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Savills: Real estate transaction volumes total nearly $770B in 2016

As investors flock to the property market amid geopolitical uncertainty, the level of global trading in real estate rose 25% above the 10-year average to almost $770 billion in 2016, real estate advisory firm Savills found.

Although the amount was down 12% from 2015 figures, Savills said transaction volumes grew almost 300% from 2009 to their peak in the first quarter of 2016.

"Any slowdown attributed to the election of Donald Trump as president in the US and ongoing political changes in Europe comes after near-record trading levels," the report noted.

Markets in Europe, the Middle East and Africa saw a 21% year-over-year drop in investments in U.S.-dollar terms in 2016, the biggest dip for the year.

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Investments in the U.K. dropped 38% in 2016, though London's first-quarter investment volume in 2017 was the "strongest ever first quarter" at £4.34 billion.

Yolande Barnes, head of world research at Savills, said in the report that real estate has become increasingly popular in investment portfolios over the past year and a half.

"It remains to be seen whether this is a permanent change but overall conditions mean we foresee global trading volumes stabilising at just over their longer term average levels for the next two years before seeing a slight uptick in 2019 and increasing at a solid rate thereafter," she added.