Avignon Capital, the European property investment firm and asset manager, has expanded into Australia on the back of investor interest in the country’s office and hotel assets.

The company, which has to date invested exclusively in Europe, said it had received a new mandate to invest in Australia and will target Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.

Patrick Flaton, Avignon Capital’s chief financial and operating officer, said the country had been “identified as a prime investment opportunity”.

He said: “Australia’s vibrant, modern economy provides a perfect platform for us during this growth phase.”

Australia had seen a 94% increase in direct commercial real estate investment in the second quarter of 2017, compared with the previous quarter, he said.

The Australian hotel market provides opportunities, he said, with Sydney and Melbourne hotels boasting occupancy rates above 80%.

“International arrivals to Australia are at more than double the 3.9% growth rate for global outbound travel; since 2009, the number of international visitors has grown by 44%,” he said.

In the financial year to date, Avignon Capital has made 18 acquisitions and seven disposals across Europe, totalling a record €565m.

Despite an uncertain political and economic environment in Europe, the firm said, it had strengthened and diversified by expanding into the Netherlands, entering the hotel market, and opening an office in Berlin.