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WARSAW-The Polish warehouse market remained slow in third quarter 2009, with new space delivered plunging to 57,000 square meters from nearly 400,000 square meters in 3Q08, realtor Cushman & Wakefield reports. At end-September, only 150,000 square meters was under construction compared with 1.25 million square meters a year earlier. The current trend is not expected to reverse until after mid-2010.

Tenant sentiment improved slightly during the period, with leases signed for nearly 200,000 square meters–the highest figure this year, but still down 64% from a year earlier, Cushman & Wakefield said. The most successful markets were the Warsaw region, central Poland and Upper Silesia. The vacancy rate stabilised at 16.3%, up 5.8 percentage points from a year earlier and totaling nearly one million square meters. The highest vacancy was in Szczecin (100%) and Upper Silesia (21.1%) and the lowest on the Warsaw market (15.7%), in Poznañ (9.3%) and Tricity (1.4%). Given the large volume of vacant space, tenants are continuing to negotiate favorable lease terms.

Despite improved economic fundamentals, expectations for 4Q09 are not too optimistic. Developers are launching only schemes with preleases. Some 20% of space under construction at the end-September or 30,000 square meters of new warehouse space is seen delivered, about half the previous quarter. Tenants’ activity remains at a similar level to that seen in the third quarter, but a slight increase in lease volume is expected. Vacancy and rental rates are seen stable.

Allan Saundersonis a managing editor of Property Finance Europe and a contributor to GlobeSt.com.

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