After many years of high demand and low supply of offices, uncertainty in the market in 2020 increased as a consequence of the coronavirus pandemic, which resulted in reduced take-up. It is too early to speak about the long-term effects of COVID-19 on rental and vacancy levels, but we can state that Castellum went into the crisis with historically low vacancy levels and record-high rental levels in all markets, at the same time as the company has continued to offer office space at the same rental levels as prior to the pandemic. Office rents in 2020 were deemed to generally have been stable, or declined somewhat.
Rents in the Stockholm CBD had the strongest performance in Europe during the last five-year period. Uncertainty has increased somewhat as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, though the vacancy rate and offering remain low. The vacancy rate in the CBD is 2.5% and the average rent is estimated at approximately SEK 7,100 per square meter, while top rents in individual contracts in the best locations are over SEK 9,500 per square metre.
The rental market in Uppsala and Gävle remained strong in 2020.
In Gothenburg, rental levels were relatively stable. The vacancy rate in the CBD is 3.5% and the average rent is estimated at approximately SEK 2,900 per square meter, while top rents are approximately SEK 3,700 per square metre.
In Halmstad and Borås, rents for offices remained relatively unchanged during the year.
In Malmö, rents were stable or rose somewhat in 2020. The vacancy rate in the CBD is 5% and the average rent is estimated at approximately SEK 2,500 per square metre, while top rents are approximately SEK 3,500 per square metre.
In Lund and Helsingborg, rental levels were relatively stable.
Rental levels in the regional cities of Region Central were generally stable in 2020. This is in line with how things have looked historically during downturns in the economic cycle, where rental levels have generally showed less volatility in regional cities compared with major cities.
In Copenhagen, the office market has to date managed the coronavirus pandemic well, which manifested in an increase of 2–3% in rents in the CBD in 2020.
The rent levels for offices in the Helsinki CBD remained unchanged in 2020, with a stable vacancy rate. Demand is beginning to recover, and tenants are looking primarily for flexible properties in prime locations.