U.K. Economy Grew 0.5% in Fourth Quarter, Missing Median Estimate of 0.6%

Europe Property-Loan Sales Seen Up 65% as Lone Star Buys

European property-loan sales will rise 65 percent to a record 50 billion euros ($69 billion) this year as improving economies in the region prompt investors to set aside more money for deals, Cushman & Wakefield Inc. said.

The broker raised its forecast by 25 percent after transactions so far this year reached 29.8 billion euros, almost equal to all of 2013, according to a report today. The 2014 total was boosted by the liquidation of the Irish Bank Resolution Corp., formerly Anglo Irish Bank Corp.

This year may mark a peak for loan sales after deals soared in the first several months, Federico Montero, corporate finance partner at Cushman & Wakefield said in a statement.

“We won’t see a quarter like this for quite some time,” Montero said. “Investor appetite is at an all-time high, with plenty of capital still to deploy.”

Holders of real estate loans including Ireland’s National Asset Management Agency are accelerating sales as economies of countries that use the euro show signs of emerging from the worst of the sovereign-debt crisis. Investors have set aside as much as 125 billion euros to invest in European real estate and credit linked to property, Cushman & Wakefield estimates.

Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc, the lender 80 percent owned by the U.K. government after a bailout, may sell as much as 11 billion pounds ($18.4 billion) of loans in the next three years, according to the report. Permanent TSB, a Dublin-based lender, plans to sell almost 10 billion euros of assets “in the near future,” the broker said.

Lone Star Funds and its partners are the biggest buyers of real estate loans in Europe so far this year, spending 12.9 billion euros, Cushman & Wakefield said. Cerberus Capital Management LP is second with 5.63 billion euros of loan acquisitions.

There are 23.4 billion euros of real estate loans currently for sale in Europe, according to Cushman & Wakefield.

To contact the reporters on this story: Patrick Gower in London at; Neil Callanan in London at

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Andrew Blackman at Ross Larsen, Andrew Blackman, Jeff St.Onge

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