Economic backdrop: Strong growth in retail spending and high consumer confidence
Strong private consumption was a key driver of European GDP growth in 2015. Higher disposable income fuelled retail spending resulting in the highest year on year growth in the last decade. Despite a slight decline at the beginning of 2016, consumer confidence remains solid. With low oil prices and an improving labour market in place, we expect these positive trends to continue in 2016.
Occupational market: Solid demand for prime locations, further omni-channel expansion of retailers
In 2015, we saw an uneven rental growth across the region, reflecting variable market conditions. The demand from occupiers for prime locations remained strong resulting in prime high street rental growth in half of the markets, including London, Dublin and Milan. The lack of available units in prime areas and strong rental growth are pushing retailers to look at opportunities beyond key high streets. Most of the declines in rents were recorded in East and South East Europe.
Capital markets: A record increase in investment volume and strong prime yield compression in key markets
Total EMEA retail investment volume soared to pre-crisis levels, with the UK and Germany grabbing more than half of market share. Investor interest also spread into secondary markets. This increase in activity drove prime yields down in the vast majority of markets, by up to 125 bps, with further yield compression expected in a number of markets in 2016.
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