In this part of our series on the 2017 real estate report, we take a look at the investment sector and ask the following questions: What types of real estate are investors looking for? Do they prefer small or large properties? What is the overall volume of transactions? It's important to remember that demand is not just high in the housing market. Considerable sums are also being invested in commercial property.
Every year, Bremeninvest works with leading analysts to conduct a review into the real estate market in Bremen. They scrutinise individual parts of the market, including the market for office space and logistics premises as well as for retail, residential and investment. Andreas Heyer, CEO of Bremeninvest, is delighted with this year's investment figures: "It looks likely that for the third year in a row we will have achieved a record volume of transactions of more than €400 million."
Heyer has good reason to be optimistic in his forecast. In the first half of 2017, investments totalling over €250 million were registered in the Bremen market. That is more than double the amount recorded in the equivalent period of 2016. However, it should be noted that in the second six months of 2016, the volume of investment came to a not inconsiderable €315 million. This strong performance in the second half of the year gave Bremen the boost it needed to break through the €400 million mark for the second year in succession.
We can expect at least the same again in 2017 thanks to the market's positive performance in the first half of the year. In the sectoral breakdown, Bremen is benefiting from record levels of investment in German logistics real estate. It is forecast that this segment will make up one third of all property transactions. Only the office segment, at 42 per cent, accounts for a greater proportion of the total investment volume.
In 2016, office real estate accounted for the biggest proportion of the overall market. This was primarily because of two major investments – the sale of part of the Europa-Center office complex at Bremen Airport-City and the sale of the Speicher 1 building in Überseestadt.
For the real estate industry, net initial yield is a key barometer for the attractiveness of a location. Investors use it to compare the performance of their portfolios. Net initial yield, which is expressed as a percentage, is the ratio of net rental income to gross purchase price. The higher the yield, the better. Bremen's net initial yield of 5.2 per cent for centrally located office buildings underlines its appeal to investors. By comparison, Leipzig's net initial yield is 4.8 per cent, Hannover's is 4.5 per cent and Stuttgart's is 3.7 per cent.
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