Valad drive Nordic commercial property market in 2012
Valad Europe, the continental real estate investment managers, recorded strong returns in 2012 following the lease of over 400,000m2 of office, industrial and retail space in the Nordics, the latest figures have revealed.
The trading encompassed €56m of commercial property assets across the region, including 170,000m2 in new lettings and 230,000m2 of renewals. Valad traded over 30 assets in total during last year, including properties from the company’s managed fund and single account workout mandates.
Sweden accounted for 85% of the transactions during this period, as liquidity in the northern European country has been significantly stronger than in the rest of the region. Over 71,000m2 of commercial property was leased in 200 new deals across the country, with a further 560 lease renewals on 118,000m2 of space, bringing Valad’s total annual rental income to approximately €18m.
Over 8,000m² of offices were let at the Älvsjö 360 Building in Stockholm, whilst Greater Gothenburg witnessed 44 new leasing arrangements with a combined area of 19,000m². In Denmark, 4,900m² of office space was leased to a variety of corporate tenants – including Santader Consumer Bank - at Copenhagen Business Park.
Mikael Arne Fogemann, Valad Europe’s head of Nordics, said: “In 2012, we put a strong focus on active asset management and completed the business plans for a number of assets across the region. This was manifested in the high overall number of lettings and renewals which averaged almost five lease renewals or new leases being signed each business day.”
Fogemann believes the recession has inspired property investors to take a new approach to their managerial style, which will encourage them to be more pragmatic in their dealings as the market moves towards recovery.
He said: “It is worth noting a shift in demand across Europe from investors looking for a more hands-on approach to real estate investment management through separate account mandates whereby they are able benefit from strategies tailored specifically to their requirements.
“We expect this trend to continue in 2013 and beyond. Our separate account mandates, like the recent Grindrod joint venture, demonstrate that Valad Europe is in a prime position to deliver the strategies, deal execution and management that investors are seeking.”
Valad’s success, however, was not confined to the Nordic region, with financial services company Deloitte employing the former’s services in December as receivers and administrators to Gemini’s mixed property portfolio of 25 assets in the UK. As of January 2013, the company has agreed a £100m joint venture with South African holding company Grindod for the trading of British industrial property.
Valad currently holds six mandates across the Nordic region, including 160 assets with 1,400 tenants with a total value of approximately €900m.