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Real Capital Analytics: European Deal Volume Increases in Q1 2020, Indicators Signal Pullbacks to Come

Real Capital Analytics / April 29th, 2020

London, April 29, 2020 – Real estate investment volume in Europe during the first quarter totalled €64.2 billion, up 7% compared with the year-earlier period, but the sharp slowdown in deal flows in March after the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, and the uptick in withdrawn transactions, signal markets are likely heading into further hefty pullbacks in activity, Real Capital Analytics’ European Capital Trends report for Q1 2020 shows.

(Tom Leahy, Senior Director EMEA Analytics at RCA will expand on the ECT Q1 analysis in a webinar on Thursday, April 30th at 09:00 GMT/10:00 CET. Registration details at the bottom of this news alert.)

RCA concludes that those markets most dependent on non-domestic sources of capital, broadly those in Southern and Central and Eastern Europe, potentially face the biggest declines in investment. For example, Warsaw has recorded a sharp uplift in deal volumes in the last two years, but almost all of this is from overseas investors, making it more vulnerable than other cities such as Stockholm, Frankfurt or Paris, where a large and sophisticated domestic investor base exists.

Retail is the property sector that will likely be most negatively affected by the crisis over the long term and RCA foresees the growth in investment volumes reversing in the second quarter, while capital values will continue to fall in the least favored sectors. Another part of the market that looks to be under strain from the crisis is coworking offices. By contrast, the industrial segment is much better placed to weather the current storm after turning in the best ever first quarter for warehouse investment across Europe. The RCA price indicator shows a 9% increase in capital values for Western European logistics warehouses in the last 12 months.

Additional takeaways: Markets & Sectors
  • Seven of the top 10 country markets in Europe by investment volume registered first-quarter activity above last year’s level, clearly illustrating the transaction market’s delayed reaction to the rapid onset of the current crisis.
  • Against expectations, European retail investment increased in the first quarter versus a year ago due to a rash of large deals, most of which completed prior to Europe entering the acute phase of the Covid-19 pandemic.
  • The largest single retail sale was Intu and CPPIB’s disposal of the Puerto Venecia mall in Zaragoza to a joint venture between Generali and UniImmo for €475 million.
  • Germany retained the title of Europe’s largest market and investment rose 9% YOY, largely due to the completion of Aroundtown’s acquisition of fellow listed player TLG for €4.7 billion, continuing the trend for consolidation among Germany’s largest listed property owners.
  • Some of the smaller markets in Europe registered very strong growth with Poland, Belgium, Czech Republic and Denmark seeing investment volume more than double. Belgium recorded its country’s largest ever property deal after the Finance Tower in central Brussels sold for €1.2 billion to a consortium of South Korean investors and a U.K.-based asset manager.
  • Seventeen of the top 25 markets in Europe recorded an increase in investment volume in the first quarter in comparison with same period 12 months ago.
  • Paris held onto the number one rank and London remained at the number two position after a drop in investment, showing that some of the momentum gained at the end of 2019 seems to have dissipated.

RCA Webinar: Commercial Real Estate in the Time of Covid-19
Real Capital Analytics is hosting an online discussion and analysis of the impact of Covid-19 on European commercial real estate markets with Tom Leahy, Senior Director at RCA, at 9 am GMT/10 am CET on Thursday, 30th April. During the webinar, Leahy will provide a summary of current market data and also show how this compares to the Global Financial Crisis. He will conclude with an outlook for market developments in the upcoming period. Journalists wishing to join the webinar or who would like to receive the recording following the event can register here.

Date: Thursday, April 30th 2020
Time: 9.00 GMT/10.00 CET
Register Now >


Note to editors:

Real Capital Analytics (RCA) is the authority on the deals, players and trends that drive the commercial real estate investment markets. Covering all markets globally, RCA delivers timely and reliable data with unique insight into market participants, pricing and capital flows. The most active investors, lenders and advisors depend on RCA’s market intelligence to formulate strategy and to source, underwrite and execute deals. An industry pioneer since 2000, RCA has offices in New York, San Jose, London and Singapore. For more information, visit


Steve Hays, Bellier Financial
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