REAL ESTATE MARKET – WALLONIA 2016

The transactions completed on the Belgian professional real estate market in 2016 were extremely encouraging, leading many observers to believe that we have returned to dynamics comparable to the situation that prevailed before the banking crisis.

 

 

 

2016

2015

Market Segment
Deals Take-up Deals Take-up
Logistics & semi-industrial - BELGIUM
701 1,718,285 m² 718 1,403,852 m²
Logistics & semi-industrial - Wallonia
96 282,565 m² 121 215,275 m²
Offices - BELGIUM
887 727,972 m² 791 543,390 m²
Offices - Wallonia
111 65,519 m² 84 49,432 m²

 

 

Semi-industrial & logistics

2016 was undeniably a very good year for the sector nationally. The transactions were up 20% over 2015 in terms of square footage, totalling 1.718 million m² for 701 deals compared with 718 deals in 2015 (a 2% drop in the number of transactions).

These results were driven by the logistics sector, the advance of which was doubtless due to a perceptible surge — at last! — in e-commerce. Wallonia ended the year very positively, boasting a hefty 250% rise in the number of deals for a total area of more than 110,000 m². This last figure is eleven times the total for 2015.

The outcomes for the semi-industrial market segment were slightly less enchanting:  Only 89 deals were recorded in the southern part of the country (out of a total of 634 for Belgium), down 25% year on year. Yet the surface area per deal was up, going from a mean of 1,727 m² in 2015 to 1,884 m² in 2016 (out of a total of 167,698 m²). Note that the mean size of purchases/sales was 1,605 m² compared with 1,223 m² for rentals.

Still in Wallonia, the mean rents in effect on these markets were in the 35-38 EUR/m²/yr range, whereas the prime rents rose to a high of 66 EUR/m²/yr.

 

Offices

This market also posted excellent results for 2016. After a terribly disappointing year in 2015, the number of transactions recorded increased by 12% to stand at 887 deals, for a take-up that grew even more strongly to total 728,000 m² (a 33% rise).

For the Walloon Region as a whole, a take-up of more than 65,000 m² was recorded for a total of 111 deals, compared with 49,432 m²/84 deals in 2015.

If we look at the local markets, Liège is one of the cities that took a significant leap forward, thereby confirming its position as 'Wallonia's main business centre'. Take-up rose from 5,932 m² (for 13 deals) in 2015 to 23,611 m² (for 23 deals) in 2016, or a mean of 1,027 m²/deal. The region's capital, for its part, lost some ground. With the number of deals dropping from 9 to 7 for a take-up of less than 6,000 m² (which was 1,000 m² less than in 2015), Namur did not follow the favourable general trend.

The rents recorded during this excellent year showed prime rents of 165 EUR/m² in Liège and 160 EUR/m² in Namur, whilst the mean rent rose to 120 EUR/m²/yr.