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The Warsaw Voice » Real Estate » November 30, 2010
Warehouse Market
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Long Way to Go, But Catching Up Fast
November 30, 2010   
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Robert Dobrzycki, Managing Partner for Central and Eastern Europe, Panattoni Europe

Despite apocalyptic predictions of years without new projects and that the days of speculative warehouse space were over forever, statistics show that demand for warehouses is on the rise again, banks are lending money and diggers are working full steam. Although it’s worrying that 18 percent of space across Poland is vacant, not everyone is afraid to invest.

The high vacancy rate is mainly the result of several over-the-top projects undertaken in unattractive locations. A closer look at several regions will reveal a zero vacancy rate or just a few percent, cases in point being Poznań, Gdańsk and the ŁódĽ, Katowice and Warsaw area. The financial market is back, keen to lay out money for projects rented out in advance, and there are also businesses willing to buy industrial projects. In the first three quarters of this year, real estate funds spent 200 million euros on warehouses in Poland and they are planning to spend another 200 million by the end of this year.

Poland is leading the way in Central and Eastern Europe in terms of the number of concluded investment transactions. Nevertheless, despite its rapid development, Central and Eastern Europe accounts for barely 4 percent of all transactions carried out on the continent. As far as supply is concerned, Poland has 6 million square meters of warehouses, while Britain has 70 million. The numbers show Poland still has a long way to go, but at least it is catching up fast.

As for forecasts, the future seems to be about build-to-suit (BTS) facilities, specially production facilities in Special Economic Zones. Panattoni Europe has noticed growing interest in production and warehouse BTS facilities in new locations, most notably in Special Economic Zones along the A-4 and A-1 freeways, currently under construction. To a large extent, the growing interest in the zones stems from real benefits offered to tenants. Such companies get the opportunity to include rents in eligible expenditure, entitling them to allowances of up to 60 percent.
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