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Between January and June 2017 office space take-up in Milan came to 208,000 sqm, the highest first half ever recorded, even higher than the first six months of 2006 when absorption reached 200,000 sqm.
The general trend towards an improvement in the Milan market is underpinned by all the main key indicators: the vacancy rate fell to 12.1% while the prime rent in the CBD rose and in Q2 2017 reached 530 Euro/sqm/per year, a level not seen since 2009.
The lower availability of grade A buildings has led to a change in the market trend: whereas in the post crisis period the market was tenant driven, now owners have increased their decision-making power towards tenants and this has caused a slight increase in rents.
In June 2017 there were 226,000 sqm under construction, down compared to the previous quarter but with total completions in the second quarter of 55,426 sqm.
The volume of investments in the Milan business sector in Q2 totalled 417 million Euro in Q2, and 908 million in the first half of the year, down slightly compared to the same period of last year.
Take-up in Q2 2017 came to 18,207 sqm, down by 66% on the previous quarter; 59% less than the volume for Q2 2016.
However, the volume of space absorbed in the first half of 2017 rose by 7% compared to the same period of 2016, confirming it as one of the best results of the last 10 years, lower only than the absorption of first half 2011 and first half 2013.
A slight increase in the vacancy rate, with some peripheral areas continuing to have difficulty in finding tenants, who prefer more central areas.
Prime rents stable in the CBD and in the EUR area at 400 and 330 Euro sqm/per year respectively.
Investment volume was higher thanks to the completion of a deal that began last year; net prime yield stable at 4.00%.
Strong take-up growth continues in the quarter: with almost 610,000 sqm the increase on the previous quarter was almost 60%.
In the second quarter there were 20 transactions for the lease of logistics warehouses and developments with pre-let agreements; 5 for the sale and construction of owner-occupier properties.
Prime rents continue to rise: 55 Euro/sqm/per year for Rome and 53 Euro/sqm/per year for Milan.
The sale of Logicor to CIC generated, even for Italy, strong growth in the volume of investments in the logistics sector in the second quarter; the deals in the pipeline are again numerous, evidence of high interest on the part of investors.
Net prime yields stable in Q2, but with further compression expected in the second half of the year.
Almost 1.8 billion Euro were invested in Q1 2016, a decline of 6.7% on the same quarter of the previous year.
Quarterly volume confirms 36% more than the quarterly average for the past four years.
At approximately 1.3 bn Euro, foreign capital is still the major driver of Italian CRE investment volume in Q1 16.
European investors lead the quarterly foreign capital (51%), with German on the top of the list.
The office sector, with 46% of total quarterly volume, is still the investors’ preferred asset class while retail follows whit 32%, thus improving its market share compared to previous quarters; the mixed use properties sector (mainly non-core investments to be re-positioned) fell at 6% .
The beginning of 2016 has been marked by an increased cautiousness among investors compared to the end of 2015 but the interest in the Italian real estate is confirmed sound.