Global property investing to reach 7-year high in 2014 - report

LONDON Fri Dec 27, 2013 7:00am EST

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LONDON Dec 24 (Reuters) - Global property investing activity is set to hit a seven-year high by volume in 2014, led in part by growing confidence in financial markets and with activity in Europe and Asia expected to heat up, a report said on Friday.

Property consultant Cushman & Wakefield said it sees global investment volumes rising by up to 15 percent next year, after climbing an estimated 8.4 percent to $978 billion in 2013.

This would be the highest level since the year before the 2008 financial crisis when investors ploughed $1.25 trillion into property deals.

"The growing level of optimism and activity we are seeing in most regions has its roots in a belief that the global economy is set for calmer waters ahead and that financial imbalances are on the mend," said David Hutchings, head of EMEA region research at Cushman & Wakefield.

"This is leading to an increase in risk appetites which is manifest in a push to invest across borders," he added.

Global property growth is expected to be led by the Americas, where deal volumes have risen the most rapidly and climbing 18-20 percent next year, with investors targeting emerging economies such as Mexico and Brazil.

Activity in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, where the effects of the economic recovery are deepening, is expected to see a revival due to foreign investment after a subdued year.

"With austerity easing and economic growth slow but generally up, better news will continue to spread out in occupier as well as investor markets," said Jan Willem Bastijn, Cushman & Wakefield's head for European Capital Markets.

"Supply will be the big factor for occupiers not just investors in 2014, with a lack of development impacting on choice and leading to higher pricing and in likelihood better performance in some non-core markets," he added.

Volumes in Asia are expected to climb by up to 7 percent in 2014, delivering a slower but less volatile performance in recent years as investors looks towards emerging markets such as Indonesia and Philippines. (Reporting by Li-mei Hoang; Editing by Greg Mahlich)

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