- Deal Watch
- 13:32, 26 May 2017
It’s no longer a question of ‘if’ or ‘when’. The investment data gathered for this edition of Top 100 Investors, Deals and Dealmakers is quite clear: even before the UK public voted in June 2016 on the proposal to leave the EU, the mere spectre of Brexit helped create a tale of two markets: the UK and the rest of Europe. Real estate investment volumes fell 40% in the UK last year while Germany and France also witnessed declines. By contrast, the majority of the rest of Europe’s markets experienced an increase in trading.
This was not enough, however, to offset the declines in the Big-3 Western European markets. The very latest figures available from our data partner Real Capital Analytics (RCA) indicate €265 bn of bricks and mortar changed hands in Europe last year, compared to €320 bn in 2015. It is not all gloom and doom though, as the European market showed signs of resilience in the last three months of 2016 by achieving the third-best quarterly volume in 10 years.
This 4th annual edition looks at some of the largest deals carried out by investment managers per property type and their motivations. Contrary to other years when London and a few large markets claimed the lion’s share of activity, investment capital was increasingly active in smaller countries and cities, and worked to develop significant holdings and even long-term platforms in niche markets such as student housing and healthcare. One of the largest transactions of the year took place in the specialist datacentre sector.
Thanks to the additional support from RCA, we provide our usual ranking of the Top 100 investment platforms by transaction volume, and add transaction data and profiles of the 250 most active traders in Europe last year. The transaction ranking, as well as our sub-rankings based on the most active buyers and sellers, highlight a number of key trends. Significantly, volumes per investment manager are lower. Our Top 100 acquired €127 bn and sold €94 bn of assets in 2016. In the previous 12 months the Top 100 was responsible for €182 bn of acquisitions and over €120 bn of sales.
Several key players, including 2015’s number 1 Blackstone, have moved lower, while others have moved up the ranks or make their entry for the first time. Domestic investment platforms are retaking ground lost to cross-border and inter-regional peers in previous years. The North American contingent and its trading volumes are noticeably lower, while Asian capital is on the rise.
Cormac Mac Ruairi Editor Top 100 Investors