According to the EMEA Investor Intentions Survey 2021 report prepared by the consulting firm CBRE, Barcelona enters the ranking of the ten most attractive European cities for investors in 2022. London leads the ranking, along with Paris and Amsterdam, which rise two places compared to 2021 Berlin occupies the fourth position, followed by Frankfurt, Madrid, Copenhagen and Warsaw. However, the Catalan capital is the ninth preferred European city by investors, ahead of Munich.
Xavier Güell, director of CBRE Barcelona, has assured that “the good behavior of Barcelona’s real estate fundamentals, the sustained attraction of international companies and the existence of areas as powerful as 22@ have made Barcelona a very attractive and desired place by large international investors.
This year, Spain is the seventh preferred European country to invest in this year, with Madrid and Barcelona among the ten most attractive cities. Germany is in first place, leading the recovery of investment and with several cities in the ranking of favorites. On the other hand, the United Kingdom moves up three places due to the dissipation of uncertainty about Brexit and is in second position, ahead of France, the Netherlands, Poland and Italy. The ranking is closed by Spain, followed by Ireland, Sweden and the Czech Republic.
Despite the pandemic, the European investment market is in a better position than it was a year ago. In fact, 70% of investors established in Spain plan to increase their investment in 2022, ten points more than the European average.
In 2021, Europe registered a record level in terms of investment volume, around 360,000 million euros, an increase of 25% compared to the previous year. This year, CBRE forecasts a 5% year-on-year increase in investment volume for 2022, pointing to another record year, with a figure of more than 375,000 million euros.
The office segment is expected to be one of the main drivers of investment due to the combination of better expectations in terms of the in-person return to the office and the solid fundamentals of this market. In fact, 44% of investors operating from Spain plan to bet on this market, 18% on the industrial and logistics segment and 17% on the hotel sector. On the other hand, student residences and the healthcare sector will be the preferred alternative assets for this type of investor, followed by affordable housing or data centers.
The ‘core’ and ‘core plus’ strategies will continue to be popular, but interest in the ‘value-add’ product will increase as they aim for higher returns. In fact, 65% of investors operating in Spain will seek this asset class in 2022, much higher than European forecasts (37%).
On the one hand, the existence of an uncertain economic environment (23%) or the interruption of border reopenings due to the new waves of covid-19 (17%) will be the biggest challenges for investors this year. To these reasons will also be added a possible higher-than-expected inflation (15%) or a weaker-than-expected rental contract forecast (12%).
On the other hand, 78% of investors operating from Spain have already adopted ESG criteria (‘environment, social and governance’), in line with the European average. Top priorities are protecting the future value of assets (20%) and the environment (19%), along with improving brand image (14%) or complying with relevant regulations (6%).
Regarding the destination of the investment, 74% of the investors established in Spain remain focused on Europe. If you are inclined to invest outside Europe, the preferred destination for most of those surveyed is the United States.
CBRE’s ‘EMEA Investor Intentions Survey 2021’ survey was conducted between November and December 2021 to more than 600 investors based in Europe.