UK - Ian Marcus, chairman of the European Real Estate Investment Banking at Credit Suisse, is extending his duties in the real estate market and moving into the chairmanship of The Prince's Regeneration Trust.

Andrew Hamilton had chaired the charity for three years, but has now past the baton to Marcus who at various stages has been past president of the British Property Federation, past Chairman of the Investment Forum and chairman of the Bank of England Property Forum.

The trust was set up by HRH The Prince of Wales to focus on heritage-led regeneration and try to bring iconic properties back into functional use.

Marcus is a well-known name in the market, as is the charity, but he acknowledges he could find his three-year tenure a tough ride in light of market conditions and the collapse of UK real estate growth.

"Even in these challenging times for the industry we need to ensure that regeneration remains at the forefront of the decision-making process for owners," said Marcus.

His comments come at the same time as the IPD Regeneration Index presents evidence suggesting regeneration projects could see less interest and support in the current economic downturn.

Interestingly, its research into 659 properties worth £620m (€750m) in value suggested development in regeneration areas "significantly outperforms" existing ‘standing' properties in the IPD UK All-Property average and have done so over 10 years on the back of capital growth and has seen institutional investor support as a result.

Rental value growth of assets in regeneration areas is said to be less volatile than assets registered with the IPD's UK All-Property average.

That said, the study indicates there is a huge difference between investing in regeneration areas through property purchase and investing in the process of regeneration itself, as existing property developments appear to carry a higher risk in terms of volatility.

IPD officials acknowledge regeneration space is a largely untapped resource of investment potential but warn interested investors should choose carefully as the downturn in the market could slow the regeneration of any region in development but could also recover a better rate on any upturn.

"If it is true that regeneration property underperforms in a market downturn, then we may expect some standing investments in the regenerations sector to continue under-performing for the duration of the credit crisis and for as long as the property market remains depressed. As total returns on regeneration property are also slightly more volatile, it might also be reasonable to expect regeneration property to start out-performing soon after any recovery. The next year or so should therefore provide clear buying opportunities," concluded the IPD study.