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LaSalle Investment Management has published its Investment Strategy Annual 2012, with predictions for the performance of international real estate markets over the coming year, as well as a focus on which assets are likely to be the targeted by investors. Jacques Gordon, global strategist at the firm, commented: "There are three principal investment themes for 2012 - filling capital gaps, growth strategies and core investing." He went on to point out that whichever approach is being taken, it needs to be altered to fit in with the opportunities on offer in individual countries or markets.Mr Gordon added that Europe will be a "trickier market to navigate" next year, due to the ongoing uncertainty surrounding the eurozone debt crisis. Looking at Europe specifically, LaSalle predicted that, despite the volatility in the region, there will be "contrarian opportunities in the right markets". The firm highlighted deleveraging as the "single most attractive opportunity" for investors next year, stating the arrangement of mezzanine finance in the UK and Germany in particular is likely to provide prospects for investors. Retail assets and student housing were also cited as options for those hoping to profit from the real estate sector, while refurbishing "fundamentally good, well-located but neglected" properties may be another road investors wish to consider. LaSalle noted such premises will perform better under "strong asset management".Meanwhile, the best prospects for growth in Europe are likely to be outside core markets in the continent, with the organisation naming Poland - particularly offices in Warsaw and retail assets around the country - as well as Turkey as two locations to keep an eye on over the coming year. European strategist with the company Alistair Seaton stated: "The best opportunities in the eurozone region in 2012 will be those that can take advantage of distress, provide space that meets the changing needs of occupiers, or a combination of both."In its Research and Investment Forecast for the fourth quarter of 2011, Colliers International highlighted concerns over a recession in the UK and elsewhere in Europe as the main reason behind its decision to lower its total return expectations for commercial property in the UK during 2012. The organisation revealed it now anticipates total returns over all real estate asset classes in the country to stand at 5.4 per cent, down from the 8.2 per cent it predicted previously.
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