EUROPE – Property performances throughout Europe saw another year of growth in 2006, the third year in a row according to the Pan-European property index calculated by Investment Property Databank (IPD).

The index, covering property assets worth more than €500bn across the continent, is built up from individual country databank results.

Ian Cullen, co-founder of IPD, said at the 2007 index launch in London today: "2006 was the year of the strongest local currency returns since the inception of the Pan-European performance series in 2001."

The top six total returns, including Ireland, UK, France, Denmark, Sweden and the Netherlands, were primarily driven by capital growth acceleration, with global capital pressing up European markets, according to Cullen.

The index also found in 2006 rental growth drove capital growth in Italy, Portugal and Norway, but Austrian and Swiss returns remain in low-end territory.

"Impacts of currency movements drove US dollar returns from a negative 2.2% in 2005 to a second high of 27.6% in 2005," Cullen commented.