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LONDON-Transaction volume across Europe increased by 40% in the first quarter over Q1 2010, up to $47.3 billion, according to Real Capital Analytics’ recent Europe Capital Trends Report. The gains were led by a more-than-usual amount of retail transactions, with four transactions that exceeded $1.5 billion.

The core markets of the UK, Germany and France are still the primary target of investors, with Germany seeing the strongest growth of any European country in cross-border acquisitions over the past year on a global basis. However, secondary markets are also showing strong year-over-year gains, according to RCA, with Manchester, Warsaw, Hamburg, Milan and Prague all showing triple-digit percentage gains in the first quarter.

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