Scandinavia’s growth increasingly attracting German investment
German investments in Scandinavia exceeded one billion US dollars for the first time in 2018
STOCKHOLM/FRANKFURT, 20 June 2019 – Scandinavia has blossomed into an attractive market for German investors. A total of 1.37 billion US dollars flowed into the region during the course of 2018, meaning that investments exceeded one billion euros for the first time. The transaction volume has steadily increased over the last three years, with the number of transactions reaching a new record level in 2018 at twelve.
This new peak is all the more impressive considering that no German investments were made in Norway last year and that the market was predominantly driven by Sweden (USD 611 million) and Finland (USD 569 million). Denmark followed with USD 194 million. A comparison of the last five years shows that Finland or Sweden generally achieved the highest transaction volume without ever asserting a clear position as market leader. As such, Finland was the strongest market in 2017, drawing an investment volume of USD 468 million from Germany, while Sweden was ahead of the pack in 2016 with USD 419 million. The highest number of transactions in a single year, six, was achieved by Finland in 2015, resulting in a total volume of USD 363 million.
Linus Ericsson, CEO of JLL Sweden: “We are seeing that German investment managers are expanding their portfolios – throughout the entire region and in a variety of sectors. In the last twelve months in particular, investors such as Union Investment Real Estate, Allianz Real Estate, Deka Immobilien, Vonovia and Deutsche Bank have broadened their portfolios in Sweden to include real estate in the office, retail, residential and logistics sectors. It is also evident that investors are looking to the region for the long term. Allianz Real Estate will open an office in Stockholm this year in order to have a presence directly in the market. A sound macroeconomic environment and political stability are reinforcing the confidence of investors in the region. Not all European markets can offer such solid references in the current climate.”
All four of the Northern European states offer attractive key figures for investors, as evidenced in the recent JLL report “Nordic Outlook Spring 2019”. Indeed, the gross domestic product of all four countries is above the mean value for the eurozone, while the unemployment rate is in some cases a fraction of the eurozone average – and will remain so for the foreseeable future.
The most important factor for real estate investors, however, is the extraordinary growth in rents during 2018. The strongest performance was delivered by the three Swedish cities of Stockholm (+7.1%), Gothenburg (+6.3%) and, leading the way, Malmö (+15%). Norway’s capital city of Oslo (+10.2%), the Finnish capital Helsinki (+3.0%) and Copenhagen (+1.5%) follow. These figures are significantly stronger than those recorded by the comparable German cities of Hamburg (+1.9%), Frankfurt (+3.9%) and Munich (+4.1%). Only Berlin achieves a Scandinavian level of growth with an increase of 10.0%.
Cecilia Gunnarsson, Head of Research: “The continued growth in rents, and thereby also the potential to raise the value of the real estate, makes properties in Sweden an interesting option for German investors – given that properties of a certain size is available.”
Interest in office properties is particularly constant in Finland, Sweden and Norway, where German investors were almost continuously active. Contrastingly, transactions of retail, hotel, logistics or mixed-use properties are subject to fluctuation.
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