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Allan Saunderson is managing editor of Property Finance Europe and a contributor to GlobeSt.com.

BERLIN-The improvement in the market for residential portfolios, which became apparent in spring, has continued into Q3 2009 when 23 residential portfolios comprising 17,000 apartments were transacted, says international realtor Savills. Year to date, 40,900 residential units have been sold, corresponding to an estimated transaction volume of €1.9 billion.

Although the average package size reduced to 680 units from 1,070, the number increased 5% over Q2 2009. The sale of some 6,000 apartments by DAW, a subsidiary of the public service union ver.di, to the company Meravis for €360 million in April represents the largest transaction of 2009 to date. In 2008, €6.2 billion was invested, of which slightly more than 50% applied to the sale of the LEG apartments in North Rhine-Westphalia. Exclusive of this, transacted volume amounted to €2.7 billion and is expected to be matched in 2009.

Although the packages usually comprised property of all grades, predominantly high quality apartments changed hands this year, Savills noted. In addition interest focused on assets in metropolitan areas, while stock in structurally weak regions hardly found a buyer. The most active buyers were housing associations, along with real estate funds, whereas financial investors have completely withdrawn. Apart from companies such as Vivacon or Pirelli, which recently came under pressure, vendors included the public sector as well as private investors

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