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commercial property markets in Europe 'becoming more attractive'

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Commercial property markets that are seen to offer relatively low levels of risk are proving popular at the moment, an expert has noted.

According to Matthew Hall, associate director of forecasting at DTZ, there is "clear evidence" that investors are transferring money to what they see as "safe haven markets".

Indeed, he noted many are choosing to flee those locations they believe are particularly exposed to ongoing economic troubles in Europe, such as Spain.

"Recently, Spain has required a recapitalisation of the banking sector and the political wrangling surrounding this has driven investors to increase their risk perception," Mr Hall commented.

"As a result, ten-year Spanish government paper has reached a record eurozone high of above 7.5 per cent and they have dragged some of the most exposed eurozone economies with them."

Mr Hall noted that this has led to the required rate of return for commercial property going down in the last few months, which in turn has made core European markets appear more attractive to investors.

He said there are acute differences between the environments in the most and least exposed European economies.

Italy was flagged up as another destination that is perceived to carry considerable risk, as property yields in the country have dropped considerably in recent times.

A new report by Jones Lang LaSalle has revealed the UK and France are proving to be especially popular with commercial property investors at the moment, along with Germany.

London was identified as a particular hotspot of activity, with the organisation noting it is the most sought-after location in the whole world. Indeed, the amount of investment activity in the UK capital during the second quarter of the year was nearly double that seen in both Paris and New York.

By contrast, Jones Lang LaSalle noted that the number of transactions in the south of Europe was limited between April and June 2012.

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