7/6/2021 | Hotels

Hotel investment market Austria: transactions are picking up significantly

Vienna. After a slowed down transaction year 2020, which ultimately found a conciliatory end, the first half of 2021 already records significantly more activity on the market. While an overall hotel investment volume of around EUR 280 million was achieved in 2020, the figure for this year has already reached over EUR 110 million, according to hotel real estate expert Christie & Co.

The past year 2020 faced the entire industry with new challenges, many transactions were paused or cancelled completely. While the first quarter of 2020 was still very transaction-rich, sales decreased sharply in the following months. Today, however, more than a year after the start of the pandemic, there is clearly more movement on the investment market.

Above all, a shift within the buyer profiles was noticeable. Whereas in previous years it has often been German institutional investors, in recent months local project developers and private investors were particularly active. “Due to the pandemic, travel behaviour and the performance of different hotels has changed accordingly, which is also noticeable in the search profiles of potential buyers. Thus, especially properties with possible conversion to (student) housing or long-stay concepts have become more attractive,” explains Simon Kronberger, Director Austria & CEE at hotel real estate specialist Christie & Co.

Investors are also still increasingly interested in Austrian leisure destinations, which have managed the crisis demonstrably better. After the contracts for the sale of Hotel Schloss Pichlarn (Aigen im Ennstal, 96 rooms) were signed at the end of 2020, the handover to the new owner Georg Imlauer followed at the beginning of this year. In March, the 125-room Sporthotel Fontana in Fieberbrunn, previously owned by Österreichische Verkehrsbüro Group AG, was also sold to the German project developer Auszeit Hotels & Resorts AG. Both transactions were accompanied by Christie & Co.

But there were also some notable transactions in the city hotel sector. For example, the 64-room Wombats The Lounge Hotel in Vienna changed ownership in the first half of the year. One of the most recent transactions has just been completed by Kerbler Holding. The latter sold its remaining 50% shares of the HoHo Wien, a mixed-use property (including a hotel with 119 rooms) in the Seestadt Aspern, upon completion. The buyer is the Upper Austrian investment group AVV, which already participated in the project development three years ago and now became the sole owner.

Selected hotel transactions in Austria in H1 2021:

In total, an investment volume of over EUR 110 million has already been achieved in the first half of 2021. And the signs for the second half of the year are promising. “Tourism in Austria is recovering, and this is also noticeable in the behaviour of investors. There are some well-known hotels on the market or about to be sold, the pipeline is well filled - therefore we can look forward to some exciting transactions in the upcoming months,” Simon Kronberger sums up optimistically.

Christie & Co currently markets more than 10 hotels in Austria and more than 300 throughout Europe on behalf of the owners.