GLOBAL - The volume of global real estate transactions in the first half of this year is almost double that of the same period in 2009, but deals in Asia-Pacific dropped by more than a third between the first and second quarters, according to Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL).

JLL's latest research shows global real estate transactions in the second quarter amounted to $66bn (€54bn).

This is a similar volume to that of the previous quarter, but means total transactions in the first half were close to double that of H1 2009 at $130bn.

Arthur de Haast, head of the international capital group (ICG) at JLL, said: "This is solid progress for commercial real estate investment markets, reflecting the pick-up in trading we have witnessed in certain countries globally.

"That said, volumes are still well below pre-credit crisis levels, and since third quarter 2009, incremental growth has been relatively modest."

Asia Pacific saw its deal volumes fall by 34% in Q2 compared to Q1 to $15bn, with notable falls in Japan, China and Australia.

However, Hong Kong and Taiwan saw an increases, and compared with the same quarter last year, transactions volumes are actually up 21%.

Stuart Crow, head of the company's Asia capital markets group, said: "In Asia Pacific, the first half of 2010 has posted reasonably strong increases over the corresponding periods of 2009.

"If this trend continues, aggregate volumes could be around 30% higher this year to reach the mid-$80bn range."

In Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA), the second quarter saw a modest 15% increase in volumes on Q1 to €23bn, up 80% on a year ago (in euro terms).

In US dollar terms, volumes totalled $29bn, up 5% on the quarter and 70% over 2009.

The UK accounted for more than 40% of EMEA volumes, while London maintained its position as the world's most active market, with volumes close to $5bn, although investors were increasingly focusing on France, Germany, the Nordic region and Poland. 

Julian Stocks, head of capital markets England at JLL, said: "We have seen a strong bounce-back in activity and pricing so far this year - especially for prime London.

"However, in the last few weeks, I have noticed a slight change in sentiment, and the balance between buyers and sellers has altered.

"I expect yield movement to be minimal for the next few months and turnover in England to be slightly ahead of 2009."