TIRANA, September 27th 2011—Colliers International Albania has recently released its biannual research of the Real Estate Review for the first half of 2011. 

According to Colliers research, both office and retail markets experienced a slight increase in vacancy rates during the first half of 2011 while the demand continued to stay strong. 

"The first half of 2011 saw slow activity in the office market with continued stalled works in the projects under construction in Tirana's CBD. Contrary to the office market, the retail market has geared up for the upcoming shopping center, Tirana East Gate which is bringing to the market an additional 42,000 sq. m of modern retail space which to date has attracted to the market giant food retailer, Carrefour" said Stela Dhami, Managing Director of Colliers International Albania.

During the first half of 2011, no new supply was added to either office or retail market segments in Tirana and this trend is expected to continue until the second half of 2011 with the opening of Tirana East Gate.

Vacancy rates in the office market during the first half of 2011 faced an increase of 0.6% reaching the total office market vacancy level of 11% the equivalent of 7,000 m2 compared to 10.4% or 6,600 m2 in H2 2010. Parallel to offices, the retail market experienced an increase in vacancy rates with at least 3%, in the first half of 2011 compared with the previous period, reaching the level of 10.8%. 

Average rental prices in the office market continued to remain stable with minimal fluctuations in selected office buildings during H1 2011. Prime headline rents in the city centre and inner city registered 24.5 €/ m2 /month and 17 €/ m2 /month respectively. While within shopping centers, rental prices have experienced a significant decrease in the range of 30-50%, in H1 2011.

Colliers forecasts a stable second half of 2011 in rental prices and vacancy rates for both office and retail markets with a further increase in the retail stock of about 42,000 sq. m entering the market within the second half of 2011 through Tirana East Gate located in the outskirts of Tirana only 4km from the center.