Hamburg, 11 February 2021
Union Investment maintains high occupancy rate
• New lettings and renewals of around 1 million sq m in 2020
• Around half of lettings in Germany
• Continued demand for office space
Union Investment was able to maintain a high level of occupancy in its real estate portfolio in 2020, despite the disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic. Across all actively managed real estate funds, the overall occupancy rate based on income was 95.1 per cent at the end of 2020. “Our strong letting performance shows that premium properties are always in demand, even in difficult times like these. Our asset managers are in regular contact with tenants, particularly those who have been hardest hit by the crisis, and are working with them to reach solutions that are satisfactory for both sides,” said Jörn Stobbe, the member of the management board at Union Investment Real Estate GmbH with responsibility for asset management.
Union Investment let or relet a total of approximately one million square metres of commercial real estate space in 2020. From a fund perspective, this equates to annual net rent of around EUR 271 million. The majority of lettings last year were renewals, comprising 82 per cent of the total or 856,654 sq m. They represent annual net rent of approximately EUR 229 million for the funds.
Continued demand for office space
Of total lettings in 2020, 44 per cent relate to office properties and 43 per cent to retail. The rest are split mainly across hotels and logistics properties.
“These successful letting figures show that interest in office space is still strong, despite the changed conditions brought about by the coronavirus pandemic. Properties in well-connected locations with modern, flexible and sustainable space remain in demand.”
Jörn Stobbe, member of the management board at Union Investment Real Estate GmbH with responsibility for asset management.
Almost half of lettings in Germany
At 47 per cent, properties in Germany account for a significant proportion of the new lettings and renewals. Examples include multiplex operator CinemaxX extending its lease by 15 years, ahead of expiry, on around 3,450 sq m of space in QUARREE Wandsbek. Extensive remodelling measures were announced as part of the lease extension. Union Investment is providing a significant financial contribution of EUR 1.5 million towards the cost of the work. Also extended were the lease for the 28,000 sq m Karstadt store on Wandsbeker Marktstraße and of the Galeria Karstadt Kaufhof group’s 20,000 sq m flagship store in Essen, which has been the anchor tenant in the Limbecker Platz shopping centre for more than ten years. Discounter ALDI Nord leased some 1,700 sq m of retail space in the Ottensen office and commercial building next to MERCADO, a popular shopping mall in Hamburg Altona. The company has since opened the largest ALDI store in Hamburg at the site.
Lettings outside Germany
One of the most notable lettings outside Germany is the new letting of 7,339 sq m in the Rund Vier office complex. Located in the heart of Vienna’s 2nd district between the Prater park and the convention centre, the complex comprises four separate office buildings arranged next to each other in a tiered elevation. The lease on a further 3,099 sq m has likewise been extended. In Poland, an office services provider has rented 3,216 sq m in the striking Zebra Tower in Warsaw city centre, while a lease covering 7,740 sq m was extended in the Central Seine office building in Paris.