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Market report Stuttgart full-year 2023

- About the logistics market in the economic region

The market for rental and owner-occupied logistics and industrial properties in the Stuttgart metropolitan regionsuffered a setback in 2023 as a whole. According to our analysis, take-up of logistics and industrial properties by all market players totalled 217,600 m² last year. This was 31.1% down from the high record level of 316,000 m² set in the previous year, which proved to be something of an outlier.

Despite the decline of around 100,000 m² in absolute terms compared to the previous year, the 2023 market is in the middle of the five-year average.

Facts

  • Decline in take-up of more than 30%
  • Regional rankings: Ludwigsburg reclaims the throne for first time since 2021
  • Retail is the new leader in sector rankings; logistics plummets
  • Increasing focus on large spaces
  • Prime rents continue to rise, up +7.7%

This average is roughly 227,000 m², and the annual take-up for 2023 falls only slightly short of this (4% or around 10,000 m² lower). Take-up for 2019 and 2020 was lower at 169,600 m² and 135,400 m² respectively, while 2021 and 2022 were higher at 296,612 m² and 316,000 m² respectively. Market activity was still fairly quiet in the first half of 2023, partly due to the uncertainty regarding general economic developments and changing parameters, such as the higher interest rate environment. The market picked up in the second half of the year with more lettings, which suggests greater confidence and a gradual recovery.

However, the rise in interest rates, increased construction costs, and the shortage of land are still influencing new construction activity. The shortage of available rental space remains to be very noticeable, and this will also be reflected in an ongoing rise in rents in 2024.

Lettings in new buildings accounted for 92,700 m² or 42.6% of total take-up in 2023. This represents only a moderate year-on-year decline of 9,630 m² or -9%. Breuninger was the largest new-build tenant (40,000 m²) in the Ludwigsburg district in 2023. This sole owner-occupier transaction also represents the largest deal in this category in the Stuttgart logistics and industrial property market in 2023 as a whole.

The other two of the top three new-build contracts in the Stuttgart metropolitan region were signed by the production company TK Elevator in the district of Esslingen (24,700 m²) and EDEKASüdwest Stiftung & Co KG in the district of Böblingen (13,360 m²). Lettings in existing properties accounted for take-up of only 124,900 m² and thus represent 57.4% of total take-up in 2023. At 88,770 m², the difference from the previous year's take-up of 213,670 m² corresponds to a drop of 42%.

Top lessees in full-year 2023 in Greater Stuttgart

E. Breuninger GmbH & Co. KG, Ludwigsburg district, approx. 40,000 m² (New build), Retail (e-commerce)

TK Elevator, Esslingen district, approx. 24,700 m² (New build), Manufacturing

Paul Lange & Co. OHG, Göppingen district, approx. 14,000 m² (Existing property), Traditional retail

EDEKA Südwest Stiftung & Co. KG, Böblingen district, approx. 13,360 m² (New build), Traditional retail

Duvenbeck Logistics Europe GmbH, Böblingen district, approx. 10,500 m² (Existing property), Logistics/distribution

The largest rentals in existing properties in 2023 include the leases signed by the bicycle retailer Paul Lange & Co. (14,000 m²) in the district of Göppingen and by Duvenbeck Logistics Europe GmbH in the district of Böblingen (10,500 m²). Together, they account for 24,500 m², or 11.3% of total take-up. As in the previous year, brownfields, i.e. property developments on previously occupied sites, did not play a role on the Stuttgart rental and owner-occupier market.

Regional rankings: Ludwigsburg reclaims the throne for first time since 2021

Of all the regions, the district of Ludwigsburg, which ranked fourth in 2022, made up the largest share of take-up in 2023, accounting for 80,800 m² or 37.1%. This represents an absolute increase of 34,200 m² or 73.4% from the previous year's figure of 46,600 m². The market share increased by 22.4 percentage points from 14.7% to 37.1% at present. Thanks to the owner-occupier agreement (expansion) signed by Breuninger, the largest new use of space of over 40,000 m² is located in this market area.

The last time Ludwigsburg held first place was in 2021 when it accounted for 117,541 m² or 39.6%. The district of Böblingenranked second in terms of take-up at 53,100 m² or 24.4%, losing the top spot it occupied the previous year (2022: 104,100 m² or 32.9%). In absolute terms, the sub-market slumped by almost half in terms of take-up (-51,000 m² or -49%). Here, Böblingen recorded the second-highest absolute decline in 2023 as a whole after Esslingen at -56,600 m². The region also lost 8.5 percentage points of market share in relative terms. EDEKA (13,360 m²) and Duvenbeck (10,500 m²) were two of the top contributors to take-up in the Böblingen district, accounting for a combined total of 23,860 m² or 44.9% of take-up in this region.

Sitting in third place is the district of Esslingen at 35,300 m² or 16.2%. The largest contribution here was made by TK Elevator with 24,700 m² or 69.9%. Dropping from second place in the previous year at 91,900 m² or 29.1%, the district of Esslingen recorded the largest absolute decline in take-up of all sub-markets to -56,600 m² or -61.6%. In a comparison of the last five years, current take-up in the Esslingen region is roughly 34% lower than the average of around 53,000 m² and thus underperforming significantly. The Rems-Murr district follows in fourth place at 21,700 m² or 10%, up from fifth place where it registered 16,300 m² or 5.2%. Despite the lack of any major deals, an increase of 5,400 m² was recorded in absolute terms, up 33.1% on 2022, and the market share in terms of take-up also rose by 4.8 percentage points.

The district of Göppingen accounts for 18,200 m² or 8.4% (2022: third place with 52,000 m² or 16.5%), a difference of 33,800 m² or -65%. This means that absolute take-up has dropped by more than half. The district of Göppingen also saw a 8.1 percentage point decline in relative terms. More than three quarters of take-up in the past year is thanks to the major deal signed by Paul Lange & Co. (76.9% or 14,000 m² in total). The Stuttgart city area remains in last place with take-up of 8,500 m² or a 3.9% share of total take-up in 2023 (2022: 5,100 m² or 1.6%), marking a slight increase in relative terms.

In summary, the difference of -98,440 m² in overall take-up for 2023 compared to the previous year can be attributed to the decline in the sub-markets of Göppingen (-33,800 m²), Böblingen (-51,000 m²) and Esslingen (-56,600 m²). Totalling 43,000 m², growth in the Stuttgart (+3,400 m²), Rems-Murr-Kreis (+5,400 m²) and especially Ludwigsburg (+34,200 m²) sub-markets was unable to make up for the shortfall.

Retail is the new leader in sector rankings; logistics plummets

For the first time since we began tracking and analysing the sectors that require logistics and industrial space, i.e. since 2013, retail saw the highest proportion of take-up in 2023. According to the current sector rankings, 82,100 m² or 37.7% is attributable to retail including e-commerce, primarily the result of the Breuninger deal.

Although there was an absolute decline of 26,500 m² or 24.4% from 108,600 m² or 34.4%, the retail sector was able to slightly expand its market share in relative terms with an increase of 3.4 percentage points. At the same time, the retail sector is well above its average take-up of 52,389 m² by a good 56.7% compared to the last five years as a whole. Within the retail category, e-commerce has clearly taken the lead at 61,200 m² or 74.5% (2022: 42,300 m² or 39%, +35.6 percentage points).

Brick and mortar retail accounted for 20,900 m² or 25.5% of take-up (2022: 66,300 m² or 61%, -35.6 percentage points in retail take-up in relative terms).

In second place in 2023 as a whole is manufacturing with 64,200 m² or 29.5%, moving up from third where it accounted for 43,900 m² or 13.9%. This sector was thus able to increase take-up by 20,300 m² or 46.2%. The sector also increased its relative share of the market by 15.6 percentage points in terms of take-up.

Having consistently led the field since 2018, the logistics/distribution sector droppedtwo places for 2023 as a whole. Take-up of 40,000 m² corresponds to a share of only 18.4% (2022: 131,000 m² or 41.5%). At -91,000 m² or -69.5%, the sector thus experienced the highest absolute decline of all sectors. With a drop of -23.1 percentage points, the sector also fell the furthest in relative terms. According to our assessment, demand remains high, but sufficient availability of space is not guaranteed.

The miscellaneous category "Other" again took last place with 31,300 m² or a share of 14.4% (2022: 32,500 m² or 10.3%); this is essentially a sideways trend as the decline is only 1,200 m² or 3.7%. In relative terms, the miscellaneous category increased its market share slightly (+4.1 percentage points).

Increasing focus on large spaces

An analysis of take-up by size category for 2023 as a whole shows an increasing focus on spaces that are 10,000 m² or more. This category again contributed the largest amount of take-up in the past year as a whole with 120,900 m² or 55.6% (from 154,600 m², or 48.9%). In absolute terms, this represents a decrease of 33,700 m² or 21.8%.


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Larger spaces between 5,001 and 10,000 m² account for the third most space with 26,600 m² or 12.2%, dropping from second place with 61,400 m² and a share of 19.4%. Of all the size categories, this one has seen the sharpest decline: The fall of 34,800 m² means take-up dropped by more than half (-56.7%). The pro rata decline in market share in relation to take-up is 7.2 percentage points.

Accounting for 22,400 m² or 10.3%, the size category between 3,001 and 5,000 m² dropped to fourth place last year from third place, where it had previously stood at 50,300 m² or 15.9%. This size category also suffered a significant drop in take-up in absolute terms compared to the previous year, registering a dip of more than half (55.5%) or -27,900 m². It also declined by 5.6 percentage points on a pro rata basis.

Spaces between 1,000 m² and 3,000 m²moved up two spots from fourth place (42,200 m² or 13.4%) to 35,300 m² or 16.2% despite an absolute decline in take-up of 6,900 m² or -16.4%. In relative terms, the increase in market share is moderate at 2.9 percentage points. Smaller spaces under 1,000 m² remained at the bottom of the rankings with 12,400 m² or a share of 5.7% (absolute growth: +4,900 m² or +65.3%; slight increase in importance of +3.3 percentage points in relative terms, up from 7,500 m² or 2.4 %).

Prime rents continue to rise, up +7.7%

With an increase of 7.7% to €8.40/m² by the end of 2023, the trend towards rising rents continued from previous years to reach a new provisional high for prime rents (end of 2022: €7.80/m²). The 5-year average of €7.32/m² was exceeded by 14.8%. Increased construction costs and interest rates and, above all, a lack of suitable space, are the factors driving prices.

New energy concepts in the innovative and very well-equipped properties suitable for third-party use also led to price increases. Specialist properties in the light industrial sector are also having an impact on the level of prime rents. We also observed outlier deals priced higher than €8.40/m² in the reporting period. As they were not representative of the market as a whole, however, they are included in the calculation of prime rents at a discount.

Average rents stood at €6.90/m² at the end of 2023, thus rising somewhat more sharply than prime rents (+9.5% from €6.30/m²) and also marking a new provisional high. The 5-year average of €5.88/m² increased by 17.3%.


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