Upturn in Italian real estate investment

Italian real estate investment across offices, retail and industrial grew by 54% in H1 2013 when compared to the same period last year, according to data published today by Cushman & Wakefield.

In the first six months of this year, €760 million-worth of transactions took place in the country compared to €495 million in H1 2012. Specifically, investment in offices dominated H1 2013 volumes: 13 single asset office transactions totalled €430 million, 57% of the overall H1 figure.

Milan remains the most appealing Italian city for investors in offices and saw six H1 2013 transactions amounting to €235 million (this excludes the Qatar-Hines Porta Nuova joint venture). Rome is the next most active market for office investment and witnessed four transactions totalling €130 million in the first half of 2013.

Italy’s industrial real estate market saw investment activity reach €160 million in H1 2013 – a positive sign when compared to H1 2012 where no transactions were registered.

Despite a relatively quiet start to the year for retail in Italy which saw five transactions worth €170 million take place, making up just 22% of total investment volumes, Cushman & Wakefield is confident total retail volumes will exceed overall office investment by the end of the year. The recent sale of Market Central Da Vinci Rome – the largest retail park in Italy – by AIG/Lincoln, advised by Cushman & Wakefield, to GWM for €130 million represents the first stage of this increased activity.

Cushman & Wakefield’s head of capital markets in Italy, Stephen Screene, said: “Good quality retail investments have proven to be resilient in the downturn and as a company we are assisting an increasing number of new international investors and players which are now actively negotiating significant transactions in Italy.”