Record – a single word can describe the performance of the Industrial and Logistics (I&L) market in Romania in 2022, the best year ever recorded by logistics players.
Total leasing activity in the sector exceeded the 1.0 million square meter threshold for the first time, reaching 1.1 million square meters. The total volume is 31% higher compared to the value register in 2021, according to the CBRE Romania – “Market Outlook 2023” report, the global leader in the real estate consulting market.
Expectations for this sector are for additional growth in 2023, when an estimated 550,000 sqm will be incorporated into the modern stock of industrial space in Romania, surpassing a new milestone of 7 million sqm by the end of the year.
“The global context, with this series of overlapping crises influencing consumption in a downward direction, may generate a possible decrease in volumes. The delay in joining the Schengen area also complicates matters. But our strategic position and the fact that in terms of occupancy cost (the price of renting logistic space), Romania is very competitive in respect to other countries in EU, provides the path for the growth we all want. It is interesting to note, first of all, that we have almost the same vacancy rate for logistics projects as the rest of the CEE countries. The major difference stems from the fact that they succeed in attracting manufacturing companies from the APAC area, and this is the pain point we need to work on as a market sector.”, stated Victor Răchită, Head of Industrial & Logistics, CBRE România.
The development of the Industrial & Logistics market will be accelerated in 2023 by three main trends:
- Agility and flexibility of intermodal transport – Rail, air, and sea modal terminals can influence delivery times, of such importance in the I&L sector. Until recently, Romania had a number of intermodal terminals, generally undersized and lacking real efficiency in the logistics process. Today, however, with the 3 geographically strategically located projects in Constanta (air/rail/sea/road), Decea (rail/road), and Oradea (air/road), access to the region, the whole country or overseas is considerably improved for those accessing this transport mix.
- Growth of the East/North-East submarket – Until recently, investors avoided this area, mainly because of its underdeveloped infrastructure, but last year the East/North-East region of the country successfully attracted local investors. Estimates show that this area will continue to grow and take 3rd place, with about 18% of the total volume of new deliveries in 2023. In addition, new logistics projects have been announced this year in the region, mainly in Iasi.
- Nearshoring is key, especially for Manufacturing – A greater number of companies from Asia are expected to open businesses in the local market to be closer to customers in Western Europe. The strategic geographical positioning that Romania has, but also the fact that the local market has competitive leasing prices are the main advantages that will lead to the development of the industry.
”2023 will be an engaging year in which we expect retail and e-commerce to maintain their growth. In a year when we estimate that an additional 550,000 sqm will be added to the stock of modern industrial and logistics space, the market will look to benefit from Romania’s strong positioning for both the nearshoring strategy of many manufacturing companies and local and regional distribution in CEE.”, added Victor Răchită, Head of Industrial & Logistics, CBRE România.
Bucharest and the West/North-West region, the most developed industrial areas in the country, will continue to remain the main poles and will attract the largest share of stocks. Currently, the two regions accumulate 68% of the total industrial surfaces under construction.
At the same time, Bucharest continued to be at the top of the country’s industrial regions in terms of leasing activity. Last year, the Capital generated 61% of the total TLA, and the forecasts keep Bucharest in the first place, especially since the second most active market, the South, is far behind, amounting only 19% of the total leased area.