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Italy MarketBeat

Raffaella Pinto • 02/05/2024


In the first quarter of the year, the investment market reached €1.8 billion (ca.+83% on Q1 2023), confirming the more positive mood registered in the latter part of 2023 as headline inflation forecasts resulted in greater price stabilisation and consumer confidence. Office and Logistics has been the best performing assets class, alongside the mixed-use, which included the acquisition of Scalo Farini as part of the revitalisation plan for Milan's railway yards, as well as a thriving hospitality sector.


Investment volumes have quadrupled in respect to the first quarter of 2023, the worst year ever, reaching approximately €550 million, but circa 50% of the volume is represented by a single transaction in Rome, where negotiations started more than one year ago. Notwithstanding the regain in volumes, investors are still prudent. The Occupier market continues to perform positively in Milan (97,000smq) and maintains average values in Rome (34,000sqm), both markets are characterized by small/medium transactions with a focus on sustainable offices and prime locations. 


The Occupier market volume, with 520,000sqm, is in line with the average of the last five years. The market has been mainly characterised by BTO and BTS transactions, as market conditions have brought developers to slow down their speculative projects, with End User as the main player compared to 3PL. Investors remain confident about market fundamentals. The registered volume is circa €365 million, mainly represented by two big portfolio of sale & lease back in the industrial sector (62% of the total sector volume), while single assets have primarily consisted of logistics assets. ESG criteria and value-add opportunities remain at the forefront of investors' decision-making. 


Investment volumes remained modest at some 60€Mn, although in growth in comparison to Q1 2023. Active investors currently are sale-and-leaseback specialists, targeting retail warehouses portfolios, and value-add investors looking at secondary shopping centers attracted by double-digit returns. While liquidity challenges persist, the return of global capital is a promising sign, indicating a gradual stabilisation and potential growth in the sector.


Second half of the year investment volumes bounced back and hit around 1 €Bn, nearly twice as much as the same time in the previous year and higher than the first half. The annual volume of about €1.5 bn was almost aligned to past year figure. The sector remains attractive due to its strong performance and prospects for 2024 are still positive. Yields increased in the second half to match the overall higher yield situation and the tight lending conditions. This pattern is expected to continue for lower-quality assets in the short term, while high-quality assets in the luxury sector are likely to stay steady. Outlook confirmed positive.

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