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Market conditions in most European peripheral submarkets have been challenging in recent years, but some have performed better than others in attracting demand during the difficult period. Although the airport markets are driven by differing dynamics, there are some notable general features of the markets which are integral to their comparative success.
One of the main attractions to an airport office market is the global connections at the airport itself, but of equal importance is the level of connectivity to the local and regional economy, as it is the existing local occupiers which will form the basis of demand for airport office space, and the labour pool to support the market going forward.
A key determinant of success will therefore be the level of representation of companies within the target sectors for the airport market which are already operating within the local economy. To attract these tenants, it is important the airport market is able to provide high quality office space which is suitable for their target tenants and attractive for potential employees, which is well integrated into the airport infrastructure to fully benefit from the connections available in the area.
There are plans for major office-led commercial development on the site and surrounding land of a number of medium sized European airports, and it is likely the presence, or absence of these key features, will have a significant bearing on the capacity for the schemes to attract demand to the market, and the rental values that can be achieved.
European rents and yields for Q1 2013 show a degree of resilience at the prime end of the market, despite the weak short-term economic outlook.
There was widespread incidence of yield improvement in the office and retail markets, and the yield indices for both markets edged lower over the quarter.
The key City of London office and West End retail markets were among the places where yields edged lower, along with other significant office markets including Dublin, Geneva and Prague
Rents generally saw little movement, although the prime retail rent index for the EU-15 rose by 2% in the quarter and is up nearly 7% over the past year.
Rental change in the business space markets showed a more distinct north-south pattern: for instance, rents dipped in the office markets of Milan, Madrid and Barcelona and rose in Berlin, Dublin and the West End of London.
For the first time in six years, total 2012 T&T office take-up in the main European markets was greater than banking and finance sector, with the T&T sector exhibiting clustering tendencies in certain cities.
Talent acquisition and retention is increasingly driving location and growth strategies for the sector at a global level. In Europe, the movement of STEM roles indicates a shift of talent availability from Western to Eastern Europe.
Given the longer gestation of real estate supply, CRE leaders in the sector need to be closely aligned to talent market development in order to facilitate “speed to market” for their organisations.
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