In the Baltic States, the overall amount of investments in commercial real estate property amounts to EUR 574 million in the first half of the year

The total volume of investments in commercial real estate in the Baltics exceeded EUR 574 million in 1HY 2015, compared to EUR 422 million in 1HY 2014. By the end of the year, record-breaking investment volume is expected. This investment volume includes commercial properties with sales prices over EUR 0.4 million, excluding development and land acquisitions.

Estonia leads in terms of volume of investments in commercial real estate with EUR 235 million, followed by Lithuania with EUR 226 million and Latvia with EUR 114 million. The Baltic investment market continued to remain active throughout the first half of the year with anticipated focus on Estonia and Lithuania – investment volume in Estonia during the first two quarters of 2015 almost reached the total level achieved in 2014.

In Latvia and Lithuania, a major part of investments made in 1HY 2015 involved retail projects, creating more than a half of total transaction volume, whereas in Estonia, investment activity was dominated by office segment, thus accounting for 38 per cent of total investment volume.

Investment activity in the Baltic States in the first half of 2015 was driven by several portfolio and large single deals, such as the sale of the BPT Optima fund portfolio of 7 objects in the Baltics for EUR 163 million to a new international investor Partners Group, the acquisition of Radisson Blu Sky hotel in Tallinn by EfTEN Capital, the acquisition by Hili Properties of a portfolio consisting of nine retail objects across Latvia and the sale of the Molas and Europa shopping centres in Vilnius.

Average transaction size across the market as a whole was EUR 4.2 million in 1HY 2015 (compared with EUR 3.7 million in 1HY 2014). The increase in average transaction size can be attributed to the big number and volume of deals above EUR 20 million threshold in 1HY 2015 (ca 56 per cent of total volume). At the same time, approx 79 per cent of the total number of transactions in 1HY 2015 in the Baltic States were deals of less than EUR 3 million.

1HY 2015 saw some change in the investor profile as in addition to the funds and asset managers with fund origins mainly from Baltic and Nordic countries, as well as Russia, new investors from Western Europe have appeared and new groups of local investors have formed as well in all three Baltic States. Given first half of 2015 results combined with Q3's strong volume, Colliers' experts forecast a total investment volume in the Baltic States in 2015 to surpass the record level achieved in 2007, thus amounting to more than EUR 1 billion. Moreover, new professional investors from other regions will continue to appear on the Baltic commercial real estate market.

This year Riga will host the fourth annual conference dedicated to real estate property investments "International Real Estate Investments in Latvia 2015", during which discussions will be held on current trends, future development and investment possibilities. Participants will have the opportunity to meet experts, bank representatives and investors, as well as discuss challenges regarding investing in Latvia and the Baltic States as a whole. Experts attending the event will include Hakan Frisen, Head of Economic Forecasting at SEB banka, Michael Schonach, Group CEO of Northern Horizon Capital, Paolo Michelozzi, CEO of Pro Kapital Grupp, Andris Ameriks, Vice Mayor of Riga, Stephan Jung, Chairman of the Retail Innovation Group, Gawein Minks, Multi CEE Development Director, Nils Styf, Citycon Chief Investment Officer, Ülo Kallas, Colonna Capital, Chief Financial Officer, and many others.

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