The second quarter of 2019 reconfirmed the increased interest for office space in Romania. Over 115,000 square meters of office space was leased over this period at the national level, a value similar to that registered in the second quarter of 2018.
In total, 239,500 square meters of office space were leased nationwide in the first half of 2019, up 17.6% from the first six months of 2018, when approximately 203,600 square meters were rented.
Transactions concluded in the first half of this year represent about 60% of the total volume registered last year, nearly 400,000 square meters. If the current pace is maintained in the last two quarters of the year, then the overall level of 2018 could be exceeded by at least 20%.
"The office market continues to perform in 2019, showing that this real estate segment has reached a certain maturity state. The presence of professional developers, with rich experience and strategies in line with the new tenants' requirements, has helped the market to mature. This translates into a balance between supply and demand and slightly fluctuations in vacancy rates and average rents,” said Marius Şcuta, Head of Office Department and Tenant Representation at JLL Romania.
Net demand for office space increased by 43% in the second quarter compared to the first quarter of 2019 to around 60,000 square meters. Net demand accounted for 52% of the volume of rental transactions recorded in the second quarter of this year. For the first half of the year, net demand accounted for almost 43% of the total traded.
Most of the tenants who rented office space in the second quarter are companies active in IT, medical and pharmaceutical, and the manufacturing sectors.
JLL continued to be the leader of the market in the second quarter recording the largest share of the office segment, about 30% or over 34,000 square meters.
Bucharest attracted the highest volume of transactions, respectively 101,500 square meters (representing 88% of the national total), followed by Cluj-Napoca (approximately 6,200 square meters), Timisoara (almost 4,000 square meters) and Iaşi (3,550 square meters).
The most popular office areas in Bucharest were Floreasca - Barbu Văcărescu, CBD, North-Exposition and Dimitrie Pompeiu.
In the capital, JLL also achieved the largest market share in the second quarter of the office rental segment - 33% (approximately 33,800 square meters). The figures refer only to the intermediary transactions of real estate consultants.
The total stock in Bucharest increased by 6.7% to 2.834 million square meters
In the second quarter of 2019, 3 office projects were delivered in Bucharest, totalling 85,500 square meters (Business Garden Bucharest, Timpuri Noi Square 3 and Oregon Park - Building C). Projects amounting to 92,800 square meters were delivered in the first quarter of this year. Thus, in the first half of the year, the office stock increased by 178,300 square meters, representing a 6.7% increase over the existing stock at the end of last year.
In the first two quarters of 2018, only 28,000 square meters of office space was delivered.
By the end of this year, another 155,700 square meters of office space will be delivered, so the new spaces completed in 2019 will reach at 334,000 square meters. At the end of the year, the stock is expected to be nearly 3 million square meters if all the announced projects are completed.
"The market has the capacity to absorb new developments, as half of the spaces that have been delivered or will be delivered this year are more than 50% leased. Tenant demand has encouraged developers to build new projects, so the office space delivered in Bucharest this year will be double when compared with those completed in the last year," added Marius Şcuta.
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