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08.07.2024

Frankfurt region: REALOGIS analyses the market for logistics and industrial properties in the first half of 2024

  • New-build properties and brownfield developments well ahead of existing properties
  • Subletting rate on the rise
  • Industry ranking: Logistics/distribution takes the lead again
  • Regional ranking: South and North regions with strong results
  • Areas of 5,001 m² or more are responsible for two thirds of the area decrease
  • Prime and average rents reach new highs
  • Outlook: Total sales expected to be slightly below previous year's result
    Frankfurt, 8 July 2024 - The take-up of space achieved by all market participants in Frankfurt's owner-occupier and rental market for logistics and industrial properties broke the negative trend of previous years and increased by a significant 70,800 m² to 209,900 m² in a year-on-year comparison of the first six months. Coming from 139,100 m² in the same period of the previous year, the development represents a significant increase of 50.9%. This is the conclusion reached by Realogis - Germany's leading consultancy for industrial and logistics properties and commercial land - in its latest market report.

The past half-year is 6% below the 5-year average of 224,044 m². By way of comparison, the 5-year average was missed by a significant 41% in the same period of the previous year, while the first half of 2022 fell 31% short of the average.

New-build properties and brownfield developments well ahead of existing properties
In contrast to the previous year, transactions in new-build properties contributed the largest share of take-up at 58.4% or 122,600 m². Existing properties accounted for 19.2% or 40,200 m² and brownfield developments contributed 22.4% or 47,100 m². In the previous year, existing lettings set the pace with 67.1% or 93,400 m².

"The ratio between new builds and existing properties on the Frankfurt market has almost reversed in the first six months. New build space increased by a significant 87,900 m² in absolute terms compared to the previous year, which is more than three times as much, and is therefore largely responsible for the good half-year result. Project developers see their investment strategies in the Rhine-Main region confirmed," comments Julian Petri, Managing Director of Realogis Immobilien Frankfurt GmbH.

Contracts for new buildings on former brownfield sites also increased significantly with a plus of 36,100 m², more than quadrupling. Existing space, on the other hand, fell by a significant 53,200 m², which is equivalent to more than a halving.

Subletting is also on the rise on the Frankfurt market
According to Realogis data, subletting contributed 36,700 m² or 17.5% of take-up. This means that almost one in six square metres taken up in H1 2024 is attributable to subletting. At the end of 2023 as a whole, subletting still accounted for 12.4% of take-up. The importance of subletting in relation to the share of total take-up in the first six months of 2024 is therefore increasing.

"Various deals are subletting. In order to utilise their properties, often with remaining terms, users are increasingly concluding short-term subletting agreements with a term of six to twelve months," says Julian Petri.

This applies, among other things, to Rolf Benzinger Spedition-Transporte GmbH
's lease for 17,000 m², which is one of the top deals in terms of size. If only the owner-occupier contract signed by DHL is included, the increase in the half-year result for medium to long-term leases is already reduced by 50,000 m² to 20,800 m².

Frankfurt predominantly tenant market
At 175,800 m² or 83.8%, the majority of take-up is attributable to lettings (H1 2023: 136,500 m² or 98.1%). Owner-occupier agreements account for 34,100 m² or 16.2%. This distribution was even clearer in the first half of the previous year, when owner-occupier agreements played almost no role (2,600 m² or 1.9%).

In terms of building type, other space, i.e. no big box or business park, leads the way with 87,000 m² or 41.4%, followed by second place with 43,400 m² or 31.2% (more than double the take-up). Big boxes, i.e. modern logistics properties with more than 10,000 m², account for 70,300 m² or 33.5% and are in second place, coming from third place with 40,600 m² or 29.2% (growth of 29,700 m² or 73.2%).

The only building type to lose space take-up is business parks. At 52,600 m² or 25.1%, coming from first place with 55,100 m² or 39.6% in H1 2023, they only lost a moderate -2,500 m² or -4.5%.

Regional ranking: South and North regions with strong results
Rhein-Main-South was again in first place with 104,000 m² or 49.5%, coming from 58,700 m² or 42.2%. Of all the regions, it achieved the most significant absolute growth with +45,300 m² or +77.2% and is almost on a par with the region's 5-year average of 101,268 m² (exceeded by 2.7%). With the agreements signed by Rolf Benzinger Spedition-Transporte GmbH (17,000 m²), MSK Pharmalogistic GmbH (approx. 11,300 m²) and Wego Systembaustoffe GmbH, three of the top agreements were signed in the South region, contributing a total of 38,086 m² or 36.6% of the region's take-up.

The Rhine-Main-North region, which previously came fourth, is currently in second place with 52,100 m² or 24.8% (H1 2023: 9,900 m² or 7.1%; +42,200 m² in absolute terms), more than tripling the 5-year average of 16,778 m². The good performance of the submarket is primarily due to DHL, which contributed more than half of the take-up in the region (59.5%) with its top lease agreement for 31,000 m².

In third place is the Rhine-Main-East region, previously in second place, with 43,600 m² or 20.8%, coming from 49,300 m² or 35.4% (moderate absolute decline of 5,700 m² or -11.6%). At -43.9%, the half-year result is well below the 5-year average for the region of 77,710 m². One of the top deals was signed by the international freight forwarder Gebr. Thomaidis GmbH in Hanau harbour, which accounted for 27.1% of the region's take-up with 11,800 m².


In fourth place is the Frankfurt city area with 4,700 m² or 2.2%, coming from 7,700 m² or 5.5% (-3,000 m² or -39%; 59% below the 5-year average of 11,476 m²). Mainz/Wiesbaden is in penultimate place with 3,300 m² or 1.6%, down from 10,300 m² or 7.4% (3rd place). The most significant decline of all regions was recorded here with -7,000 m² or -68% (the 5-year average of 11,476 m² was missed by a clear 59%). Rhine-Main-West remains in last place with 2,200 m² or 1%, down from 3,200 m² or 2.3%.

"The Rhine-Main-South and Rhine-Main-North regions made the biggest contribution to the half-year result. In a direct comparison with the first half of 2023, they achieved a total increase of 87,500 m², which more than compensated for the declines in the other regions," reports Julian Petri.


Lessors with the highest take-up in H1 2024

Company

Market

Take-up

Type

Sector

DHL

Rhine-Main-North

31,000 m²

New building

Logistics/distribution

Rolf Benzinger Spedition-Transporte GmbH

Rhine-Main-South

17,000 m²

Existing property

Logistics/distribution

Thomaidis Bros.

Rhine-Main-East

11,800 m²

Brownfield

Logistics/distribution

MSK Pharmalogistic GmbH

Rhine-Main-South

11,300 m²

Brownfield

Logistics/distribution

Wego Systembaustoffe GmbH

Rhine-Main-South

9,800 m²

Existing property

Retail (classic)


Sector ranking: Logistics/distribution takes the lead again
The logistics/distribution sector is responsible for almost half of the decrease in space in the months from January to June 2024. Starting from 47,300 m² or 34% in the first half of 2023, this represents a significant increase of 51,800 m², which is more than double the previous figure (+109%). The fact that the sector is performing well above average is also reflected in the 5-year average of 79,182 m², which was exceeded by a significant 25%. Logistics companies and freight forwarders also account for all but one of the top deals, contributing an accumulated 71,086 m² or 71.7% of take-up in the sector.

In second place is the previously third-placed manufacturing sector with 66,900 m² or 31.9%, followed by 27,300 m² or 19.6%. The 5-year average was exceeded by a clear 70% (39,252 m²).

Retail slipped to third place with 28,900 m², coming from first place in H1 2023 with 55,300 m² or 39.8%. It is the only sector with a decline in take-up (-26,400 m² or -47.7%). The 5-year average of 90,018 m² was missed by a significant 68%. The main reason for the weak result is the e-commerce sub-category, which currently accounts for just 2,200 m² and contributes 7.6% of retail space take-up. In the first half of 2023, this figure was 32,000 m² or 57.9%, which corresponds to a slump of 29,800 m² or a drop of 93.1% (and therefore just under 6% of the previous year's figure). The growth in traditional retail of 3,400 m² to currently 26,700 m² (coming from 23,300 m², +14.6%) cannot compensate for this decline. While traditional retail fell short of the 5-year average of currently 36,200 (-26%), e-commerce undercut this by a significant 85% (average is currently 14,933 m²).

The last place is still taken by the miscellaneous category with 15,000 m² or 7.1%, coming from 9,200 m² or 6.6% (+5,800 m²; +63%).

"In summary, it can be said that the logistics/distribution sector in particular is responsible for the fact that the first half of 2024 performed more positively for Frankfurt's industrial and logistics property rental market than in the previous year. The logistics/distribution sector accounted for 53.3% of the growth, followed by manufacturing with 40.7% and the collective category of other with 6%. The growth in these three categories totalled +97,200 m² and compensated for the weakening retail sector with -26,400 m² year-on-year," says Julian Petri.

Space from 5,001 m² upwards responsible for two thirds of the decrease in space
At 71,000 m² or 33.8%, the segment of large spaces of 10,001 m² and above accounted for the most space of all size categories in the past six months (H1 2023: third place with just 26,880 m² or 19.3%) and more than doubled by 44,120 m². It is also the most significant gain in importance of all size categories, with 14.5 percentage points.

Space between 5,001 and 10,000 m² was in second place in the past six months with 58,400 m² or 27.8%, up from 47,260 m² or 34% (growth of 11,140 m² or 19.8%).

Units between 3,001 and 5,000 m² rose one place to third place with 48,550 m² or 23.1%, up from 18,880 m² or 13.6% (growth of 29,670 m² in absolute terms, +157.2%). Smaller spaces between 1,000 and 3,000 m² fell two places to fourth place with 24,750 m² or 11.8% (H1 2023: 44,180 m² or 31.8%; -19,430 m² or -44.0%). Micro space of less than 1,000 m² continues to contribute the least space with 7,200 m² or 3.4% (H1 2023: 1,900 m² or 1.4%; + 5,300 m²).

Prime and average rents reach new highs
Prime rents in the Frankfurt metropolitan region continued their upward price trend of the same period last year and reached their provisional peak at €7.90/m². Coming from € 7.60/m² in the same period of the previous year, it increased by 3.9% in H1 2024. The 5-year average of € 7.36/m² will be exceeded by 7.3%.

The average rent is also developing dynamically, rising by 5.0% to € 6.30/m², up from € 6.00/m² in the same period of the previous year. The 5-year average of € 5.61/m² was exceeded by 12.3%.

Outlook
"The euphoria of recent years is and remains muted. The geopolitically induced wait-and-see attitude dominates," says Julian Petri, outlining the mood.

For the year as a whole, the logistics property specialist expects take-up to be slightly below the previous year's result of 458,000 m². "The performance of the market is also dependent on a handful of potential new builds for which leases are expected to be signed in 2024," explains Julian Petri.

 

REALOGIS press contact:
SH/Communication - Agency for Public Relations
Silke Westermann
Tel: +49/211/53 88 3-440
E-Mail:
s.westermann@shcommunication.de

 

Company contact REALOGIS:
REALOGIS Holding GmbH
Silja Schuppler
Marketing
Leopoldstraße 154, 80804 München

Tel: +49/89/51 55 69 17
E-Mail: s.schuppler@realogis.de

www.realogis.de

 

REALOGIS. No. 1 for industrial and logistics properties

The REALOGIS Group is Germany’s leading player for the consulting and brokering of industrial, logistics and commercial properties. Founded in 2005 as a pioneer for the asset class of logistics and industry, the owner-operated group has enjoyed healthy growth, is crisis-resistant and knows the German market like no other. In 2022 Realogis generated nearly 1.25 million m² of usable space alone in the letting segment. The net commission revenue of all services in the financial year 2023 are around EUR 19 million.

In 2021, REALOGIS also won the German Real Estate Prize in the “Commercial Player” category, which honours companies for their outstanding commitment, creativity, innovative strength and sustainability.

Realogis is represented in the country’s seven top logistics locations of Berlin, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt am Main, Hamburg, Leipzig, Munich and Stuttgart, while a dedicated organisational unit ensures transparency in around 15 additional regional logistics markets. 70 real estate professionals advise national and international companies from the fields of logistics, e-commerce, retail and industry as well as private and institutional investors. Quick, flexible, regional, customer-oriented and with a high volume of transactions.

REALOGIS four core competencies are arranging highly creditworthy tenants for new and existing properties, assisting investors with property investments and project development of greenfields and brownfields, outstanding service for locating or selling sites, and the development and implementation of holistic property strategies.

In short, REALOGIS creates more room for its customers’ success in every sense. Further information: https://www.realogis.de/

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