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Lower activity as momentum turns

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Lower activity as momentum turns

Transaction volumes in the Nordic property market reached EUR 15.5 billion in the first half of 2020, which is 15 percent lower than the same period last year, as expected. After a strong first quarter, activity dropped more than 40 percent in the second quarter, according to new figures from property advisor Pangea Property Partners.

The Nordics produced a transaction volume of EUR 6.1bn in the second quarter 2020, down from EUR 10.2bn in the same period last year.
“The outburst of Covid-19 changed the picture completely. After a 10 percent increase in transaction volume in the first quarter compared to the same period last year, the corona effect has hit the Nordic property market in the second quarter. Momentum turned, and now the question is when it will turn again,” says Mikael Söderlundh, Head of Research and Partner at Pangea Property Partners.

Largest drop in Norway and Finland
The transaction volume in Sweden amounted to EUR 6.7 billion in the first half of 2020, a decrease of 14 percent from last year. The volume in Norway fell 22 percent to EUR 2.8 billion. In Finland and Denmark, the volumes declined with 22 and 2 percent respectively.

In total, the number of transactions in the Nordic property market was 23 percent lower in the first half of 2020 than the same period last year. The average deal size increased slightly from EUR 37 million to EUR 38 million.

Transaction volumes H1 2020 Sweden Norway Finland Denmark Nordics
Transaction volume (EURbn) 6.7 2.8 2.8 3.2 15.5
- change from H1   2019 -14% -22% -22% -2% -15%
Number of transactions (#) 155 110 50 90 405
- change from H1   2019 -20% -14% -55% -4% -23%
Average deal size (EURm) 43 25 56 36 38
Foreign buyers (%) 20% 9% 57% 41% 29%

Based on property transactions above EUR 5m

Low cross-border activity
The share of foreign buyers was as low as 16 percent in the second quarter. Surprisingly, the figure has only decreased from 32 to 29 percent in the first half of 2020 compared to the same period last year.

“The international buyers are expected to return after further easing of travel restrictions. The Nordic property markets show robustness with an attractive risk versus return profile. In addition, the Nordics are expected to recover faster than the rest of Europe as we have seen in previous crisis”, says Bård Bjølgerud, CEO and Partner at Pangea Property Partners.

Large upswing for residentials
The largest property segment was residentials accounting for 32 percent of the volume in the first half of 2020, closely followed by office accounting for 31 percent. The share of residential deals has increased significantly from 21 percent in the same period last year. By contrast, the share of retail deals has decreased from 17 to 10 percent.

“We have a split market right now with very high activity in typical core segments such as residentials, public sector property and logistics, while liquidity has dried up in other segments”, says Mikael Söderlundh.

The largest property transactions in the Nordic region in the first half of 2020 were:

  1. Fredensborg, Norwegian Property and Union Real Estate Fund III acquiring Veidekke’s property development operations in Norway and Sweden (NOK 8.75 billion)
  2. Varma, Shinhan and NH Investment acquiring OP Group’s headquarter in Helsinki in a sale leaseback transaction (EUR 0.5 billion)
  3. Antiloopi acquiring an office portfolio in Finland from Sponda (EUR ~0.5 billion)
  4. Nyfosa acquiring 38 properties in Sweden from SBB (SEK 4.9 billion)
  5. Stadsrum acquiring Farsta Centrum in Stockholm from Atrium Ljungberg (SEK 4.0 billion)

20+ property transactions
Despite a challenging market, Pangea Property Partners has had a strong first half of 2020 and advised on more than 20 property transactions and advisory assignments across the Nordic countries. During the second quarter, Pangea advised on SBB’s sale of nine public properties in Sweden to Offentliga Hus for SEK 1.1 billion, and Bane NOR Eiendom’s sale of Drammen Station Business Center for NOK 740 million. In addition, the company has advised on a number of local single asset deals. A majority of the deals have been initiated by Pangea.

“I am very pleased to see that our business model – built on inhouse research, long experience combined with hard work and deal creativity – works well both in good and more challenging markets. The Nordics once again proves to be an attractive part of Europe for investors. We foresee plenty of business to be done over the next 6-12 months, but we acknowledge the uncertainty in the markets, especially in the upcoming third quarter”, added Bård Bjølgerud.

Attachments

  • Chart: Nordic transaction volumes, 2008-2020 H1
  • Chart: Nordic transaction volume split by geography and sectors, 2020 H1
  • Chart: Share of foreign buyers in the Nordic countries, 2020 H1

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Pangea Property Partners is an independent advisory firm focusing on property related corporate finance and transaction services in the Nordics. The company has about 35 employees with offices in Oslo, Stockholm, and London. In addition, we have a strategic cooperation in Finland. Since 2010, Pangea Property Partners has advised on more than 450 transactions with an underlying property value above €35 billion. The mandates include property divestments and acquisitions as well as large corporate transactions, capital raisings and debt financing. 

Press contacts

Aleksander Lee Olsen

Aleksander Lee Olsen

Press contact Head of Communications & Marketing +4741579725
Bård Bjølgerud

Bård Bjølgerud

Press contact CEO & Partner +47 484 08 080
Mikael Söderlundh

Mikael Söderlundh

Press contact Head of Research & Partner +46 737707790

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