With €3.3bn of investment, the year 2013 ended with volumes substantially above original forecasts, thanks to a strong finish in Q4 with €1.6bn of transactions recorded. International investors’ sentiment is improving towards Italy as political risk has reduced. Ongoing price adjustments combined with good quality of products available on the Italian market has allowed much stronger market activity. The road is still long for a complete recovery of the Italian investment market; however 2013 figures are quite encouraging for the future.
Political issues have prevented foreign investors from deploying capitals in the Italian market until 2013. Since then the normalisation of the situation has restored some confidence in investors making cross-border investments more dominant in 2013 with a total of €2,1bn of acquisitions recorded. The biggest deals involved portfolios and indirect transactions, such as the entry of QATAR Holding into the capital structure of the “Porta Nuova” project. On the retail side, both European and Non-European (North American and funds with global mandates) investors have been active with a focus on big lot size assets.
The retail sector dislodged offices from the prime spot with €1.67bn, with a particularly strong Q4 recording €1.1bn of transactions. Shopping centres and retail parks with lot size from €50 to €380m have been the most sought after products. The office sector came in at €1.2bn of value but double the number of transactions of the retail sector and plenty of evidence of liquidity in the regions amongst private investors.
Growing risk aversion reflected on prime yields moving out in Q1 2013 with an increase by 10 or 25 bps recorded over the quarter. Since then, yields remained unchanged and no major change in yields is forecast for 2014.
Source : DTZ (Groupe UGL)