Differences in impact per sector and within sectors
Companies too appear to have plenty of available capital for new housing decisions. As a result, the total take-up volume for commercial real estate only fell by 6% in 2020 compared to 2019, despite the most severe economic contraction since the Second World War. This figure and improved producer confidence demonstrate that entrepreneurs still have plenty of confidence in the Dutch economy. However, this played out differently per sector. On average, demand for office space decreased and take-up volume fell by 25%, despite the fact that some sectors, such as tech, showed growth. The Just Eat Takeaway transaction in Q1 2021 for approximately 14,500 sq. m., shows that this business type has plenty of capital to invest in housing even during the current crisis. The demand for flexible office space is also showing a positive development and serves as an initial indicator of recovery in the office market. The demand for flexible office space in January this year was 50% higher than in January 2020, for example.
In the logistics sector, take-up only fell slightly (-7.8%) due to a slight decline in domestic and international trade. E-commerce, on the other hand, grew due to the pandemic, resulting in increased demand for e-commerce and last-mile logistics locations. The growth of e-commerce comes at the expense of the total demand for retail space, yet total retail vacancy only fell slightly, from 8.1% in 2019 to 7.6% in 2020. This is mainly thanks to the support measures implemented by the Dutch government, so that retail vacancy rates are not expected to rise until the end of this year. On the other hand, the food sector within retail appears to have benefited from the COVID-19 crisis. The supermarket chains Albert Heijn and Jumbo are the biggest beneficiaries, with 12 and 10 new branches in 2020 respectively.
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