2024 to see stabilisation on the industrial market

27 may 2024

2024 to see stabilisation on the industrial market


According to the latest report from global real estate services firm Cushman & Wakefield, occupier demand was notably weaker on the Polish industrial market in the first quarter of 2024. However, despite a double-digit decline in take-up, Poland was one of the most active leasing markets in Europe. Development activity also stabilised, but this year’s new supply is forecast to be the fourth highest in the history of the Polish industrial market


“The first quarter of 2024 saw more than 870,000 sq m of industrial space transacted – this represented a year-on-year decrease of 25% and the lowest figure since the second quarter of 2019. However, Europe as a whole also experienced a double-digit drop in take-up of 22% year-on-year, so Poland remains one of the top-performing European markets for leasing activity despite a marked slowdown from previous years,” explains Damian Kołata, Partner, Head of Industrial & Logistics Agency Poland, Head of E-Commerce CEE, Cushman & Wakefield.

An economic downturn and rising operating costs have been the main challenge facing the industrial market and other sectors, which saw many companies reorient their strategies towards optimizing operations.

“Logistics companies were notably less acquisitive, accounting for 20% of take-up in the last six months compared to the usual average of 30-40%. This sector is, however, showing signs of heightened activity, but this will not translate into take-up figures until several months later,” adds Damian Kołata.

Retail is a positive growth story of rising retail sales and the expansion of e-commerce. This, in turn, is fuelling strong demand coming from courier companies and the packaging sector. Despite a downturn in manufacturing, automotive and production companies remained active during the first quarter of 2024. Market sentiment is expected to improve in the coming quarters, but this year’s leasing activity is unlikely to match last year’s robust take-up of 5.58 million sq m.


At the end of the first quarter of 2024, Poland’s total warehouse stock stood at 32.7 million sq m, up by 9.5% year-on-year. 75% of that total is concentrated in the country’s five core regions: Mazovia, Silesia, Łódzkie, Lower Silesia and Greater Poland.

“New warehouse supply in the January-March period amounted to more than 850,000 sq m, 86% of which was delivered onto four markets: Lower Silesia, Pomerania, Greater Poland and Mazovia, which accounted for 32%, 20%, 19% and 15% of the total respectively,” comments Adrian Semaan, Analyst, Cushman & Wakefield.

The largest completions of the first quarter were Panattoni Park Poznań A2 (140,000 sq m, including 60,000 sq m for H&M), the second phase of Panattoni Park Wrocław Logistics South Hub (90,000 sq m) and another phase of GLP Wrocław V Logistics Centre (86,000 sq m) for an international e-commerce company.

“Development activity slackened slightly over the quarter, with approximately 2.32 million sq m under construction. Despite this, 2024 is expected to see 2.9 million sq m come on stream - this would represent the fourth highest supply level in the history of the Polish industrial market,” adds Adrian Semaan.

Speculative projects without pre-lets accounted for 49% of the development pipeline, down from 54% last year. The highest concentration of construction activity was in five core markets and in the vicinity of Gdansk and Krakow.

“It is worth noting that smaller markets such as Bydgoszcz-Toruń, Szczecin and Rzeszów are also expected to see an uptick in development. By contrast, there are no projects under way in Lubuskie due to a relatively high availability of warehouse space and muted demand from tenants with links to the German economy. Construction volumes are expected to shrink in the near term in Lower Silesia and Łódzkie,” says Damian Kołata.


The overall vacancy rate has been on an upward trend since it fell to a historic low of 3.3% in early 2021. It currently stands at 8.2%, its highest since September 2020 (8.5%). High supply levels pushed warehouse availability up to 2.69 million sq m during the first quarter of 2024, with 416,000 sq m of new completions remaining vacant at the end of March. In addition, approximately 245,000 sq m was vacated by tenants who chose not to renew their leases.

“Net absorption in the first quarter of the year amounted to nearly 520,000 sq m, signifying an increase in physically occupied space almost on a par with the 2017-2020 average of 530,000 sq m but well below the average of more than 850,000 sq m seen in 2021-2023,” comments Adrian Semaan.

Monthly headline rents for big-box logistics projects remain unchanged at EUR 3.60-6.50 per sq m, with urban warehouses commanding EUR 5.10-7.25 per sq m. Monthly effective rents are lower - EUR 2.70-6.20 per sq m and EUR 4.70-6.50 per sq m respectively. Rental rates are, however, likely to edge down in Łódzkie, Lower Silesia and Mazovia as a result significantly increased warehouse availability.

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