13 Is a Lucky Number. Another Successful Year for Vitalis Team is Coming to an End
In 2019 Vitalis Consulting celebrated its 13 anniversary and despite all the superstitions around this number we are happy to conclude that 13 was lucky for us. We are lucky to have such a fantastic team of experts and formidable Clients and Partners. We are lucky to have found the strength to work harder and harder every single day to fulfil our mission: building trust in buildings and partnerships.
This year we managed to build trust through great collaborations concluded, important deliveries and a significant number of new major projects that entered our portfolio from luxury brand hotels to modern office buildings, exclusive residential compounds and mixed-use projects.
It is worth mentioning that this year Vitalis team was appointed to coordinate 5 major projects of more than 170,000 sq. m and over EUR 200 million for the developer One United Properties (One Cotroceni Park business center, One Verdi mixed-used project, One Peninsula luxury residential building, One Herastrau Plaza exclusive residential project, One Tower office building).
Another strong Partnership of Vitalis Consulting is with Hagag Development Europe, part of Hagag Group, for whom we are happy to coordinate 4 ambitious projects of about EUR 150 million developed in the most exclusive areas of Bucharest (Victoriei 109 modern office building, Victoriei 139 luxury residential building, Pipera H residential compound and Eliade 9 luxury residential building).
With the developer River Development we have also extended our collaboration, as after completing The Light One modern office building this year, we were appointed to coordinate the development of two new office buildings in Sema Park business center (Oslo and London buildings).
Among other notable projects that are currently under our coordination there are: the refurbishment and extension of iconic building Magazinul Bucuresti, the construction of the first Swissôtel in Romania and the highest hotel in Bucharest, the construction of the 4th Radisson Blu hotel in Romania and the first luxury brand hotel in Cluj-Napoca and many others.
This year we had also the chance to participate at two important events: DEVO – The International Forum of Large Developers and Danfoss Conference, where we discussed about projects, deliveries, trends and innovations in the Romanian Construction market.
Over the years our work and efforts were rewarded within the prestigious CIJ Awards Gala Romania, as we brought home 6 of the “Best Project Management Company of the Year” awards, out of 11 nominations.
The Stock of Modern Offices Outside Bucharest Will Reach 1 million Sq. m in 2020
The stock of modern offices in the big regional centers of Romania – Cluj-Napoca, Timișoara, Iași and Brașov – will reach the threshold of 1 million square meters in 2020, with a delay of almost one year compared to the initial estimates, despite the fact that 2019 was a record year in terms of deliveries, with a volume of nearly 130,000 square meters.
At the end of the first semester, the stock of these cities rises to 872,000 sq. m, reaching 910,000 sq. m by the end of the year. Cluj continues to be the most developed market, with a stock of 330,000 square meters, followed by Timisoara (227,000 sq. m), Iași (185,000 sq. m) and Brașov (130,000 sq. m).
Analyzing the most important office buildings expected to be delivered in 2020, we can see that the trend of mixed projects has spread rapidly in regional cities (Timisoara, Iasi and Cluj). The rental activity in these cities was mainly supported by companies in the IT and BPO sectors, the largest transactions of the last year covering areas between 4,000 and 5,000 square meters.
Unemployment rates continue to be low, varying between 3% in Iasi and 9% in Timisoara, in modern projects, with central positioning, the availability rate being close to 0%. The rents remained stable, starting from 11 to 13 euros / sq. m / month in Brasov and being able to reach the threshold of 15 euros / sq. m / month in Cluj and Iasi.
Based on the number of students and graduates in these cities, the office market is still under-developed. In the last years, the number of active players has increased, but nevertheless 9 of the 10 largest developers and office owners in Bucharest are not yet active in the regional cities. We expect that, in the medium term, competition between developers will also intensify in these cities, thus offering a greater variety of options to companies wishing to establish and develop their businesses in the big regional centers.
The Romanian Industrial Market in Q3 2019
Romania's industrial stock currently stands at around 4.2 million sq. m. Over 355,000 sq. m of new industrial space have been delivered in the first nine months of 2019 with another 100,000 sq. m planned to be delivered by the end of the year.
Bucharest continues to be the largest market, with a stock of a little over 2 million sq. m (50%), with the West and North-west areas accounting for 40% of the total stock.
The leasing activity in Q1-Q3 2019 amounted to 198,700 sq. m, with Bucharest remaining the most dynamic market, with a 60% share, followed by Timisoara, with a 12% share.
Compared to the same period of 2018, the leasing activity has dropped. This decrease may be attributed to the fact that a significant number of businesses are moving into self-built facilities. Another reason might be that, taking into consideration the fact that 2015 was the benchmark for the delivery modern industrial spaces, we will see a boost in relocations starting with 2020.
Prime industrial rents have remained roughly unchanged from last year, 3.8-4 EUR/sq. m/month in Bucharest and 3.5 EUR/sq. m/month in the major regional cities. Additional costs include property tax and insurance, security and maintenance and range from 0.5 EUR/sq. m/month to 0.9 EUR/sq. m/month.
The industrial vacancy rates remain low, at 5% nationwide, with Bucharest's vacancy level at 4%. As developers are taking a step further from the safe, built-to-suit option, vacancy rates are expected to increase.
The industrial investment market followed last year's dynamics, with only one relevant transaction, the acquisition of Al Business Park by CTP for 40 M€. As the market is relatively equally split between the big players, new entrants will be interested in buying large assets or portfolios in order to make a profitable investment.
The following years will see the development of new industrial areas, such as Constanta or Craiova. Along with record deliveries of modern spaces, we expect to see a large number of relocations from older facilities.