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Direct Investment in Commercial Real Estate in Europe Nearly €70bn in 2009

New Research Released by Jones Lang LaSalle


London, 17th December 2009 - Direct commercial real estate investment in Europe will reach close to €70bn in 2009, according to new research from Jones Lang LaSalle. The fourth quarter 2009 will be the third consecutive quarter of increasing volumes and also the strongest quarter of the year, with almost €25bn transacted. However, despite the increase in transactional activity throughout the year, full year volumes are down 40% on 2008.

Chris Staveley, Director, European Capital Markets at Jones Lang LaSalle commented: “European real estate investment markets are now past the lowest point of one of the worst economic downturns the modern business world has experienced. Investor confidence has improved significantly from the historic lows at the beginning of 2009 and market drivers are trending up. In 2010 we expect further increases in transactional activity of up to 20% on 2009 levels, taking us to around €85 billion next year (assuming no further significant economic shocks).”

The UK remains the most active market in the region; €25bn was invested in direct real estate in 2009, representing 38% of overall activity in direct real estate investment in Europe during the year. London continues to demonstrate high levels of liquidity, although investors are finding it an increasingly competitive market. Prime investment product is becoming scarce, with multiple bids for the best product. The second largest market, dominated by domestic institutions, is Germany where over €10bn was traded in 2009.

Nigel Roberts, Chairman European research at Jones Lang LaSalle said: “Throughout the year we have observed some easing in the debt market, particularly credit for new purchases of prime buildings; however a lack of quality product on the market has meant a significant amount of capital remains frustrated. In some markets, for example London and Paris, this has led to the hardening of yields.”

Jones Lang LaSalle expects the list of investors to continue to grow, with funds having more success with capital rising, international wealth capital continuing to show interest in the sector and now some groups, such as UK REITs and retail funds, who were, up to now, net sellers becoming active buyers.