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Investment in European Retail Property Increases

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Investment in European Retail Property Increases

By - Tuesday 31 January 2012

The level of investment in real estate assets in the European retail sector grew in the final quarter of 2011. Research published by CB Richard Ellis (CBRE) revealed the total amount ploughed into this asset class reached 9.4 billion euros (GBP 7.9 billion) in the final three months of last year, with 37.2 billion euros spent on retail properties over the course of 2011, accounting for 32 per cent of all commercial real estate investment on the continent. The German retail market has emerged as one of the strongest, attracting 48 per cent of the capital flowing into the country's commercial property sector.

Associate director of Europe, the Middle East and Africa research at CBRE Iryna Pylypchuk stated: "Off the back of stronger economic growth and occupier markets than elsewhere in Europe, Germany, the Nordics and some CEE (central and eastern European) markets have been the biggest beneficiaries of investor demand, especially when it comes to international capital looking for new retail opportunities." Meanwhile, a survey conducted by INREV, the European association for investors in non-listed real estate vehicles, found German retail assets are a top target for those with money to plough into the real estate market.

According to the organisation, 64 per cent of respondents to the 2011 study were keen to own property in this sector, compared with 36 per cent in 2010. Casper Hesp, director of research and market information at INREV, explained the findings indicate that investors are becoming increasingly risk averse. He added there is "a clear emphasis on caution" that is being driven by the continuing eurozone crisis. Head of European retail investment at CBRE John Welham pointed out the sovereign debt issues on the continent could also push investors towards some of the emerging CEE economies, particularly Russia, as these are "one step removed" from the problems surrounding members of the single currency and have the potential for development.

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