The five major German office markets Berlin, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Hamburg and Munich saw a stunning year-end finish in terms of take-up, according to international real estate advisor Savills, with total figures in each of the markets outperforming the results of 2009.
"The remaining four markets saw a successful fourth quarter too", adds Robert Kellershohn, Director Office Agency at Savills and responsible for the company's office agency activities in Germany.
"In overall terms about 2.68 million m² of office space in the five locations attracted new occupiers in 2010. Hence take-up rose by approximately 31% compared to 2009."
In addition to a strong final quarter performance in Berlin, Düsseldorf recorded the highest increase in take-up of 93% year-on year. This result is followed by Frankfurt (+39%), Hamburg (+30%), Berlin (+21%) and Munich (+13%). Several deals were in excess 10,000 m², a trend that re-emerged notably in the second half of the year, and contributed to these good results.
Savills' report suggests that significant rise in demand, also in light of the declining figures of new office completions in most of the markets, has led to a turnaround of the rental levels. Only in Hamburg and Munich the prime rents continued to drop slightly compared to the previous quarter. In Frankfurt the city maintained similar levels and Berlin and Düsseldorf saw a slight upward trend. The average rents exceeded their results of the previous year or matched the figures of 2009 throughout the markets. The vacancy rates moved downwards in some markets over the past few months although they exceeded their level of 2009 in most of them (Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Hamburg) when compared year-on-year. Just in Berlin and Munich the vacancies remained stable over the course of the year.
Savills predicts that 2011 take-up levels will at least match the 2010 results attributable to the continuously favorable economic climate. Rents are therefore likely to move positively forward throughout 2011, particularly in the prime sectors of all markets. Significant reductions of vacancies, however, are unlikely to materialize in the short term even though a turnaround is expected to be seen soon as well.