Dutch property investment activity doubles in Q2 2009

The Dutch real estate market saw investment activity almost double in the second quarter of 2009 compared to the previous quarter, suggesting that investor interest is returning to The Netherlands, according to new research released by CB Richard Ellis (CBRE).

Investment turnover surged in Q2 as €861 million was transacted in The Netherlands out of a total of €1.3 billion for the first half of 2009.

The increased investment activity in Q2 2009 demonstrates renewed confidence in the Dutch market, despite a relatively quiet period for Europe’s real estate investment market generally, with only €25 billion transacted across the region as a whole in H1 2009.

With a number of international investors increasingly taking the view that the major Dutch markets have repriced sufficiently to be of interest, the outlook for the Dutch market is positive for the remainder of 2009. Private investors and property companies accounted for the majority of activity in the first half of 2009 and investors such as the German Funds, both Open-ended and Closed-ended, expected to be more active during the second half of the year.

German investment interest in the Netherlands was recently demonstrated when CBRE advised vendors BPF Bouwinvest, the property company of BPF Bouw, and Progress, the Dutch pension fund of Unilever Netherlands, on the €86 million sale of an office complex in Rotterdam, to a Real IS property fund on behalf of a consortium of institutional investors. The office complex comprises a 22,000 m² high-rise building, an adjacent 2,400 m² low-rise building and an underground car park.

Achmea/Eureko, an international alliance of insurers based in The Netherlands, also recently sold its Amsterdam headquarters to an MPC Capital company. The buyer acquired the development on behalf a new investment fund. Achmea/Eureko, advised by CBRE, will lease back the buildings and parking spaces through a sale-and-leaseback transaction.

Marco Hekman, Executive Managing Director of CBRE’s Dutch business, said: “There has been strong investor interest in prime assets, with a wide variety of investors looking to acquire in the Dutch market. The correction in pricing has been sufficient to start attracting international money too. This is particularly evident among the German Open-ended Funds which have been active bidders on several prime assets in the last few months and are expected to be active buyers here later in the year.

“What is even more reassuring is that revival in investor interest is spread across all property types, and not simply concentrated on the office market. CBRE teams in The Netherlands recently advised Allianz on the sale of a Dutch mixed-used residential and retail development in Apeldoorn to a private investor,“ Hekman concluded.

For more information, read CB Richard Ellis’ new MarketView report on European Capital Markets for the first half of 2009.

EMEA Capital Markets MarketView Q2 2009EMEA Capital Markets MarketView Q2 2009