European investment slows

European investment activity in commercial real estate was down by 12% in the first half of 2016 as a slower UK market offset growth on the Continent, according to research by Cushman & Wakefield.

Investment hit €109bn (£93.6bn) as the UK’s year-on-year growth dropped by 35% to €32bn.

By comparison, investment was up by 3% to €77bn in continental Europe as Sweden posted a volume of €10.6bn in the first half – €600m more than it posted for the whole of 2015.

Central and eastern Europe recorded €4bn in investment activity – a 60% year-on-year rise.

Domestic investors strengthened their position in the market in the first half, accounting for 61% of all activity, while non-European investment fell from nearly 30% to 21%.

Stephen Screene, a partner at Cushman & Wakefield, said: “Across Europe there appears to be minimal impact from Brexit with a number of major portfolio sales progressing. As such, we expect the trends in the first half to hold firm in the second half of the year.

“Despite the growth we have seen on the Continent, this is unlikely to offset a weaker UK, leading to a reduction in the volume of trading across Europe this year.”

Across Europe, 19 of the 29 markets tracked in the research recorded increases in activity in H1 2016.

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