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Approximately one fifth of the GDP of the main European countries belongs to the real estate sector and the weight of the brick, rather than contracting with the crisis of the past few years, has actually increased. What changes with the passing of the years, however, is the composition of the sector, with the construction world losing ground and that of real estate services rising sharply. The report of Scenari Immobiliari on "Real estate services in Italy and in Europe" has started to take the picture of the real estate industry.

The European situation
The real estate sector, together with the construction sector, confirms a significant role in the economies of the main European countries, with a weight of between 18 and 19% of GDP. Germany, thanks also to the strength of the other economic components, sees the weight of real estate and construction activities stopping two points below the average, at 16.4 percent.

Photography in Italy
Italy in particular leads the ranking of the top five European countries by weight of the real estate sector (including construction) with a total of 19 percent. At the same time, however, it also has the primacy of the fragmentation of companies, with an average of just 1.3 employees per company.
With a growth of 5.6%, Italy is the European country where the weight of real estate, construction and real estate development on the national GDP increased more between 2013 and 2017. While the Italian construction market is recovering slowly, due to a serious crisis, the real estate services sector (from management to advisory to brokering) has grown more than the EU average of 4.5%.

Services in pole position
Over 400 billion euros: this is the turnover of real estate services in the five main European countries. The United Kingdom and Germany represent the two most important markets. Italy is confirmed to be in a backward position, with a market that is one third of the two main markets, but also less than half of the French one. It remains superior only to Spain, a country with which it shares the limited nature of average turnover per employee, around 130 thousand euro, an element that expresses a low efficiency of the sector. The most productive markets are confirmed as the German one, with 289 thousand euros per employee, and the French one, with 284 thousand euros.

The number of companies dedicated to real estate services is very high: in the five countries (France, Germany, Italy, United Kingdom, Spain) there are over 945 thousand companies, for a total of 1.76 million direct employees, corresponding to 1.3% of the total workforce. Next to the direct employees are added indirect ones, with an induced consisting of over 730 thousand units.

The main activities in services
Property and Facility management together they make about half the turnover of real estate services, confirming a greater homogeneity between the different countries. THEREsset management generates about 23% of services turnover, with a more organized presence in France and the United Kingdom. Project management is more structured in the United Kingdom and Germany, where larger companies are present and the use of more advanced technological systems is more widespread. Real estate brokerage is very strong in Italy, with the share of turnover in the sector agency equal to 18%, lower only to Spain, where the weight of brokerage services is equal to about a quarter of total services. This share is lower in other countries, between 6% in Germany and 14%. Advisory and Valuationfinally, it is the sectors that highlight the widest gap between the countries considered, both in terms of size and the professionalization of companies.

The buildings in decline
Against an average weight of 18.4% of the real estate sector as a whole on the GDP in Europe, construction continues to contract and contributes about 5% to the GDP of the countries. However, the impact on employment is important, given that companies in the five countries are over two million and employ 7.8 million people, equal to 5.9% of the total workforce. The average size of companies is 3.9 employees, with Italy having 2.6 employees for each construction company.

Asset management
Among the real estate services, in addition to property and facility management, asset management is particularly significant, but above all in continuous growth. At the end of 2017, the real estate asset management sector at global level recorded a new growth record both in terms of the value of the assets managed and in terms of performance generated by the management of the assets and the positive picture was confirmed also in 2018 In 2017, the aggregate asset under management of the top 100 global managers rose by 12%, for a total of almost three trillion euro. To give even more the idea of ​​how the sector has grown, think that the total assets under management globally ten years ago was, in terms of value, about 50% lower (1,450 billion euros). The average AUM among all managers has increased by 22%, compared to 2016, going from 13.3 billion euro to 16.2 billion at the end of 2017.

47% of managers are based in North America, while Europe grows and represents almost 37% of the total. Asia and Australasia together account for just over 11% of the total AUM in the world, less than 1% on Latin America and the Middle East.

In Italy the top three managers are Generali Re, with 10 billion Aum, Dea Capital Re, with 9.5 billion and Investire Sgr, with 7.5 billion. These dimensions are still very limited compared to what happens in the most advanced markets and a still very fragmented market, apart from the first five companies. With an aggravating effect: the downward war on management fees to enforce the mandates does not play in favor of an improvement in the sector.



Andrea Di Munno

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