Investment in Italian commercial property will reach €9bn this year, according to Italian real estate investor COIMA.

The figure is below the record-breaking level of €11.3bn seen in 2017, but still higher than the average €7bn recorded over the past five years.

Coima - which released the figures at its seventh Real Estate Forum, held in Milan last week - estimates that investment in Italian real estate during the first nine months of 2018 reached €5.3bn.

Capital flows during the period originated mainly from foreign investors, which provided 75% of resources.

North American investors have provided 24% of capital, followed investors from France (10%), the UK (9%), Germany (8%), the Asia Pacific region (3%) and other areas (21%).

Gabriele Bonfiglioli, managing director at Coima, said the size of the Italian market had risen by 65% between 2015 and 2017, from 760,000 square metres to over 2m square metres.

Among the fastest growing areas in Italy, according to Bonfiglioli, are hospitality, co-working spaces and logistics. Investment in hospitality grew from €630m in 2015 to €1.6bn in 2016.

Demand for co-working spaces is expected to reach 30,000sqm this year, from 4,000sqm in 2015. Investments in logistics grew by four times from €300m in 2015 €1.24bn in 2017, with 90% of investment coming from foreign capital last year.

The fastest growing market is Milan, where investment reached €2bn during the first months of 2018, in line with last year.

Speaking at the event, Pierfrancesco Maran, councillor for urban planning in the Milan municipality, said the municipality plans to invest up to €1.6bn to “expand the city centre to cover an increasingly large area, expanding parks and green areas and the supply of residential rental properties”.

Maran called for support from private investors, adding that the municipality will offer incentives to investors focusing on redevelopment work, particularly in peripheral and neglected areas.

Coima is targeting investments of over €3bn in Italy, with a focus on offices, residential, tourism and urban regeneration, according to Manfredi Catella, the company’s CEO.

Earlier this year, Coima announced the closing of its Opportunity Fund II, which it said is the largest discretionary real estate investment fund ever raised in the Italian market. The fund has a total investment capacity of €1.5bn.

Among the speakers at the event were international investors such as Ivanhoé Cambridge and the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA).

Karim Habra, head of Europe at Ivanhoé Cambridge and Pascal Duhamel, ADIA’s head of Europe in the Real estate and Infrastructure Department, expressed their continued interest in the Milan real estate market.