Snapshot Q3/2019: key analytics on belgian real estate market – Nobody move! Cushman & Wakefield’s back with its quarterly snapshot of the Belgian real estate market. Up next: Third Quarter of 2019.
Delve into the key parameters of the local market. Zoom in on what’s what in industrial, office and retail real estate, and get your asset strategy up to speed with crucial insights into what’s happening today – and what might affect the market outlook next.
The outlook for the Belgian economy is mitigated, with the GDP Growth forecasts revised downward each quarter. Global trade tensions, the risk of a German recession and the ongoing Brexit saga keep looming around the corner, spreading waves of uncertainty about the future. There’s no reason to assume the unemployment rate of 5.7% will increase significantly, and inflation is expected to stay at the same level too.
Depending on the market you’re reading up on, there may be some nuances to add. To find out exactly what those are, download the report below!
Logistics made quite an impression in Flanders last quarter, with 158,000 square metres being traded. Good to know: one of the top 10 largest deals of the century was finalized this quarter, accounting for up to 60,000 square metres of the total.
Investment in industrial real estate, on the other hand, barely totalled 10 million euros, most of which came from owner occupation transactions. All that being said, the industrial market remains resilient.
No notable ups and downs in office demand this quarter. On the take-up side, however, this was one of the best aggregated first three quarters ever recorded, with both private and public sector doing their fair share. Prime rents remained stable throughout the quarter, as did weighted average rents.
Another milestone: the investment volume for the first three quarters was at its highest since 2000. And that doesn’t mean the appetite for quality office assets is dropping: the demand remains strong.
The end of the year and 2020, though, are expected to significantly slow down on the transaction front. Prime rents should remain stable.
Let’s start with the bad news: the retail market isn’t living up to 2018 numbers – at least not on the take-up side. The trend is towards stronger but fewer retail centres, with a genuine focus on the quality of the environment and experiential retailing, exacerbating the pressure on mid-tier centres with clear consumer value propositions. Secondary locations and larger spaces will experience a drop in the coming months. Food & Beverage activity, on the other hand, has experienced exponential growth and remains a stronghold for many city centres.
Investment focus remained quite stable compared to previous quarters. Prime yields have increased on high streets, while decreasing in out-of-town retail.
And what about the Internet, you say? Well, with the right moves, digital retail might be a way to support and even boost physical retail and bring efficiency to property marketing and management. Over 65% of Northern Europeans still prefer store-based retail. Mixed-use schemes are on the rise and will be crucial to the growth and even survival of the retail industry.
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