Europe is now emerging from the economic crisis and main economic indicators (GDP, retail sales and consumer spending) are now forecast to return to positive territory over the next five years. The speed and size of the recovery will be different across European countries. The UK, CEE and Nordics are leading the economic recovery while Germany and France are expected to under-perform the European average. Southern Europe is returning to growth, however, high unemployment rates will remain a concern.
Investment volumes grew by 18% in 2013 to EUR139bn of which EUR34bn was in the retail sector. Investors demonstrated strong appetite for retail assets especially in the UK (EUR11.1bn) and Germany (EUR9.3bn) which accounted for 33% and 27% of this volume respectively. Southern Europe posted the biggest increase in volume over the year with EUR3bn of acquisitions recorded in 2013, up from EUR0.7bn in 2012.
Market players have continued to favour shopping centre assets which accounted for 61% of retail investment volumes recorded in 2013. Thus, shopping centre investment rebounded sharply in 2013 with volumes standing at EUR17bn, up from EUR13.7bn recorded in 2012. The UK shopping centre market was extremely buoyant, accounting for 31% of the European volume. Outside the core markets, Southern Europe recorded strong levels of activity with a total volume close to EUR1.7bn in 2013
Source : DTZ (Groupe UGL)