Cushman & Wakefield is forecasting €25bn of European real estate loan sales in 2013. “You will see a lot happening this year,” said corporate finance partner Federico Montero. “There is €3.6bn in the market in 10 transactions, including NAMA’s Aspen, Lloyds’ project Thames and BBVA’s Camelia portfolios. Already in March we know of another €9bn lined up for sale.”
Of these, 81% are in the ‘mature’ loan sales markets of the UK, Germany, Ireland and Spain, but Cushman is also aware of deals planned in immature markets such as Portugal and Russia.
“NAMA is selling in Ireland now, German banks are selling positions outside Germany and so are some Irish banks. And watch out for the Netherlands,” he said.
Last year, €21.7bn of loans were sold in 33 deals, the firm estimates – a significant step up on 2011’s €8.8bn.
Of last year’s deals, 11 were in the UK and six each in Ireland, Germany and Spain. The most active buyers were US private equity and US banks (see chart), with Lone Star, TPG and Bank of America Merrill Lynch buying 47% by volume.
This year, Cushman expects to see a reduction in the average portfolio size sold, in response to growing demand for an increasing number of smaller and medium-sized packages from potential buyers.