68 transactions of warehouses and logistic spaces were concluded in 2020, whereas during the previous year only 61 transactions were registered. Of these operations, a total of 17 were traded during last year’s fourth quarter and surpassed the 14 operations carried during the last quarter of 2019.
During 2020 contracted surfaces reached 423.510 sqm, compared to the 601.521 sqm in 2019. Gloria Valverde, director of the Industrial and Logistic Department at Savills Aguirre Newman Barcelona, explained that this decrease in absorption levels «was caused by the Covid-19 pandemic». Nevertheless, after that first stage, «the segment was restarted and, the proof that demand remains active is that we improved in terms of the number of transactions compared to the previous year and contracting remained at high levels», she added.
By geographical areas, the first urban ring registered most of the absorption, concentrating around 56.85% of all logistic contracting. The second urban ring concentrated 14.16% and the third urban ring 20.14%, the central area absorbed around 8.85%.
During 2020’s fourth quarter, the Catalan market contracted a total of 103.000 sqm, compared to the 132.000 contracted between October and December 2019. Following the same trend of the rest of the year, the average area per operation decreased from 9.861 sqm in 2019 to 6.228 sqm in 2020.
According to data from Savills Aguirre Newman, last year also saw an increase in so-called «Big Box» transactions, transactions with more than 20.000 sqm. A total of four transactions of this type were carried out (compared to three in 2019): by Lidl, ID Logístic, Katoen and Amazon.
Valverde noted that «Catalonia remains appealing for both national and international operators and investors and there is an unsatisfied demand unable to be met due to the lack of product and surface to satisfy its needs». The stock available in the whole of Catalonia is around 3% and, specifically in Barcelona’s centre and first urban ring, it goes no higher than 1.5%. Faced with the lack of product, rents have remained stable.
For 2021, contracting predictions for the logistic segment are optimistic, since, out of all the new offer incorporated into the market, a total of around 388.410 sqm, representing 67.15% is pre-rented. Nevertheless, of all the area that joined the market in 2020, a total of 430.627 sqm, representing 84%, had already been contracted.