Euro-zone

Ireland

Rental recovery picks up pace

The recovery in euro-zone commercial property values picked up in Q3, supported by a small fall in yields and an improvement in the pace of rental growth. While retail rents held steady, the quarterly rise in both office and industrial rents was the largest since 2019 Q4. Demand for prime assets and low interest rates will continue to support the property sector. However, with economic activity expected to slow over the next six months or so, and the outlook for the retail and office sectors still clouded by structural change, we think that the property recovery will struggle to maintain its current pace.

16 November 2021

Running into troubled waters

Supply chain problems will slow the recovery and keep inflation above target until around the middle of next year. Beyond that, however, the economy should get back on track. After regaining its pre-crisis level later this year, output is likely to converge with its pre-pandemic trend. Meanwhile, we do not expect significant second-round effects from the recent surge in prices and think wage increases will remain quite modest. Headline inflation is likely to drop back below the ECB’s target by the end of next year, as energy inflation turns negative. So while the ECB will end its emergency PEPP purchases next March, it will step up its regular asset purchases and leave the deposit rate at -0.5% until around 2025, which is a lot later than financial markets anticipate.

19 October 2021

Why are prime industrial rental values not taking off?

Despite strong demand, we think that high capital values have kept development profitable and have prevented an acceleration in euro-zone prime industrial rental value growth. However, as capital value growth slows there is a risk that some markets will see more upward pressure on rents.

15 October 2021
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Wider market confirms recovery in prime data

The latest MSCI data show that the wider market has moved roughly in line with our prime data since the onset of the pandemic and provide support to our outlook for property values.

Headwinds strengthening

Supply shortages and rising energy prices are becoming stronger headwinds to the euro-zone recovery. The latest data from Germany showed sharp falls in industrial orders and production, with manufacturers citing supply bottlenecks as a constraint on output. These problems have hit the vehicle sector particularly hard, and in the September German Ifo survey more car producers expected conditions to deteriorate in the next six months than improve. Firms in the construction sector also seem to be struggling to source materials. Meanwhile, the recent huge increases in energy prices are adding to producers’ costs and at the same time pushing up consumer price inflation. While the timeliest business surveys remain consistent with the economy as a whole growing, and we think that supply problems will ease and energy prices fall next year, the risk of stagnation in the final months of this year is rising.

Sector fortunes to shift

While the Delta variant has slowed economic activity in other parts of the world, this has not yet been the case in the euro-zone, and we are cautiously optimistic that the bloc will continue to grow. This will support the property market upturn, albeit offices and retail face structural challenges that will limit the rental recovery. Stronger rental prospects for industrial mean we think that the sector has the most scope for yield compression in the near term, though strong demand for prime assets should allow office yields to edge a bit lower too. However, further increases in yields will make some retail assets look increasingly attractive by year-end, prompting small yield falls in the next few years. The upshot is that industrial is expected to outperform over the next couple of years, but stronger capital value growth beyond 2022 will result in retail returns emerging as the strongest.

Inflation to rise further, but then fall

Inflation will rise further from the 3% level reached in August in the coming months, but we are confident that it will drop back sharply next year, as most measures of underlying inflation and wage pressures remain very low. Meanwhile, all eyes will be on the ECB Governing Council meeting next Thursday, when we expect policymakers to announce the start of a very gradual reduction in the Bank’s asset purchases.

Tentative signs of a turning point for property

All-property capital values rose for the third consecutive quarter in Q2, leaving them less than 1% below their pre-virus level. The improvement was driven by a decline in all-property yields, though rents also rose slightly on a quarterly basis for the first time since Q1 2020. The outlook is encouraging for occupier demand and investment in the coming quarters given economic activity is expected to rebound strongly. However, depressed tourist spending and online shopping will drag on the retail recovery. And higher vacancy and more remote working will limit the improvement in the office sector.

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