Global real estate markets softened in the third quarter of the year according to the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors' (RICS) latest quarterly Global Commercial Property Survey. Investment enquiries and project starts have fallen compared to the second quarter and sentiment about the future has turned negative.

RICS chief economist Simon Rubinsohn said, "While certainly not heartening, it is also not especially surprising that this quarter's survey results reflect the impact of today's softer macro-economic picture." He continued, "That said, there remain key areas of resilience - China, Brazil and Russia - and we have seen positive momentum in several other countries as well, Japan most notably."

According to the survey, demand from occupiers rose in Japan in the third quarter, compared to a negative outlook in Q2, and enquiries and development starts were also up. The strongest positive results were in China, Hong Kong, Brazil and Germany - a lone bright spot in the European market.

On the downside, the tightening of monetary policy in India is having an effect, with RICS reporting negative occupier demand and a fall in rental expectations. The outlook for France and the UK was also negative and declining.

RICS reported that the tentative recovery in US real estate markets seen in the first half of the year stalled in Q3. Although occupier demand continued to rise, development starts were negative and enquiries were flat.

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