to exhibitors from Mediterranean countries. Companies displaying in the ITB Holiday Real Estate section will be able to offer visitors and all who are interested information on various holiday properties and second homes, give expert help, and will assist in looking for the place of one’s choice.

Furthermore, on March 9, the ITB Holiday Real Estate Congress 2007 will take place on the Berlin Exhibition Grounds. Leading industry experts will gather to discuss the topic of the day: “End of story – have holiday homes become history?”
Decision-makers from everywhere in Europe will be exchanging their latest experiences gained from planning, financing, and from managing holiday real estate departments whose principal aim is achieving property value growth. Based on selected projects, demand patterns and the strategic success factors of an investment will be correlated with the overall life cycle of a property.
Stefan Albert, managing director Engel & Vِlkers International will be responding to the question, ‘Are German holiday homes becoming more important in an European context?’ and be taking a special look at Dubai and South Africa.
Discussing Baltic holiday homes will be Sven Heinen, head of the Germany desk at Bellevue, Per Barlag Arnholm, managing director, Kristensen Group Deutschland; Ulrich Busch, managing partner, Prora Projektentwicklungs; and Rüdiger W Fِlske, managing director, Uptalsboom Hotel + Freizeit.
Dr Ivo Pezzei, managing director, Michaeler & Partner – FalkensteinerMichaeler Tourism Group, will be presenting new hotels, trends, and his experience with South Tyrolea, Austria and the booming eastern markets. From Switzerland, Alberto Amstutz, project initiator of Hotel Orselina, will be presenting new ways to sustain the idea of holiday homes in the future.
The complete congress programme is available on the ITB Berlin website.