Research Cushman shows that Italy is in the lead in shopping center development

Of all the European countries, Italy currently has the most square meters in development with regard to shopping centers. In 2003 and 2004 almost 900.000 m² of shopping center space will be developed. Spain and Poland closely follow Italy.

This can be concluded from an international and comparing research into European shopping centers by real estate advisor Cushman & Wakefield Healey & Baker (C&W H&B). A comparison of the meters of shopping center in development shows that Italy, Spain and Poland form the top three with each a number of square meters to be delivered from 850.000 to 900.000. After those come Great Britain and the Netherlands with approx. 620.000 m² of shopping center space to be developed.

C&W H&B notices a upcoming of Greece; The Olympics to be held in Athens in 2004 are causing an increase of the number of square meters to be developed. The activities in Spain are caused by the interest of both internationally operating developers and real estate funds as local players. The developments in Italy are still mostly dominated by the retailchains Carrefour and Auchan, but according to C&W H&B the interest of international developers like AM is also increasing. According to the research approx. 4 million square meters surface will be delivered in European shopping centers in 2003.

Looking at the supply of shopping meters Great Britain holds the first position with 13 mln. m². After that come France, Germany, Spain and Italy. The Netherlands are in 6th position with a supply of approx. 4.5 mln. m² in shopping centers. In Great Britain, Germany, Italy and Spain there have been large additions to the supply of shopping centers space over the last five years. The additions in France and the Netherlands were more modest. The mid-European countries show a very strong relative increase of the shopping space.

On average Europe has 169 m² of shopping space in a shopping center per 1000 inhabitants. Norway is high above the average with 510 m² per 1000 inhabitants. The Netherlands is in third place with 280 m². Germany and Italy with respectively 123 and 113 m² are far below the average. C&W H&B is expecting a catch up in Germany now that foreign parties like Sonae and MAB are manifesting here.

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