CBRE 2019 Market Outlook: European Real Estate markets continue to build momentum despite global uncertainty

The European property sector is expected to grow and bring new opportunities, despite continued downside risks, according to CBRE’s 2019 EMEA Market Outlook report.

CBRE expects economic growth in Europe will remain above-trend rate in 2019 and 2020, although recent indicators suggest some slowing of momentum. Spain, Ireland and the central European countries are expected to see the fastest economic growth, while France’s growth accelerates as recent economic reforms begin to pay off. However, UK growth is expected to remain below-trend, but with better long-term potential once the current uncertainty around Brexit passes.

CBRE also expects a strong investment market in 2019, though volumes may fall moderately due to an end to quantitative easing, caution about geopolitical risks and a lack of available stock in some countries.

Several sectors are expected to perform well and bring new opportunities for investors and occupiers in 2019. Industrial and logistics is set to be boosted by both economic growth and the ongoing expansion of e-commerce. For the residential sector, most major markets are expected to see robust growth in rents and capital values, with Germany and the Netherlands most prominent. In addition, the European data centres sector should extend its period of strong growth, fueled by an anticipated influx of new occupiers from Asia, particularly Chinese cloud and telco companies, as well as a further wave of demand from the US cloud companies. CBRE also expects the alternatives sector – student housing, retirement living, healthcare etc.- to expand as more investors pursue genuinely pan-European strategies in these markets.

Office markets around the region are expected to see positive growth in leasing levels in 2019. However, major European cities, including Paris, Berlin, Stockholm and London, are expected to see lower levels of employment growth in office-using sectors. Retail continues to adjust to far-reaching changes in consumer behaviour and more cautious investor sentiment, although assets that offer either experiential retail or convenient local amenities are better placed to withstand these changes.

Dr. Neil Blake, EMEA Chief Economist and Head of Global Forecasting, CBRE
Despite ongoing macroeconomic and political uncertainty in many parts of the world, 2019 presents some exciting opportunities for real estate investors and occupiers, from tech and innovation to alternatives and data centres. While some sectors may see more subdued performance, reflecting concerns around the loss of economic momentum in parts of Europe, the overall picture remains relatively positive and we expect the European economy will continue to grow at an above-trend rate in 2019.
Dr. Neil Blake, EMEA Chief Economist and Head of Global Forecasting, CBRE

CBRE’s Outlook assesses how the key economic, political, and technological forces will impact property markets in 2019 and beyond, taking a comprehensive sector-by-sector review of the property industry.