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Investment trends in the real estate market - Recap of the EMEA Investor Intentions Survey

CBRE's experts Henrik Calton, Head of Investment Properties, Finland, and Jussi Niemistö, Head of Research, Finland, share their insights regarding the recent CBRE EMEA Investor Intentions Survey and discuss the main findings. More than 400 Europe-based investors participated in the CBRE EMEA Investor Intentions Survey, which asked respondents a range of questions regarding their buying appetite and preferred strategies for sectors and markets in 2021. The survey was conducted from December 2020 to January 2021. Find out what are the current trends in the investment market in Europe.

Investors expect a gradual recovery in 2021

Investors generally hold upbeat views about the investment market in 2021 with 60% of total respondents expecting to increase their purchasing activity this year. In the Nordics, over 60% of investors are planning to increase their purchases.

Germany was a subject of strong interest, with investors expecting it to be the first country in Europe to see investment volumes recover to pre-COVID levels. Investors also displayed optimism about the recovery in the Nordics and all Nordic countries were ranked in the top 10 in recovery expectations. Sweden was fourth, Norway sixth and Denmark eighth, while Finland was ranked tenth, when investors were asked which country they believed would recover to pre-pandemic investment volume most quickly. These findings correspond well with the surprisingly resilient investment volumes witnessed across the Nordics since the onset of the pandemic.

Flight to quality and core assets

Investors showed a preference for core strategies amid an uncertain environment. Two thirds of the surveyed investors were preferring core – and core plus – strategies. On sector pricing, the prime office and logistics pricing were expected to remain stable and despite the implementation of flexible work patterns, offices remain the most preferred asset type for European-based investors.

Henrik Calton adds:

"There remains a significant amount of liquidity in the market and investors continue to favour well-located office properties with strong infrastructural fundamentals. The investment sentiment is currently focusing more on the core and higher quality, environmentally certified office assets with strong inner-city locations and robust tenant credits. The divergence between prime and secondary office assets will likely continue in the wake of the pandemic. The strong demand that the logistics and residential sectors have experienced is certainly expected to carry on throughout 2021 and we expect to see further compression in yields."

The growing importance of sustainability and ESG

Investors also indicated a focus on rent growth, long-term demographic and technological trends, and wider adoption of ESG criteria. The trend of sustainability and ESG is picking up pace and investors highlight the importance of sustainable actions and policies on a growing scale.

Jussi Niemistö confirms this trend and the high level of awareness among investors:

“The discussions around ESG and sustainability are shifting from plans to actions in the real estate market. Investors are showcasing the increased importance of ESG and the climate friendly investment mandates require the investable products to be as sustainable as possible. The market is changing slowly, but it is important to see the investment market take a stance for a good cause.”


Over 400 Europe-based investors revealed their 2021 buying appetite and preferred strategies for real estate sectors and markets. The surveyed investors revealed their buying appetite and preferred strategies for real estate sectors and markets for 2021. Download the CBRE EMEA Investor Intentions Survey 2021 from the link below.

Read the EMEA Investor Intentions Survey here

Don´t hesitate to contact Jussi or Henrik.

Jussi Niemistö & Henrik Calton

Jussi Niemistö & Henrik Calton

Jussi (M.Sc.Econ, CEFA) is the Head of Research in Finland and part of the Nordics Research Team. He leads all research activities in Finland and works together with the business lines to provide clients and the wider market with high quality research and value-added market insights. Jussi has over 10 years of experience from Wealth Management and Capital Markets and has an unique skill set that combines financial and capital markets and data science knowledge.
Mobile phone: +358 40 537 5760

Henrik Calton is Head of Investment Properties, Finland, part of the Capital Markets team. He is responsible for real estate sales and acquisition advisory covering all property sectors. Henrik and the team work closely with the wider Nordic Capital Markets team.
Mobile phone: +358 40 820 8235

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