TIAA Henderson Real Estate has made its first purchase for TIAA-CREF in the Nordics, buying a shopping centre in Sweden.

The Nova Lund shopping centre in Sweden was sold by Unibail-Rodamco for SEK1.6bn (€176m).

David Turner, head of European investment at TIAA Henderson Real Estate, said the deal was the “first step” in TIAA-CREF’s decision to invest in the Nordic region.

The market, he said, has been identified as a “key investment target” within TIAA-CREF’s European strategy.

“We particularly favour the retail sector, for which we anticipate outperformance in sales growth, driven by population growth, positive consumer confidence and a stable economy,” Turner said.

TIAA-CREF’s intention, he said, is to become a long-term investor in the Nordic region through strategic partnerships.

The 19,847sqm centre and a 6,137sqm retail park increase TIAA Henderson Real Estate’s Nordic portfolio, with four shopping centres, four retail parks and one office.

Nova Lund, built in 2002, is 20km northeast of Malmo.

Tenants include fashion retailers including H&M, Stadium, KappAhl, Intersport & Lindex.