Off-market deals: everyone’s doing it, no one’s telling


Hidden real estate transactions reached a volume of around €40bn last year. This is the conclusion of a study led by HPBA, a consulting firm focused exclusively on off-market deals, together with Bulwiengesa. This sum would still come on top of the approx. €70bn in transaction volume registered by the brokerage houses. Hardly any reliable data exists for the off-market segment, however; moreover, a large proportion of transactions are handled as share deals and as such are not subject to real estate transfer tax. The study also states that this figure is a “rough estimate”. More important results than the sheer market size are that nearly all (96%) of the approx. 700 experts surveyed participated in off-market deals in 2017, says HPBA CEO John Amram. The study also found that the 52% closing rate is higher than for “normal” deals (35%) and that investors are willing to pay up to 10% more.

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