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Evidence Mounts of Strong Growth in European Real Estate Investment

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Evidence Mounts of Strong Growth in European Real Estate Investment

By - Tuesday 31 January 2012

The figures in the reports might be contradicting each other, but they are in agreement on one thing, commercial property investment in Europe is fighting fit and above trend considering the crisis in European sovereign debt.

The latest data comes from leading international investment consultancy BNP Paribas and shows investment volumes in Europe totalling 37.4 billion Euros in 2011, up 7% compared to 2010.

Nothing contradictory about that per se; the contradiction comes from the fact that according to BNP Paribas the strongest growth happened in the first half of the year, followed by a slowdown in the second half. In its latest survey of Europe RICS says much the same thing.

However, according to CBRE investment volumes picked up towards the back end of the year. Thankfully it is not just the numbers; CBRE is reporting on Central and Eastern Europe, and their findings of investment picking up lately also have confirmation from another source, namely Cushman and Wakefield.

Unfortunately the agreement almost comes to a dead stop there, with CBRE reporting investment volumes of almost twice that seen in 2010 at 11.2 billion, while Cushman and Wakefield come more in line with BNP Paribas in reporting a growth of 6% year on year. But then again, Cushman and Wakefield report that investment in the markets of Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary and Romania doubled in 2011 compared to 2010, to 6.2 billion Euros from 2.9 billion Euros.

Of course these reports are going to be different, but one thing is coming through from all of them; investment in commercial European property is growing, and likely growing especially fast in the Central and Eastern regions of the continent. This is in spite of the sovereign debt crisis still rip roaring its way through the halls of European power and the bowels of European banks. One can take this as a sign that investors are seeing commercial property investments as safe havens compared to cash (which is vulnerable to the collapse of the euro) or other investments.

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