Colliers reports growth in Sofia suburban office stock and changes in preferred retail formats (BU)

The total multi-tenant/speculative and owner-occupied office stock in Sofia has seen impressive growth in the first half of 2006. This is just one of the findings in Colliers' latest semiannual Office Market Overview, which has just been published.

The office stock in the suburban area increased by 20% in the first 6 months of 2006, with 10 new buildings completed. The strong absorption is evidenced by a modest vacancy rate of 8% by the end June 2006.

The total inventory of speculative and owner-occupied office space increased by app. 50,000 m² in the first half of 2006. 75% of this area was immediately occupied.

The overall vacancy of the Sofia office market is a healthy 6.1%, with both broad centre and CBD vacancies below this figure.

Office rents continue to be very stable and remain among the lowest in Southeast Europe, thus contributing to the competitiveness of Bulgaria as an outsourcing destination.

Larger retail formats gaining in popularity
Larger retail formats such as shopping malls and big-box retail outlets are increasingly preferred by Bulgarian consumers. This is just one of the findings in Colliers’ latest semiannual Retail Market Overview, which has just been published. Two shopping malls opened in Sofia in the first half of 2006, adding a combined 42,000 m² of gross leasable area to the retail stock.

Demand for prime retail space is very high. Well developed shopping malls enjoy significant interest from both new market entrants and established brands looking to expand. The supply of high street retail space is still limited relative to demand.

High street retail space in Sofia commands rents of €50â€"120/m²/month while retail warehousing achieves €7â€"12/m²/month.

Source: Colliers

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