Approximately 8.1 million sq m of new shopping centre space will be added across Europe in H2 2016 and throughout 2017 with operators seeking to add more entertainment elements designed to improve customer experience, according to research from Cushman & Wakefield. The Czech Republic will see more than 70 000 sq m of new space next year.
The firm’s European Shopping Centre Development Report shows delivery is set to accelerate after a muted first half of 2016 saw just 1.3m sq m of new shopping centre space added, 7% less than the equivalent period a year previously. Turkey and Russia accounted for 40% of all completions.
If all the floor space in the pipeline is delivered on time it will take the continent’s total stock from 156.3m sq m – at the end of H1 2016 – to 164.4m sq m by the end of 2017.
“Development activity in the Czech Republic has slowed over the course of the last 2 years. The only projects finished in 2016 were Aupark Shopping Centre in Hradec Králové and the refurbishment of Galerie Přerov. Next year will see more than 70,000 sq m added to the stock, which is more space than was finished in 2015 and 2016 put together. From this pipeline some 80% will comprise extensions of existing shopping centres, including Centrum Chodov, IGY Centrum České Budějovice and Galerie Butovice. We will also see one new shopping centre – Central Jablonec,” says Jan Kotrbáček, Partner and Head of Retail CE at Cushman & Wakefield.
“For future development we see potential in the centre of Prague, for example the Savarin project in Prague 1, Dejvice Center in Prague 6 or Palác Stromovka in Prague 7. There is also opportunity for further development of shopping centres in the centre of Pilsen, Brno and Zlín,” adds Mr. Kotrbáček.
In Central and Eastern Europe, development activity is also expected to expand, with 2.4m sq m and 2.6m sq m of new shopping centre space anticipated in H2 2016 and 2017 respectively.
Russia leads the way with 2.3m sq m to be delivered by the end of 2017, including Moscow’s Vegas III (120 000 sq m), in spite of the economic downturn the country is experiencing.
Across the whole of Europe, capital inflows into the shopping centre sector amounted to €8.5 billion in H1 2016 – a fall of almost 50% on H1 2015. There is however, divergence in the market as to the stronger performers.
While there has been a significant dip in trading volumes in Western Europe due to the shortage of prime stock, investors – with capital to deploy, and a willingness to do so – are increasing looking to Central & Eastern Europe for opportunities. The CEE region recorded nearly 20% y-o-y increase in investment volumes to €1.9 billion, with Poland accounting for 50% (€928 million) of the total invested capital. Investor appetite for Russia and Turkey at present is reflected in y-o-y declines in transaction volumes of 79% and 93% respectively.
“Despite shopping centre investment taking a dive of 57% in 2016 on a year on year basis in the Czech Republic, actual investor appetite has been higher than last year. Nine shopping centres have been transacted in total, which is the highest number since 2005. The year-on-year dip in volume is caused by the sale of Palladium last year, which was the largest ever shopping centre transaction in the Czech Republic. Ignoring this, the market would have grown by 77%,” says Alexander Rafajlovič, Associate in the Capital Markets team at Cushman & Wakefield.
Shopping centre investment in Western Europe reached €6.6 billion in H1 2016, a 55% y-o-y drop, led by volumes falling in the core shopping centre markets of France, the UK and Germany.
“Successful shopping centre development depends on multiple factors, of which many are external. The preference of high streets as shopping locations in some Western European cities and the geopolitical situation in some Central and Eastern European countries represent potential risks that will be weighed up in developers’ thinking,” says Silvia Kolibabova, Research Analyst at Cushman & Wakefield.