DTZ Echinox, part of UGL Services, a division of UGL Limited (ASX: UGL), has published a comparative study regarding the retail spaces stock in Romania and CEE. According to the study's results, the retail space deliveries in 2011 and the partial results of the census have brought a 24% increase of commercial stock per 1,000 inhabitants.
The retail stock has increased from 64 m² per 1,000 inhabitants at the end of 2010, to 84 m², in the first half of 2012. There is some disparity between the main cities in Romania. Suceava remains the city with the highest stock of retail spaces, with 736 m² per 1,000 inhabitants, 10 times higher than the country's stock average and more than twice above the capital's average of 307 m².
The second place in the ranking is Arad, followed by Constanta and Iasi, the latter having presently five modern commercial centers: Palas Mall, Iulius Mall, Felicia Shopping Center, Moldova Mall, Era Shopping Park (commercial gallery), with about 366 m² per 1,000 inhabitants.
At the bottom of the ranking, there are cities like Drobeta Turnu Severin, Braila, Botosani, Tulcea and Giurgiu, with retail space stocks around 100 m² per 1,000 inhabitants, while other 13 county capitals do not have any modern commercial center.
Among the cities with low or inexistent retail stock, new retail projects will delivered in the next years, in only three cities e.g. Drobeta Turnu Severin (an extension of Severin Shopping Center), Galati (Galleria and Euromall), and Satu Mare, where the Real4You will build a new MagaMall project.
In 2012, retail stock in Europe has risen by approximately 27% compared with the end of 2010, reaching an average of 326 m² per 1,000 inhabitants. The average retail stock of Romania is two or even three times below the one of the countries in the region, which have values between 124 and 219 m² per 1,000 inhabitants.
As per the capital cities, the lowest stock is registered by Kiev, with 256 m² even though the weighted average of Ukraine is above the one of all the countries in CEE. Warsaw, Prague and Budapest have average retail stocks per 1,000 inhabitants, above Bucharest, the first two capitals being more than 100% higher than 307 m² per 1,000 inhabitants registered in the capital of Romania.
The significant differences between retail stocks in the big cities of Romania, demonstrate the focus of the developers towards the main 10 cities, which, through location and easy access, also attract buyers living in the adjacent zones.
"The major variances between countries in the region show the Romanian market potential, but we also have to consider that the incomes of the population are much below the region's average. Consequently, there is potential within the cities with a non-existent or low stock of modern retail spaces.
"The shopping center developers are presently targeting locations for future projects, more carefully than before the crisis, and the decisions are taken only after reaching the certainty that there is an actual demand to be fulfilled", declared Razvan Sin, Head of Retail Department at DTZ Echinox.
Source: DTZ Echinox