February 28, 2018 / 11:47 AM / 18 days ago

Erste Group CEO - first signs of overheating of real estate market

VIENNA, Feb 28 (Reuters) - Some real estate markets show first signs of overheating, the chief executive of Austrian lender Erste Group said on Wednesday.

Following the financial crisis of a decade ago, investors benefited from historically low interest rates, low valuations and rising rents, resulting in returns not seen for a very long time.

But some markets have started to change, Andreas Treichl, who steers the lender’s businesses in seven central and eastern European countries, said at the sidelines of a news conference.

“We are monitoring the real estate markets very closely, and we know the players very well, especially in the private residential sector,” Treichl said.

In some regions prices had reached a level at which clever investors were already selling, and “the not so clever ones” still buying, he said. “That’s a first warning sign.”

When asked whether he referred to Austria, he said “not only” but did not elaborate further. (Reporting by Kirsti Knolle, editing by Louise Heavens)

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