* Intu Properties PLC is considering raising up to £1 billion in emergency funding to shore up its cash position, The (U.K.) Times reported. The heavily indebted retail property company is eyeing a rights issue either at the end of February alongside its full-year results or shortly afterwards, according to the news outlet. Intu has been one of the worst-hit victims of the turmoil in the U.K. retail sector, with tenants including Arcadia and Debenhams filing for insolvencies.
* An affiliate of H.I.G. Capital LLC closed its investment in the Portopiccolo luxury complex near Venice, Italy. The self-contained property consists of 203 residential apartments, a five-star hotel and 110 marina berths.
UK and Ireland
* Asking prices for U.K. homes offered from Dec. 8, 2019 to Jan. 11 jumped 2.3% compared with the month-ago period, Reuters reported, citing property company Rightmove. The jump in asking prices was the biggest on record for the mentioned time period since the survey started in 2002, the news outlet noted. The rise was driven by renewed investor confidence following the Conservative Party's victory in the December 2019 general election.
Also citing Rightmove, The (U.K.) Guardian reported that nearly 65,000 properties were marketed during the month with an average asking price of £306,810.
* Transaction volumes for office buildings in central London dipped 36% year over year to £11.3 billion in 2019, despite the rush of property deals in December 2019 valued at more than £2.5 billion, The (U.K.) Telegraph reported, citing CBRE data. The eight-year low in central London office investment was due to persistent political uncertainty and a lack of properties available for sale, according to the report.
* Euro Property Investments received the green light from city planners to construct a luxury residential tower in Birmingham, U.K., Construction Enquirer reported. The 61-story building at 100 Broad St. will comprise around 500 high-end apartments. Construction could start in 2021 and is expected to finish by 2024, the news outlet reported.
* Commerz Real AG's capital management company bought a residential student complex in Dublin for an undisclosed amount, marking the second investment for its Commerz Real Institutional Smart Living Europe Fund. The Swuite Grangegorman, completed in 2018, spans around 4,000 square meters of lettable space with 128 beds. The units are leased out as apartment hotels during the summer vacations.
* China's CGL Investment Holdings Corp. acquired two distribution centers in Poland from Invesco Real Estate for an undisclosed sum, Europe Real Estate reported. The industrial properties span 105,000 square meters and are let to Amazon.com Inc. for 15 years. The properties were built in 2018 to 2019 by Panattoni Europe to suit Amazon's specifications.
* IWG PLC is set to roll out its franchise in the Middle East for the first time, Arabian Business reported. The shared workspace provider will launch its franchise offering for flexible office space in the region to landlords, private equity firms, multi-brand franchise operators and high-net-worth individuals. Mazen Soukieh, head of growth at IWG, said it has locations across the region such as Egypt, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Kuwait among others, according to the report.
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