Pension funds, insurance groups and private equity houses have boosted investment in the EMEA logistics sector, according to JLL.

The advisory firm said institutions are looking to increase their exposure to the sector, which attracted €12.9bn of investment in the first nine months of this year.

The figure is an 11% increase on the same period in 2013.

Tom Waite, director of European capital markets at JLL, said international capital from pension funds, insurance groups and private equity houses continues to seek greater exposure to the sector via direct acquisitions and joint-venture deals.

“As with previous quarters, we continue to see strong appetite and transaction growth in the logistics sector, and we expect this to continue towards the year end,” Waite said.

Core European markets still drive investment volumes, Waite said. However, the firm has noted a ”significant uptick” in activity in central and eastern markets and growing volumes in Spain and Italy.

“Portfolio transactions still dominate and we continue to see demand increasing for both single-country and cross-border opportunities,” Waite said.

A total €3.6bn was invested in the third quarter of this year.

With €5.4bn transacted in the first three quarters of the year, the volume of portfolio transactions remained healthy, JLL said – broadly in line with the same period last year.

More than €1bn in portfolio changed hands across Germany and the UK, while France saw portfolios worth more than €550m trade.

JLL said there is growing appetite for large-size single assets, underpinned by the emergence of “mega-sheds”. The volume of single-asset transactions over €50m exceeded €2bn.

Prime logistics yields continued to compress over the quarter, with the European aggregate down 40bps year-on-year to 6.9%.