Examine the diversification benefit of investing in CEE markets.

This assignment is intended to expose you to a range of practical issues in property market investment decisions. You will need to develop a clear understanding of:
• The ways in which property markets work in general.
• Market maturity.
• The factors that influence investment decisions in property markets per se and the factors that affect the decision to invest in overseas market in particular.
• The barriers associated with overseas investment.
• The drivers of property performance especially local economic conditions and performance.
• Thepracticalities of how investment decisions are made, including consideration of risk and return.
The project is intended to:
• Analyse the factors that contribute to market maturity with particular reference to Central and East European (CEE) markets and how these affect your investment decision.
• Examine where CEE property markets are in the cycle with and likely performance in the short to medium term (3-5years).
• Examine the diversification benefit of investing in CEE markets.
• Help give an understanding of how investment decisions are made in this context.
• Identify the key information you need to provide a basis for your investment advice.
• Produce a professional assessment of the strength of the property markets and property investment conditions and prospects.
It aims to:
• Broaden your knowledge of investment markets.
• Encourage you to assess and respond to a question critically and analytically through a discussion of a wide range of source material.
• Develop your own opinions and knowledge about investment markets.
• Develop concise writing skills in addition to increasing your ability to successfully examine, evaluate and review literature.
Remember to be succinct and use plain language. Always write in the third person and to keep sentences precise (no waffle) and concisely communicate the key findings.A useful link offering sound advice on writing an effective essay can be found on the following website:

Assignment Brief
You have been asked to provide a country brief for a fund manager who is considering making a significant investment in the Central and Eastern European (CEE) property markets of Poland, Czech Republic and Hungary. The brief ultimately needs to recommend whether, given current property and economic conditions, such an investment would provide significant diversification benefits for a property portfolio currently largely invested in the UK. The fund manager is particularly worried that the CEE markets are transitional markets and not sufficiently mature for a fund which is risk averse and this issue needs to be clearly addressed in your report.
The response should be in the form of a report of no more than 2500 words. It should consider some background economics for the three countries and how future growth compares to that in the UK. Clearly some discussion of market maturity is required and whether the CEE market should still be considered as transitional or not. In addition you will need to make some estimate of future property market performance of the short term. This only needs to be at the all-property level given that this is a country brief and the intention is to give some comfort that the markets are worth (or not!) investing in. Try to treat the three markets as a CEE ‘block’. They are very similar markets so try to deal with them at the macro level rather than get lost in too much detail.
The exercise is about process and the rationale for investing in markets. Your work will need to include some assessment of current market conditions and prospects and you will need to consider specific opportunities/threatswhereappropriate.
Research Approach
The approach will include a study of secondary material including property market reports, professional and academic journals, newspapers and government reports. It is important that you consider and discuss what you expect to happen to the market, and why, as this is a key component that you will need in order to justify your recommendations but the factors that affect maturity also need to be examined in some depth.
Other submission requirements
The assignment should be completed in reportform. It should reflect your key findings, graphs and have well informed conclusions and should be no longer than 2,500 words (excluding appendices, but please use your judgement as to whether you need to include significant appendices). It should be fully referenced using the Harvard style.
This assignment is worth 30% of the overall mark for this course.
Submission details
• Your final submission should be structured as areport. It should have a clear introduction and conclusion.
• Please fully consider available literature and be critical in your discussion.
• Try to avoid providing a lot of information without any critical thought, to achieve a high mark a descriptive response is not enough – you should form an argument and adopt a perspective which anyone reading can identify in your essay.
• For Edinburgh Campus students please submit one hard copy to the relevant box in the Chadwick Building and one electronic copy via the Turnitin assessment page which will be created on VISION.
• For all other students the essay should be submitted via VISION Turnitin in one submission (the essay and any appendices should be submitted in one file)
• Turnitin will be used to check the originality of the report.
• All students should be aware of the School’s policy on plagiarism, collusion, late submission and special circumstances.
• All submissions should have a cover sheet identifying the course, the date and the student’s name.
• Any late submissions will be penalised in accordance with the student course handbook, a 10% deduction will be made on submissions up to a week late and a mark of zero awarded for submissions later than a week.

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