Commercial Property Investment Surges in Italy
Investment in Italy's office, retail and industrial markets increased 54 percent during the first half of 2013, compared to last year, according to data from Cushman & Wakefield.
Transactions during the first six months totaled €760 million ($1 billion), compared to €495 million last year. Investments in offices led the markets, with 13 single office transactions totaling €430 million, 57 percent of the overall deals during the first half, the firm reports.
The most active Italian city for office investors was Milan, which had six transactions totaling €235 million, excluding the Qatar-Hines Porta Nuova joint venture. (In May Qatar Holding announced plans to invest $2.65 billion into the Milan mixed use development.) Coming in second for office investment, Rome had four transactions totaling €130 million.
Investment activity in the country's industrial market reached €160 million during the first six months, compared to no activity last year.
Retail transactions totaled €170 million during the first half, representing just 22 percent of the deal volume. However, as investment picks up, the firm expects retail volumes will exceed office investments by year end.
The sale of Market Central Da Vinci Rome, the largest retail center in Italy, by AIG/Lincoln to GWM for €130 million, represents the beginning of increased activity, the firm states.
"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," Cushman & Wakefield's head of capital markets in Italy, Stephen Screene, said in the release.