Office rents in Europe saw strongest growth of last five years in second quarter of 2016

Taylor Scott International News

Rents on prime office assets across Europe grew by 1.5% quarter on quarter in the second quarter of 2016 compared to 0.7% in the previous quarter, the strongest increase in the past five years. Rents in Europe outpaced the Americas and Asia Pacific regions with Stockholm recording the strongest growth in region of 9.4% followed by Berlin with growth of 6.3%. The data from real estate firm JLL also shows that Paris saw growth of 3.4% as limited new supply and more robust take-up pushed up prime rents for the fourth consecutive quarter while in Southern Europe, the momentum in the market recovery has continued in Milan with rents up 2% and in Barcelona up 3.7% and Madrid up 0.9%. Following the UK’s decision to leave the European Union headline rents have so far remained unchanged in London compared to the first quarter of 2016. The report says that rent free periods may soften as occupiers look to negotiate more flexible terms with greater lease flexibility. But the Brexit vote has so far had little effect on rental growth outside the UK. ‘Office demand is proving resilient in many of the world's dominant commercial real estate markets despite increased political and economic uncertainty which is leading to corporate occupiers striking a more cautious tone,’ said Jeremy Kelly, director in global research programmes at JLL. ‘Underlying market fundamentals are sound and corporate demand is holding up well, notably in continental Europe,’ he pointed out and added that looking to the second half of the year, a period of steady rental increases for prime European offices is anticipated. Indeed JLL is predicting rental growth of 2.5% to 3% in Western Europe which will outperform the 10 year average over the next few years. Stockholm and Madrid are expected to be the region's high performers over 2016. ‘In London, rents and incentives may come under pressure in certain sections of the market, although low vacancy rates coupled with an increasingly diverse occupier base will act to cushion the impact of weaker sentiment,’ said Jon Neale, head of UK research at JLL. ‘Our priority over the second half of the year will be to monitor occupier activity and other developments, although it is unlikely that any real conclusions over longer term market implications can be made until the nature of Brexit becomes more apparent as we move into 2017,’ he explained. ‘For the time being, however, our research indicates that the vast majority of occupier deals in progress at the time of the referendum are still continuing as planned,’ he added. Taylor Scott International

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