Winners and losers as Euro takes effect in European industrial property market

The introduction of the euro has created greater market transparency and accelerated structural change in the industrial property markets of Europe, says new research published by King Sturge. The report, European Industrial Property Markets Report 2002, says that the introduction of the euro has created regional winners and losers in respect of where there is more or less demand (and supply) for warehouse and light-industrial property.

The winners in northern Europe have been in France (Lille, Strasbourg, Paris) and parts of Belgium (Liège). Developers have concentrated warehouse activity in these regions, as land values are relatively low, while occupier demand has been strong due to the short distribution drive times to major markets.

The losers in northern Europe have been areas in Germany (Berlin, Düsseldorf, Stuttgart) and the Netherlands (Amsterdam, Rotterdam) where, due to high rents and land values, demand for industrial property has been modest and there has been little new construction.

In southern Europe, demand has been strong in France (Lyon, Marseille) and in Italy (Milan), where rents are comparatively low. Other European regions where industrial development activity has increased to meet greater demand, include Spain (Madrid, Barcelona), parts of the United Kingdom (Birmingham, southeast England) and Central and Eastern Europe (Budapest, Prague, Warsaw). Industrial property activity is modest in Brussels, Copenhagen, Luxembourg, Geneva and Zurich, due to a shortage of available land for industrial property development.

Henry Woodruff, European researcher at King Sturge who complied the report said, 'The introduction of the euro is accelerating a profound change in the warehouse and light-industrial property markets of Europe. The vast regional warehousing markets of the USA, seen around Chicago and Los Angeles, are now emerging in parts of France and Belgium. The implications for Germany and the Netherlands in terms of land use and employment are still to be considered. The concentration of warehousing and light-industrial property in low land value and low rent countries may in time prove to be as significant as the emergence of the supermarket.'

(source: King Sturge)

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