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• Germany most popular European country for second consecutive year
• Nordics climb the rankings at city and country level
• Berlin shows the biggest increase, jumping to second place from fourth in 2016

Figure 1: Ten most attractive cities for investment in EMEA
Figure 2: Ten most attractive countries for investment in EMEA

London has been ranked as the most attractive European city for real estate investment for the sixth consecutive year, according to CBRE’s annual Investor Intentions Survey being launched at MIPIM 2017. Seventeen per cent of respondents cited London as their preferred destination for real estate investment. Berlin has jumped to second place in 2017 from fourth in 2016.

In terms of the immediate challenges impacting the acquisition of real estate assets, availability of product and pricing of assets were considered the greatest obstacles facing investors this year. This is reflected in the results for some of the gateway cities in Europe, with Hamburg, Milan and Munich dropping out of the top 10, and Paris retaining a top-5 position as one of Europe’s most attractive cities, expressing keen interest in the city despite aggressive pricing and potential political risk. Meanwhile Oslo and Stockholm were prominent new entries in the top 10 most attractive investment cities, reaffirming the strong investor interest in the Nordics.

Whilst London was ranked the most attractive city, Germany has retained the top spot as the most attractive country for real estate investment in EMEA, preferred by 22% of respondents in the CBRE survey. The UK (20%) was once again the second most popular country and both Germany and the UK have increased in popularity from the previous year, up from 17% and 15% respectively in 2016. Investors value their relatively high liquidity and transparency.

The Nordics, with 10% of the vote, entered the top three, rising from seventh in 2016. The increased popularity of the Nordics was also reflected in high levels of investment activity during 2016, with its favourable risk return profile driving volumes 66% above the ten-year average.

Investors also continue to show a greater desire to acquire property than dispose of it. According to the survey, 85% of investors intended to spend at least as much in 2017 as in 2016 and 41% expected to spend more. Investment style is also shifting. There is now a lower preference for core stock with investors showing a greater propensity (41%) to invest in good secondary or value–add opportunities. Whilst this differed between markets, it reflects a desire for assets where active management can be used to enhance returns in a growing economic environment where yields are compressed and interest rates are likely to rise.

Offices are perceived to be the most attractive sector in 2017, although its lead over other sectors is contracting. Investors now perceive industrial and logistics as the second most attractive sector, motivated by structural changes such as the broad-based integration of e-commerce in the supply chain and the development of logistics as an institutional investment product.

The survey also highlighted the increasing attraction of alternative investment sectors, with 71% of respondents indicating that they had already invested in alternatives whilst 64% are actively pursuing opportunities in the sector.

While 2017 will be an eventful year, with several major elections in Europe, investors’ focus appears to be more concentrated on the economic climate rather than geo-political events. The most frequently cited risk for 2017 was "faster than expected interest rate rises".

Jos Tromp, Head of EMEA research at CBRE comments: "The spread between property yields and bond yields remains close to historic highs and is consequently one of the primary motivators in attracting investors to the sector. However, in an environment of continued economic and political uncertainty, the defensive characteristics, capital value growth and attractive income profile of real estate remain important drivers of continued investor interest in the sector."

Jonny Hull, Managing Director of EMEA Investment Properties at CBRE adds: "Europe remains a key target for property investors globally and the economic outlook for the European economy remains positive. Whilst the core markets of the UK and Germany remain the largest investment destinations, markets such as the Nordics and CEE are increasingly important components of global investment strategies. Furthermore, cities such as Madrid and Dublin are both ranked within the top 15 most attractive European investment destinations, highlighting the popularity of Europe’s recovery markets as investors seek value-add investment opportunities."

Miranda Walters
+44 (0)207 182 2506
Follow CBRE on Twitter: @CBRE_EMEA

The investor intentions survey was carried out between 26th December 2016 and 4th February 2017. The survey attracted 1,968 respondents globally. This report covers the 501 respondents who indicated to be responsible for investments in EMEA.

The responses were spread across a range of investor types. The most numerous were fund / asset managers, who accounted for 43% of survey participants. Insurance companies, pension funds and sovereign wealth funds were responsible for 12%. The other most numerous respondents were private equity (9%), private property companies (9%), listed property companies (inc. REITs) (9%) and developers (6%).
The respondents were predominantly investors domiciled in Europe (85%). UK-domiciled investors were the most numerous, making up 26% of the total, followed by Germany (11%), the Netherlands (10%), and France (5%). Investors from elsewhere in Western Europe accounted for 26% of survey participants. The respondents from outside Europe were mainly from North America (8%).

About CBRE Group, Inc.
CBRE Group, Inc. (NYSE:CBG), a Fortune 500 and S&P 500 company headquartered in Los Angeles, is the world’s largest commercial real estate services and investment firm (based on 2016 revenue). The company has more than 75,000 employees (excluding affiliates), and serves real estate investors and occupiers through approximately 450 offices (excluding affiliates) worldwide. CBRE offers a broad range of integrated services, including facilities, transaction and project management; property management; investment management; appraisal and valuation; property leasing; strategic consulting; property sales; mortgage services and development services. Please visit our website at

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EMEA Investor Intentions Survey 2017 EMEA Investor Intentions Survey 2017

Published on: 17 03 2017

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