Investors are still interested in German real estate, but dealmaking is likely to pick up pace ‘when the price is right’, according to Peter Schreppel, managing director and head of international investment at CBRE in Germany.
‘We’re in a new environment that we haven’t seen for the past 10 years,’ Schreppel told PropertyEU at Expo Real. ‘Buyers and sellers are trying to understand where the market is likely to end up.’
He added: ‘There is enough capital out there and real estate remains an asset class which is sought after. In some areas, price reductions are already happening.
‘The office sector is correcting fairly quickly, while logistics and residential are holding up to some degree. However, we can’t dismiss the fact that interest rates have risen strongly and that will always have an impact because of the changing cost of debt.’
In some areas, Schreppel added, prices were – somewhat unusually for Europe – reducing rather rapidly.
‘That’s down to a couple of factors and one is obviously the change in interest rates. The other factor is a matter of sentiment. Both the war in Ukraine and the likelihood of recession are changing vendors’ minds.’
He added: ‘Looking on the bright side, Germany is still a very strong office market and corporate take up remains solid. My colleagues in the leasing department are seeing excellent results. The impact on development of rising construction costs is also helping current property owners. You wouldn’t want to be facing high vacancy rates in a time like this, but thanks to the development crunch, fewer new properties are coming online.’
However, real estate still faces a couple of exogenous factors which could further rattle the markets. ‘I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t concerned about the energy supply issue in Germany. Looking back, depending on a sole source of gas clearly wasn’t the right strategy. But Germany usually tends to pull through. I think we can count on energy buffers to get us through the winter.
‘In terms of the outlook, I think we’re looking at a slow, cautious winter with transactions happening here and there, with buyers hoping that the geopolitical situations don’t worsen. If that’s the case, I think we can look forward to a brighter spring.’