Growth in total CRE investment activity in Europe has continued its steady strong growth so far this year. One of the more notable trends in the first half of 2014 has been the level of activity from buyers based in the USA. Their acquisitions totalled some €11.5 billion of European real estate in the first half of the year compared to €6.4 billion in H1 2013.
Dublin features in the top ten largest European investment markets for the first time since H2 2006 with investment turnover of €1.3 billion. This is not the only surprise, with Amsterdam also recording the highest ever position in our ranking, its €1.6 billion of investment taking it to 5th position.
Investors from Asia and the Middle East have remained active in H1 2014, but the level of transactions recorded has fallen slightly in comparison to that seen in 2013. The UK has remained the favourite destination for Asian investors, but France has seen a big jump in Middle Eastern capital, mainly as a result of a large office and retail portfolio transaction in Paris in Q2.
There was a significant shift in buyer type recorded in H1 2014, with the proportion of investment by collective investment vehicles (mostly property funds) seeing a sharp rise and the amount of investment being done directly by institutional investors falling back equally sharply.
A notable figure of H1 2014 was the completion of four separate CRE transactions for over €1 billion, the first time that we have seen so many transactions of this size since 2007. Given how the UK has dominated large real estate in the past, it is also notable that none of these transactions were in the UK, with two in France, one in Germany and one multi-country portfolio.
There were several significant changes in the most liquid real estate markets in Europe in H1 2014, compared to the previous 6 months. Most notable the entry of Amsterdam and Dublin into the top ten. Both cities have seen very substantial growth in investment activity over the last year or so although perhaps with slightly different drivers.
Source: CBRE European Capital Markets MarketView