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Globalisation of commercial real estate investment gathers pace in 2014, moving beyond core cities

JLL confirms global direct commercial real estate transaction volumes up 23% in Q1 2014

  • Direct Investment into commercial real estate globally hits US$130bn in Q1 2014
  • Americas up 63 percent, Europe up 14 percent and Asia Pacific down 17 percent year on year
  • JLL forecast for full year transaction volumes remains US$650bn

CHICAGO, LONDON, SINGAPORE, 09 April 2014 – JLL (NYSE: JLL) has confirmed that direct commercial real estate transaction volumes globally reached US$130bn in the first quarter of 2014, up 23 percent on the same period last year.

Arthur de Haast, Lead Director, International Capital Group, JLL said: “The driver of this continued growth in investments is the spreading of activity to more locations globally, partly due to investors looking for greater returns but also due to the increased amount of capital targeting direct commercial real estate.  While the major cities of the world continue to see strong demand, the increasing investor interest in secondary and smaller locations that we first reported on 12 months ago has now turned into transactional activity.”

Both the Americas and European markets were up on the same period last year; in the Americas volumes in Q1 increased by 61 percent to US$61bn, boosted by the surging US market where domestic and foreign capital is joining and competing for opportunities, this saw the first quarter up 63 percent compared to a year ago, in spite of the unwinding of QE policy.  The year on year growth also reflects the slower period of transactional activity a year ago when the US market was faced with debt ceilings, changes in taxes and political challenges.

Volumes in Europe are up 14 percent to US$46bn in Q1 compared to Q1 last year, with the previously illiquid markets of Ireland, the Netherlands, Spain and Portugal all seeing significant growth year on year.  Whilst the UK and France were up slightly, activity in Germany was 50 percent higher than a year ago, as major portfolio deals have returned in force, with international and domestic groups seizing on opportunities in Europe’s largest economy.

Asia Pacific, which hit a new record in 2013, has seen a slight reduction in Q1 activity year on year recording US$23bn of transactions compared to US$27bn a year ago. However, the first quarter is traditionally the quietest of the year and JLL maintains its expectation for volumes in the region in 2014 to surpass 2013 levels.  Japan was an exception as fiscal year-end combined with an increase in sales tax in early April resulted in investors bringing purchases forward into the first quarter, boosting volumes by 17 percent from a year ago.

David Green-Morgan, Director, Global Capital Markets Research at JLL said: “The continued momentum in investment markets is now being supported by improving occupational fundamentals.  With companies feeling more optimistic about the outlook for the global economy they are taking up more space.  We are starting to see rental growth in many more markets than 12 months ago, and this is creating increased investor interest in more locations.  While global monetary policy remains favourable towards real estate investment, we expect 2014 to be another year of transactional growth.”

Global Direct Investment into Commercial Real Estate, 2007-2014

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Notes to Editors:
  1. Property types in the Global Capital Flows report include hotels, office, industrial and retail.  The numbers represented here are preliminary; the final Global Capital Flows report for Q1 2014 will be released in late April 2014.
  2. JLL’s Global Capital Flows analysis provides a set of data designed to help investors understand how commercial real estate capital is moving around the world. The findings are released quarterly, first in the transaction volume analysis represented in this release, and secondly in a broader quarterly report which will be issued in the following weeks. All of the current Global Capital Flows data can be found in an interactive website which also acts as a portal for media and clients to access JLL’s global capital markets research. Bookmark this site for the most up to date global real estate data:     

About JLL 
JLL (NYSE:JLL) is a professional services and investment management firm offering specialized real estate services to clients seeking increased value by owning, occupying and investing in real estate. With annual revenue of $4 billion, JLL operates in 75 countries worldwide. On behalf of its clients, the firm provides management and real estate outsourcing services for a property portfolio of 3 billion square feet and completed $99 billion in sales, acquisitions and finance transactions in 2013. Its investment management business, LaSalle Investment Management, has $47.6 billion of real estate assets under management. For further information, visit

JLL has over 50 years of experience in Asia Pacific, with over 27,500 employees operating in 80 offices in 15 countries across the region. The firm was named ‘Best Property Consultancy’ in three Asia Pacific countries at the International Property Awards Asia Pacific 2013, and won nine Asia Pacific awards in the Euromoney Real Estate Awards 2013. 

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