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Serbia's Retail Property Market To Start Picking up in Spring 2010 - Colliers Intl

Sep 23, 2009, 3:17:49 PMArticle by Georgi Georgiev
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BELGRADE (Serbia), September 23 (SeeNews) - Serbia's retail market is expected to start picking up in the spring of 2010, allowing retailers to renew their expansion plans and consider projects that are in the pipeline or in the final stages of construction, real estate consultants Colliers International said in a recent market overview.

Serbia's Retail Property Market To Start Picking up in Spring 2010 - Colliers Intl

Rental levels should remain stable in the second half of 2009, in both high streets and shopping malls, the report said.

The shopping centre inventory in the capital Belgrade is forecast to increase from the current 155,870 square metres (sq m) of gross leasable area (GLA) to 200,000 sq m GLA in 2011 and to just under 300,000 sq m GLA in 2012.

Serbia's total shopping centre stock currently amounts to 264,500 sq m GLA and is seen rising to just over 400,000 sq m GLA in 2010 and to more than 550,000 sq m GLA in 2012.

In addition to the March launch of the Usce shopping mall in Belgrade, other major openings of retail facilities in the first half of 2009 included the refurbished Beogradjanka department store; retail outlet village Piazza Roma; and a Roda centre opened in the town of Sabac by Slovenia's Mercator.

Other cities and towns across Serbia that are experiencing intensive retail construction activities are Novi Sad, Indjija, Kragujavac, Krusevac, Valjevo and Nis.

Selected retail property projects in Serbia:

Project Type Developer Gross leasable area (sq m) Location Expected delivery date
Shopping mall shopping mall A.B.D. 20,000 Belgrade 2011
TQ City shopping mall Tradeunique 11,000 Indjija H2 2009
Park City mixed-use Vondel Capital 12,000 Novi Sad H2 2009 (1st phase)/H1 2010 (2nd phase)
Department store department store MPC 6,500 Nis 2010
Plaza Centre shopping mall n.a. 26,500 Kragujevac 2011
Plaza Visnjica shopping mall Plaza Centres 48,000 Belgrade 2012
Shopping mall shopping mall Verano 40,000 Belgrade 2012
Retail centre retail centre Pluto Capital 9,000 Leskovac H1 2010
Shopping centre shopping centre Big CEE 30,000 Novi Sad 2010
Roda shopping centre Mercator 12,000 Leskovac n.a.

(Source: Serbia Retail Market/H2 2009, Colliers International)

BELGRADE HIGH STREET PROPERTY MARKET

Vacancy levels have remained close to zero in the primary and secondary zones in the first half of 2009, the report said.

Rental levels on Belgrade high streets have generally remained stable over the last half a year, the primary zone recording levels of 100-200 euro ($147.8-$295.6) per sq m depending on the location and size. The rental levels in the secondary zone were 40-100 euro per sq m.

Rents in other zones, such as New Belgrade and high streets in non-central areas of Belgrade marked a decrease of 15-20%, ranging between 15 and 50 euro per sq m. Rental levels in the existing shopping malls have remained stable due to long leases with fixed terms. However, the decrease of asking rents for projects under construction has been recorded due to lower demand.

Slovenian hardware/home improvement retailer Merkur is currently constructing its second facility in Belgrade, in the Palilula municipality. This centre will feature close to 30,000 sq m gross building area (GBA) and is scheduled for opening in October 2009. Merkur has also announced the development of similar centres in Novi Sad and Kragujevac.

Supermarket/hypermarket projects in Belgrade announced by France's Interex, Vero and Germany's Metro have been on hold over the last year. However, Interex has successfully opened supermarkets in the towns of Cacak and Obrenovac, and local retailer Delta Maxi opened their Tempo and Tempo Express in Cacak and Vrnjacka Banja, respectively.

The first half of 2009 has witnessed a decrease of demand from both international and local retailers, evidenced by putting on hold their expansion plans, and, in some cases, even closing stores in secondary locations and cities. This caution was one of the influencing factors for postponing of several retail projects throughout Serbia.

Conversely, furniture retailers have begun expanding, with several major store openings recorded or in the pipeline: Kompresor in the Stari grad municipality in Belgrade, Lesnina in Zemun, and Simpo and Forma Ideale in New Belgrade. These retailers have recognised this period of subdued retailer activity as the time they can acquire a well-located store for lower rent.

($=0.6765 euro)

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