News Article Colliers office outlook Romania
by Property Forum | Report

2020 is expected to be a year of recovery, but many uncertainties remain, like those related to the vaccines’ ability to return everyday life back to normal or to potential jitters about the monetary policy at the major central banks’, which would have deep ramifications globally, Colliers International consultants predict.

Romania should recover most of last year’s losses in economic activity by end-2021, but the recovery will be quite uneven, with significant differences between industries. Some economic sectors, like e-commerce, construction, certain IT&C subsectors, have not blinked at all during the crisis, others should recover by end-2021, like overall retail trade and professional services in general, and some may take years to crawl back to a decent activity level, like aviation, automotive or tourism, says Colliers International Romania consultants.

Remote work will become a permanent fixture, but Colliers International consultants believe that companies will also want to bring their employees at least 3 days a week in the office in order to foster teamwork and corporate culture. A more significant return to offices of employees is expected around the middle of 2021.

Office tenants reign supreme in 2021, with a rapidly rising secondary market of sublease alternatives (low range estimates place it at over 2% of current stock at present) and a vacancy rate in excess of 10%. Colliers International consultants talk about a robust office delivery calendar, with around 260,000 sqm of modern offices due to be finalized in Bucharest, Office market conditions should return to neutral in the first half of this decade. 

The industrial and logistics market ended its strongest year in history for Romania, and 2021 should be very different as recent trends supportive for the development of warehouses remain in place.

Retail continues to be under pressure, but Colliers International consultants are seeing silver linings. The growth in e-sales greatly outperformed that of traditional brick-and-mortar stores through 2020 and this trend should hold in the new year. Rents and vacancy should remain under pressure through 2021 and may not recover until 2022 or even 2023. That said, Romania’s higher profitability for retailers and the low stock of leasable modern retail spaces per capita should insulate the market from any persistent negative effects and lead to a good subsequent recovery of losses.

Investment deals are expected to dip, after a very good year for the investment area. The 2021 investment market may see a dip in activity from around €900 million to around €500-€600 million. 

2021 brings various opportunities in the land market. Given the considerable number of deals initiated in the recent period, the land market looks set for a good year. Retail developers, including big box operators, and residential developers will remain the driving force. Demand for land plots for offices and hotels will remain soft and Colliers International consultants are not expecting things to change too much given elevated uncertainties with regards to the leasing/revenue side.