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Europe Between uncertainty and optimism

Investment & finance
According to the latest report from PwC and the Urban Land Institute, 75 pct of real estate leaders agree current valuations “do not accurately reflect” all the challenges and opportunities in real estate, as a wedge continues to be driven between market price expectations and book valuations.

Fears over “catching a falling knife” are expressed by many of the more than 1000 industry leaders canvassed for the Emerging Trends in Real Estate Europe report, as huge uncertainty continues to pervade the market in Europe and contribute to record low investment volumes. MSCI has recorded a -42 pct drop on the pre-Covid average (2015 - 2019).

With one third of respondents ‘optimistic for increased profitability in 2024’, the report does indicate improved business confidence compared to the previous year (an increase of 8 pct of respondents), although from a low base and well below long term averages. The outlook is tempered by the backdrop of sluggish economic growth in Europe and the ‘realistic concern’ of a looming recession.

Our report this year highlights the complex challenges confronting Europe’s real estate sector and there is a sense that the industry stands on the brink of a serious downturn in demand across key occupier markets. Opinions are mixed as to what’s needed for market activity to resume. Stabilising interest rates, a soft economic landing and a decrease in interest rates for the balance with yields to be restored, would all have an impact, as would increasing levels of refinancing, leading to more distress on the back of higher financing costs, as well as capex required to make assets fit for purpose under difficult and uncertain circumstances.
Lisette van Doorn, CEO, ULI Europe

Whilst the sentiment from the research points towards an industry ‘in wait and see’ mode, it also suggests an environment and point in the market cycle where the rewards could be significant for those who are brave enough to make the big calls. There is some hope that the stars are aligning — namely clarity on inflation, interest rates and valuations — to facilitate greater transaction activity in 2024. However, there is unlikely to be a single timeline for this across Europe’s diverse markets.
Gareth Lewis, PwC director

With so much uncertainty in play, real estate investors are naturally more careful than ever about how and where they deploy their capital in Europe. For many, this means targeting cities that offer liquidity in riskier times and it is therefore no surprise that London (1) and Paris (2) take the top two places in the report’s city rankings once again. The two cities accounted for around 15 pct of total real estate transaction volumes in Europe in the first nine months of 2023. And the premium on liquidity allied to economic performance is also evident in other cities in the ascendancy in this year’s survey: Madrid (3), Milan (6) and Lisbon (8).

Though still relatively highly placed, the German cities of Berlin (4), Munich (7), Frankfurt (9) and Hamburg (11) have slipped in the rankings in terms of investment and development prospects. The overall gloomy economic outlook for Germany in 2024 is influencing sentiment for cities that were, not so long ago, revered as safe havens for capital. According to Oxford Economics, German cities face stagnant economic growth prospects with average real GDP growth of just 0.1 pct y-o-y for 2023. MSCI data shows that investment volumes across Germany are down -55 pct y-o-y in the first nine months of the year. Some interviewees also suggest that real estate pricing in Germany has been slower to adjust than across most of Europe.

As the industry grapples with a market burdened by inflationary pressures and high interest rates, four fifths of the survey’s respondents agree that ESG credentials will have material effect on asset valuations over the next 12-18 months and, taking a longer-term view, they feel that ESG issues are expected to have the most significant impact on real estate by 2050.

In line with this increased focus around sustainability requirements, global megatrends such as climate change, digitalisation and demographics are seen to be driving investor appetite for niche sectors, with the report ranking new energy infrastructure (1), data centres (2) and healthcare (3) as the sectors most likely for investors to ‘increase their exposure to.’ These trends, combined with a push for ESG compliance, will pave the way for new development and investment opportunities in areas such as battery storage for renewable energy, solar farms and electrical vehicle infrastructure.

The medium-term outlook for real estate becomes significantly more positive assuming that rates will have stabilised by then and the economic uncertainty will have been largely resolved. Considering ongoing urbanisation, technological and demographic megatrends in addition to an ever-growing focus on health, wellbeing and sustainability by users and investors, there lies a huge opportunity for real estate ahead of us. The more we can collaborate to address the issues, such as valuations and climate change, the more and sooner we can tap into the opportunity.
Lisette van Doorn

Poland in the Emerging Trends in Real Estate report

Amidst a generally challenging investment environment, Warsaw has reasons for optimism as it has risen from the 16th place in last year's survey to the 14th position in this year's overall ranking of Europe's most attractive investment cities. Poland's capital city surpasses Vienna, Zurich, Rome, Copenhagen, and Stockholm in this ranking. Additionally, Warsaw outranks Prague and Budapest in the list of the Top 30 most attractive European cities. Prague advanced to the 25th position, marking a two-place rise in a year, while Budapest remains at the lower end of the ranking at the 28th place. An interesting trend highlighted by the ULI and PwC survey is the notably optimistic outlook toward Warsaw's prospects among respondents from Central and Eastern Europe.

Despite the conflict in neighboring Ukraine, Poland maintains robust fundamentals. It represents the largest market in the region, characterized by appealing prices, and real estate assets exhibit strong operational performance and high occupancy rates. Properties with potential operational underperformance, however, hold significant promise for revitalization or re-purposing.
Marcin Juszczyk, investment director and financial board member at Capital Park Group, as well as the newly appointed chairman of ULI Poland

Latest news

Warehouse & industrial

Hungary Aerospace company moves to CTPark Budapest Ecser 

schedule 01 March 2024
Opr./edited by ANZ

CTP has signed a long-term lease agreement for 5,590 sqm of multifunctional space at the CTPark Budapest Ecser logistics park with Vilnius-based FL Technics, provider of aircraft MRO services. 

Office & mixed-use development

Poland New city within a city

schedule 29 February 2024
Opr./edited by ANZ

Echo Investment and Archicom will develop a multifunctional project on ul. Wita Stwosza in Kraków. Five four-storey buildings will be constructed on the site of the former supply warehouses of the Kraków Fortress. The project will be built in stages and is expected to be completed in 2026.

ESG

Poland The shelter in Gniezno as good as new

schedule 29 February 2024
Opr./edited by ANZ

Panattoni and Dekpol Budownictwo have once again jointly carried out a campaign to help homeless animals, this time supporting a shelter in Gniezno. The facility underwent a comprehensive renovation, and the value of the aid was around EUR 50,000.

Office & mixed-use development

Poland Develia changes its office in Wrocław

schedule 29 February 2024
Opr./edited by ANZ

Develia is moving its office from Arkady Wrocławskie to the City Forum complex on ul. Traugutta. In the City 1 building, the developer has leased around 1,400 sqm.

Investment & finance

Europe Europe must be ready for "twin transitions"

schedule 29 February 2024
Opr./edited by JC

Erste Group Bank recorded an operating result of 5.5 bln euros in 2023, an increase of 38 pct compared to the previous year. The company expects that economies in CEE region return to growth path in 2024.

Office & mixed-use development

Poland Lixa D has new tenant

schedule 29 February 2024
Opr./edited by ANZ

A fintech company has leased almost 2,600 sqm of office space in the Lixa D building, which is under construction near Rondo Daszyńskiego in Warsaw. The new tenant will occupy more than 25 pct of the commercial space available in the building.

Investment & finance

Poland Panattoni builds, Millennium finances

schedule 29 February 2024
Opr./edited by JC

Panattoni has received financing for the expansion of Panattoni Park Ruda Śląska II. The loan of EUR 9.4 mln was granted by Millennium Bank.

Office & mixed-use development

Poland Studio B fully leased

schedule 28 February 2024
Opr./edited by ANZ

Societe Generale Branch in Poland and SG Equipment Leasing Poland, companies belonging to the French financial group Societe Generale, are moving into the Studio complex in Warsaw, which is being developed by Skanska.

Office & mixed-use development

Czech Republic Heimstaden moves to IQ Ostrava

schedule 28 February 2024
Opr./edited by ANZ

CTP has signed a lease agreement with Heimstaden, the provider of rental housing in the Czech Republic, for almost 3,500 sqm of office space at IQ Ostrava. IQ Ostrava was the first office building in Ostrava to be BREEAM Excellent certified ten years ago.

Office & mixed-use development

Poland Saski Crescent Half leased

schedule 28 February 2024
Opr./edited by ANZ

The IT company will occupy more than 6,000 sqm, comprising three floors, in the Saski Crescent office building located in the centre of Warsaw. The building is nearing the end of a major modernisation process.

Office & mixed-use development

Poland Two new leases signed at Bonarka for Business

schedule 27 February 2024
Opr./edited by ANZ

Two new contracts for the lease of office space in the Bonarka for Business complex in Kraków have been signed. A total of 825 sqm of space has been leased.

Eurobuild FM

Poland Joanna Mroczek on the second life of properties

schedule 27 February 2024
Magda Rachwald

How to ensure that older properties don’t lose their value, while at the same time fulfilling the needs of tenants and complying with ESG requirements? – these and other questions are answered by Joanna Mroczek, the head of CBRE's strategic consulting department, in the latest episode of Eurobuild FM!

Warehouse & industrial

Poland First tenants in Panattoni Park Lublin IV

schedule 27 February 2024
Opr./edited by ANZ

Panattoni has handed over Panattoni Park Lublin IV. The project is a two-building complex with a combined area of 52,000 sqm, built within the Świdnik Economic Activity Zone. The first tenants are now starting their operations in the complex.

Hotels

Romania Bucharest hotel market rebounds

schedule 27 February 2024
Opr./edited by ANZ

The hotel market in Bucharest has experienced a moderate annual average growth in new offerings, at 0.9 pct between 2019 and 2023. This modest trend was primarily influenced by the cancellation of Urban Zoning Plans. Between 2024 and 2025, an estimated average annual growth rate of 4.1 pct in the number of rooms is expected, according to data from the real estate consulting company Cushman & Wakefield.

Warehouse & industrial

Poland MLP Łódź has a new tenant

schedule 27 February 2024
Opr./edited by ANZ

Bohnenkamp, a supplier of tyres and wheels for professional use, will join the group of tenants at the MLP Łódź logistics park. The company will occupy more than  6,000 sqm of space.

Investment & finance

Czech Republic Rebalancing of prices is expected

schedule 26 February 2024
Opr./edited by ANZ

According to a survey by Colliers presented at a February meeting of Czech and Slovak investors and other financial experts, active in commercial real estate, investment volumes in CEE-6 fell by around 52 pct to EUR 5.1 bln in 2023, reaching a ten-year low. Czech capital, however, retains strongest position in the region.

Warehouse & industrial

Poland Sweet deal for Eurologis

schedule 26 February 2024
Opr./edited by JC

Agart-Pro has extended its lease of nearly 1,800 sqm of warehouse and office space in Eurologis Logistics Centre. The complex is located 16 km from the centre of Wrocław.

Land acquisitions

Croataia Slovaks invest in Croatia

schedule 23 February 2024
Opr./edited by ANZ

Slovak investment fund Prvý realitný fond, through its company Logis Rugvica, has acquired a plot of land in the area of the village of Sveta Helena near Zagreb. This marks the fund's debut on the Croatian market.

Office & mixed-use development

Poland New tenants on the horizon

schedule 22 February 2024
Opr./edited by ANZ

Warsaw's Horizon office complex has gained four new tenants. In total, the companies will occupy almost 2,500 sqm of space in the facility.

Residential

Czech Republic New residential project in Prague's Vysočany

schedule 22 February 2024
Opr./edited by ANZ

Rezidence Klíčov, a current major SHD Real Estate residential project in Prague, is moving into the construction phase. The project located in Vysočany, Prague 9, is expected to be completed next year.

Latest in Investment & finance

schedule 29 February 2024

Europe must be ready for "twin transitions"

Erste Group Bank recorded an operating result of 5.5 bln euros in 2023, an increase of 38 pct compared to the previous year. The company expects that economies in CEE region return to growth path in 2024.

schedule 29 February 2024

Panattoni builds, Millennium finances

Panattoni has received financing for the expansion of Panattoni Park Ruda Śląska II. The loan of EUR 9.4 mln was granted by Millennium Bank.

schedule 26 February 2024

Rebalancing of prices is expected

According to a survey by Colliers presented at a February meeting of Czech and Slovak investors and other financial experts, active in commercial real estate, investment volumes in CEE-6 fell by around 52 pct to EUR 5.1 bln in 2023, reaching a ten-year low. Czech capital, however, retains strongest position in the region.

schedule 22 February 2024

Concept Tower changes hands

CPI Property Group has sold Concept Tower, a 15-story office building in Warsaw's Wola district. The new owner is Wood & Company Real Estate Fund.

schedule 14 February 2024

Hoping for smooth waters

With a total investment volume of just over EUR 2 bln, performance in 2023 on the commercial real estate investment market in Poland fell by two-thirds compared to volumes in the previous three years. However, Avison Young experts, according to Property investment market in Poland 2023, expect the situation to stabilise this year and investor activity to recover throughout 2024.

schedule 09 February 2024

Immofinanz sells in Zagreb

Immofinanz has closed the sale of the Grand Center Zagreb office property to a Croatian real estate company. The parties do not disclose the amount of the transaction.

schedule 08 February 2024

Trigea buys Arkády Pankrác

Trigea fund has finalised the purchase of the Arkády Pankrác shopping centre in Prague. This is the largest ever retail real estate transaction by domestic funds in the Czech Republic, with a value in excess of CZK 6 bln.

schedule 07 February 2024

Sandecja changes hands

A company from the Agat Ejendomme group (formerly TK Development) completed the sale of the Sandecja shopping mall in Nowy Sącz. The new owner of the facility is Focus Estate Fund.

schedule 06 February 2024

CTP issues green bonds

CTP announces the successful placement of EUR 750 mln green bond with a six-year maturity and a 4.750 pct fixed coupon. The notes were settled and admitted to trading on Euronext Dublin.

schedule 31 January 2024

Palmira goes shopping

Palmira has acquired a property in Krągola, situated between Poznań and Łódź, for the European Core Logistics Fund. Built in 2014 and occupied by Eurocash, the property comprises almost 40,000 sqm of hall and office space.

schedule 29 January 2024

Polish PRS goes Dutch

Dutch investment fund Van der Vorm has bought around 120 apartments from a Polish developer in Warsaw's Praga Południe district. The completed flats on ul.  Siennicka are intended for long-term rental.

schedule 29 January 2024

ZDR goes shopping

ZDR Investments Group has completed its first acquisition of the year. The company purchased a Billa grocery store with adjoining retail in the Prague district of Kunratice for its qualified investor fund.

schedule 23 January 2024

Colliers’ predictions for 2024

The CEE-6 is poised for a significant GDP growth rate surge, tripling from below 1 pct last year to around 2.5 pct, retail parks continue to be a central focus driving market growth, the slowdown in deliveries of new offices will aid in filling vacant spaces, especially in modern/ESG-compliant offices – these are some of the predictions for the CEE-6 in 2024 just revealed by Colliers.

schedule 23 January 2024

Imagine to be refinanced

Avestus Real Estate has signed a loan agreement for the refinancing of the Imagine office complex in Łódź. The loan, totalling EUR 23.9 mln, was provided by mBank.

schedule 17 January 2024

In search of higher risk

According to the 2024 Investment Intentions Survey – published by Anrev, Inrev and Prea – on a weighted AUM basis, the current average allocation to real estate globally is 10.6 pct, just slightly above the average target allocation of 10.4 pct.

schedule 17 January 2024

BlueRock has sold everything

BlueRock Group has succeeded in selling the remaining properties in the BlueRock Fund PCC Cell H - Berlin Residential Growth to individual private investors. The fund is therefore being liquidated. 

schedule 15 January 2024

Wiśniowy Business Park changes hands

One of the buildings in Warsaw's Wiśniowy Business Park complex has changed ownership. The name the buyer, as well as the amount of the transaction were not disclosed.

schedule 11 January 2024

Investment activity set to regain equilibrium

Uncertainty and volatility have been the two dominant trends shaping the commercial real estate market and buyer sentiment in recent months. However, according to Trends Radar, the latest report from Cushman & Wakefield, the Polish market, whose fundamentals remain strong, is broadly expected to regain equilibrium.

schedule 10 January 2024

Yareal obtains financing for Lixa

Yareal Polska and BNP Paribas Bank Polska have successfully concluded credit agreements totaling EUR 63.8 mln, enabling the development of the Lixa office project.

schedule 10 January 2024

Millions for Panattoni

Panattoni has been awarded bank financing of around EUR 10 mln from Santander for the BTS development in Łubowo. The project will serve as the main European production plant for Maxcess.

Edition 1 (285) January 2024

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