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Strong H1 for Poland’s real estate investment market

EUR 2.9 billion worth of investment transactions is the second-best result in Poland’s H1 history. Further, the pandemic quarter was better than expected with EUR 710 million recorded in office transactions alone, and the industrial sector came in with its best-ever H1 result, announced JLL analyzing H1 real estate investment transactions in Poland.

“According to preliminary estimates, the value of investment transactions in the first half of the year totalled nearly EUR 2.9 billion – the second-best result in the history of Poland’s real estate sector. Despite the global pandemic, the first six months of the year saw a continuation of trends that have been observed on the market for some time now. Industrial and office investors are very much to the fore. In fact, the industrial sector, which had its best H1 in history, may see challenges connected with product availability,” commented Agata Sekuła, Vice-President, JLL Poland.

In the first half of 2020, 21 office investment transactions involving 38 buildings were concluded, with the top three being the sale by Skanska High Five 4&5 to Credit Suisse (Kraków), Wola Center by Develia to Hines (Warsaw), and Equal Business Park by Cavatina to Apollo Rida (Kraków). The above result was very much due to the acquisition of a majority stake in GTC by the Hungarian Optimum Ventures Private Equity Fund, which in Poland has a portfolio of both office buildings and shopping centres. In the industrial sector, 14 investment transactions involving 40 buildings were finalized, with the largest being the sale of Panattoni’s portfolio of five facilities to Savills Investment Management, Hines distribution parks sold to CGL, and the sale of Maximus portfolio – six properties managed by Apollo – to GIC.

“The second quarter was marked by high investor activity in the office market. Ten contracts for the sale of 27 buildings with a total value of EUR 710 million were finalised in the last three months. As a result, the value of the office investment transactions outpaced the industrial sector, totalling more than EUR 1.3 billion in H1,” commented Tomasz Puch, Head of Office and Industrial Investment, JLL.

The global pandemic did not stop investor activity on the real estate market in Poland. 2019’s performance was so strong that the sector is proving to be surprisingly resilient in the face of the short-term effects of the current situation.

“Without a doubt, the first six months of 2020 were one of the most interesting periods in Poland’s investment market. Warehouses recorded a record-breaking EUR 1.1 billion performance, while for offices the first half of 2020 was the second-best H1 ever,” Tomasz Puch added.

Transactions during lockdown

Recent months have also seen challenges in conducting and finalizing transactions with foreign investors.

“The lockdown made it very difficult to commence new transactions because travelling, property visits and technical inspections were impossible. However, their remaining stages could be successfully carried out virtually. Many of the transactions that were in progress at the beginning of the lockdown have already been finalised or are scheduled for finalisation in the coming weeks and months. Since it is again possible to cross borders, foreign investors are arriving in Warsaw and business is slowly returning in the shape of meetings, inspections and direct negotiations. We expect that the second half of the year will be even more intense,” said Agata Sekuła.

In addition, according to JLL data, the first half of the year saw transactions in the retail segment totalling nearly EUR 430 million, with the residential segment coming in with over EUR 40 million.

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