CB Richard Ellis' (CBRE) forthcoming Capital Markets Report shows that while average key lending terms have remained relatively unchanged since Q1 2010 across most major European markets, a number of new influences emerged in the second quarter.
Firstly, lending terms are becoming more competitive in some markets and in particular in Germany, the Netherlands and France.
Natale Giostra, Head of UK & EMEA Debt Advisory at CBRE Real Estate Finance, explains: "While the majority of lenders continue to concentrate on their existing portfolio, many banks are now actively looking to issue new debt, albeit very selectively and at a capped level. However, it is proving difficult to source the right opportunity due to the current shortage of quality product and an investment market that is no longer reliant on debt. As a result, we are starting to see banks in certain markets offer more competitive lending terms."
As with the first quarter, there was also a notable shift of sentiment towards development finance in Q2 2010, mainly in the UK. This was driven by healthy occupier market fundamentals and a significant lack of supply, particularly in Central London. With the UK market leading the commercial real estate recovery ahead of the rest of Europe, some lenders are starting to consider funding speculative schemes. To a lesser degree, France is also starting to see similar indicators, with some local banks considering very selective lending on speculative developments.
Despite the overall positive signs of increasing lender confidence, the quarter also exposed some regional differences largely as a result of the impact of the sovereign debt crisis. The markets in the northern belt of Europe, including France, Germany, the Netherlands and the UK, remained mainly unaffected. In contrast, Spain and Italy started to experience a change in sentiment reflecting their higher budget deficits and weaker fundamentals. As a result, it is likely that the cost of money in these markets is set to increase which will further restrict new lending in the months ahead.
Natale Giostra continues: "Despite the sovereign debt crisis and the new government austerity measures facing many markets, we continue to see positive signs of growing lender confidence, albeit some regional differences are now starting to emerge. As economic fundamentals strengthen and a shortage of good quality space persists in some markets, we expect lending terms to continue to improve in 2010, primarily in the UK, Germany and France."
Source: CB Richard Ellis