Strong retail sector boosts Polish investment volumes in 2015 - Savills

Investment in Polish commercial property reached its second highest level in 2015, helped by a surge in the last quarter of the year, according to latest research by Savills.

Investment in Polish commercial property reached its second highest level in 2015, helped by a surge in the last quarter of the year, according to latest research by Savills.

Total transactions for the year exceeded €4 bn, with the retail sector to the fore, accounting for 55% of the overall volume.

The last three months of the year formed the most active Q4 on record, boosted by two large share deals: the takeover of the majority stake in Echo Portfolio by Oaktree and Pimco, and the acquisition of some SPVs of Trigranit by TPG Real Estate.

The retail sector was also dominated by a handful of large transactions, including Union Investment’s acquisition of Riviera Shopping Centre in Gdynia for €291 mln, the purchase of Stary Browar by Deutsche Wealth Asset Management for €285 mln and the acquisition of Krolinka and Pogoria Shopping Centres by Rockcastle for €211 mln.

Michal Cwiklinski, head of investment with Savills Poland, said: 'Investment activity in Europe has been rising, especially in the retail sector. The last quarter of 2015 confirmed that this trend is also a case in Poland, despite a shortage of decent investment product.'

However, office transactions declined by almost 27% against the previous year, totalling €1.3 bn. Investor interest has shifted from Warsaw to the regional cities, a trend Savills said was due to large supply on the Warsaw market that has put rental levels under pressure.

Prime yields have been sharpening across all property sectors, with office and retail at around 5.5% and prime warehouse yields below 7.0%.

Savills added that it expected stock levels to rise in the office sector in 2016 as prime assets in Warsaw city centre and regional cities come on to the market. Overall transaction levels are forecast to remain broadly on the same level as last year.

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