The retail industry attracted 21% of the total investment volume recorded in the first half of 2023, which was 7% higher than the same period last year, according to data from CBRE. At the same time, the segment accounted for around €39 million of new investments.
Across the commercial real estate sector, new investment amounted to €183.8 million in H1 2023, falling by 43% compared to the same period of last year. Aside from retail, the industrial and offices held shares of 33% and 29%, respectively, of the total invested volume.
The total retail stock in Romania reached 4.15 million sqm at the end of H1. The share of retail parks is constantly increasing, reaching a percentage of 39% at the end of the first semester of 2023.
In the first half of the current year, eight small and medium-sized commercial projects were delivered, and only one is located in Bucharest. Their total area adds up to 69,300 sqm. Another 235,000 sqm were under construction in H1 2023.
“The retail spaces market finds itself in an ongoing transformation process that started in 2020. Currently, we observe a continuous tendency towards specialized and traditional formats reaching a balance. Small and medium-sized centers, but with better coverage across regions, are becoming preferred formats by investors or developers. This doesn’t mean either that malls are not still successful, or have great sales, as they continue to be a favorite choice in consumers’ preferences, but building a mall from scratch requires much more resources, both financial and know-how," said Carmen Ravon, Head of Retail Occupier CEE at CBRE.
Meanwhile, the stock of modern retail spaces is estimated to reach 4.39 million sqm by the end of 2024.
Moreover, retail parks and inner-city shopping centers are only 10% below their pre-pandemic level in terms of traffic, which shows us a strong consumer appetite for physical modern retail formats, added Daniela Gavril, Head of Research at CBRE Romania.
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