In Ireland, the investors have packed up and are nowhere to be seen, as the credit crunch has halted the housing market, leaving real estate exchange traded funds (ETFs) at a standstill.

The Belfast region of Ireland is especially hurting from the recent credit crunch, and the economic growth rate has slowed to an estimated 1%. Last year, the province was expecting an economic revival of sorts, as the Catholics and Protestants declared peace, reports Colm Heatley for Bloomberg.

United Kingdom home prices fell as July consumer confidence fell to an all-time low as the country borders on a recession, says Brian Swint for Bloomberg. Average home values dropped 8.1% from the previous year. Falling retail sales, dropping home values, high food prices and credit tightening are weighing on the economy and real estate ETFs.

ETFs that are feeling the pain:

  • iShares S&P World ex-US Property Index Fund (WPS): down 20.6% year-to-date; 10.2% in the United Kingdom
  • SPDR Dow Jones Wilshire International Real Estate (RWX): down 16.4% year-to-date; 13.4% in the United Kingdom
  • iShares FTSE EPRA/NAREIT Global Real Estate ex-US Index Fund (IFGL): down 20.5% year-to-date; 11.2% in the United Kingdom
  • iShares FTSE EPRA/NAREIT Europe Index Fund (IFEU): down 13.5% year-to-date; 36.6% in the United Kingdom

The opinions and forecasts expressed herein are solely those of Tom Lydon, and may not actually come to pass. Information on this site should not be used or construed as an offer to sell, a solicitation of an offer to buy, or a recommendation for any product.