The firm says that the pre-renting of office projects even before their completion has provided some security for the current and next few years, since most contracts specify a rental period of at least three to five years. If the economic environment continues to worsen, the most endangered projects will be those in a very incipient development stage, meaning those awaiting their construction permits. These, says Eurometropola, might not end up being built.
Tighter lending criteria imposed by the banks could lead to a shrinkage in the office stock in 2009, creating an imbalance between supply and demand. And this gloomy scenario could force up rents of already functional office spaces. In 2009, developers might also show more caution, and only start projects when they have reached the necessary pre-renting amount, so that they can reduce the investment risk. They may also choose high-profile tenants as anchors, which would have the effect of attracting other tenants or elevating higher rents.
Despite the gloomy outlooks, the office segment posts a vacancy rate of under 1 percent, according to Eurometropola, which allows consultants to rate its development potential as high, and providing very good yields.
In Bucharest, monthly office rents range between EUR 17 and EUR 25 per sqm in central areas and between EUR 10 and EUR 20 elsewhere. The northern area commands higher sums of EUR 18 to EUR 20 per sqm.