Investment market in Austria at pre-Lehman level– new buyers from the Middle East and Asia
Post by Michael Ehlmaier, Geschäftsführender Gesellschafter EHL Immobilien
With around 75% of the entire transaction volume, the lion’s share was accounted for by the Vienna market in 2014 as well. The increase was especially strong in the retail property segment, which accounted for approx. 42%. The demand for office properties (about 36% of the transaction volume) was also extremely satisfying; hotels accounted for about 12% of the revenue from commercial properties.
The strong growth in large-scale transactions was especially striking. Seven sales with individual volumes exceeding EUR 100 million were concluded in 2014; in 2013 there was just one. Responsibility for this was attributed in particular to the growing involvement of international investors on the Austrian market. Investors from the Middle and Far East, for example from the United Arab Emirates and China, have discovered Austria as an investment target, but are actually interested almost exclusively in truly high-volume investment opportunities.
The interest on the part of investors from Russia and other post-Soviet states noticeably declined after the beginning of the crisis in the Crimea, but recovered again by the end of the year. This buyer group is active primarily in the middle range of EUR 15 million to EUR 50 million, in which Austrian and German institutional buyers such as real estate funds and insurers also make the majority of their investments. Banks focusing on their core business and selling properties are often still found on the seller side; the same is true for a number of insurers.