The industrial and logistics market in Romania reached a stock of 7 million sqm at the end of 2023, with another 500,000 sqm under development across the country, according to data by Cushman & Wakefield Echinox.
Last year, new project deliveries totaled 452,000 sqm, down by 46% compared to the previous year as fewer speculative developments came on the market.
At the same time, the annual take-up surpassed 1 million sqm, of which 300,000 sqm was transacted in Q4 alone.
Compared with 2022, the total take-up was 23% lower due to a combination of factors that included higher financing costs, elevated yield levels and difficulties in securing capital for development.
The new demand accounted for 66% of last year’s gross take-up during 2023. By contrast, new demand had a share of 85% in the previous year.
“Companies are still cautious when it comes to expanding their footprints, thus prompting a hesitation in committing to new spaces. Therefore, the decision-making process is slower and closing transactions requires longer time frames compared with the previous years. On the other hand, the current climate creates new business opportunities and we will witness the consolidation of operations into fewer, but larger buildings in order to reduce costs, increase the efficiency and improve the delivery processes,” said Andrei Brînzea, Partner Land and Industrial Agency Cushman & Wakefield Echinox.
Logistics and distribution operators were the most active players on the market, with 300,000 sqm of leased space, followed by automotive (106,000 sqm), retail, e-commerce and FMCG companies (93,000 sqm) and pharma (41,000 sqm).
During 2023, Bucharest attracted 48% of the total take-up in 2023, with Timișoara (121,600 sqm) being the only other location with a gross take-up exceeding 100,000 sqm throughout the year.
In the next year we will see more demand for industrial spaces coming from online retailers, while traditional retail networks will remain an active player in the leasing segment.
The agency’s consultants predict that rents for industrial spaces will continue to grow in the next year. At the end of last year, the prime headline rents in Bucharest and in the main industrial & logistics destinations in Romania slightly increased at monthly levels ranging between €4.30 - €4.70 per sqm.
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