Barcelona Drives Recovery In Spain’s Logistics Sector

4 February 2016 – Expansión

The logistics market is closely linked to the recovery in overall consumption. Last year, logistics warehouses with a surface area of almost one million m2 were leased, up by 37% compared with the previous year. This increase was primarily driven by the market in Barcelona, where companies anticipate a future supply shortage. There, the historical record for new warehouse leases was broken, with 564,000 m2 leased in total, representing an increase of almost 80% compared with 2014, according to figures from JLL.

In Cataluña, the automotive and fashion sectors have continued to feature in the largest operations, although the increase in ecommerce is also driving the sector, and warehouses leased exclusively for the distribution of products sold by companies online accounted for 10% of the total.

Some of the largest operations of the year in Cataluña included: one involving Decathlon, which leased a 40,000 m2 warehouse; another involving Kellogs, which leased 26,200 m2 of space; plus two warehouses owned by logistics operators, measuring 21,000 m2 and 18,500 m2, respectively, which are going to be used exclusively for the online sales of Inditex and Mango.

Moreover, a pre-agreement for the future logistics centre that Amazon plans to open in Cataluña, which will have a surface area of 210,000 m2, was signed in January, which means it will be accounted for in 2016, a year in which the trend (recovery) that began last year is expected to be maintained.

In Madrid, operations were recorded involving a total surface area of 383,000 m2 last year, up by just 2% compared with the previous year, but expectations there are high for 2016, thanks to the projects that are underway and due to be completed this year, including the one in Cabanillas del Campo and another two large warehouses in the Getafe area. (…).

Despite the shortage of large warehouses and the fact that vacancies are decreasing, rents have not yet started to recover, with the exception of in some of the large cities, where the increase has been minimal. Nevertheless, the consultancy firms predict rises in 2016. (…).

The Director of Logistics and Industry at CBRE  in Spain, Alberto Larrazábal, said that, last year “Barcelona exceeded Madrid because it has a pharmaceutical and textile base that the Spanish capital lacks”. Nevertheless, he expects this trend will be reversed in 2016, because “there is no availability in terms of land or finished warehouses in the Catalan capital’s area of influence”.

Investment market

In terms of investment, 2015 was also a positive year: investors spent €734 million, compared with €586 million in 2014. The main players were the Socimis and overseas funds, and their interest resulted in the compression of yields from 8% two years ago to their current level of 6.5%. (…).

Original story: Expansión (by Marisa Anglés)

Translation: Carmel Drake