The first eight months of 2012 saw hotel investment activity in Europe total around €3.5bn (£2.bn), a 16% decline on the same period the year before, due to the continuing scarcity of debt and economic uncertainty, according to the latest research from consultancy firm HVS. The company’s latest hotel transaction figures show that investment in both single assets and hotel portfolios during 2012 has been significantly down on 2011 levels as difficult trading and a severe lack of quality hotel stock has deterred investors, with this trend set to continue for the rest of the year. However, London topped this year’s European hotel investment league, as single asset transactions along with the sale of hotel development sites in the capital boosted what was otherwise a depressed hotel investment market. “Trading has been difficult in recent months for many European markets, even Paris and London have experienced a slowdown,” said Tim Smith, director at HVS London. Some 46 hotels (around 9,500 rooms) each more than €7.5m (£6m) were sold, 28% below the same period in 2011 when 59 qualifying transactions took place. Total single asset investment volume reached €2.1bn (£1.68bn) in the first eight months of 2012, a 10% decline on 2011. The average sale price per room was €215k (£172k) compared with €251k (£208k) in 2011. As in 2011, the majority of investment has been based in the UK, where volume reached more than €1bn (£800m), 46% of overall single asset investment volume. In London some 12 hotels changed hands including the four-star Cavendish London for just under €200m (£160m).