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European commercial property investment is strong

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European commercial property still a strong investment

New figures have shown that the commercial property sector in Europe remained in a stable and healthy condition over the first quarter of 2013.

Property Magazine International revealed that new research from Cushman and Wakefield saw quarterly sale volumes in Europe, the Middle East and Asia (EMEA) total €32.7 billion (£27.9 billion), which is an increase of 15.7% compared with the first quarter in 2012.

Taken on their own, the European figures saw the strongest results come from the three core markets of the UK, Germany and France. These countries have been arguably the least affected by the ongoing fallout from the banking crisis and as a result sales in these regions rose by 32% in Q1 2012.

The researchers at Cushman and Wakefield suggested that the increased levels of activity resulted from an increase in debt and equity in the market, with investor confidence returning and leading to a search for new opportunities. During this period the overall market share increased from 57% to 65%.

Head of Capital Markets at Cushman and Wakefield, EMEA, Jan Willem Bastijn commented: “The momentum we develop this quarter will set the scene for the summer and will be key to how busy we are for the year overall.

“With lots of available core capital and increased interest from opportunistic players, activity levels are likely to increase in our opinion.”

With continued austerity measures in place in the majority of European countries, consumer spending power remains restricted as credit and borrowing requirements are still tight. This has led to worries in some quarters that the retail sector of the commercial property market could be in line for some tough times.

However, the report also revealed that demand is stable in the retail property sector. Although there were falls in volumes from the previous quarter, year on year figures showed an increase of 34%.

Moving money into the eurozone countries is straightforward but still means navigating the international currency transfer markets. To find the cheapest available price, it is always worth checking the rates offered by currency specialists against those available from the banks.

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