Global property transactions hit £715bn (€859bn) in 2013, a 22.6% increase on 2012 and the highest total since 2007

Publishing its latest International Investment Atlas, Cushman & Wakefield said global real estate investment had “turned a corner” last year.

The firm is forecasting a further rise in transaction volumes in 2014 to £806bn (€968bn) with the US and Western Europe driving the increase in activity.

David Hutchings, head of EMEA investment strategy at Cushman & Wakefield, said: “The real estate market ended 2013 on a high on the back of greater confidence and rising liquidity and that momentum is building further this year with signs of a firmer occupier market as well as greater investment demand and new sources of debt set to drive investment activity and property pricing higher.”

While all regions saw growth over the year, activity within regional markets is becoming increasingly diverse.

The UK and Germany are driving the majority of growth in Europe but Russia, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands and Belgium all also posted marked increases.

However, markets including France, Sweden and Poland held steady while Norway, Switzerland and Denmark fell back.

Asia overtook the Americas as the main driver of global growth for the first time since 2009, led by China but helped by Japan and Australia.

While the US performed strongly alongside others including Mexico and Canada, Brazil saw a downturn in volumes as did other South American markets.

Hutchings said: “Core markets remain in high demand but a search for stock, for yield and for performance has rapidly led investors to look further afield, with selected emerging Asian markets, second tier US cities and Southern Europe back in favour in 2013 and that recovery is set to deepen this year.”