The modern retail stock in Bucharest remained stable in 2018, at 1.2 million square meters, a level which is 7% higher than in the Central-West region of the country (16 counties in Transylvania and Banat areas), which reached 1.18 million square meters, and twice the corresponding value of the Moldova region (eight counties), which reached 595,000 square meters, according to the Bucharest Retail Market and Romania Retail Regional Cities reports released by the Cushman & Wakefield Echinox real estate consultancy firm.
Another analyzed region is the South one (16 counties, excluding Bucharest – Ilfov), where the modern retail stock is of 735,000 square meters, therefore the total area of all the retail projects (shopping centers, retail parks and commercial galleries) at the national level is situated at 3.71 million square meters, resulting in a density of 191 square meters / 1,000 inhabitants.
If we take into account the projects currently under construction, we expect the deliveries of commercial spaces to accelerate this year up to 140,000 square meters, as Sibiu, Timisoara and Bucharest will attract a 70% share of these deliveries. The Festival Centrum shopping center and the extension of Shopping City Sibiu will be delivered in Sibiu, the Iulius Mall project will be expanded in Timisoara, while the extensions of the Colosseum Retail Park and Veranda Mall projects are expected in Bucharest. New modern retail spaces will also be delivered in Zalau, where the Zalau Value Center project is due to be inaugurated, and also in Satu Mare and Buzau, where two existing projects will be extended.
In 2019, the most active developers will be NEPI Rockcastle, Iulius Group and Prime Kapital, three of the most important developers and owners of commercial spaces on the local market.
Last year, new retail projects with a cumulative area of approximately 104,000 square meters have been delivered in Romania, with no new retail project being completed in Bucharest.
At a city-based level, the highest retail space density can be found in Suceava (1,167 sq m / 1,000 inhabitants) and Oradea (1,014 sq m / 1,000 inhabitants), while in the primary cities with a population of over 250,000 inhabitants, this indicator varies between 380 sqm / 1,000 inhabitants in Craiova and 692 sq m / 1,000 inhabitants in Timisoara.
The average vacancy rate for shopping centers in Bucharest declined from 3% to 2% over the past year, while at a regional level this value is situated at around 4% in the Southern and Eastern areas and 6% in the Central-Western part of the country. It is thus expected that the low vacancy rates within the dominant shopping centers will put pressure on rent levels.
“In comparison with 2018, we will see a 40% increase in 2019 when it comes to the deliveries of new retail projects, while for 2020 we expect a 60% increase compared to 2019, if all the announced opening dates are fully met. In the following period, we will see the inauguration of new shopping centers in Sibiu and Brasov, while the other developments will be represented by extensions of existing schemes or projects located in secondary and tertiary cities,” said Bogdan Marcu, Partner, Retail Agency, C&W Echinox.