Office letting market Hamburg 2Q2022: Agreements for new-build space lead to record increase in average rent

With transactions up by more than a third year on year, Hamburg posted a total of 305,000 m² of newly let office space between January and June 2022, a half-year result that is second only to the 310,000 m² recorded in 2019. 170,000 m² of office space was taken up in the 2nd quarter. “Many firms and public sector employers have now determined what kind of offices they need for their forward-looking work environments and are now deciding on the appropriate rental space. That has provided a boost to the market for offices in Hamburg,” says Andreas Rehberg, spokesperson for the management board of the GPP-member firm Grossmann & Berger in his analysis. However, the war in Ukraine, disrupted supply chains, rising inflation and, in particular, the looming energy crisis pose risks to the economy and thus to the business of office letting. Despite this, so many clients are enquiring about office space that it seems likely that the closing total for the year could reach 550,000 m², on a par with the pre-crisis year of 2019. 

Market details:

  • 13 leases for premises of more than 5,000 m² were signed, compared with seven a year ago. This segment of the market thus comprised 39 % of take-up by the end of June. No other size category accounted for more than 20 % of the total. Two agreements for more than 10,000 m² were noted; in the first half of 2021 three such contracts were signed.
  • In May the Haspa (a bank) announced it was leasing 30,800 m² in the “Deutschlandhaus” in order to merge offices now occupied at Adolphsplatz, Wikingerweg and Börsenbrücke. This was the largest transaction of the year to date.
  • “Most firms are looking for new-build space in central parts of Hamburg. Consequently, three quarters of office suites sized between 2,000 and 5,000 square metres were taken off-plan or in refurbished properties for correspondingly high rents,” says Rehberg, summarizing the situation.
  • This trend explains the enormous leap in average rents, which climbed 15 % to €20.60/m²/month. For the first time ever, the average monthly rent has passed the €20/m² mark. Growth of some 5 % also pushed the premium rent to a new high of €32.50/m²/month.
  • In view of the popularity of central locations, market activity was concentrated in the City and HafenCity sub-markets, which posted 35 % and 21 % of total take-up respectively. No other sub-market reached a two-figure share of the market. Nine of the 13 biggest agreements for more than 5,000 m² of space were noted in these two sub-markets.
  • The vacancy rate is unchanged year on year at 3.8 %. Rehberg is confident that, “Considering that the pre-let ratio is 76 per cent for scheduled completions in 2022 and 2023 and that demand is obviously high, the market can easily absorb office buildings under construction, so there will be no significant rise in empty space in the new-build sector.” However, the latest calculations show that more space in existing buildings could become vacant within the next twelve months and drive up the vacancy rate to over 4 %.

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