During 2016, there has been an increase of construction activity with several new buildings delivered to the market, particularly in New Belgrade. With new office supply, the overall stock increased y-o-y by 10%, while A Class stock increased by 16% for the same period. In the last quarter of the year.
MPC Properties completed Navigator Business centre, totalling over 14,600 sq m. Prior to this, several new office buildings were completed in New Belgrade and the wider central area. Since the beginning of the year Africa Israel and Tidhar Construction have completed the first two buildings within Airport city phase IV. The company has also announced a fifth phase with plans to build two office towers. GTC completed the second building within the Fortyone complex (7,600 sq m) and construction of the third is progressing. After completion, the entire complex will have 27,000 sq m. In addition, Imel group finished a new office building for Societe General with 70% for owner occupation purposes and the remainder being speculative.
Following the increase in construction activity in recent months, the upcoming period will also witness more modern office stock being delivered to the market. The majority of projects will take place in New Belgrade, leaving the downtown area with limited modern stock. One of the most notable projects is Sirius Offices by Immorent Sinidunum which will have around 25,000 sq m of office space.
MPC Properties have announced their plans for the construction of Ušće Tower 2 with 22,000 sq m of office space. The project will include the construction of underground parking as well. During 2016, Napred started the reconstruction of its existing building in Blok 21. After reconstruction, the scheme will have around 13,000 sq m of office space and is scheduled to open in the second half of 2017.
In recent years, the vacancy rate had witnessed a downward trend underpinned by the low annual completions. In addition, strong demand has caused higher levels of occupancy in new, modern buildings, even prior to their construction start. However, due to an increase in completions an upward trend returned in the second half of 2016, and the vacancy rate now stands at 6.7%. Over the last quarter, the vacancy rate in A Class offices stood at 7%, while in B Class buildings it dropped slightly to 6.2%.
During 2016, market activity was driven by net take-up, underpinned by relocations and new leases which accounted for 43% and 40% of transactions, respectively. The remainder was attributed to the renewal of existing contracts and expansions. The majority of activity occurred in New Belgrade, which is the Central Business District of the city, with more than 80% of transactions. The most active sectors were IT, followed by professional services.
Throughout 2016, headline rents remained stable, ranging from €15 to €17 sq m/month. Rental levels for B Class office premises in New Belgrade were also stable, ranging from €9 to €11 sq m/month and €10 to €12 sq m/month in the downtown area. Rental levels for office premises in the wider New Belgrade area were up to €11 sq m/month, while modern office premises in the downtown area did not exceed €16 sq m/month.
Throughout 2016, new supply relied on the construction of retail parks. At the beginning of Q4 2016, MPC Properties opened another retail park, namely Shoppi in Borča totalling over 12,000 sq m. The tenant mix includes N Sport, Deichmann, Takko Fashion, Bomar, Feedback, Bonatti and Galaxy code. In addition, other retail parks finished during the year include Stop Shop in Niš and Valjevo, and Shoppi in Subotica. Furthermore Carvel d.o.o has completed renovation works on the former department store in Banovo Brdo and opened the new shopping centre, Betex, in late 2016
From the beginning of the year, South African Real Estate Fund NEPI acquired a land plot in Novi Sad where they plan to build shopping centre Promenada Novi Sad. This will be an investment of around €100 million and completion is set for 2018. Further development of retail parks will continue throughout the country in 2017. Immofinanz Group has announced plans to open three Stop Shop retail parks in Požarevac, Lazarevac and Vršac by the end of 2017. The construction permit for Capitol park in Rakovica was obtained and the retail park is scheduled for opening in 2017.
There are currently two shopping centres under construction, namely Rajićeva (15,300 sq m) and Belgrade Plaza (32,300 sq m). In both centres various retailers have already secured their units. Construction works on Belgrade Plaza are progressing and opening is scheduled for the first half of 2017.
Furthermore, new lease agreements have recently been signed in Belgrade Plaza with Inditex, Fashion & Friends, Bata, Shoestar and Juhu play area. According to publically available information, Inditex has leased 5,000 sq m on the ground floor and will include Zara, Pull & Bear, Stradivarius and Bershka.
During 2016, average rental levels in prime shopping centres in Belgrade remained stable, ranging from €25 to €27 sq m/month. Retail units within prime shopping centres, sized between 100 and 200 sq m, remained at €60 sq m/month, while rents for such units in high street areas are at €80 sq m/month.
During 2016, both light industrial and distribution warehouse facilities were delivered across the country. However, the majority of the recently delivered stock includes production facilities built for owner occupation purposes. In the last quarter of 2016, construction activity mainly took place in the Vojvodina province and the Greater Belgrade area.
In late 2016, local company Grindex from Kikinda opened two production facilities, spread over 18,500 sq m and 13,000 sq m. Furthermore, Turkish company Aster Tekstil has invested €9 million in the construction of a facility in Niš, spread over 19,000 sq m. When considering the Greater Belgrade area, the previous notable completion includes a new distribution and logistics centre in Šimanovci by Industrial Park Belgrade, spread over 11,350 sq m occupied by Milšped
After delivery of the first logistics centre LogMax Alpha, Eyemaxx has commenced construction of a second logistics centre in Stara Pazova, namely LogMax Beta, which will spread over 30,000 sq m.
Following the completion of two logistics centres in Šimanovci, Industrial Park Belgrade has announced construction of another scheme which will spread over 7,500 sq m, set for completion in the third quarter of 2017
In late 2016, Italian La Linea Verde Group commenced construction of a vegetable production and processing factory near Ruma. This will be an investment of €8 million and the completion is set for the second quarter of 2017. Furthermore, company Mei Ta who is building a production facility for car and motorcycle parts has announced the purchase of another parcel of 17 hectares where the second facility is planned to take place. The completion of the first facility is set for the third quarter of 2017, which is also when the second is due to commence.
The construction of a Lidl logistics centre on 20 hectares of land in Nova Pazova is progressing with completion set for the upcoming months. The whole project will be developed in four phases and will offer around 78,500 sq m.
In recent months, market activity was mainly underpinned by manufacturing, followed by distribution companies, both in the Greater Belgrade area and in the secondary cities. Such a trend is expected to continue in the near term.
Throughout 2016, prime rental levels remained stable ranging from €4.0 to €5.0 sq m/month. Rents for less attractive schemes range from €1.5 to €3.0 sq m/month.
(JLL- Belgrade City Report Q4/H2 2016)
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