European property sector predicted to grow next year, despite economic challenges

European property sector predicted to grow next year, despite economic challengesThe European property sector is predicted to grow next year, according to CBRE’s 2019 EMEA Market Outlook report. Although recent indicators suggest some slowing of momentum economic growth in Europe will remain above-trend rate in 2019 and 2020, with Spain, Ireland and the central European countries expected to see the fastest economic growth. France’s growth is expected to accelerate as recent economic reforms begin to pay off; however, UK growth is expected to remain below-trend, but with better long-term potential once the current uncertainty around Brexit passes. Office markets around the region are expected to see positive growth in leasing levels in 2019. However, major European cities, including Paris, Berlin, Stockholm and London, are expected to see lower levels of employment growth in office-using sectors. Retail continues to adjust to far-reaching changes in consumer behaviour and more cautious investor sentiment, although assets that offer either experiential retail or convenient local amenities are better placed to withstand these changes.

CBRE also expects a strong investment market in 2019, though volumes may fall moderately due to an end to quantitative easing, caution about geopolitical risks and a lack of available stock in some countries.

Several sectors are expected to perform well and bring new opportunities for investors and occupiers in 2019. Industrial and logistics is set to be boosted by both economic growth and the ongoing expansion of e-commerce. For the residential sector, most major markets are expected to see robust growth in rents and capital values, with Germany and the Netherlands most prominent.

In addition, the European data centres sector should extend its period of strong growth, fuelled by an anticipated influx of new occupiers from Asia, particularly Chinese cloud and telco companies, as well as a further wave of demand from the US cloud companies. CBRE also expects the alternatives sector – student housing, retirement living, healthcare etc.- to expand as more investors pursue genuinely pan-European strategies in these markets.

Dr. Neil Blake, EMEA Chief Economist and Head of Global Forecasting, CBRE said: “Despite ongoing macroeconomic and political uncertainty in many parts of the world, 2019 presents some exciting opportunities for real estate investors and occupiers, from tech and innovation to alternatives and data centres.

“While some sectors may see more subdued performance, reflecting concerns around the loss of economic momentum in parts of Europe, the overall picture remains relatively positive and we expect the European economy will continue to grow at an above-trend rate in 2019.”