There have been more than 11,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus in Romania so far and the country is currently under a State of Emergency until 15 May. An almost complete lockdown has been enforced in order to encourage social distancing during this critical period. The President announced that a relaxation plan will be considered after 15 May if the number of infected people decreases.
In the real estate market, the industrial sector has shown encouraging signs as both demand and supply were at almost similar levels compared to Q1 2019, a trend expected to continue going forward.
However, all retail projects have drastically reduced their activity in late March as a precautionary measure dictated by the current State of Emergency. Several scheduled deliveries have been postponed for the second part of the year.
Moreover, while the level of new office space delivered in Bucharest was similar to Q1 2019, the leasing activity recorded a 50% y-o-y decrease in Q1 2020.
The most relevant investment transaction in Q1 pertained to the CTP purchase of Equest Logistic Park in Bucharest, a transaction brokered by Cushman & Wakefield Echinox, as the total investment volume saw a 15% y-o-y increase. Otherwise some important transactions have been either postponed or cancelled altogether mainly as a result of the present climate of uncertainty.