Office letting market Hamburg 4Q2021: Hamburg’s diversified economy eases the return to normal business
HAMBURG / 2021-01-04
At the end of another year marked by the COVID pandemic, it is apparent that the Hamburg office letting market has fared better than in 2020. Year on year, take-up of office space in this metropolis on the Elbe grew by 44 % to total 490,000 m² at the end of the 4th quarter of 2021. Summarizing the situation Andreas Rehberg, spokesperson for the management board of Grossmann & Berger, a member of German Property Partners (GPP), says, “This surge definitely speaks of a market recovery. As in the past, Hamburg benefits from the diversity of its economy. It has been very noticeable that service sector firms have been seeking considerably more office space in recent months. They tended to focus on space that was available at the time. Companies which consider only a few locations have as little choice now as before the pandemic. If the fourth wave of the pandemic ebbs as forecast and supply chains return to normal in mid-2022, we expect to see increasing demand for offices in Hamburg. We believe take-up of office space will exceed 500,000 square metres by the end of 2022.”
- One indication that Hamburg’s office market has stabilized is that the number of agreements for premises offering more than 5,000 m² of space rose from eight to eleven year on year. Seven agreements were noted in the size category upwards of 10,000 m².
- The biggest new rental agreement was signed in the 4th quarter by Maersk, a shipping company; it has decided to take 13,200 m² of office space in the “Johann Kontor” in order to bring together in one location the employees working in Hamburg for Maersk and its subsidiaries. No other large-volume agreements were concluded between October and December. The biggest owner-occupier transaction in 2021 was the 3rd-quarter construction start to add 14,800 m² of space to the headquarters of the health insurance company Techniker Krankenkasse on Bramfelder Chaussee.
- Owner occupiers accounted for a mere 6 % of the market, a figure unchanged year on year.
- Compared with the preceding quarter, the vacancy rate at the end of the 4th quarter of 2021 remained stable at 3.8 %. At the end of 2020, the figure was 3.5 %. Year on year the amount of office space available within six months rose by 10.6 % to 537,600 m². “Over the course of the year the amount of empty office space is likely to increase, leading to a rise in the vacancy rate, although it should remain in the low single-figure range. Companies are still looking to reduce their space requirements, but not by as much as thought a few months ago. Instead, they are investing in the quality of their premises, which includes generously-dimensioned community areas and breakout spaces,” says Rehberg.“Despite the increase we expect rents to grow steadily in the City and sought-after locations. If more offices stand empty, however, rents for space in peripheral locations could be squeezed.”
- Compared with the preceding quarter, the volume of sublet space was unchanged at 48,450 m² but 40 % higher than the figure at the end of 2020.
- A similar situation was observed for office rents: At the close of 2021 the average rent reached a high of €18.10/m²/month, the same as it was in the preceding quarter. Compared with the end of 2020, however, this average has climbed by 3.4 %. Unchanged against the preceding quarter, the premium rent rose by 3.3 % over twelve months.