October 19, 2017

E-commerce drives Q3 warehouse take-up in the Moscow Region by 54 percent

E-commerce drives Q3 warehouse take-up in the Moscow Region by 54 percent

According to JLL, warehouse take-up in the Moscow region amounted to 362,000 sqm in Q3 2017, 54 percent above the level in the same period of last year. The year-to-date take-up totaled 864,000 sqm, 26 percent higher than in 9M 2016.

More than half of Q3 2017 take-up was formed by the two record transactions with e-commerce retailers. Utkonos bought 70,000 sqm in Logopark Sever - 2 and Wildberries signed a built-to-suit distribution center contract with A Plus Development for over 145,000 sqm. In addition, an e-tailer Gala-Centre leased 23,000 sqm in Tomilino.

“Large deals of online retailers on the warehouse market are the sign of a new stage in the development of this sub-segment, for which a warehouse is an important part of the business,” says Oksana Kopylova, Head of Retail and Warehouse Research, JLL, Russia & CIS. “The size of these transactions reflects the importance of scale in e-commerce. Minimizing logistics costs per order is essential, and the best way to achieve this is to maximize the size of the distribution center. The deals mark a new level of competition in Russian e-commerce; until recently, a typical online retailer deal was 5,000-10,000 sqm.”

One more active business sector in 9M 2017 has been manufacturing companies (24 percent), which also prefers long-term solutions and evaluate opportunities for construction of customized buildings, both logistic and industrial.

“We are seeing a trend of business consolidation. It is already quite advanced among retailers, and the scale factor is extending this to many other business segments. In turn, this generates large warehouse deals, over 50,000 sqm,” observes Viacheslav Kholopov, Regional Director. Head of Warehouse & Industrial Department, JLL. “We expect that 400,000-500,000 sqm space will be absorbed until the end of the year. As a result, the annual take-up will reach 1.3-1.4 million sqm.”

Warehouse completions in Q3 2017 were 35,400 sqm. Only two objects entered the market, in Logopark Dmitrov (25,600 sqm) and in the Logopark Sever – 2 (9,800 sqm). Thus, 9M 2017 warehouse completions amounted to 235,000 sqm, which is 74 percent less than in January-September 2016.

“Despite lower completions, the development activity can be described as stable. About 458,000 sqm are scheduled for delivery in Q4, which will bring the annual figure to 700,000 sqm. Although this will be 35 percent lower than in 2016, the number is high if taken against the large volume of available vacant premises,” comments Viacheslav Kholopov. “In addition, two large developers announced new projects that will maintain active construction in the near future. PNK Group has declared two new industrial parks, PNK Park Zhukovsky (500,000 sqm) and PNK Park Novaya Riga (300,000 sqm), while Logopark Development plans to launch the construction of Logopark Zapad (400,000 sqm).”

The vacancy rate on the warehouse market reached 9 percent at the end of Q3, 1.5 million sqm against the total stock of 16.6 million sqm. The vacancy rate has declined by 0.1 ppts in Q3. Despite large new projects delivery in Q4, JLL analysts expect high demand, both primary and secondary, to reduce the vacancy rate further, to 8.6 percent.

“The presence of 1.5 million sqm of vacant space will continue to pressure rental rates and sale prices. This results in a wide variety of suitable premises for prospective tenants and buyers,” added Viacheslav Kholopov. Average asking rental rates in the warehouse market of the Moscow region in the new deals are at the lowest level and remain in the range of RUB 3,000-3,600 sqm per year (triple net).

Actual rents depend on specific location and proximity to MKAD. Object quality is also important and older buildings (over seven years), which have not been upgraded or reconstructed may be offered at lower prices, affecting the averages.

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