Regional cities are burgeoning and seeing record-high office supply levels. What was the situation on Poland’s regional markets like in 2018?
Piotr Skuza, a regional manager, Savills office agency: 2018 was a record-breaking year in terms of new office supply in regional cities. In 2018, the overall office supply in Poland’s eight business regions, excluding Warsaw, climbed to more than 512,000 sq m and there was another 940,000 sq m under construction at the end of last year.
At the end of December 2018, total office stock in Poland’s core regional cities (Krakow, Wrocław, Tricity, Katowice, Poznań, Łódź, Lublin and Szczecin) reached 4.9 million sq m. Office developers are stepping up their activity, driven among other things by the growing employment in the BPO/SSC sector, which -according to ABSL’s data - currently employs nearly 279,000 people. Growth in employment in this sector continues unabated, registering an annual rate of approximately 30% and fuelling further demand for office space. Another strong sector is IT, which dominated on the regional markets in 2018, accounting for 34% of all office lease transactions.
In addition to Krakow and Wrocław, other cities are also seeing substantial increases in new office supply. Which regional cities are likely to grow the fastest in the near future?
Krakow and Wrocław are indisputably the largest regional city office markets with 1.26 million sq m and 1.05 million sq m of office space, respectively. The two cities also recorded the highest supply levels in 2018: 155,200 sq m in Krakow and 146,600 sq m in Wrocław, and the largest volumes of space under construction: 247,000 sq m and 222,000 sq m, respectively. The next biggest markets are Tricity (775,000 sq m) and Katowice (519,300 sq m), followed by Katowice-sized Poznań (479,100 sq m) and Łódź (468,900 sq m). Of the eight regional cities, the two smallest markets are Lublin (194,300 sq m) and Szczecin (159,400 sq m).
Besides Krakow and Wrocław, Tricity has the strongest development pipeline of nearly 145,000 sq m. The largest projects currently underway and expected to be delivered in the near future include Alchemia IV Neon, developed by Torus, Olivia Prime B (another office building of the Olivia Business Center) and Wave, the first office project of Skanska Property Poland in Tricity.
At the end of 2018, there was nearly 110,000 sq m under construction in Poznań. The biggest projects in the pipeline comprised the second phase of Business Garden Poznań, completed in March 2019 (45,000 sq m, Vastint) and Nowy Rynek A and B (approx. 35,000 sq m, Skanska), the latter now fully let following two large pre-leases. For Poznań, 2018 was not a peak year in terms of supply growth. Office supply barely topped 21,000 sq m delivered across three schemes: Pixel IV and V, Palacza Office and Garbary 67, a revitalised historic office building. Despite this, Poznań retains its strong position on the office map of Poland.