European investment activity continues to grow rapidly in H1 2004, outperforming H1 2003 by over 20%. According to CBRE there was a marked shift in dominance away from foreign investors towards local investors. Open-ended and investment funds made up the majority of all cross-border investment.
The EU-15 investment market in 2003 performed strongly despite weak national economies and struggling occupational markets.
The first half of this year saw investment activity across these markets accelerate even further. A total of €0.47 billion was transacted in H1 2004, 22.6% higher than in the same period in 2003.
The rise in activity is not altogether unexpected, given the continuing recovery in the economies of most of the countries represented. The letting markets have also seen higher levels of take-up, vacancy rates close to their peak and rents bottoming out.
Also relatively unchanged is the nationality of those cross-border investors, with Germans, US, Irish and Middle Eastern investors comprising the vast majority.
However, what has changed is the amount of cross-border investment that has occurred. Local investors have been far more prominent this year. Only 25% of total investment came from a foreign source, compared with approximately 40% in 2003.