In the podcast ‘Development to the East as an opportunity for the Kraków warehouse market’ Marta Nowik, Consultant in the Industrial AXI IMMO department, talks about the factors influencing the warehouse real estate market in the Kraków region. What is the region’s potential? Read on or listen (podcast only in Polish).
Kraków is among the smaller warehouse markets in Poland. Nevertheless, its total warehouse stock has increased by almost 260% over the past five years. An attractive location within the country and a large business potential attract overseas investors and occupiers to the region.
During the first six months of 2020, two investment transactions were finalized on the Kraków warehouse and logistics real estate market. Firstly, 7R and Hillwood sold a 41,000 sqm built-to-suit building within 7R Park Kraków to a fund managed by GLL Real Estate Partners. Secondly, GLP Group acquired all CEE warehouse assets from Goodman Group, including Goodman Kraków Airport Logistics Centre with 115,500 sqm. This portfolio transaction closed in Q3 2020 following approval from Polish competition authorities.
“Investors and developers planning expansion in the Lesser Poland voivodeship can choose from 26 Zones of Economic Activity as well as one Special Economic Zone – the Kraków Technology Park. Convenient location and continuously improving road infrastructure are also the region’s unquestionable strengths. The S7 expressway provides good access north towards Warsaw and Tricity while the A4 motorway links Kraków with the eastern part of the country. In addition, Kraków’s location in the southern part of Poland positions it well for international distribution, especially to countries such as Slovakia, Czechia and Ukraine. On the other hand, Upper Silesia – the second largest warehouse market in Poland – is located just 100 km west. For that reason, the Kraków market is growing eastwards towards Rzeszów, with Nowa Huta, Kokotów, Targowisko and Wieliczka being submarkets with the highest growth potential. Moreover, completion of the northern part of the city ring road could open up the northern part of the region for warehouse development” – comments Marta Nowik from Industrial Department at AXI IMMO.
A total of 46,000 sqm of new modern logistics and industrial space was delivered to the market in the first six months of 2020, which brought total stock in the region to 533,000 sqm (+26.2% y/y). Supply of warehouse space has been robust in the last five years. Developers, including Panattoni, Goodman, 7R as well as national and local players such as BIK or Witek, completed a total of around 412,000 sqm in that period, which marked a 260% increase in the market’s total stock. Late 2018 and the first half of 2019 saw the largest increases in new supply due to 7R completing its park in Kokotów (180,000 sqm). Development activity slowed thereafter. A mere 12,000 sqm was under construction as at the end of June 2020, which is an equivalent of 2% of total stock in this market.
Gross take-up in the Kraków market amounted to 57,000 sqm in the first half of 2020. The largest leasing transaction of H1 took place in the Panattoni Kraków IV park, where one of the occupiers renewed its 8,850 sqm lease. Moreover, a new 7,000 sqm letting was closed at Goodman Kraków Airport Logistics Center and a 6,470 lease was renewed at 7R Park Kraków. Between January and June, logistics firms accounted for more than a half of total space leased in Kraków. Retail chains, local distributors and firms from the light production industry are also active, alongside several occupiers from the automotive sector.
Moderate levels of demand combined with limited development have resulted in the vacancy rate falling to 4.7% as at the end of June, which represents 25,000 sqm of space. This is below the national average of 6.8%. A demand-supply balance on the Kraków market has led to prime rental rates remaining stable, at between EUR3.40 and 3.60 per sqm.
“The Lesser Poland voivodeship can be divided into several warehouse zones. Kraków is the most developed of them and comprises three submarkets – Kraków-City, Airport and Nowa Huta. Furthermore, Kokotów, Targowisko and Skawina are important logistics locations. Modlniczka by the north-western part of the ring road as well as emerging markets of Brzesko and Tarnów are also worth mentioning” – enumerates Marta Nowik from AXI IMMO.
“Kraków-City and the area around the airport are dominated by BIK and 7R developers who offer SBU (small business unit) space in these two locations. Nowa Huta has grown in importance as a logistics and warehouse hub partly thanks to the completion of the eastern city ring road, which forms part of the S7 expressway. A new logistics park is in the pipeline in this submarket and is due to open in the second half of 2021” – comments Marta Nowik from AXI IMMO.
“The Kokotów and Targowisko submarkets are an excellent proposition for occupiers considering relocation from older warehouses e.g. in Rybitwy. These two locations are a convenient base for serving the city of Kraków and they offer rents below those in urban warehouses. Moreover, occupiers that serve both Kraków and Rzeszów may consider locating in Brzesko or Tarnów. These two eastern submarkets have in recent years been particularly popular among production occupiers, partly thanks to their good availability of skilled workers” – comments Marta Nowik from AXI IMMO.
Finally, Skawina in the south-west has long-standing industrial traditions and is one of the oldest and most well-established logistics locations in the region. The submarket has in recent years been dominated by logistics companies. In close proximity to the city, the submarket of Modlniczka in the north-west is meanwhile dominated by BTS and BTO (built to own) type facilities” – adds Marta Nowik from AXI IMMO.