Completions of French office properties certified according to the environmental standard HQE (Haute Qualité Environnementale) will increase by 61% in 2010, representing some 650,000 m2, real estate adviser Savills announced at the Mipim fair in Cannes. This compares to a rise of 27% in 2008 and 44% in 2009.
Following political debate in France on green standards, investors have shown increasing appetite for newly developed HQE and BBC (Bâtiment Basse Consommation) buildings, Savills said. Such is the demand that property companies dedicated solely to green investments are emerging. Meanwhile, an increasing number of developers including Bouygues, Hines, Nexity and Cogedim are realising green buildings. The total stock of green buildings in France comprises 233 offices totalling 4.36 million m2.
According to Savills, the majority of green office buildings exceed 5,000 m2 and are located in the suburbs of Paris in Plaine Saint Denis, La Défense or in the Western Crescent showcasing headquarters of companies including Microsoft, Forclum and France Télécom.
Lydia Brissy, associate director of Savills European Research, said: 'Corporate responsibility policies are encouraging many occupiers to choose environmentally certified properties. Whilst there is no indication at present that rents for green buildings are higher than standard office properties, potential growth in capital values can be achieved through a decline in operating costs. In addition, due to a preference for green buildings we estimate that over 50% are leased before completion thus reducing the risk of vacancy.'