In 2014, the retail investment market recorded its strongest year since 2007, with the UK leading the region accounting for more than 30% of the volume. Retail investment in Britain was €16.9bn (up 19%), followed by Germany €8.3 (up 5%), France €5.8 (up 84%), Spain €4.3 (up 179%) and The Nordics €3.9 (down 15%).

Bruno Berretta, Colliers International EMEA Head of Research, explained, “Last year retail investment showed a comeback to almost pre-recession levels but given the strength of the market during the first quarter of this year, with transactions already 37% of the 2014 total, then we can expect an even better performance in 2015. We also expect core Western European markets to continue to be top of the list for investors but as these heat up, more peripheral markets such as Spain, Italy, Ireland and Portugal will see increased activity.

“We expect that Mario Draghi’s €1.1trillion quantitative easing programme, which is showing more liquidity throughout Europe, as well as further growth in consumer spending and retail sales, will contribute to continued high retail investment volumes.”

Retail trade volume increased by 1.9% in the EU and 1.3% in the Eurozone during 2014.

In terms of retail rental growth, Dubai out performed London thanks to limited supply and high retailer demand with high street rents jumping 38.8% and shopping centre rents up 22.7%. London high streets saw rent increases of 25% and six per cent in shopping centres.

Strong upward pressure on prime rental levels in London’s high streets is unsurprising given that in 2014 the industry witnessed the sharpest fall in vacancy rates in Central London since 2007.

“The Retail-market in Austria – primarily Vienna - is still stable”, said Stefan Goigitzer, Head of Retail at Colliers Austria and added: “The demand for top locations like Kohlmarkt, Graben and Kärntner Straße remains strong and prime rents of € 400/sqm could be achieved with a slight upward trend within 2015. The most important openings over the last 3 months were Longchamp on Graben and Falconieri and Calzedonia on Kärntner Straße.”

*RCA statistic