Latest data from CBRE has shown that the total real estate investment in Europe during the first quarter of the year increased 52% to €85.5bn compared with the same period last year.

In the report, CBRE said whilst these volumes are not reflective of current market sentiment, and it won’t be until the second quarter that the impact of COVID-19 on the European investment market will be seen, “the strong performance in the first quarter is indicative of the amount of capital available to invest into European real estate and gives confidence investment volumes will regain strength once COVID-19 uncertainty fades”.

According to the global real estate advisor, the strong performance during the first three months of 2020, “was driven in part by a lag effect from the previous quarter, with many large deals that were initiated in the latter part of last year, completing at the start of this year”.

This was a record first-quarter performance for European commercial real estate market, surpassing the previous high seen in the first quarter of 2015, CBRE said.

However, correcting for the large platform deals, investment volumes in the first quarter of the year were still up 15% compared to the same period last year, equating to the 3rd strongest first quarter on record.

In the UK, investment during the period was up 33% to €17.2bn compared with the same period a year earlier due to greater political stability following the parliamentary election results in December 2019, the report said.

Many of the major continental European markets outperformed the first quarter of last year, with Germany, France, and Spain recording investment volume increases of 97%, 38% and 54% respectively, CBRE said.

Chris Brett, the head of EMEA capital markets at CBRE, said the record first-quarter performance shows how strong the appetite is from global investors for real estate assets.

“Since March of this year, we have seen a marked shift in sentiment due to the outbreak of COVID-19 and its widespread impact on communities, businesses and the economy across Europe.

“The true impact of this will not be seen until the second quarter, however, we expect the repercussions to be significant in the short term, with positivity and opportunity emerging in the mid to long-term as the industry begins its recovery.”