GERMANY - Cordea Savills Germany has doubled the size of its real estate asset management business by buying International Property Asset Management (IPAM).

As of year-end 2011, IPAM was managing around €490m in German property assets, bringing Cordea Savills Germany's assets up to more than €1bn, the company said.

With the purchase, Cordea Savills takes on the IPAM staff and management and extends its network in Germany to four offices, adding Stuttgart, Düsseldorf and Hamburg to its Munich bureau.

Cordea Savills Germany also announced it was planning to set up a real estate KAG and had hired Hans-Dieter Martin, formerly at the board of WGF Immobilien, for this purpose.

In other news, a 'Sparkasse', or savings bank, from southern Germany has awarded Patrizia with a mandate for a mixed German residential and commercial property Spezialfonds.

German real estate company Patrizia strengthened its expertise in commercial properties last year with the purchase of LB Immo Invest.

The Spezialfonds for the southern German Sparkasse is the first to invest both in residential and commercial property, with a focus on residential real estate, which is to make up around two-thirds of the portfolio.

In total, around €200m is to be invested in southern Germany, Patrizia said.

At the same time, the real estate company is opening two other Spezialfonds - Handel Deutschland and Wohn Deutschland, the first investing in retail, the second residential - for further investments of as much as €150m each.

Meanwhile, the German Deutsche-Hypo-Index, based on more than 1,000 interviews with German industry representatives, has reported a significant upturn sentiment on real estate markets for 2012.

The monthly 'Immobilienkonjunktur-Index' - which had been published under the King Sturge brand acquired by Jones Lang LaSalle last year - is now being issued by Deutsche Hypo.

Deutsche Hypo said the real estate industry had pinned its hopes in a "calming of the markets" after Spanish and Italian bond indices performed well.

The index has increased by 18% since year-end 2011, mainly boosted by a good sentiment in the office and retail markets, but less so in the residential property sector.

At the same time, the macroeconomic barometer for real estate markets also issued with the index is still pointing downwards, falling by 1% - but Deutsche Hypo noted that the downward movement has slowed.

German real estate company HIH Hamburgische Immobilien Handlung reported a 20% increase in its asset management revenue through institutional and retail customers for 2011.

The company, with around €4bn in assets under management, is cooperating with the Warburg group and is responsible for operative real estate activities such as the management of a fund compiled for German pension funds.

Torsten Doyen, chief executive at HIH Sales, said: "In 2011, mainly institutional investors and wealthy individuals continued to invest faithfully into the stable asset class of real estate while retail customers remained cautious because of uncertainties about economic turbulences."

For 2012, HIH will continue to focus on core real estate and expects a "continuation of the trend from multi-investor funds towards club deals and transaction-based partnerships."

According to CBRE Austria, transaction volumes in commercial real estate in Germany in 2012 will reach similar levels to 2011, when they climbed to a post-crisis record level of €22.62bn, 18% more than the previous year.

Andreas Ridder, chief executive at CBRE Austria, said: "As the medium-term growth perspectives for the German economy remain quite positive and the investment location is proving itself as safe haven, the share of foreign, high-equity investors should continue to increase."