Central Europe exceeds 3 million sqm take-up in 2011 - record demand for industrial stock in the CE region
22 Feb, 2012, Warsaw
Despite the fragile global economic climate, demand for modern industrial premises in Central Europe has continued to grow. In 2011, more than 3.2 million square metres of industrial stock was leased in Central Europe exceeding the previous take up record last seen at the market peak in 2008 when almost 2.8 million square metres was leased.
“Demand from organisations for high-quality logistics and manufacturing premises in Central Europe reflects the confidence in the market. Two to three years ago, the global market was overwhelmed with concerns and companies opted for postponing their plans for expanding or moving their manufacturing premises. The period of uncertainty has caused them to look for the most efficient solutions”, says Ferdinand Hlobil, Partner, Head of the CE Industrial Team, Cushman & Wakefield.
“The Central European region has demonstrated a certain market stability; its other advantages undoubtedly comprise a relatively cheap labour force, geographic closeness to the stable Western European markets, and the consumer markets within this region, which may still grow”, Ferdinand Hlobil adds.
The largest share of space leased in Central Europe was recorded in Poland, which made up almost 60 per cent of the entire take-up last year.
Tom Listowski, Partner, Head of Industrial in Poland & CEE Corporate Relations of Cushman & Wakefield, said: “2011 was a very strong year for the warehouse market in Poland with both supply and demand surpassing 2010 figures. Take up totalled 1,900,000 sq.m., a 34% increase compared with 2010.”
Growing interest was noted in all countries of the region, with the exception of the Czech Republic. The highest year-to-year increase in activities was seen in Slovakia where the take-up volume almost doubled as against 2010.
“All parties involved would welcome a revival of new development projects. There are only minimal available premises ready for immediate occupation in Slovakia, so those interested in their take-up faced limited options. The majority of new developments were reserved for pre-leases; however, for the first time since 2009, speculative development projects were also launched, and it even occurred in several locations at a time, including Eastern Slovakia”, says Martin Baláž, Head of the Industrial Letting Team in Slovakia.
Rent and its development
“However, we are talking about average values for the entire region. The individual countries differ substantially with regards to this criterion”, says Ferdinand Hlobil, and he continues: “A drop under ten per cent should serve to stimulate new development projects. Developers have been waiting for that signal; however, the question remains whether those new development projects would find financial backing from the banks.”
While Hungary has more than one-fifth of premises available for rent vacant, the same figure has been fluctuating around the “unsound” five percent in Slovakia for the second year in succession. In Romania, the vacancy rate declined significantly by ten per cent, year-to-year, down to the current less than five per cent. The Czech Republic, too, has been heading towards such rates. In Poland, most of the established industrial submarkets recorded falling vacancy rates which has led to slight increases in rent in locations where supply became very limited.
The Romanian industrial real estate market grew by approximately 100% in 2011, as total surface leased. “At the end of Q4 2011 we could have spoken of a transacted area of approximately 150.000 sqm compared to 75.000 sqm at the end on Q4 2010”, explained Gabriel Sfetcu, Head of Industrial Department at Cushman & Wakefield Romania. “In 2011 we had more requests from the production industry, in the same time we received requests from new-entry logistics’ operators, resultanting from mergers or separation of other operators already existing on the market.”
Outlook for 2012
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