At the end of 2021, the Polish warehouse sector once again proved to be the hottest commercial real estate market. According to preliminary data prepared by AXI IMMO analysts, net demand exceeded 5.4 million sqm and, as in previous quarters, was generated mainly by clients from the e-commerce and logistics sectors. Record demand from occupiers translated into investment activity from developers, who delivered over 2.8 million sqm, reaching the best new supply result after 2019. At the end of 2022, the Polish warehouse market is expected to reach the limit of 30 million sqm of total industrial stock, as another 4.9 million sqm is under construction. AXI IMMO publishes initial data summarizing the warehouse market in Poland in 2021.
“According to our preliminary calculations, the total volume of investment transactions in the logistics and industrial sector broke another boundary, reaching a record €3 billion. It seemed that last year’s result of €2.6 billion was a very high bar, however, investors have once again surpassed it. They are mainly interested in fully leased and well-located BIG-BOX warehouses in the mature markets and the growing last-mile logistics segment, benefiting from the e-commerce boom. The warehouse market is in the golden age that we expect to last for several months,” comments Renata Osiecka, Managing Partner, AXI IMMO.
Despite the initial high level of uncertainty in Poland’s warehouse market in early 2020 due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, the record-breaking end of the year proved to be a good forecast for the next 12 months. Strong demand for several quarters is influencing courageous developers’ decisions, trying to keep up with the heated logistics and industrial sector. In terms of new supply, 2021 ended with about 2.8 million sqm delivered, bringing the total warehouse stock to over 25 million sqm. Most of the new space was delivered in three markets, Upper Silesia, Warsaw with suburbs, and Western Poland, where 1.3 million sqm was completed. According to developers’ data, 4.9 million sqm was under construction at the end of 2021, mainly in Lower and Upper Silesia and Central Poland. In the next 12 months, the warehouse stock in these markets is expected to expand by around 2.5 million sqm.
E-commerce and logistics operators remained the most active occupiers in 2021. Net take-up excluding short-term leases and extensions amounted to 5.4 million sqm, while gross take-up reached 6.8 million sqm (+30 percent y/y). Again, in the last quarter of the year, we saw the largest volume of transactions, amounting to over 1.9 million sqm. Gross take-up in the three regional markets (Warsaw with suburbs, Poznan, and Upper Silesia) exceeded 1 million sqm in 2021. Despite the high investment activity of developers, a slight extension of project delivery dates and record occupiers’ demand resulted in the decreasing vacancy rate below the historically lowest value of 4.3 percent (recorded in Q3 2018) to 3.72 percent nationally. The market with the relatively highest availability is Upper Silesia (approx. 7 percent).