REAL ESTATE MARKET 

Taking all sectors together, in 2019 the corporate real-estate market recorded increases in both take-up and the number of deals recorded. The take-up was divided among the semi-industrial (32%), logistics (29%), offices (26%) and finally retail real estate (13%) segments.

 

 

 

2019

2020

  Market Segment
  Deals                   Take-up   Deals   Take-up
  Logistics & semi-industrial - BELGIUM
  830   2,052,024 m²   880   1,904,156 m²
  Logistics & semi-industrial - Wallonia
  91   391,600 m²   127   215,275 m²
  Offices - BELGIUM
  838   879,224 m²   923   762,793 m²
  Offices - Wallonia
  81   103,036  m²   91   57,810 m²

 

 

Semi-industrial & logistics

Although the number of deals carried out in 2019 fell by 5% compared with 2018, dropping from 880 to 830, an 8% rise was recorded in terms of the surface area taken up. The total figure, which was over 2,052 million square metres, exceeded the average for the past five years by almost 25%.

In Wallonia, take-up in the logistics segment soared by 75%. The 212,000 m2 negotiated accounted for approximately 22% of the Belgian market in 2019 (as against 15% in 2018).

 

SMEs market

The figures for the semi-industrial market intended for SMEs are less encouraging. A fall may be seen in both the take-up (-3%) and the number of deals carried out (-5%). In Wallonia, a drop of over 120,000 m2 brought the take-up below the level of 180,000 m² divided among 80 deals. This fall, like the performance of the rental market compared with the buyers’ market, is probably due to the scarcity of available land and an increasingly limited stock of existing buildings on offer.

 

Offices

One extremely positive note: the offices market recorded the best figures in the past ten years. Although the results were boosted by two deals in Brussels (concerning 70 and 40,000 m2), nonetheless 2019 was a good year for the sector. The number of deals fell in the three regions, but take-up rose.

In Wallonia, take-up was underpinned mainly by the public sector, which was behind 54% of the deals (compared with less than 30% at national level!). The large volume of deals concluded resulted in a doubling of the average number of square metres taken up (from 635 to 1,272 m2 per deal). Liège, where the maximum rent rose to € 160/m2/year and the average rent to € 135/m2/year, continues to account for the largest number of deals and square metres. The city of Liège, which saw negotiations relating to 33,757 m² divided among 16 deals, was followed by Charleroi and Namur, which both performed well in 2019, recording figures of 24,695 m² and 6,565 m² respectively.