Figures from Grossmann & Berger show that in 2014 take-up of industrial, warehousing and logistics space in Hamburg and its environs was practically the same as 2013, at 453,000 m². The result was thus some 50,000 m² lower than the ten-year average of around 490,000 m². “2014 was a repeat of what happened the year before: with quarterly take-up averaging about 100,000 m² and a weak 2nd quarter, the overall result only managed to leave the 400,000 m² mark well behind thanks to a significant rise in lettings during the 4th quarter,” remarks Stefan Harder
, head of the Industrial, Warehousing and Logistics section at Grossmann & Berger.
“The crucial contribution to the good 4th quarter result was Rhenus’ decision to rent over 50,000 m² of space in the VGP Park, Hamburg. This agreement alone accounted for a good third of take-up in the quarter.” Unlike the prior year, take-up of rented space rose from 266,000 to 318,000 m², with the result that owner occupiers’ share of the total volume was squeezed from 41% to about 30%.
Logistics properties market shows very similar pattern in 2013 and 2014
Year on year the regularly monitored market parameters developed very consistently.
Take-up of space by size categories: The single biggest segment of the market, at about 34% of take-up, was composed of properties measuring 10,000 m² or more, which accounted for seven agreements in each year. The 1,001 to 3,000 m² size category was also well represented at 26% of the total; this sector posted the biggest year on year difference, rising 22% higher than in 2013.
Largest agreements: The previously mentioned contract signed by Rhenus Logistics for some 52,210 m² (Mienenbütteler Weg, South West Environs) was the biggest rental agreement of the 4th quarter and of the entire year. The next-biggest new contract in the 4th quarter was concluded by Transa Spedition GmbH for some 16,890 m² of space (1. Hafenstrasse, Hamburg South).
Rents: The trend towards a slight softening of rents remained unbroken. The average rent fell by 30 cents to €4.60/m²/month. One reason for this is probably to be seen in the fact that about 30% of total take-up involved space costing no more than €4.50/m²/month. The premium rent fell likewise, dropping 20 cents to €5.60/m²/month. However, there were also several “outliers” among the leases for 3,000 m² or less in top locations; here rents were as high as €5.80/m²/month.
Take-up of space by industry: The mix of clients was virtually unchanged from the prior year. Logistics firms (about 47%) took more than twice as much space as either manufacturing/trade (around 21%) or industrial/craft trades (about 19%).
Take-up of space by sub-markets: Compared with the prior year there was a slight shift in sub-market ratios, so that the city area and the environs each accounted for half of the take-up of space. South West (about 27%) and North West (14%) Environs remained the sub-markets with the highest take-up levels outside city limits, although the lease for 50,000 m² was the key to the good figure for South West Environs. South (about 21%) and East (about 11%) were the city sub-markets with the highest shares of take-up.
“Because only a limited number of sites are available in any of the districts, owner-occupier activities are unlikely to grow much in 2015. We expect to see the newly established sub-markets North West Environs and South West Environs driving the rental business, since land for logistics use is still available for development here. These areas have good transport links to and from Hamburg and can be let at much cheaper rents than properties inside Hamburg city limits because land in the environs costs only half as much. We therefore expect new lets in South West Environs to produce a total similar to the one in 2014,” says Harder.
“Market players have been most interested to hear that two new industrial parks are planned in the south and south west sections of the city. Even if it will probably be 2016 before properties come onto the market, early demand is likely to become noticeable this year. The large volume of cargo being handled in Hamburg Port indicates that the amount of vacant space in top port locations will continue to fall. If the overall economic parameters remain more or less as they are, total take-up of space in 2015 could reach 500,000 m² or slightly more.”
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