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Warsaw office market in good shape

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Labour markets driving regional growth

Eurobuild CEE 09 November 2018
Labour markets driving regional growth
The discussion was moderated by Mikołaj Sznajder
POLAND Regional cities are slowly taking a larger share of the Polish office market, due to their educated work forces and the strength of the BPO market in the regions. This was the conclusion reached at the Ninth Eurobuild Office Market Conference.
The interest of investment funds, which usually buy completed buildings that are fully leased, is encouraging developers to plan further office developments as a result the differences between Warsaw and the regions is slowly disappearing. “The quality of office projects in Warsaw and is similar to those outside the capital city and even the brands of some of the tenants are the same. Rental rates – except for the very centre of Warsaw – are also similar,” remarked Rafał Mazurczak, a board member of Echo Investment. In his opinion, office projects in the regions are seen by investors as an increasingly safe and attractive investment and are becoming more and more prepared to invest outside Warsaw. Such investors include German-based Warburg-HIH Invest Real Estate fund, which owns two buildings in Wrocław. Today German funds are the most active office market investors in Poland. “Apart from Wrocław, we are currently focusing on Warsaw and Kraków,” said Matthias Brodesser, the head of international transactions at Warburg-HIH Real Estate. According to Adrian Karczewicz, the CEE transaction director at Skanska, what characterises the Polish office sector investment market is the exceptionally low involvement of domestic capital, when compared to countries such as the Czech Republic or Hungary. However, the Polish office market, including in the regions is already considered to be both mature and stable, which is why developers are now willing to move beyond the capital. “We are currently focusing on large cities, such as Kraków, Wrocław, Łódź and Katowice,” said Marek Ulanecki, a leasing manager at Vastint. According to Grzegorz Boczek, the director of office leasing at GTC, the increase in the number of office projects in Katowice and Łódź goes hand in hand with the rising standard of living in these cities and tenants have already started moving from buildings to class A office blocks. Regional cities are competing today not only with the capital city but also with each other. Gdańsk is growing to become a regional leader. “It is a booming market and it is competing with Kraków,” said Adrian Karczewicz from Skanska. Two regional cities now more than 1 mln sqm of office space: Kraków and Wrocław. All the panellists agreed that the gap between the regions and the capital would continue to shrink. The discussion was moderated by Mikołaj Sznajder, the head of office consulting at CBRE.

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