News release

Navigating Shifts in Real Estate Financing

Insights on Investor Activity in Poland and CEE Countries

October 10, 2023

Katarzyna Wiernicka-Ponikło

+48 603 639 030

During the first half of 2023 investment activity remained low due to increased financial costs and an uncertain outlook. As a result, there was a need for more price discovery across all sectors. In Poland we are witnessing a similar tendency in European countries and the United States, and one of these trends is a reduction in investment volume.  The rise in interest rates had a significant impact on transaction valuations and investment activity, leading to a challenge in determining the size, speed, and duration of price adjustments. 

Market players chose to adopt a “wait and see” approach to understand how the current economic environment and changes in sourcing strategies would impact tenant decision making processes. As a result only €2.31 billion was transacted in CEE in H1 2023.

„Although certain global players are adopting a cautious "wait and see" approach, investors from CEE are actively engaging in the market. Currently, unleveraged buyers are particularly competitive. Additionally, there are initial indications of improvement, including reduced interest rate volatility, declining inflation rates, and stabilized property values. These factors are expected to increase lender confidence and activity, ultimately driving market growth throughout the year.” – says Dmytro Havrylenko, Head of Capital Markets, JLL

The biggest transactions in CEE region

The largest transaction by volume came from the Czech Republic from the retail sector and was represented by Trei Portfolio of supermarkets and retail parks across which Trei Real Estate sold to Star Capital Finance Group for approx. €200 - 205 million. It is also worth noting that this transaction involved both Czech and Slovak properties. Another significant transaction from Poland from the industrial sector was an acquisition of Campus 39 by P3 for nearly €140 million. One of the key transactions was Palác Pardubice sold by G City Europe to Redstone for approx. €120-125 million. Also worth mentioning is the most meaningful office deal in the region – Wola Retro. This office complex, developed by Develia in 2019-2020 was sold to the Hungarian investor Adventum International for approx. 70 million. This confirms the increased activity of CEE investors in Poland. 

Analysis of the situation in the markets of Central and Eastern Europe

The Poland investment volumes during H1 2023 reached approx. €0.87 billion, down 70% on H1 2022 when the market witnessed a conclusion of the record breaking sale of Warsaw Hub. Nevertheless, this was the lowest 6 month performance since 2010.

In the Czech Republic, the first half of 2023 provided transactional volumes of €800 million. This represents a 37% decrease in comparison to the same period last year and a 72% increase against H2 2022. Most of this volume was generated by activity in the first quarter of 2023.

The uncertain outlook and the further elevated borrowing costs triggered a very cautious and delayed decision-making process by purchasers in Hungary, visible in the transaction activity. The H1 2023 investment volume amounted to less than €250 million, the lowest H1 volume since 2013, indicating a softening of ca. 60% year-over-year. 

In Romania, the property investment volume in H1 2023 was €181 million, which is 44% lower than the one registered in H1 2022. Investment volumes were dominated by industrial transactions, with approx. 33% of the total, followed by transactions in the office sector (29%).

Investment volumes in Slovakia in the first half of 2023 reached over €210 million, y/y decrease by over 80 % (excluding Penta Alto deal) and the lowest number since 2017.

CEE Prime Yields

In Poland the moderation of bidding intensity led to a further upward movement in office yields. As of the end of H1 the yield for prime Warsaw assets, with lease agreements exceeding five years, was expected at approx. 5.50%. The lowest prime office yield was observed in the Czech Republic at 4.90%. On the other hand in Hungary, Slovakia and Romania, capitalization rates were estimated to be respectively at approx. 6.25%, 5.95%, 7.50%

Although in our country there is still no recent retail transactional evidence in Warsaw, based on the overall market sentiment, JLL estimates the Q2 2023 prime shopping center yields at 6.15%. In the Czech Republic, yields for retail were at the lowest among other cee countries and reached a value at 5.75%. In Hungary, Slovakia and Romania capitalization rates for the retail properties were respectively at: 6.75%, 6.50%, 7.50%.

At the end of June 2023 in Poland prime warehouse yield for multi-tenant schemes with five year lease agreements, was estimated to be at approx. 6.40%. As for the lowest yield, it was in the Czech Republic at 5.00%. In Hungary, Slovakia and Romania capitalization rates for the warehouse assets were respectively at: 6.50%, 6.00%, 7.50%. 

The yields quoted are estimates only, we have not witnessed a new Prime transaction and therefore do not have a new benchmark.

About JLL

For over 200 years, JLL (NYSE: JLL), a leading global commercial real estate and investment management company, has helped clients buy, build, occupy, manage and invest in a variety of commercial, industrial, hotel, residential and retail properties. A Fortune 500® company with annual revenue of $20.8 billion and operations in over 80 countries around the world, our more than 106,000 employees bring the power of a global platform combined with local expertise. Driven by our purpose to shape the future of real estate for a better world, we help our clients, people and communities SEE A BRIGHTER WAYSM. JLL is the brand name, and a registered trademark, of Jones Lang LaSalle Incorporated. For further information, visit