The 3rd quarter of 2014 closed with take-up of industrial, warehousing and logistics properties in Hamburg and its environs totalling some 300,000 m². This is what the latest figures released by Grossmann & Berger show. The total is thus almost identical to take-up in the same period the year before, at 305,000 m². Exactly one third of space turnover was registered in the 3rd quarter. By the end of the 3rd quarter owner-occupiers accounted for a good 38% of transactions, which translates into a year-on-year decline of 16%. “In the third quarter it was still unusual to see leases for over 10,000 m² of space. However, this period did include seven transactions on the part of buyers, tenants and owner-occupiers for properties in the 5,000 to 10,000 m² size category,” comments Stefan Harder, Head of Industrial, Warehousing and Logistics at Grossmann & Berger.
17 contracts for 5,000 m² or more
The final result of the 3rd quarter once again owed much to properties sized between 5,000 and 10,000 m², which accounted for almost half of total take-up (5,000 m² or more: 73,500 m², 10.000 m² or more: 75,000 m²). Logistics services provider syncreon Deutschland GmbH signed the biggest agreement in the 3rd quarter, leasing 14,755 m² in the VGP Park Hamburg (Bei der Lehmkule 4, Wenzendorf/Hamburg South West), which is also the second-biggest transaction of the year 2014 to date. Year on year, the market for properties sized between 5,000 and 10,000 m² grew most, increasing by 109%. The largest new contract in this size category involved a provider of automobile services, who purchased some 9,500 m² in Henstedt-Ulzburg (North West Environs). With 42 agreements and 29% of total take-up of space, the largest single size category in the 3rd quarter was 1,000 to 3,000 m².
Logistics, trade and production firms sign 16 of 17 big agreements
There was no year-on-year change in the proportion of space taken up by each business sector. The 3rd quarter closed with logistics/forwarding companies taking some 37% of space (110,400 m²). Trading firms (73,200 m²) and production/craft trades (70,200 m²) took almost identical amounts of space at some 24% each. “In terms of space taken up, these three sectors accounted for 16 of the 17 biggest agreements,” remarks Harder. Towards the end of the 3rd quarter rents for industrial, warehousing and logistics space in Hamburg and the environs slipped slightly below the prior year’s level. The premium rent thus dropped by 10 cents to 5.70 €/m²/month. The average rent was 4.60 €/m²/month, or 45 cents below the figure in the third quarter of 2013.
Highest amount of space taken up in the south and west
The turnover of industrial space was fairly evenly distributed between areas inside Hamburg (53.6%) and in the city’s environs (46.4%). Inside Hamburg city limits, South registered the biggest share, at 19.3% of take-up, followed by Hamburg West and Hamburg East with 12.6 and 11.3% respectively. The highest proportion of 3rd-quarter take-up was posted in one of the sectors outside the city, where South East Environs accounted for 19.7% of the total. “This year Rade/Wenzendorf has been the most popular location in the area to the south west of Hamburg. It offers a reservoir of large, reasonably-priced logistics sites providing good opportunities for new, built-to-suit rental properties,” comments Harder. “Depending on space requirements, a large project developer has decided to custom-build marketable properties for creditworthy tenants willing to rent for at least five years; this has also contributed to revived interest in this section of the market.” South West Environs is also the site chosen by syncreon Deutschland GmbH, who, as previously mentioned, signed the largest new lease of the 3rd quarter.
Second and third-biggest transactions in North West
North West Environs also posted a double-digit share of take-up; the second and third-biggest transactions by volume contributed to the location’s 13.8% share of the 3rd-quarter total. The second-biggest transaction was the previously mentioned purchase by an automobile services provider, followed by the building start of a 9,000 m² facility for the cardboard manufacturer Günter Hoffmann GmbH & Co. KG in Henstedt-Ulzburg (Rudolf-Diesel-Strasse, North West Environs). “Traditionally, the sub-markets in Hamburg’s north western environs have been less popular. But this year, as loans remain cheap and new sites have been designated for commercial use, owner-occupiers have taken more interest in this area, especially in view of the rapid expansion of logistics facilities inside Hamburg, near the airport,” says Harder. “The building of a new freight centre offering 20,000 m² of usable space is the biggest owner-occupier transaction of 2014.”
Vacancies set to fall in Hamburg port; large deal in the pipeline
“In view of demand and because several clients are still looking for large premises, we expect the take-up of industrial space in Hamburg to be about 425,000 m²”, says Harder. “In the coming one or two quarters, a gradual reduction in the amount of empty space in the prime location ‘Hamburg Port’ is expected. This assessment is based on market information indicating that several sets of rental negotiations are already well advanced. In the fourth quarter we are expecting to see a major transaction involving considerably more than 10,000 m² in South West Environs come to a conclusion.”