CBRE: Capital Flows into European Multifamily Housing
CBRE: Capital Flows into European Multifamily Housing
July 22, 2019
Multifamily housing could become the largest sector for real estate investment in Europe
London, 22 July 2019 - Multifamily housing is the second largest sector for real estate investment in Europe, and could become the dominant sector, according to new research by global real estate advisor CBRE. International investors are putting record volumes of capital into multifamily housing in Europe. With €52bn of cross-border capital committed to European multifamily housing between 2015-2018, the new CBRE report Capital Flows into European Multifamily Housing, looks at the origins of this capital and the types of investor moving into this quickly maturing investment class.
CBRE research finds:
•Steep growth in multifamily housing investment in Europe, and a rise in international capital targeting the sector. Changing regulation, demographics and structural fundamentals have driven the growth of multifamily housing. While historically, investment in multifamily has been dominated by domestic investors, cross-border investment volumes have more than doubled over the last four years, with €17.8bn invested in 2018.
•Diversification of capital flows, as the sources of cross-border investments in European multifamily housing become more international. CBRE charted the changing share of capital origins by region from 2011 to 2018, showing that while European investors are still responsible for the largest share of the capital flows, the percentage fell from 67% in 2011 to 50% in 2018. North American investors are the most active capital source from outside Europe, having increased their share of capital flows from 24% in 2011 to 44% in 2018.
•The top destinations for cross-border multifamily investments were Berlin, Copenhagen and London, which are cities with established multifamily markets, or rapidly increasing numbers of purpose-built rental developments. However, the top ten cities attracted only 28% of the total cross-border investment, indicating investors can have broad geographical exposure, with smaller cities offering investment opportunities.
•Large (listed) institutional investors and investment managers are the most active types of cross-border investors. CBRE found that European REIT-type investors with long track records have been increasingly diversifying internationally, having built sizeable portfolios in their home markets. North-American capital is a mix of private equity-type buyers from the US and REIT-type vehicles from Canada.
•International investors prefer portfolio transactions. CBRE found cross-border investors have allocated 62% of their capital towards acquiring residential portfolios. This allows cross-border investors to deploy capital at scale, establish platforms quickly and to drive efficiencies. Market accessibility is also a factor for cross-border investors; domestic investors have established relationships with local developers and can acquire single-assets more readily, plugging them into their existing operating platforms.
Jos Tromp, Head of Research, Continental Europe, CBRE, comments: “Multifamily housing in Europe is an evolving market with strong potential for further growth. There was a record €57bn invested into multifamily housing in Europe in 2018, but this is dwarfed in comparison to the US, which has the most mature multifamily market in the world. Investment into US multifamily grew from $22bn in 2001, to $175bn in 2018, making it the dominant real estate investment sector there. Given the strong investor appetite, and the continued supply-demand imbalance, Europe could follow a similar trajectory.”
Thomas Westerhof, Head of Residential Investment Properties, Continental Europe, CBRE, comments: “Thematic drivers such as urbanization, housing affordability and growing preferences towards renting options are set to continue to drive investor interest into European multifamily housing. We expect there to be further internationalization and consolidation, as fund managers set up new dedicated pan-European investment vehicles and global capital is increasingly finding its way into the markets. While the bulk of international investor activity to date has been through portfolio acquisitions and platform and M&A type deals, once these actors have a foothold in Europe, it becomes easier for them to grow their holdings with single assets and spread operations across different European cities.”
Top Destinations for cross-border multifamily investments
Top ten cities in Europe by cross-border multifamily investment volume in the period 2014-2018
Source: CBRE Research, 2019
Jennet Siebrits, Head of Residential Research, UK, CBRE, comments: “CBRE has identified London as is a top ten destination for cross-border multifamily investments in Europe, attracting €7.7bn from 2014-2018. London accounts for the majority of the total investment volume into UK multifamily housing, although the number of deals is spread fairly evenly between London and the regions, which includes the cities of Birmingham, Leeds and Manchester.
International investment into multifamily in London tends to be forward-funding and partnerships, rather than single asset transactions, and the bulk of international capital committed comes from the US and Canada.”