CBRE DATA SHOWS EUROPEAN DEBT MARKET ON SOUND FOOTING
CBRE has today released the latest version of its European Debt Map, the only tool in the market that allows investors and borrowers to compare lending terms across 20 European countries. With coverage of the office, retail and logistics sectors, the opportunities presented by senior, mezzanine and whole loan debt can now be properly understood in a pan-European context.
Lending returns vary across countries, but looking at senior lending on prime capital city office investments some patterns emerge within the main groups of nations:
- Of the larger markets (in terms of investment market size), returns are considerably higher in London (2.65%) and Rome (2.22%) than in Berlin (1.42%) and Paris (1.52%).
- Of the Western Euro-denominated markets, the highest returns are to be had in Dublin (2.72%), Madrid (2.52%) and Lisbon (2.42%).
- CEE, as might be expected of less liquid emerging markets, sees the highest returns; Bucharest and Warsaw at c5%, Prague at c4% and Budapest and Bratislava at c3%.
On the risk side, generally lending standards remain disciplined. Interest Cover Ratios, for example, are uniformly high, giving lenders comfort in the ability of borrowers to service debt payments through property income. On the capital side, lenders continue to look very closely at debt yields in search of additional comfort, although in a few more established economies, debt and property yields are creeping more closely together.
The last few years has seen a huge volume of capital raised for investment in debt strategies across Europe, by and from a diverse source of investors. Having deployed €6bn of real estate lending in continental Europe since June 2016, we have seen first-hand the strength of competition for all deals and our recent EMEA Investor Intentions Survey highlights the growing interest from investors in targeting real estate debt. This most recent research suggests that lender appetite will remain extremely keen across Europe, given the strong low-risk returns available. Accordingly, lenders should take every opportunity available to expand and deepen their network of contacts with potential borrowers, to ensure access to every possible lending opportunity.