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Offices were the best performing commercial real estate sector in Q4 2012
Across the sectors measured by CBRE, offices recorded a fall of just -0.5% in capital value, with positive performance in France, UK and the Nordics.
European capital values remained broadly stable, registering only a marginal decline of 0.8%. However, this does bring CBRE’s pan-European index to its lowest point since Q3 2009.
France and Germany saw values dip marginally over the quarter, (-0.2% and -0.1% respectively) both resulting in an annual decline of 0.5%.
CEE saw capital values decline by 3.9% and 2.2% in Q4 alone. The office sector, which has a significant development pipeline, weighted this result down, including in Poland (the region’s best performing country) where capital values fell in 2012.
Southern Europe and Ireland saw a decline of 4.0% in Q4 and 12.1% over the year, the result of weak economic sentiment and low levels of investment liquidity.
The significant revaluation of assets in this region, particularly across Spain, Portugal and Ireland, given the scale of the repricing, could come to represent good buying opportunities.
The final quarter of 2012 recorded the highest level of take-up of the year, driven by an upturn in confidence in a number of key Western European markets. However in southern Europe and fringe CEE the markets continued to be characterised by a lack of large deals and high renegotiation rates.
Overall vacancy rates generally remained flat, however this hides significant variations both in terms of the quality and location of available space.
Rental levels followed the same pattern as the first nine months of the year, with prime rental growth restricted to the best performing markets and further declines recorded in some of the southern European economies.
The development cycle reached its cyclical low in 2012 but is forecast to increase sharply in 2013-14 however this is heavily focused in a few key cities. Outside these locations the speculative pipeline remains low, and occupiers requiring prime existing space will have limited options.
The real estate demands of logistics for online retailing differ from traditional store-based retailing in various ways including labour requirements, proximity to multiple delivery destinations, process capability and integration with parcel delivery networks.
Online retailing creates a need for logistics networks and buildings to accommodate a different and more fluid set of demands. Supply chains may take a variety of forms due to multiple destination points.
Customer demands for a higher quality “delivery experience” are driving change and are a major differentiator for retailers. This raises the need for highly-flexible networks including smaller delivery depots and cross-dock facilities close to major population centres. .
This pivotal point in the relationship between retailing and logistics in Europe will offer significant opportunities to those able to respond to occupiers’ highly dynamic requirements in this fast-maturing sector.
Since 2008 London Has Attracted 41% of Property Investment from outside Europe. This current influx of international capital is qualitatively different from previous foreign investment flows into Central London property.
Sovereign wealth funds and cash-positive pension funds from Asia and the Middle East are becoming increasingly prominent in the market; these investors have particularly long investment horizons
A number of factors are driving SWF and cash-positive pension fund investment activity at present, namely insufficient domestic investment opportunities forcing capital overseas; diversification from domestic economies; and domestic regulatory change giving the potential for sizeable amounts of capital to flow into the real estate market from the pension fund industry.