The Netherlands property investment market has seen a returned focus on retail with 1.5 billion invested to end Q310 this year, compared to only 1bn throughout 2009. According to Savills, this focus on retail investment has returned earlier than forecast but is anticipated to remain over the next few years.
Savills reports that four portfolio transactions, each over 100 million, have significantly contributed to overall sales volumes. In addition, Unibail-Rodamco is disinvesting a substantial part of its Dutch retail property portfolio and this is creating buying opportunities for the likes of Wereldhave, Altera and Syntrus Achmea. In fact demand for assets over the past year is such that gross yields have hardened and high street property yields now stand at 5-5.25% (down 40 bps from January 2010), whilst shopping center prime yields are at 6.25% (down 25 bps from January 2010) and retail warehouses have recorded a slight correction to 7.75%.
Jeroen Jansen, head of research at Savills Netherlands, says: "The most noticeable trend of 2010 within the retail property market was investment moving forward. The increased interest for prime property resulted in a significant hardening of yields. Occupier demand is still limited and awaiting a more robust recovery of the national economy."
The research shows an increase in retail sales has taken place in 2011 with non food sales beginning to catch up with supermarket sales again and actual growth recorded in Q310. Despite this, retailer demand is not expected to rise significantly until 2012. Take up in the first three quarters of 2010 was 200,000 m², 15% lower than in 2009 and vacancy is rising at a current level of 5.9% of retail units available. However the report finds that currently Dutch retailers are focusing expansion abroad with supermarket retailer Albert Heijn to open stores in Belgium and Germany, as well as fashion chain WE considering outlets in China.