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In the first nine months of 2021, EUR 8.3 billion was invested in real estate in Central and Eastern Europe. At the end of the third quarter of 2021, the volume of investments in the CEE region amounted to EUR 3.3 billion. Poland attracted 46% of the total volume, followed by the Baltics (16%), the Czech Republic (13%) and SEE countries (10%).
According to a recent CBRE survey, Poland draws the majority of commercial real estate investment in Central and Eastern Europe. We are seeing growth in all segments, but the industrial industry is still the most affected by the COVID-19 epidemic. The entire CEE area is up 11% year over year after the first three quarters of 2021. The office market is still a long way from its high in 2019, but it has increased by 38% above 2020 levels.
We can see a 62% growth in investment value in CEE compared to Q3 2020. Furthermore, nine transactions worth more than EUR 100 million each accounted for 40% of the overall investment amount. The top four deals were won by Poland, Latvia, Romania, Croatia, and Serbia. The overall amount of investments is expected to surpass EUR 13 billion in 2021, according to Joanna Mroczek, CBRE’s marketing and research director.
With a 59 % share in Q3 2021, investors from outside CEE were the most important source of finance. American investors accounted for 16% of the total volume, followed by investors from Germany with a 13% share and from China (6%). Other countries (Netherlands, Belgium, Austria, Italy, France, South Africa, Canada, UK and UAE) contributed 23% of the total capital. In Q3 2021, the highest transaction values in CEE were recorded in the industrial sector (40%), followed by the office sector (28%) and the retail sector (20%). The remaining 12% was invested primarily in the multifamily, mixed-use and healthcare segments.
Office market catches up
The CEE 15 office market will get a total of 2.5m2 of new space in 2021. This implies a 38% increase above 2020 levels. Completions in the EE-3 areas will expand by 150% year over year, while growth in the SEE-4 region will be moderate at 24%, and in the Baltics and CE-5, completions will be lower than 2020 levels. Office vacancy levels in the CEE region average 10%, ranging from 4.1% (in Zagreb) to 15.3% (in Kyiv). As a result, rental levels have adjusted slightly in most markets.
Warehouse market to benefit from COVID-19
After the first three quarters of 2021, the stock of warehouse space in the entire CEE region grew by 11% over the year. The markets with the highest growth were Poland (up 13%), Romania (up 12%) and Slovakia (up 11%). Austria and Hungary grew by 9% and the Czech Republic by 5%. Nearly 3.3 million sq m was completed in CEE 6 in Q1-Q3 2021, of which Poland (69%) and Romania (9%) were the most prominent. Vacancy rates after Q3 2021 are relatively low in all markets, with the lowest recorded in Austria at 1% and the highest in Slovakia at 7%.