Skanska’s commercial development delivers futureproof office space on two European markets: Central & Eastern Europe and the Nordics. In the CEE region Skanska operates in Poland, Czech Republic, Hungary and Romania, while in the Nordics it is present in Sweden, Denmark, Finland and Norway. In 2019, the company sold 9 office buildings for EUR 545 million to European and Korean investors, completed 14 buildings with a total volume of almost 240,000 sqm and leased more than 171,000 sqm in Europe. Currently, the developer has more than 472,000 sqm of office space in 21 buildings under construction.
CEE competitive with Western Europe
The transaction volume in Central Eastern Europe reached nearly EUR 14 billion in 2019 and it was higher by almost 1 billion than in the previous record year, according to JLL. Poland accounted for over 55 percent of this amount. In all CEE markets where Skanska operates, investment volumes were dominated by transactions in the office sector.
“2019 was a very good year for the CEE real estate market and the office sector in particular, and very successful for Skanska. Due to the high quality of assets with stable tenants and higher return on investment than in Western Europe, the demand for prime office buildings in CEE remains very high among investors. Skanska again attracted newcomers to the market, for example South Koreans who were very active in our region this year. Our strategy of delivering futureproof projects has proven to be successful over the years”, says Katarzyna Zawodna-Bijoch, President and CEO of Skanska Commercial Development in CEE.
The Nordic real estate market had a strong performance in 2019. Investment volumes reached around EUR 30 bn (excluding residential), which is approx. 18% higher than in the previous year, according to JLL.
“International investors increased their activity in the Nordic real estate market in 2019, says Jan Odelstam. The Nordics are still waiting for the big Asian capital flow and our predictions are that they are looking for large volumes for their first investments. The demand for flexible office spaces and co-working are growing rapidly, which will also affect the future of the Nordic property market”, says Jan Odelstam, President and CEO of Skanska Commercial Development in the Nordic region.
Skanska continues to strive for greater sustainability
In 2019 Skanska set a Group target to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2045, with a 50 percent reduction by 2030. Sustainability is one of the core values for the company, driving operations and business strategy at every level.
Last year, as the first developer in Central and Eastern Europe, Skanska obtained a WELL certificate for two office buildings – Visionary in Prague and Spark C in Warsaw. The company has delivered over 700,000 sqm of LEED and 34,600 sqm of WELL certified office space in the CEE region so far. The stock of sustainable space delivered by Skanska in the region is expected to increase by a further 300,000 sqm in 2020.
“Both the LEED and WELL certificates are the best evidence that Skanska is fulfilling its promise to deliver environmentally friendly buildings focused on the wellbeing of the people”, adds Katarzyna Zawodna-Bijoch.
In the Nordics, Skanska has 24 LEED certified office projects totaling over 387,000 sqm as well as two WELL pre-certified office buildings – Parallell in Oslo and Epic in Malmö. The company has also recently announced the project start of Hyllie Terrass in Malmö, which will be the first climate-neutral office project developed by the company.
“With the ambition to become climate neutral during its lifecycle, Hyllie Terrass will be a forerunner for Skanska in how to push the property and the construction industry in the sustainable direction by reducing its carbon footprint. Hyllie Terrass will include several green solutions, including green concrete, recycled steel and aluminum, upcycled materials and fossil-free production,” says Jan Odelstam.