Global real estate values continued to rise in the fourth quarter of 2014 with retail properties taking the lead.

According to the latest data from CBRE Group, while all real estate categories continued to enjoy gains in the final quarter of 2013, retail properties enjoyed the strongest growth in terms of both capital values and rents.

CBRE’s global capital value indices indicate that all property types – office, industrial and retail – logged gains on both a quarterly and annual basis in Q4 2013, indicating that capital flows, as opposed to market fundamentals, were the key driver of growth for commercial real estate.

In CBRE’s estimation, this trend has persisted for the past several years now, with the earnings multiple of commercial real estate outpacing property earnings.

Dr. Raymond Torto, global chairman of CBRE Research, said that real estate values continued to grow on the back robust investor appetites despite gains in interest rates.

“Real estate values continued to appreciate across all property types and geographies during 2013, as sustained investor demand for commercial property fuelled further yield compression, driving up capital values – even in the face of higher interest rates,” he said.

Torto also expects continued growth this year, with rent outpacing values.

“As we look toward 2014, real estate values are expected to continue to rise across all three regions as capital continues to flow into the commercial real estate sector,” he said. “Rents will likely grow at a faster pace, in line with improving economic and real estate market fundamentals in many key markets.”

Growth in the CBRE Global Retail Capital Value Index was strongest out of all property categories with an 8.2 per cent gain during 2013, as compared to rises of six per cent and 4.7 per cent for the Global Industrial Capital Value Index and the Global Office Capital Value Index respectively.

Retail also soundly beat out industrial and office properties in terms of growth in rent. The CBRE Global Retail Rent Index gained 4.5 per cent during the year, while industrial rents rose 2.8 per cent and office rents logged only 1.2 per cent gain.

Office values and rents saw the strongest growth in the Americas, as as a result of historically low levels of new office construction. Capital office values gained 7.1 per cent on an annual basis in the Americas, while growth in rents during 2013 was at 2.4 per cent.