Looking at the high activity levels seen at the start of the year, Colliers said in a recent report that the investment volumes in Romania could finally exceed EUR 1 billion in 2022. Several deals were already closed or signed in the first month of the year.
“Just a few big-ticket office deals in quite advanced stages – which Colliers consultants predict with a fairly high degree of certainty will close in 2022 – can generate deals of over EUR 600 million,” the company said.
However, given the current geopolitical and health challenges, the economic outlook is extremely difficult to predict.
“The war in Ukraine and related sanctions, on top of pandemic and ESG drivers and disruptions, will impact property markets in terms of supply, demand and affordability. As a result, it is difficult to say how the Romanian economy and especially the real estate sector, will be affected in the future. The inflationary backdrop and aggressive monetary policy tightening by the Federal Reserve could impact local activity, delaying some of the positive changes we expect,” reads the company’s press release.
In line with 2020, the Romanian investment market recorded transactions of almost EUR 900 million last year, representing over 8% of the total EUR 11.7 billion investment volume recorded by the 6 largest countries in Eastern Europe. According to Colliers’ The CEE Investment Scene 2021-2022 report, Poland remained the leader in the region, with investment volumes accounting for 57% of the overall CEE6 invested capital last year.
Bucharest has some of the highest yields in the region for the industrial and logistics facilities (7.5%), compared to at most 4% in Prague, 4.1% in Warsaw, or 5.7% in Budapest and Bratislava. In fact, according to Colliers, industrial assets in Romania recorded in 2021 their best result since 2015, attracting transactions totalling around EUR 260 million, representing over 29% of total volume. This figure is more than two and a half times higher than the yearly average seen for deals involving I&L assets between 2010 and 2020.
2021 meant an improvement for retail as well, attracting deals of about EUR 170 million, a sharp increase from 2020 but still barely half the yearly volume seen between 2013 and 2018.
In terms of investment dimensions, the office sector saw again the biggest transaction of 2021 – the purchase of Atenor’s Hermes Business Campus for around EUR 150 million by Hungarian fund Adventum. The second biggest office deal was the sale of Skanska’s Campus 6.2 and 6.3 to Austrian fund S IMMO for EUR 97 million, marking the latter’s first major purchase on the local market, previously primarily acting as a developer.
Other major deals included the sale of Atenor’s Dacia One office project to the owners of the Romanian DIY chain Dedeman for EUR 50 million, the sale of River Development’s The Light to Austrian group Uniqa, their first major local purchase in over a decade, for EUR 56 million, and BCR’s former HQ heading to Immofinanz for EUR 36 million.
The industrial and logistic sector also saw several major deals from the active developers, as well as two entries on the local scene, Colliers said. CTP Invest, the biggest developer in the local industrial market, added nearly 340,000 square meters of new warehouse spaces to its portfolio via 4 different purchases during 2021 for around EUR 170 million in total. Another large industrial deal in terms of size marked the first direct local purchase by Fortress REIT, NEPI Rockcastle’s biggest shareholder, which acquired Element Industrial’s ELI Park 1 near Bucharest for EUR 30 million.
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