According to the latest report by CBRE, concerns about the ongoing Eurozone crisis, with the potential for further job losses and reductions in disposable income have had a major negative impact on consumer confidence throughout Europe, but mostly in the Eurozone countries.
At the same time, Polish consumers remain optimistic despite weaker pan-European sentiment, with retail sales in Poland up by 14.3% year-on-year in January 2012 (according to the Polish GUS Central Statistical Office).
According to CBRE's latest report presenting an overview of the retail property market (CBRE MarketView EMEA Retail Q4 2011), nearly 300,000 m² of new retail space came onto the market in Poland in Q4 2011. Although most stock is in large cities, the balance is shifting in favor of small and medium-sized urban hubs, which dominate the pipeline.
"Confidence has returned to the development market and the pipeline of new projects is growing again, with the focus on small, convenience-based centers, which are considered the safest long term assets. High streets in Warsaw are benefitting from an upturn in occupier demand due to the lack of available space in shopping centers," said Magdalena Fratczak, Retail Director with CBRE Poland.
The overall growth in CBRE's European Prime High Street Rent Index was just 0.5% in Q4 2011, in spite of strong performances from Berlin, Manchester and most notably Lille. Over the full year, rents have risen 3.4% across Europe, indicating a slowdown in rental growth in the second half of the year.
Prime rents are stable in most locations, with only a few high street locations experiencing significant growth. In Poland, average prime rents in shopping centers remained stable in Q4 2011, but went up by 12.5% for the full year. At the end of 2011, prime rent in shopping centers in Warsaw was an average of 90 per m² per month.
Occupier demand in Europe is still heavily focused on the prime areas of major cities, although retailers are increasingly competing for suitable space. However, tenants have continued to push for more favorable lease terms and negotiate incentives including significant fit-out contributions, which in some cases are increasing the time it takes to complete lease agreements.
"CEE retail has been dominated by the popularity of both Poland and Czech Republic, with the former comfortably winning the popularity contest as investor sentiment has been driven by Poland's strong economic performance.
"However, more recently there has been an increase in the interest of investors in some of the other capital cities, such as Budapest, Bratislava and Bucharest, as they have seen that strongly performing shopping centers can be purchased at a significant discount compared to core CEE, despite similar turnover results (on a m² per annum basis)," said Patrick O'Gorman, Head of Capital Markets with CBRE Poland.
Source: Questia Communications