The economies of Nordic countries continue to outperform most others in Europe. The commercial real estate market in the Nordics is no exception.
The economies of Nordic countries continue to outperform most others in Europe. The commercial real estate market in the Nordics is no exception. These countries – Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark and Iceland – provide safe investment opportunities for anyone aspiring to become an investor in this region. Risks are low, and it’s all thanks to exceptionally strong macroeconomic and stable political environments.
Of course, the struggles with the pandemic that has been shaking the world for the past two years have had a rather massive impact. Governments across the globe implemented measures in an attempt to control the spread of the virus. Simultaneously, they tried to manage the effects of all those measures on the economy. Unfortunately, practically no economic or social activity has escaped the impact of the pandemic.
That said, in 2021 three of the Nordic markets outperformed the rest of the European market, pushing the Nordic share of European commercial real estate deal volume to a record.
This article will present some commercial real estate trends in the Nordic countries observed over the last two years, which will serve as the basis for predictions for the future. It will also reveal some trends in investors’ choices.
Industrial and logistics commercial real estate in the Nordics
Industrial and logistics real estate has been a popular investment choice in the Nordics.
When the pandemic broke out, and people were forced to stay at home and limit their shopping activities, online retail sales soared. The Covid-19 crisis is not over, although the world is learning to live with it. So, online sales are still stronger than in-store. As a result, there has been a growing demand for industrial and logistic properties in Europe.
Online sales have seen steady growth in all Nordic countries not only over the past two years but in the last 15 years. This trend is more than likely to continue. As a consequence of the pandemic, the demand for industrial and logistic real estate has been on the increase since 2020. That is true for the entire Europe, where the United Kingdom, one of the countries with the most developed industrial zones, saw the highest investment value in 2021. As for the Nordic countries, Sweden took first place in this respect. When it comes to industrial and logistic real estate, Sweden was the fifth in Europe last year.
Many factors influence yields, including:
- Renting time
All of these can influence the return rates.
The prime yields in all Nordic capitals in 2021 were pretty high. For example, in Copenhagen, they were 5.25%. In Stockholm, the rate was slightly lower, at 4.6%, although Sweden was the country that had the highest investments of all the Nordic countries. In 2021, all the capitals saw a decrease in prime yields.
The rental price of large warehouses in prime locations was the highest in Oslo. In 2021, prime rental prices for warehouses and logistic and distribution centers increased. Oslo remained at the top of the list, and Helsinki, Copenhagen, and Stockholm followed in that order.
Office assets in the Nordics
Office assets remain a prevalent investment choice despite flexible work patterns.
Sweden, Norway, Denmark, and Finland were believed to recover to the pre-pandemic investment volume most quickly. Given the resilience these countries have demonstrated in this respect since the pandemic began, this is to be expected. Although things have not returned to the pre-pandemic state entirely, they certainly are looking good.
Despite the flexible work patterns, with many employees working from home, offices remain the most preferred type of investment for European investors. As a result, the prices of office spaces in prime locations will probably remain stable.
Investors have always favoured offices in superb locations with an excellent infrastructure. This trend continues. So, consequently, there is a lot of liquidity in the office real estate market.
One factor that has been observed and that investors are prioritizing is the environmental aspect. Besides prime inner-city locations and strong tenant credits, investors are looking for environmentally certified office assets. They also put a lot of focus on the quality of these properties.
Sustainability and ESG
ESG stands for Environmental, Social, and Governance (as in Corporate Governance). These three broad areas are what constitute a socially responsible investor. These investors consider it vital to incorporate their core values into their investment decisions. For example, environmental concerns may influence their selection of an investment property. These values become more important than mere profitability or risk assessment.
There has been a high level of awareness among Nordic investors concerning the environment and sustainability. When it comes to the real estate market, the has been a shift from planning to action. The discussion is no longer about the ideas and plans but actionable suggestions and implementation of more sustainable solutions.
Demand dictates trends. It has always been like that, and it will continue to be so. If investors continue to demonstrate increased interest in more climate-friendly assets and showcase the importance of sustainability, the inventory will have to be as environmentally friendly as possible.
Changes in the real estate market are usually pretty slow. Still, the important part is that there is a change and that it is for the better.
Is investing and in the Nordic countries wise?
It most certainly is. Even when the pandemic was in full swing, the commercial real estate market in the Nordics was pretty stable. If your investment portfolio includes commercial properties in Florida, one of the hot commercial real estate markets in the US, diversifying and spreading your investment to Europe is smart. A change of scenery is also welcome, so if you are considering an international move and wish to relocate here from the Sunshine State, now is a good time. Investment properties in the Nordics offer plenty of opportunities for success.
The commercial real estate market in the Nordics is stable. Whether in the logistics and warehousing sector or office property, investing in real estate in the Nordics can generate competitive returns.