The Cologne office leasing market (municipal area) recorded 78,000 sqm in take-up in Q1 2021, up 123 % yoy. The public sector signed three large-scale leases, contributing to a strong Q1 2021 take-up result that far exceeded 2020’s very moderate start to the year. These three leases made up just over 60 % of total take-up in Q1. Activity in the small and medium-scale space segments remained comparatively slow. The vacancy rate proved relatively stable yoy, up only slightly to 2.6 %. We have yet to see a noticeable increase in subletting activity. Rents remain quite stable across all market segments. Total annual take-up of around 225,000 sqm appears to be realistic for 2021.
The Cologne commercial investment market recorded a transaction volume of € 110 m for real estate and land sites within city limits in Q1 2021, down 77 % from previous-year results. The cities of Cologne and Düsseldorf both experienced a rather quiet start to the year, with the latter registering just slightly more in take-up. Office assets once again claimed pole position with a share of 53 % in transaction volume, followed by a small number of deals signed in the retail segment. Despite the pandemic-related restrictions, foreign investors were very active buy-side with a market share of 62 %. However, they were completely absent from the market sell-side. In terms of location, transaction activity across all asset classes focused on the City submarket, which accounted for two thirds of transaction volume.