Investment in European multifamily assets total €55 billion in 2019
Stand-out year for Irish multifamily sector while strong demand in Sweden draws investor attention to the Nordics
London, 18 February 2020 – Real estate investment in European multifamily markets throughout 2019 reached a near all-time high, with volumes representing the second strongest year on record for the sector. According to JLL’s latest market insights on multifamily investment across the region, Germany, Ireland, Poland, and Sweden attracted the strongest investor interest, closely followed by the UK.
While investment across the region decreased by 7% from 2018 (€58.5bn), the resilience of this market in Europe surpassed expectations given the lack of large-scale opportunities that came to the market during 2019.
“European multifamily assets continue to attract interest from investors seeking stable cash flow,” says Matthew Richards, CEO Capital Markets, EMEA, JLL. “Mature markets such as Germany and the Nordics performed extremely well, especially against a backdrop of regulatory intervention by legislators. Emerging multifamily destinations, such as Ireland and Poland, have also seen more meaningful allocations of capital.”
In the Nordics, where investment volumes grew 7% to €12.8 billion in 2019, activity has been driven by the strong performance of Sweden. Volumes rose by over 40% in the region’s largest market for multifamily investment. This was strengthened by forward deals and heightened M&A activity.
In Germany, investment in multifamily reached €20 billion, up 8 % on 2018. This exceeded forecasts (€18 billion) and represented the second highest total for market activity, with only 2015 performing better. Multifamily investment in Germany has now achieved growth for the fourth year in succession.
Investor confidence in German multifamily remains high, despite growing market uncertainty. Although there is strong demand from institutional investors, there is also regulatory uncertainty owing to the political discussions about rent caps or expropriation. The combined effect has brought about more portfolio shifts in the second half of 2019 and has created stronger momentum on the investment market.
Other European markets continued to draw in capital throughout the year, with Ireland and Poland both recording significant increases in total investment, up by 141 % and 30 % respectively year-on-year.
In the UK, multifamily continued to be one of the most sought-after asset classes, attracting €5.9 billion of investment in 2019 – even though caution prevailed as investors waited on the sidelines for the outcome of the country’s general election and Brexit bill.
Philip Wedge-Bernal, EMEA Living Research & Strategy Associate, JLL commented: “The growth and resilience of Living assets has been a draw for investors amidst times of uncertainty. Long-term shifts in demography, such as shrinking household sizes and longer, healthier lives are combining with continued urbanisation to create a chronic undersupply of appropriate homes across cities.
“The UK market is likely to recover somewhat in the first half of this year, following a tumultuous 2019. The Conservative victory and the formal departure of the UK from the European Union are likely to bring improved investor confidence in UK multifamily for 2020 and we expect a greater pool of international investors to look at the UK as an attractive place to deploy capital.”
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