European Commercial Property Activity Increases 15 Percent In Q2

European commercial property investors concerned about government debt are finding new appeal in the Polish and Nordic markets. Overall, commercial real estate activity in Europe increased 15 percent …

European commercial property investors concerned about government debt are finding new appeal in the Polish and Nordic markets. Overall, commercial real estate activity in Europe increased 15 percent in the second quarter, but predominantly in France, Germany and the UK. See the following article from Property Wire for more on this.

European commercial real estate investment turnover reached €23.5 billion in the second quarter of 2010, a 15% increase on the €20.3 billion transacted in the first three months of 2010, according to the latest data from CB Richard Ellis (CBRE).

Investment turnover rose despite the stress factors emerging in the broader capital markets, such as the sovereign debt crisis and the introduction of austerity measures by many European governments, the report shows.

Investors continue to predominantly focus on the core assets, predominantly at the prime end of the market, with the largest, most liquid markets seeing the most activity. As property investors’ concerns over issues of sovereign debt grew during the period a flight to quality seems to have intensified even further, it points out.

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In the second quarter investment activity remained concentrated in the UK, Germany and France, which together accounted for 62% of the European investment total. France saw the highest growth of the three markets, with a quarter on quarter increase of 46%. The UK market saw an increase of 24% in investment activity.

Of the 27 markets covered in the report some of the smaller European countries, such as Austria, Ireland and the Czech Republic, reported the highest quarterly increases, albeit from a very low base.

However, whilst not yet fully reflected in the level of the actual deals closed, Poland and the Nordic region, Sweden in particular, are starting to emerge as a focus of strong investor demand.

‘The increased interest in the Polish and Nordic markets should not be seen as a coincidence but as evidence that investors are recognizing the robust fundamentals. In light of downward pressures in most markets, low government deficits and a consequent lack of government spending cuts, these markets look very favorable,’ explained Michael Haddock, director of EMEA Capital Markets Research at CB Richard Ellis.

Another notable feature of the European investment market in the second quarter was the growing number of large deals. In Italy, for example, the €440 million acquisition of the Porta di Roma shopping center by Allianz Real Estate accounted for a third of the country’s activity in the period.

In some markets there has been a genuine increase in large deal liquidity. Germany stands out, with 13 €100 million plus deals reported in the first six months of 2010. This performance runs alongside the UK, which has been in recovery for longer and where 25 €100 million plus deals were reported in the first half of this year.

‘With a growing number of larger transactions in Europe, we are also starting to see an increase in cross border activity. This is already evident in Germany, where cross border investment grew to 44% of the market in the first half of 2010 compared to only about 10% in the second half of 2009,’ said Jonathan Hull, executive director of EMEA Capital Markets at CB Richard Ellis.

‘The same is true of the UK, and Central London, in particular, where most buyers of €100 million plus properties have been international. Middle Eastern and overseas investors have been particularly prominent this year, concluding a number of large deals, including the purchase of Knightsbridge Estate in London for close to €660 million,’ he added.

This article has been republished from Property Wire. You can also view this article at
Property Wire, an international real estate news site.

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