European industrial property witnessed its strongest year yet, with investment volumes reaching a record high of €24.5 billion in 2016, according to global real estate advisor, CBRE. Germany, Norway, Spain and CEE all reported record trading activity for the year meaning 2016 volumes were four per cent higher than in 2015.
In addition to historically high investment volumes, 2016 was a record year for take-up in Europe. Total take-up volumes for the nine core markets of the UK, Germany, France, Spain, Italy, Netherlands, Belgium, Poland and the Czech Republic reached the 21 million square metre mark for the first time, outperforming the previous mark of 19 million square metres in 2015.
The UK, Germany, France, Spain and Italy all had record years in terms of take-up, significantly impacted by the rise in demand from the e-commerce and retail industries. In the United Kingdom, over 50 percent of the 2.8 million square meters of take-up can be attributed to these two industries. Supply chain logistics are adapting accordingly to the occupier shift, which has further stimulated construction and manufacturing improvements to support growth and competitiveness.
Take up in the ‘G32’ hubs, the largest and most important logistic hubs in Europe, also achieved a record 11.9 million square meters in 2016, surpassing the 2015 record of 11.75 million. However, the impact on vacancy rates across Europe remained modest, with the weighted average for the core markets moving up by 20 bps y-on-y from 5.1 to 5.3%.
Amaury Gariel, Managing Director of EMEA Industrial & Logistics at CBRE commented:
“Logistics has become the fastest-growing sector in real estate across Europe, and is perceived as the least politically sensitive asset class. In 2016, the sector took the title of best performing asset class and continues to attract significant investor interest and capital. Institutional funds remain attracted by stability in Germany and Norway, whilst the favorable economic outlook for Spain and CEE provides solid fundamentals for future growth.”