Multi-billion euro commercial real estate deals by Blackstone and Aroundtown helped Europe to hold up its transaction volume during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to report by Real Capital Analytics (RCA).

According to the RCA Insights report, the deals propelled Europe to record a strong performance in the first 150 days of 2020 compared with a fall transaction volume seen across the Americas and Asia Pacific.

The volume of portfolio deals and entity-level deals in Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) during the period exceeded the same period last year due in part to deals like Blackstone’s £4.7bn (€5.3bn) deal to buy UK student housing provider iQ and Aroundtown’s acquisition of fellow German listed property company TLG.

The RCA data shows that EMEA is just 6% lower than 2019 levels, while in the Americas volume is 18% down and in Asia Pacific activity is 45% lower.

In the Americas, the fallback in deal volume is deepening as the year progresses, RCA said. At the end of April, cumulative deal volume for markets in the Americas was 3% lower and by May 29 down 18%.

In Asia-Pacific, activity has been consistently depressed since the start of 2020. “Despite the easing of lockdowns and hopes for a rebound in China, fears of a second virus wave and geopolitical tensions with the US, continue to weigh on sentiment.”

In terms of commercial real estate deal count, the number of completed transactions in the three global regions has dropped by just over a third compared with the same period of last year, RCA said.

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