As many of you head off for a well-earned summer break, this is an apt juncture at which to take stock of the most-read stories of the year thus far.

It has been an interesting few months. Some of you tell us it has been more difficult to source financing mandates owing to a slower investment market, particularly in the UK. However, commercial property lending remains an important strategy for many banks. Alternative lenders are also continuing to raise capital from investors seeking a defensive route to real estate returns.

The key trends in European real estate finance are highlighted in the 10 articles published this year that have attracted the most views on

1. REC Awards 2018: The winners revealed! Our annual awards provide a snapshot of the best organisations and deals in Europe’s real estate lending market. For those of you who missed the grand announcement of our 2018 winners back in March, this article reveals all.

2. Generali launches €1bn European real estate debt fund – exclusive Real estate debt strategies are in vogue. The latest manager to enter the fray happens to be one of Europe’s largest insurers and is already a huge real estate equity investor. In June, we revealed its strategy. Be sure to look out for our autumn edition for an in-depth interview with Nunzio Laurenziello, its head of debt strategy.

3. REC Debt Fund 20: who are Europe’s leading debt fund managers? Everyone loves a ranking, don’t they? Our inaugural rundown of the most successful fundraisers in European real estate debt, published in May, contained some expected names.

4. Why bankers are becoming debt advisors The real estate debt advisory industry has grown in recent years and senior bankers have been poached to become dealmakers. In February, we asked a few of them about what had attracted them to advisory.

5. Lenders’ views on UK property debt in seven charts This data piece, published in March, highlighted the findings of Link Asset Services’ survey of the UK’s real estate lending market. It revealed increased caution among lenders.

6. Rise of the challenger lenders The non-bank real estate lending market has been growing since the banks retrenched in the wake of the global financial crisis. One side effect has been the growth of specialist and small-scale lenders. This deep-dive piece, which was the cover story of our summer edition, examined this part of the market.

7. How does your pay packet measure up? It’s perhaps no surprise that this article, on a compensation report provided exclusively to us by real assets executive search and advisory firm Sousou Partners, attracted a few clicks.

8. Rothesay Life: the low-key insurer making its mark in property finance The insurer made its mark with a £689 million financing of Goldman Sachs’ London HQ in January. We spoke to its head of real estate debt.

9. Will debt for retail real estate dry up? The future of the under-fire sector has been a major talking point this year. We examined it in depth in our spring edition cover story.

10. Why Cain lent £385m in London’s build-to-rent market Many see alternative real estate as the future of the property industry. This piece, published in June, explored Cain International’s rationale for writing a huge loan in the private rented residential sector.

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