By Monica H. De La Torre, CIPS

The Madrid International Real Estate Trade Fair (SIMA), an annual event that is currently in its 14th year, is the biggest real estate exhibition in Europe and one of the biggest in the world. Held every spring in Spain, SIMA allows buyers and investors from all over the globe to receive exposure to national and international real estate opportunities. With a 16,000-square-meter exhibition floor, about 300 exhibitors and 7,000 visitors, it’s the ideal place to discover new business opportunities and to identify key market trends.

Uruguay was the SIMA special guest country this year. Its substantial delegation was led by the Vice President of the Republic of Uruguay, Danilo Astori, and Carlos Pita, the Uruguayan Ambassador to Spain. The delegation promoted the optimal characteristics of the country (Uruguay’s vigorous tourism industry, political and social stability and legal security are some of its greatest attractions) as a destination for residential, commercial, office space, hotel and infrastructure investments. In a two-day Uruguay-Spain Business forum, topics like the outlook of the real estate market in Uruguay, the country’s legal, tax and notary systems, etc., were discussed, which provided attendees with a detailed insight into the real estate market in Punta del Este, (a favorite vacation destination among South Americans for many years, but unknown to most Europeans and North Americans), its growth and expansion and the numerous investments opportunities the country has to offer.

Uruguay was not the only country featured at SIMA. For second consecutive year, Brazil also had a leading role in the fair as one of the fastest growing major economies in the world. “Brazil’s real estate market sector is booming,” said Heitor Kuser, President of the Instituto Brasileno de Desarrollo Economico y Social (IBDES). The country has a deficit of more than 5 million homes and 11 million middle class families looking to buy in the next 2 years. Brazil is considered a great destination for investors and developers.

The United States was also represented by Bruno Crosby, International Market Developer Manager with NAR Global, who talked about the website and how it enables any real estate agent in the world to maximize his or her business opportunities in today’s globalized market.

SIMA is a platform to share information about the global real estate market, its current trends and its future. SIMA’s programs bring together specialized professionals, economists, academics, financial experts and international real estate industry experts who share their knowledge and feedback within the context of the expo.

I hope to see you in Madrid next year!

Monica H. De La Torre, CIPS is a member of the 2012 HAR International Advisory Group, an agent with Realm Professionals and a Global Mobility Specialist (G.M.S.)