Chinese and Korean investors are snapping up commercial real estate in major European countries, helping drive investment in the region in the first half of the year, according to property services firm Jones Lang LaSalle.
Net capital inflows into Europe's commercial property sector jumped 18 percent in the first half of 2013 compared with the first half of last year to top $12 billion, and Asia-Pacific investors accounted for nearly half that amount at $5.6 billion, Jones Lang LaSalle said.
"Chinese and South Korean investors have driven this growth, especially in the residential and office sectors, and we expect emerging market institutional capital to be a major theme within commercial investment markets for many years to come," Alistair Meadows, director, international capital group Asia Pacific at Jones Lang LaSalle said on Thursday.
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Over-exposure to local markets, a build-up of capital and increasing confidence in investing in international real estate were some of the reasons why European commercial property has grown in appeal, said David Green-Morgan, research director, global capital markets at Jones Lang LaSalle.
"They're [Koreans are] moving from a market which is very small to the global market, which is enormous and gives them much more potential," Green-Morgan said. "The euro crisis as a factor has certainly disappeared as a reason not to go to Europe."
Green-Morgan adds that although China's economy may be slowing, the capital base within the country is still very large thanks to decades of constant economic growth.