The commercial real estate industry generated €285bn for the European economy in 2011, around 2.5% of total and more than automotive, telecommunications and banking, say the property fund and listed real estate associations in a new report.
While other studies have shown that real estate in all forms accounts for nearly 20% of total economic activity, the new study - commissioned by the European Association for Investors in Non-listed Real Estate Vehicles (INREV) and the European Public Real Estate Association (EPRA) - says commercial property generated €285bn for the European economy in 2011 and employs over 4 million people. Entitled “Real Estate in the Real Economy”, it is designed to help national governments, European Commission and the European Parliament better understand the scale and importance of the sector in supporting growth, jobs and sustainability.
”Historically, data relating to the economic significance of the commercial real estate sector has only been collected at a national level, and often in an inconsistent manner,” the two bodies said in a press statement. “Where individual national measures of GDP reflect the real estate market, they generally incorporate the commercial sector within a very broad calculation.” In the UK, for example, real estate statistics include all economic activity related to the construction and sales of owner-occupied residential property, while the report focuses entirely on activity in retail, office, non owner-occupied residential, warehousing and industrial.
INREV Public Affairs Director Jeff Rupp commented: “This report provides a very useful snapshot and reference point. We’ve long needed comprehensive, independent data that demonstrate the hugely positive impact that commercial real estate has on national economies and individual lives of people.” Written by economist and researcher Paul Mitchell, the report draws on data from the ECB, OECD, and Eurostat.
EPRA Finance Director Gareth Lewis commented: “We can see clearly from this report that our industry is an economic powerhouse delivering jobs and economic growth through the ownership, management and delivery of the built environment.” As part of their joint efforts to raise policymakers’ awareness of commercial real estate, INREV and EPRA have also spearheaded the creation of a new alliance of property associations to improve European coordination. It aims to support the policymaking process affecting European commercial real estate by improving knowledge and understanding.