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European Shopping Centre Development ''Stalls''

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European Shopping Centre Development ''Stalls''

By - Thursday 12 April 2012

Fewer shopping centres in Europe were completed than had been expected last year. According to a new report from Cushman & Wakefield, there was very little difference between the figures recorded in 2010 and 2011, with the firm noting the anticipated rise in development activity was "knocked off course by delays in a number of markets". The organisation explained that, had all the projects been completed as planned, an additional 6.8 million sq ft of retail space would have come on to the market last year - representing a 15 per cent increase over 2010. However, only 5.9 million sq ft of new premises were added in 2011.

The most active markets were in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE), Russia and Turkey, while France, Finland and Poland all saw their shopping centre sectors rebound last year, Cushman & Wakefield revealed. While the projected completions of retail complexes fell short last year, the level of real estate investment in the sector increased by 3.5 per cent over 2010. Almost 40 billion euros (GBP 32.98 billion) was transacted during 2011. Mike Rodda, head of cross-border retail investment at the organisation, commented: "Core European retail assets in the stronger markets continue to attract aggressive global capital." He added Russia, Germany, the Nordic countries and CEE nations are likely to be targets for investors this year as "core investors seek out the defensive qualities of good-quality, proven real estate assets".

Mr Rodda's assertions are backed up by a table of the most attractive cross-border retail investment destinations published last month by Jones Lang LaSalle. Moscow is named as the third most popular location for investors to target, after Paris and London, while Prague is in sixth position and Munich and Istanbul are tied for seventh place with Barcelona. Head of pan-Europe, the Middle East and Africa retail agency at the firm James Dolphin explained a lack of new shopping centre developments is helping to fuel activity outside retailers' domestic markets. "The constrained pipeline is also contributing to cross-border retail expansion, as western retailers look outside their home markets for more space and greater sales potential," he asserted.

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