Global property deals up by 44%

The US and Brazil were leading a resurgence of transactions for the Americas with the region seeing a 166% increase in purchases and sales over the past year, compared to 11% increase in Europe and the Middle East and an 11% decline in trades in Asia Pacific.

Global property transactions rose back to 2008 levels in the past year after the volume of real estate deals surged to $582 billion in 2010.

The recovery in transactions was led in part by a resurgence of activity in the Americas, notably the US and Brazil, which saw a 133 percent rise in deal flow in 2010 compared to 2009, according to Real Capital Analytics. In Europe and the Middle and Asia Pacific, transaction volume rose by 27 percent and 29 percent, respectively.

However, despite the apparent recovery in the Americas, the number of purchases and sales was just 24 percent of the peak levels achieved in 2007. In Europe and the Middle East, transaction volume recovered to 40 percent of the peak while in Asia it exceeded 2007 levels rising an extra 10 percent in 2009.

In Asia during 2010, regional transaction activity cooled thanks to regulatory constraints in China. More than $292.5 billion of property changed hands in Asia Pacific in 2010, a 29 percent increase on 2009.

Emerging markets accounted for roughly 40 percent of all global property transactions, RCA said in its global capital trends report. Brazil real estate deals rose 217 percent in 2010 compared to one year earlier with $5.7 billion of transactions, while China was by far the largest market for deals in 2010 with $197.1 billion of trades, a 23 percent increase over 2009 figures and almost $85 billion above the next placed country, the US.

Among the top buyers in 2010 were Poly Real Estate Group, The Blackstone Group and China Vanke Co; while the top sellers were Morgan Stanley, The Lightstone Group and ING Group.