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Finland MarketBeat

Ville Suominen • 2/10/2023

According to initial figures, Finland’s economy grew by 1.9% in 2022, and is expected to grow 0.6% in 2023. Positive development in 2022 was supported by pent-up demand and the recovery of the service sector from the pandemic in the first half. During the second half, growth turned negative. The H1 2023 is expected to be sluggish in terms of economic growth and positive movement is forecasted only in the second half of the year. 

The overall demand for office premises decreased in H2 compared to early 2022 as the underlying drivers somewhat changed. While demand continued to be stable for prime offices and premises with strong amenities that bring additional value to employees, demand for secondary assets slowed. We have witnessed an increased number of inquiries as the occupiers are tendering their current leases due to the pressure to create cost savings. According to the Helsinki Research Forum, the vacancy in the thirteen key office areas in the HMA was 12.6% in Q4 2022. The vacancy increased by 0.4 percentage points compared to the previous quarter – translating to a negative net take-up of 29,472 sq.m. 

Retail occupier demand has remained active for the retail park and big box type occupiers and the F&B sector. Inquiries for the CBD high street premises exist but consists namely of F&B premises with some other segments as well. Recent uncertainties have led retail operators to be more aggressive in cost negotiations, and we have witnessed a continuation of decreasing prime rents in Helsinki. The demand towards retail park and big boxes remained strong in Q4, however the availability of suitable premises has hindered the number of lease transactions. 

In 2021, occupier demand for industrial premises gained momentum, which continued throughout 2022. An increase in rental levels has been noted due to strong demand in light industrial, warehouse and logistics premises across multiple submarkets. In 2022, some 95,000 sq.m of new logistics premises was completed in the Helsinki Region, from which approximately 60,000 sq.m located in the Helsinki Metropolitan area. In addition, there are currently some 210,000. 

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Investment Marketbeat is a summary of the Finland investment sector providing comment on recent trends as well as market data and analysis.

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