Global Real Estate Sales Gallop Ahead

Jones Lang LaSalle Capital Markets reports that global commercial real estate investment is trending up. The research firm based its findings on surveys of 60 countries, with every …

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Jones Lang LaSalle Capital Markets reports that global commercial real estate investment is trending up. The research firm based its findings on surveys of 60 countries, with every market region showing improvement over the previous quarter. The 10% average increase is not as impressive when measured against year-on-year data, which indicated Asia Pacific as the only region experiencing growth. Even so, experts say investor optimism has improved over the last two years, particularly when it comes to high-value properties located in prime markets. Jones Lang LaSalle projects the close of the year to look much like 2011, which is good considering longer delays in transaction closings and persistent financing issues. For more on this continue reading the following article from Property Wire.

Data from more than 60 countries reveals a more positive picture of activity across the direct commercial property investment market, with volumes up by 10% compared to the first quarter, research shows.

Investors are continuing to move away from equities and towards other assets, the report from Jones Lang LaSalle Capital Markets Research also shows.

Asia Pacific, Europe, the Middle East and Africa and the Americas all recorded an increase in activity in the second quarter of 2012 compared with the first quarter.

However on a year on year basis the picture is more mixed with only Asia Pacific showing growth in investment volumes, up 21% in the second quarter of 2012 compared to the second quarter of 2011.

In contrast to the fragile market of the first half of 2010, investor sentiment is much more optimistic and this is reflected in volumes being up by more than 50% in the first half of 2012. However, the positive attitude of the first half of 2011, when government stimulus was in full swing globally, has not been sustained in the face of continuing debt and economic growth concerns and volumes are down 9% on the first half of 2011.

‘Clearly we remain in a challenging environment. However, the demand for good quality, well located direct commercial property remains high globally as evidenced by the rising transactional volumes this quarter,’ said Arthur de Haast, head of the international capital group at Jones Lang LaSalle.

‘In the light of ever diminishing yields from other asset classes the potential income returns offered by core, prime commercial property are attractive to many investors. Even in Europe, the eye of the economic storm at present, we continue to see strong demand for the best properties,’ he explained.

One consistent feature of the investment market over recent times has been the influence of cash rich buyers in core, prime locations, the report also says. With further news this quarter of banks exiting the commercial lending business, and new entrants only able to provide a fraction of the level required, private equity, institutional and high net worth purchasers continue to dominate purchasing activity at the expense of distressed vendors and developers in particular.

‘While volumes have improved in the second quarter and the pace of activity is broadly inline with that of 2011, the investment market globally continues to evolve with new equity rich entrants attracted by the immediate income return as well as the longer term capital growth.  We expect the investment market to continue to be dominated by those groups with access to equity and only a minimal or no need for debt financing,’ said David Green-Morgan, global capital markets research director at Jones Lang LaSalle.

Although half year volumes are slightly below the level of 2011 there has not been a dramatic decline in investor activity or importantly capital raising, although transactions are taking longer to close and debt financing remains an issue. Given this background Jones Lang LaSalle expects full year volumes to be broadly consistent with those recoded in 2011 at circa US$400 billion. If pricing in core locations continues to rise the many opportunities available in secondary will attract increased attention and this may provide an additional boost to what is usually the more active second half of the year.

‘For the last two years core, prime locations have been performing well and this has attracted the vast majority of investment capital. This weight of capital has compressed yields in prime markets globally whereas secondary markets continue to see yields move out, and the gap between the two has grown ever wider. While the economic outlook remains precarious the pricing in many secondary markets will eventually approach a level which will trigger more activity,’ de Haast added.

This article was republished with permission from Property Wire.

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