Real estate investment drops 70% until June

Real estate investment drops 70% until June

According to figures released by CBRE, in the first half of this year, 530 million euros were invested in high-yield real estate, which «represents a reduction in activity only comparable to 2014 and the years prior to the economic and financial crisis».

Although the second quarter recorded a volume of investment of 330 million euros, which translates into a growth of 65% compared to the previous quarter, «there was a decrease of 70% compared to the same period of 2021, when it had been registered. the best first trimester ever».

Of the total invested during the first half of the year, 40% went to office assets (210 million euros), 31% to residential rental properties (165 million euros) and 14% to retail (75 million euros).

Encouraging projections for the second half of 2021

The impact of the pandemic was felt in several segments, namely, in offices, where the confinement and maintenance of mandatory telework resulted in the suspension of expansion plans of most companies.

In this way, during the first semester, only 55,000 sqm were placed in Lisbon and 13,000 sqm in Porto, reflecting decreases of 34% and 50%, respectively, compared to the same period of the previous year.

However, the outlook for the second half of the year is quite encouraging, with CBRE projecting that the year will end with a gross occupancy of between 120,000 and 130,000 sqm in Lisbon and 40,000 sqm in Porto.

With a weakly positive evolution, «the logistics sector sees record levels of activity», highlights CBRE. The consultant registered a total of 227,000 sqm of contracted logistics spaces during the first half of the year, a value almost equivalent to the 239,000 sqm occupied in the entire year 2020. The scarcity of rental spaces in this sector is reflected in the weight of 65% of total area occupied in spaces developed to measure or still under construction (pre-leases).

In the second half, another 200,000 sqm could be occupied, to which another 600,000 sqm could be added, if the operation announced by Mercadona (400,000 sqm) and two other concentration operations of retail chains, under negotiation for the Azambuja area, are completed.

The strong dynamics of the sector translates into pressure on rents, which registered an increase of 7%, compared to the end of the previous year, to €4/sqm/month, in the Carregado-Azambuja area, the privileged logistics axis. large; and an exponential increase of 30%, to €5.5/sqm/month, on the Lisbon/CRIL axis, where the demand for last mile logistics is concentrated.

In retail, CBRE highlights “a gradual attenuation of the breakdown of the main performance indicators triggered by the pandemic and by successive confinements”. It points to a faster recovery than that seen last year, after the first confinement, revealing a recovery in consumer confidence.

In the period from January to May, CBRE registered, in the 16 shopping centers and retail parks it manages, an accumulated reduction of 19% in the number of visitors and 18% in the volume of sales.

Total investment volume in 2021 between 1,700 and 2,700 million euros

CBRE projects a much more dynamic second half of the year, due to ongoing business, whose most relevant in terms of value involve the asset classes associated with beds - such as hotels, housing and even some health units, which still exist several office buildings under negotiation.

The consultant foresees an additional investment volume that could reach 2,200 million euros, which includes a transaction that per se represents around one billion euros. However, due to its size and complexity, this could slip to 2022, strongly impacting the 2021 results. Thus, CBRE's forecast points to a range of total investment volume in 2021 between 1,700 and 2,700 million euros.

Underline that CBRE concludes the first half of 2021 in the leadership of the investment market, by participating in 50% of the transactions carried out, corresponding to 71% of the total investment volume.

«Although the volume of investment in the first half shows a reduction compared to the same period of the previous year, it is with great satisfaction that we communicate our market leadership», says Francisco Horta e Costa, General Director of CBRE Portugal, in a statement. “This leadership shows that in periods marked by some uncertainty and retraction, clients continue to trust CBRE's ability to advise,” he adds. For the second half of the year, and following the investment recovery, the consultant expects to be involved in 90% of the estimated investment volume.

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