Investment land at a premium

A decreasing supply of attractive land parcels combined with growing prices are directing investors' attention to areas with objects that require either demolition or revitalization. Multi-functional projects are still gaining popularity.

February 12, 2019

According to JLL, CEE's real estate investment transactional volume for 2018 was in excess of 13.2 billion EUR, with Poland accounting for 7.2 billion EUR, and smashing its previous record from 2006 (5,05 billion EUR). Poland was followed by the Czech Republic (over 2.5 billion EUR) Hungary (over 1.85 billion EUR), Romania (ca 900 million EUR), and Slovakia (ca 820 million EUR).

"With 13.23 billion EUR in 2018, the CEE commercial real estate investment volume recorded an 11% increase over 2017, and for the third year running set a new record transaction volume for the region. We have seen the most significant volume increase in Poland in 2018 with 7.2 billion EUR traded, a substantial uplift in volumes over previous years. For 2019, we expect continued, strong interest for product in CEE markets although perhaps not quite matching the spectacular levels seen last year. One of the most interesting aspects has been the growth of domestic capital in the Czech Republic and Hungary with 50% and 60% of volumes respectively coming from domestic capital sources. We expect this to continue in 2019. Our current forecast for the full year suggests that CEE regional volumes will total around 11 billion euro for 2019", says Mike Atwell, Head of Capital Markets Czech Republic & CEE, JLL.

Poland leads the way in the CEE market

The Polish real estate investment market continued to grow for the fourth consecutive year with an impressive 2018 year-end result of 7.2 billion EUR traded. This volume was unprecedented and outperformed the previous record for the country's investment volumes (2006) by almost 2.2 billion EUR.

"2018 was a unique year in Poland for many reasons. It saw a noticeable yield compression in most asset classes. There were almost 100 transactions concluded throughout the year including the biggest retail portfolio sale in the history of the Polish market for one billion euro, the largest number of seven portfolio transactions traded in a singleyear in the industrial sector, and the highest investment volumes reported in the key sectors: 2.75 billion EUR in the office sector, 2.47 billion EUR in retail and 1.84 billion EUR in industrial assets. It's the first time in the last few years when office investment volumes outperformed retail and became the first-choice asset class in Poland", commentsTomasz Trzósło, Managing Director, JLL Poland.

In addition, around 120 million euro was traded in the hotel sector.

Retail sector sees largest ever deal in Poland

Following 1.87 billion euro traded in retail in H1 2018, over 600 million euro was transacted in the sector in H2 2018, pushing annual retail investments in 2018 to a record high of 2.47 billion euro. The biggest retail deal in 2018 was the sale of a portfolio of 28 retail properties by ARES/AXA/Apollo Rida to Chariot Top Group for a total amount of about one billion euro. Other key transactions included: the sale of Wars Sawa Junior in Warsaw by PFCEE (a fund managed by CBRE Global Investors) to Atrium European Real Estate for 301.5 million EUR and Galeria Katowicka by Meyer Bergman to EPF for an undisclosed amount.

Prime shopping centre yields, achievable for best-in-class, dominant, major schemes in Poland currently stand at 4.90%, high street assets trade at around 4.00%, while prime retail parks have recently seen yield compression to 6.80%.

Poland's office sector experiences all-time high investments

In the office sector, for the second time in history, investment volumes exceeded the 2.0 billion EUR mark and reached 2.75 billion EUR, which outperformed 2006's record volume by over 20%.

Key Warsaw office transactions included: the acquisition of Gdański Business Center (buildings C and D) from HB Reavis by SIM on behalf of EPF for slightly above 200 million EUR; the purchase of Skylight and Lumen from Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield by Globalworth for around 190 million EUR; the acquisition of CEDET by GLL Partner on behalf of an Asian client for almost 130 million EUR.

The key transactions in regional cities included the acquisition of the Skanska office portfolio by NIAM for almost 173 million EUR.

Prime office yields in Warsaw now stand at 4.75%. Core regional city yields now stand at 6.00%.

The best-ever-industrial investments results in Poland

In the industrial sector, volumes reported in 2018 doubled that of 2017 with a record 1.84 billion EUR in traded assets. It is worth noting that 2018's result was dominated by portfolio transactions, including the Encore Portfolio acquired by Mapletree from Hillwood for approx. 320 million EUR; a Prologis Portfolio acquired by Mapletree for around 260 million EUR; the Och-Ziff Portfolio acquired by Griffin/Redefine for about 195 million euro; the Azurite Portfolio bought by Blackstone from Goodman for approx. 190 million EUR; a Hines Portfolio purchased by Blackstone for around 140 million EUR.

Prime warehouse yields stand at 6.50% with exceptional, long leased assets trading at around the 5.50% mark, and Warsaw inner city projects standing at around 5.25%.

Hotel investment volumes complete the picture

In 2018, the Polish hotel market recorded approx. 120 million euro investment volume with the acquisition of a Holiday Inn in Warsaw and Park Inn in Kraków by Union Investment, as well as a portfolio transaction comprising six Puro Hotels located in Kraków, Wrocław, Poznań, Warsaw and Gdańsk, where a 30% stake was acquired by Family Investments 3.

JLL participating in transactions worth 3 billion EUR

"The value of investment transactions involving the JLL advisory in 2018 totaled approximately 3 billion EUR in Poland. We represented funds in some of the most spectacular deals. These included 28 retail properties (Chariot portfolio) on behalf of ARES / AXA/Apollo Rida; Galeria Katowicka – on behalf of Meyer Bergman, Gdański Business Center – on behalf of EPF, Warsaw Spire – on behalf of Ghelamco, Lumen & Skylight – on behalf of Unibail-Rodamco and a portfolio of nine logistics Panattoni properties – on behalf of Redefine/Griffin", summarizes Tomasz Trzósło.