Europe: Commercial Real Estate Sizzles

In the West, sky-high deals and hot growth contrast with cooling residential markets. But are through-the-roof sales a sign the market's peaking?

Turns out, the Gherkin was only an appetizer. The distinctive pickle-shaped London skyscraper, designed by Sir Norman Foster, was sold in February by insurer Swiss Re for $1.2 billion, in one of Europe's biggest-ever real estate deals.

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