Positive economic development around the world and in Austria has had a favorable effect on the Austrian real-estate economy—this is the conclusion drawn by the recently published market report. Market sentiment is positive, and there is a high willingness to invest—even if the transaction volume, at just over 4 billion euros, has not quite reached the previous year’s figures.

High quality of life and purchasing power, legal certainty, and a positive demographic development strengthen the investors’ trust in the domestic market. Interesting to note here is that German buyers, who have been traditionally well represented, are now joined by buyers from Asia. Another significant item is the yield compression in commercial properties: Highest yields in the office-space segment were at 3.8 percent, in luxury shopping centres at around 4 percent. Specialist retail yield is around 5.25 percent, high-street retail yield around 3.2 percent; the hotel sector is at around 4.25 percent and logistics at around 5.5 percent.

Investors have adjusted their strategy accordingly, looking around for new opportunities: On the one hand, the capitals of the Austrian provinces have increasingly moved into their focus, on the other, there is increased interest in the residential market.

 

Key takeaways from the market report

Investment

  • Yield compression changes strategies—the residential asset class is becoming more interesting
  • Increasing interest from the Asian region in addition to German buyers
  • Retail dominates the first half of 2018 with two high-volume transactions: the Kika/Leiner portfolio and Mariahilfer Strasse 47

Office

  • 300,000 square metres of new real estate have yielded the highest value in more than 10 years
  • Renting and vacancy have increased
  • The boom of letting and re-letting rental space puts increasing pressure on landlords

Retail

  • The area decreases, while sales increase: currently the best sales volume development since 2010
  • Online competition has led to new strategies: “retailtainment” is to make stationary retail more interesting again
  • The Golden U in Vienna’s city centre remains the most attractive location, but Rotenturmstrasse and Brandstaette are in increasingly high demand
  • 2018 has seen 30 to 40 new international arrivals

Residential

  • Excess demand leads to price hikes, even in locations previously in low demand
  • High demand in the luxury segment remains unchanged—yet here, standards are also uncompromisingly high
  • Accessibility and the trend toward single households necessitate changes in floor plans

Industrial und Logistics

  • Industry 4.0 demands flexibility and increased readiness to network—also in real estate
  • Availability of skilled workers is also a major factor in Austria
  • Online retailers also change logistics—city logistics will pose new challenges to both the private sector and politics