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German residential unit sales reach 5-year high
Date: 17 April 2013
Category: Market Watch, Other News
Strong investor demand for German residential property lifted both the volume and number of traded units in the first three months of 2013.

Figures published by Savills indicate 68,600 housing units traded in Q1 this year, generating a total volume of just under €3.8 bn and representing 5% growth year-on-year.

The number of units sold rose 3% compared with the first quarter of 2012, marking a five-year-high, according to Savills.

The real estate adviser said that the growth in volume and units traded was largely the result of the Initial Public Offering of LEG NRW in which 50% of the company’s share certificates, comprising 90,000 residential units, found new owners. This generated a transaction volume of around €2.37 bn.

Karsten Nemecek, managing director of corporate finance and valuation at Savills Germany, said: 'The residential portfolio market has remained strong in the first quarter of 2013. Even if we disregard LEG’s IPO, the number of transacted residential portfolios increased by a fifth year-on-year, which is proof of the ongoing high demand for residential property in Germany.'

Savills data reveals that in Q1 2013 the majority of buyers (56%) came from abroad, moving away from a previously domestic dominated market.

Buyers from continental Europe seeking secure investments represented the most active investor group, accounting for a 27% share of the total volume, followed by North American investors (22%). Savills noted that international investors continued to focus on large-scale and opportunistic stock. Two of the eight transacted packages of over 1,000 units in Q1 were distressed portfolios and both were sold to foreign buyers.

In 2012 German investors accounted for over three quarters (77%) of the transaction volume.
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