The European hotel investment market appears as strong as ever with transaction volumes reaching 9bn at the half-year mark, compared to 9.3bn in the first half of 2006. Portfolio transactions represented 72% of total investment at 6.5bn, and high net-worth individuals (HNWIs) have surpassed private equity players as the dominant investor group in European hotels.
"We have seen a marked decrease in the number of private equity buyers this year; they currently have a market share of 23%, down on last year's figure of 43%, " explains Mark Wynne-Smith, European chief executive of Jones Lang LaSalle Hotels.
"Private equity investors generally have shorter investment horizons and are therefore more sensitive to increases in the cost of borrowing.
"High net-worth individuals on the other hand have been the dominant investment force so far this year. They account for over onethird of all hotel purchases, over four times the amount at the same period last year.
"In addition, institutional investors have become increasingly active buyers this year, raising their market share to 17% in the first six months compared to 5% in 2006."
Whilst private equity investors remained active buyers in the European hotel market, they also became the dominant vendors, disposing of eight times the volume of hotels during the first half of 2007, compared to first half 2006.
They accounted for almost one third of all sales, whilst hotel operators still accounted for over half of total sales.