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The Signal Report

Jos Hesselink • 05/03/2021
Logistics, housing and healthcare will dominate the 2021 investment agenda in EMEA.

This is a visible shift from the traditional investment segments of offices and retail to these and other alternative real estate segments. Until the economic impact of COVID-19 diminishes, the adviser expects investors to remain risk-averse and focus on core markets with better growth prospects. This can be read in the latest edition of the report "The Signal Report: Investor's Quarterly Guide to 2021" launched by the real estate advisor today.

Alternatives continue to do better

Cushman & Wakefield predicts that the logistics, residential and health real estate industries will benefit significantly from the changes in the way people live, work and shop from the COVID-19 pandemic. Other alternative sectors such as data centers and self storage, for example, will also continue the growth that has started. In addition, the consultant points to the opportunities and possibilities of re-use of real estate that is aimed at mixed-use and support for activities such as click & collect, inner-city last mile logistics or infrastructure in the field of information and communication technology.

Offices and shops

The office and retail markets are expected to pick up in the second half of 2021 as vaccination coverage has risen and pandemic mitigation measures are relaxed. These real estate segments are influenced by the quality of the location, the experience or experience that the place offers, the market demand and of course the price. Due to long-term leases and a limited development pipeline, the low vacancy rate in the office market in EMEA will largely be maintained in 2021 with a modest and steady increase to just under 10% in the fourth quarter of this year. At approximately 8%, the Netherlands is below the European average, because flexible working has been common in the Netherlands for some time. In North America, APAC and China, the vacancy rate on the office market is expected to increase to 15% to 20% in the last quarter of this year.

Slow recovery in the rental market

Investor markets will recover significantly faster than the user market. Tightened measures and lockdowns at the end of 2020, low vaccination rates and rising unemployment rates in many countries - with an expected loss of 1.3 million jobs in 2021 - have further delayed the recovery in user markets in EMEA. Not until the second half of 2021 is expected to show a significant recovery with the recovery in Western Europe more gradual than in other world markets
Although European investors will remain largely focused on core countries for the time being, the pace of economic recovery in countries is expected to be a reason to shift focus and explore new opportunities.

Global Outlook 2021

The road to recovery will be led by investors driven by low interest rates, abundant capital and a lack of alternative investment options. Although this differs regionally, conditions are more positive in the Asia Pacific and North America region than in Europe, Latin America and emerging markets. Nonetheless, Cushman & Wakefield expects global markets to close sharply by 2021.

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