Author: Bartłomiej Krzyżak, Senior Director, Investment at Avison Young
CEE Property Forum 2022 in Vienna – echoes, moods and investment trends
Avison Young participated in CEE Property Forum 2022, which has just ended in Vienna. Unfortunately, the mood at the event hardly indicated great optimism among the market players. This year has brought unprecedented challenges to the real estate sector. We are in the place where investors mostly monitor the market instead of taking actual actions.
Annually, the fourth quarter of the year has been a typical period of closing investment transactions. This year, however, since the outbreak of the conflict in Ukraine, when it comes to initiating new projects, the activity of investment entities has practically been frozen. Not enough transactions have been launched in the second and third quarters to see plenty finalizations by the end of the year. Therefore, both the year-end and the whole 2022 is not expected to be spectacular in terms of investment volume. And new reports from Russia do not help – they fuel the state of anxiety and maintain the status quo for new investment projects. The potential escalation of the conflict in Ukraine and the inevitable energy crisis are effectively dampening the willingness to take actions in all investment circles.
Avison Young estimates that the investors’ conservative approach is likely to last for months, and actions taken will be selective and profiled. The entities that are forced to maintain the annual target at a certain level will be among those that are most likely to execute and close transactions. A strategic aspect of investing in such an uncertain market and with rising interest rates is the availability and cost of financing of commercial products. The yields are increasing for sure, which is mostly visible in the warehouse segment.
Another difficult time will be the first quarter of 2023, a period of rents’ indexation, which will require a balanced dialogue between property owners and tenants. Bearing in mind the anticipated, drastic increase in operating costs, it should be expected that the most difficult talks are yet to be initiated.
Today, the quality of the property is more important than ever. Compliance with environmental, social and governance (ESG) regulations is at the forefront, in particular in terms of energy consumption, but also in terms of shaping investment decisions. The key to the ESG strategy is the ability to improve the energy efficiency of properties. We will be observing enhancement of this trend in the upcoming years. The green revolution in real estate is already bringing tangible, financial results for tenants, but at the same time it requires higher construction and renovation costs, which will probably translate into an increase in rents in new facilities, as well as the modernized properties.
Avison Young Bartłomiej Krzyżak CEE Region Investment Property Vienna