Opportunities in crisis

“Concrete beats bonds” reads a headline of the German news magazine Focus in August. Fear of inflation has driven many investors to take refuge not only in gold, but also in real estate. The article claimed that investments in “concrete gold” were in most cases clearly more lucrative and more secure than many a government bond. Whereas the broad real estate market in the US is still down, demand in some large German cities is so high that brokers already warn of speculation bubbles.

Debt traps in the US and Europe, three years after the financial crisis, are again leading to global insecurity. Nervousness on the stock markets is increasing, and developers and investors alike are on the search for reliable investment opportunities. This reliability can doubtlessly be found in real estate with precast concrete buildings – that, in any case, is one of the firm impressions that I gained during my first months as editor of  BFT.

Since December of last year I have been in the midst of what’s happening in the precast concrete industry. Before that I worked as a journalist in a number of other fields outside the construction industry. I came to know both the products and the companies in the precast industry as extremely down to earth and reliable. This stability, combined with all the other intrinsic advantages of precast components, will especially now prove profitable. Indeed: the precast industry – apart from the innovative, environmentally sound, and sustainable technologies that go to make up its products – offers additional decisive advantages over other industries –  whether they be in Europe, Asia, Africa, or North and South America. These benefits include short construction times to minimize the effects of possible future crises, the ability to reliably calculate costs from the onset, and the extensive independence of raw materials from currency fluctuations. Virtually all precast raw materials can, after all, be obtained in the regions where the components are made and used.

The search for crisis-proof investments is today more urgent than hardly ever before. Record prices for gold and in many areas for real estate is a clear indication of this. The demand for reliable investments in real estate can easily enough be satisfied – also with precast components.


Christoph Schulte

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