The UK led a slowdown in commercial real estate investment across Europe in the first half of 2016, according to research by Real Capital Analytics (RCA) showing that uncertainty leading up to the country’s referendum on European Union membership added to a catalogue of risks deterring investors.

The UK registered a 45% decline from a year earlier to €29.5bn, as investor concerns in the run-up to the Brexit vote and high pricing played parts in slowing investor activity.

The UK accounted for more than half of the total drop in investment in European commercial properties over the period.

The value of transactions in London fell by 52% to €14bn in the first half.

Tom Leahy, RCA’s director of EMEA analytics, said: “The build-up to the Brexit vote added to these concerns and was a notable brake on investment in the UK.

“While it’s no surprise central London was particularly affected, our data indicate the investment cycle had probably already peaked in the third quarter of 2015 and before the vote was announced.”

Leahy said a number of global economic, financial and social risks made investors more cautious about where to deploy their capital allocation to European real estate.

Germany suffered the most in terms of falling investment volumes, which dropped by 36% compared with the first half of 2015.

Of the Top 10 markets, France was next in terms of falling volumes, as investment decreased by 29% over the same period. 

The total value of commercial property transactions completed in Europe over the first six months fell by 35% from the same period in 2015 to €107bn.