EUROPE – The French real estate market offers "interesting" opportunities, but the country remains at a "slightly higher risk level" than any other major property market in Europe due to its lease structure, one fund manager has argued.

Speaking at the IP Real Estate Awards seminar in London, Jose Luis Pellicer, head of research at Rockspring Property Investment Managers, said that, compared with Germany and the UK, which are the "good surprises" at the moment, France is more "worrying".

"France offers a very attractive office property market," he said. "However, there is a chronic lack of well-located office spaces in Paris, and opportunities there do not come so often."

Pellicer said the retail and residential markets had similar characteristics, but that he was not optimistic about the latter, as the economic prospects were "not encouraging" and consumer-spending power was set to fall.

He said the logistics market was more interesting, as long as the assets were "good" and located along the Lille-Paris-Marseille axis.

Finally, Pellicer voiced concerns over the French lease structure and argued that a 3-6-9 lease was "always more risky" than a lease in the UK.

"I would put France at a slightly higher risk level than anybody else because of that feature," he said.

Earlier during the session, Pellicer said Germany and the UK currently offered the biggest potential for growth, with opportunities arising in the retail sector.

"In spite of the period of decreasing returns we are approaching in the UK retail market, this sector will remain stable in the future, whereas most investors currently believe it will fall," he said.