According to new data from CB Richard Ellis European government's offloaded EUR 2.3 billion worth of publicly owned property in 2011, twice as much as 2010, but not the economies you'd immediately expect.
Germany, Sweden, Russia and the UK accounted for 75% of all public property asset sales according to the CBRE report, with the most indebted countries such as Greece and Italy barely getting a look in.
This is because demand from investors for such assets is limited to only the most robust economies, leaving the countries that could really do with a cash injection, namely Greece, Spain and Italy out in the Siberian cold.
Meanwhile Russia sold EUR 330 mln (14% of total sales) worth of its publicly owned property, Germany was the next biggest seller with EUR 440 mln (19%), beaten by the UK with EUR 470 mln (20%) and by Sweden the biggest seller with EUR 515 mln (22%).
CBRE predicts that this trend will continue. Richard Holberton, Director EMEA Research and Consulting for the firm said:
"Given that the investment market as a whole increased by 7% in 2011, a much larger rise in public sector asset disposals is significant and indicates that there has been a concerted effort by many European governments to raise capital from their property portfolios."
"However, the concentration of activity in four of the stronger European markets suggests that, in 2012 and beyond, those countries which are in a more unstable economic position will find it increasingly difficult to implement large-scale disposal programmes."
- Tuesday 24 April 2012