The intensive development on the industrial and warehouse property market over the recent quarters results from Poland’s improving economic situation, growth in the manufacturing sector, as well as increased export. These are the conclusions arrived at by experts at the BNP Paribas Real Estate consultancy who have analysed the industrial and warehouse property sector over the first six months of the year.

At the end of June 2014, supply of industrial and warehouse space amounted to 8.06 million sq m, out of which 300,000 sq m was delivered by developers within the first six months of the year. The space offered is spread over eleven regions throughout Poland. The greatest share of the total stock is offered on the Warsaw market which is composed of two zones with the combined supply of over 2.8 million sq m. The Szczecin market has the lowest supply amounting to 68,000 sq m.

The vacancy rate at the end of the first half of 2014 amounted to 8.9% across Poland, which represents a decrease by 1.9% as compared to the previous year. The highest volume of vacant space is currently to be found around Toruń and Bydgoszcz with the vacancy rate amounting to 24%. The situation on the Poznań and Kraków markets is somewhat different with 2.2% and 1.6% of vacancies respectively, while at the end of June 2014 the Szczecin market had no immediately available space at all.

The decrease in the vacancy rate is a sign of increased tenant activity on the industrial and warehouse property market. The transactions finalized in the first half of the year that are worth a mention include completion of the Goodman BTS facility for Polo Market in Poznań with an area in excess of 39,000 sq m, renegotiation of 45,800 sq m in the Distribution Park Będzin facility by Carrefour, as well as signing of a lease for over 30,000 sq m in the Distribution Park Wrocław facility by Geodis.

Having analysed the current development indicators and trends, over the coming quarters we are expecting further decrease in the vacancy rate, which will be strongly affected by tenant activity, in particular from within the e-commerce industry sector. The approaching holiday season can result in increased tenant activity from within this category. Despite the fact that developers continue to construct the majority of warehouses as BTS facilities, they are more and more often willing to consider speculative developments, which is a trend resulting from optimistic forecasts for Poland – comments Anna Staniszewska, Head of Research and Consultancy CEE at BNP Paribas Real Estate.

No rent fluctuations were recorded in the first six months of 2014; for Warsaw’s zone I and Central Poland they remained at a level of € 5.0 and € 1.8 per sq m per month respectively. An increase in rents was recorded for markets with a low vacancy rate, i.e. Kraków and Tricity. The recorded increase was at a level of 5%.

The industrial and warehouse property market is facing new challenges resulting from the ever changing situation on the Eastern markets. The EU and the USA have now introduced sanctions that will adversely affect the Russian economy. In turn, Russia has imposed restrictions as to the volume of goods imported from Europe and the USA. When looking at the Eastern markets and analysing the position that our clients – logistics and transport companies – are now finding themselves in, we are observing certain disturbances in cooperation and difficulties stemming from the customs sanctions. The logistics and transport market in Poland is, however, mature enough and to a large extent based on cooperation with Western Europe to allow it to seek solutions that would support the development of new forms of cooperation – adds Katarzyna Pyś-Fabiańczyk, Head of Industrial and Warehouse Agency at BNP Paribas Real Estate.