The pace of European retail property sales picked up in the first six months of the year, with €16.3bn (£14.4bn) of transactions taking place – a 31% increase on the same period last year, according to Cushman & Wakefield.

Transaction volumes in the second quarter hit €8.2bn, a 14% increase on the same quarter last year.

With a 32% market share, the UK remains Europe’s largest retail property market.

Germany, France and the Nordics have recorded higher levels of transactions than in Q2 last year, according to Cushman & Wakefield, but previously overlooked markets such as Greece, Ireland and Portugal are starting to see an uptick in investor interest despite challenging economic conditions, as buyers look for new opportunities.

David Hutchings, EMEA head of research at Cushman & Wakefield, said: “Retail property has remained much in demand across Europe in the last few months, with buyers undeterred by the stresses and strains of the consumer market or the growing threat of the internet.

“They should however become more discerning due to these factors, focussing on key locations and dominant centres which can justifiably expect to see sustained shopper and retailer interest regardless of the growth of other channels of retailing.”