CEE investment volumes slide, but hopes remain for stable year-end

For the first three quarters of 2019, the CEE region has recorded an investment volume of ca. €9 bn, according to new data from Colliers.

Offices dominate the deal flows with a 58% share, followed by a much slower retail sector with 18%, industrial & logistics (9%) and hotels (8%).

Kevin Turpin, regional director of research, CEE said: 'With the exception of the Czech Republic and Poland, most markets are down on Q1-Q3 volumes versus 2018 & 2017 respectively.

'However, with the fourth quarter of the year typically being the most active in terms of transaction closures, we expect the region to maintain a similar momentum to the previous 3 years and forecast a full year investment volume of between €12.5 and €13.5 bn.'

Appetite from investors for all asset classes in CEE remains positive, particularly as a vast amount of capital is seeking allocation and the market fundamentals in the region remain compelling.

A shortage of core and core plus product can be found in some markets and sectors, as many of such properties are in the hands of long-term holders, portfolios and platforms. In addition, some owners may be hesitant to sell without the opportunity for redeploying their capital.

Shifting strategies
As a result, many investors are looking at different strategies such as value-add and opportunistic plays, plus looking into alternative sectors such as student housing, healthcare, private rental, amongst others, although these are still in a relative early phase in terms of availability.

More than 50% of capital deployed in the first three quarters of 2019 has come from continental Europe (including CEE), with 25% of the total volume coming from CEE investors alone. Asian capital, particularly from South Korea, has also been active with a share of around 16%, Colliers said.

Prime yields across all countries and sectors are below, or close to, previous historical lows. Despite the 375bps spread between Sofia (8.0%) and Prague (4.25%) on Prime offices, there is a further spread to similar product in Germany (3.0%) and to other, perceived, more risk averse investment vehicles, such as government bonds. Further yield compression should be limited, with a few exceptions, Colliers concluded.




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