German office markets in the third quarter of 2005 (DE)

The Colliers PropertyPartners Market Report for the third quarter of 2005 covers the office property markets Berlin, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Munich and Stuttgart.

According to the Berlin property specialists Geske Immobilien the good letting performance in the third quarter has been better than expected. The leasing of space for the account of the public purse has made a major contribution to this result. These lettings in particular, by being signed in the lower price segment, have ensured that the average rent has dropped. The current demand situation leads one to hope for a take-up of around 500,000 m² of office space by the end of the year. In the meantime demand has been stronger for units up to 600 m² in area.

The balance sheet so far for the Düsseldorf office market cannot be called satisfactory. Even if the third quarter shows the strongest take-up so far this year the Colliers Partner Trombello Kölbel Immobilien GmbH in Düsseldorf does not interpret this as a clear change in the hesitant development. Some hope is justified, however, since in the year 2003 a respectable result of around 225,000 m² was achieved by the end of the year after a similarly low third quarter. Rents have mostly declined significantly. The slightly rising tendency in some areas from the last three months of the first half-year did not continue consistently The rise in the vacancy figures is due essentially to the fact that three speculatively-built office buildings with a total floor area of ca. 41,000 m² are without tenants at present. The supply of space avaiable for subletting has again decreased.

The exceptionally good result for the Frankfurt office market encourages the Colliers partner Schön & Lopez Schmitt GmbH to forecast a take-up of space of rather more than 500,000 m² by the end of the year. Just fewer than 50 % of the lettings so far this year have been made in the city centre (Banking Quarter, Westend and City). The reason for this is the fact that the rents there have declined and the location no longer counts as prohibitively expensive. The comparatively meagre activities of the financial service companies so far seem to have caused a retreat from any strong interest by them in the last three months.

The Hamburg office market has shown itself to be very dynamic up to the end of the third quarter of 2005. Almost a third more leases have been signed in the first 9 months of this year than in the same period last year. For the first time since the fourth quarter of 2003 the top rent again rose above the 20 euro mark. Even if vacancy has dropped continuously there are still over 1 million m² of office space available for letting now or in the near future. In view of the revival in demand, particularly from the sectors multimedia, advertising and shipping, the Colliers Partner Grossmann & Berger GmbH expects a repetition of the 2004 office space take-up of ca. 445,000 m².

A total of 110 leases contributed to a quarterly figure of ca. 90,000 m² in Stuttgart. Of this ca. 15,000 m² was leased by the Federal Labour Agency alone and ca. 4,500 m² by the county court. The amount of vacant space has only decreased slightly however. This is due to a significant rise in the amount of space available for subletting. Because of the currently registered enquiries for office space the Colliers Partner Bräutigam & Krämer GmbH & Co. KG. reckons with a total volume of lettings between 130,000 and 140,000 m² for the current year.

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Source: Colliers

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