Germany, London and the office projects are Europe property investors’ favorites in 2013
Over 360 investors took part in the CBRE 2013 online survey of European Investor Intentions, drawn from across the property investment community.
The survey was designed to provide high level insights into investor sentiment and preferences with respect to regions, countries, cities, sectors and asset types and the impact of key influences on investor attitudes and activity. Comparisons with the 2012 survey results highlight some significant shifts in investor sentiment and preferences which are likely to impact on activity in the coming year. The economic environment clearly remains challenging for investors but the survey revealed a more positive tone in investor intentions for 2013 in terms of expected levels of purchasing activity and the appetite for a range of opportunities beyond prime property. Europe was overall the most favoured region for investment purchases among the 2013 survey respondents, reflecting the predominance of investors domiciled in Europe in the survey.
There was a small shift in favour of Western Europe (chosen by 43% of respondents) compared to the 2012 results with a slight fall in the proportion choosing Central & Eastern Europe (CEE) to 16%. Asia and North America were each favoured by 18% of respondents, virtually unchanged from 2012. Within Europe, Germany took first place in this year’s survey as the most attractive country for making investment purchases, selected by 35% of respondents and showing an increase in popularity compared with the 2012 survey. The UK was chosen as most attractive by a lower proportion of respondents (24%) than in 2012. In part at least this apparent shift in sentiment in favour of Germany may reflect the higher proportion of German investors among the 2013 respondents compared to last year’s survey.
CEE markets were also less popular this year, chosen by 14% of investors compared with 19% in the 2012 survey. More detailed country choices showed that the majority of investors choosing the CEE region considered Poland to be the most attractive market for purchases, with limited interest in markets elsewhere in the CEE region. Poland’s selection by 10% of respondents exceeded the votes given to France, Spain and the Nordics which were each chosen by 5%-6% of investors. Spain’s tally of 6% was an improvement on its share last year, but Italy slipped to only 2%. Respondents were asked to identify the individual city in Europe they consider most attractive for investment in 2013. Over 300 respondents collectively identified 32 cities but there was a high concentration of choices on a relatively limited number.
As in the 2012 survey London was the single most favoured city, but with a somewhat lower share of the vote, 31% compared with 37% last year. Offices were the single most attractive sector for investors in this year‘s survey with a marginally higher vote (29%) than in 2012. The big change in investors’ sector preferences this year saw logistics property move in to second place in popularity, with 20% choosing this sector as most attractive, up from 14% last year. Investor interest in logistics was widely spread among investors grouped by their choice of country as the most attractive for purchases, indicating that investment demand for logistics property is geographically diverse. (source: CBRE report - Investor Intentions Survey 2013)