The Netherlands experienced a harsh lockdown during the entire first quarter of 2021 which included to closure of non-essential stores, temporary halt for contact professions and a curfew from 9 p.m. As economy and society were better prepared for the consequences of the limited freedoms, its impact on economic growth is expected to be less severe than originally anticipated. Although The Netherlands was faced with a rather mild contraction of the economy (-3.7%), The Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis (CPB) foresees a strong recovery growth of 3.2% in 2021 and 3.3% in 2022.
The office market accounted for 24% of the total investment volume in the second quarter of 2021, an increase compared to 2020 with a 19% share of the total volume. In the second quarter of 2021, EUR 963 million was invested in office property, a decrease of 37% compared to the same period in the previous year. On the occupier side, 401,000 square meters of office space was taken into use. Compared to the same period in 2020, this is a decrease of 17%, although the first quarter of 2020 was still largely corona free and included a couple of large office space transactions.
Largely as a result of the mandatory closing of non-essential shops throughout the first quarter, retail market investment activity almost came to a complete standstill in the first quarter of 2021. Although market conditions somewhat recovered after non-essential shops reopened in the subsequent second quarter, appetite is still low with an investment volume of around EUR 200 mln representing a modest 5% of total volume. In the retail market, stakeholders pre-COVID were already looking for new balance, knowing that the offline retail market was already undergoing major structural changes as a result of the advent of alternative information and sales channels.
Of the total investment volume during the first six months in 2021, 46% has been invested in the industrial and logistics market. The share of the industrial and logistics markets increased strongly compared to the first six months in 2020 when the combined segment registered a share of 28%. In the first half of 2021, approximately EUR 1.88 billion was invested in the industrial and logistics market, a decrease of 2% compared to the same period last year. On the occupier side, take-up of industrial and logistics space remained stable compared to the first six months of 2020. In the first half of 2021, 1,610,500 square meters of industrial and logistics space was taken into use, compared to previous year this is a growth of 3.1%.
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