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German investors account for 30% cross-border acquisitions

The country is the most active “exporter” of real estate investment capital to date in 2009, according to Real Capital Analytics. Global transaction volumes in 2Q were an estimated $48.6bn – almost level with 1Q. Plateau has been reached but 'no recovery in sight'.

German property investors are the most active “exporters” of real estate capital globally and account for almost a third of all worldwide cross-border transactions.

Although total acquisitions by German investors has declined in absolute terms, data provider Real Capital Analytics estimates that fund managers in Germany now account for 30 percent of all cross-border deals – up from 10 percent in 2007.

But rather than targeting distressed assets, many are focusing on “postcard assets”, with long-term stabilised yields.

In May, Deka Immobilien closed on the $246.5 million acquisition of the Bentall 5 Tower in Vancouver. Deka directly approached seller Canadian pension fund SITQ about the off-market deal, which was one of the most expensive office acquisitions in Canada, and one of the largest ever in Vancouver, RCA said in its latest Global Capital Trends report.

Among the most active German buyers are DekaBank, which bought 35 properties in the past 12 months valued at $3.8 billion, and open-ended fund Union Investment Real Estate, which bought 30 properties valued at $2.6 billion.

In its report, RCA said global transaction volume in the second quarter remained at an estimated $48.6 billion – just 5 percent down from trading in the first three months of the year. Worldwide property transaction volume has dropped 67 percent year-to-date.

The data, RCA said, “indictat[ed] a plateau has been reached, although there is no recovery in sight”.