Colombia. The corporate real estate sector in this country offers a positive outlook for the year 2023, due, in large part, to the fact that a majority of companies chose to return to their workspaces.
"The real estate sector had a performance in 2022 marked by proactivity and resourcefulness on the part of the owners, who, when foreseeing the decrease in their cash flow, resorted to, from renegotiating contracts, providing grace periods, to agreeing to the reduction of administration fees and the same rent, for a certain time. These initiatives allowed multiple companies to stay in their workplace, which caused the pace of space release to be less accelerated," said Roberto Cáceres, General Manager of Colliers International Colombia.
One of the sectors that showed notable changes in its behavior has been that of offices. Buildings with higher technical specifications, environmental certifications, nearby access roads, and collaborative spaces, have become the most demanded in the last two years.
● Offices: Q4 2022 availability rate: 11.07% vs. Q4 2021: 11.35%
As companies have chosen to return to their workspaces, this is reflected in the levels of demand executed at the national level that was observed during 2022, being a figure higher than 100,000m2 where buildings came into operation in all cities.
Likewise, mobility restrictions made multiple companies rethink their way of working, opting to move their operation to a remote scheme or with reduced presence, causing less use of their facilities.
However, the dynamics of space occupancy that have occurred since the second half of 2021 have made the current availability figures resume their trend towards previous levels of 2020, so that currently the capital is one of the cities with the lowest rate in the region, in the three different segments that Colliers monitors.
What can be summarized from the Retail market?
● The availability rate in the city's shopping centers closed 2022 at a figure of 5.65%, being the lowest in the last five years.
Among the new practices of the retail sector, the boom in online sales stands out, giving way to new marketing channels such as telephone sales, social networks, and the creation of numerous online stores.
What is the landscape of the post-pandemic industrial sector?
● The industrial segment registered an accelerated consolidation so far in 2022, where it is evident that the demand requested led the market to the need to expand with new warehouses within existing industrial parks and free zones.
In the industrial sector, new developments are added that promote the industrialization of the country, proposing technical specifications of high standards, being more attractive to potential investors, in addition to being committed to the environment.
In this segment, a countercyclical behavior was evidenced where during the pandemic, the highest absorption levels were historically registered, with an accumulated net absorption of more than one million square meters in the last two years at the national level.
What expectations do you have in the different sectors for 2023?
These are some projections that Colliers International makes around the main sectors this year.
❖ Corporate sector: a decrease in the rate of decrease in the supply of corporate spaces is estimated in the medium and long term, considering the entry of new properties to the competitive inventory of the city that do not enter with a total occupation of the same.
In addition, the physical vacancy and usability of corporate real estate assets will be an issue to be closely monitored, since it has been evident that many companies (especially technology-based and services) have not completely resumed the use of their facilities, even when mobility restrictions have disappeared.
❖ Offices: the pace of occupation of spaces would be less accelerated for next year, taking as a precedent, the possible impact that the increase in the minimum wage will generate on companies in the service sector.
However, the expected figure for the end of 2023 is still in positive territory, according to the estimated rotation time for large offices that were released or that are part of the new buildings in the inventory.
❖ Retail sector: availability levels will continue to decrease during the first half of 2023, at a slower pace than in the last two years. The foregoing, taking as a precedent the inflationary pressure that is transferred to final consumers with greater force of the first three months of the year, and its derived impact on the acquisition of goods and services.
❖ Industrial sector: In the industrial and logistics segment, large-scale projects are in the process of construction, which would be delivered this year and next, adding more than 100,000 m2 to the logistics inventory of the capital city and some other projects in plans in other main cities.
It is important to mention that the behavior and speed of the three segments is subject to economic conditions, which according to market and multilateral analysts, would show slow growth. This creates environments of uncertainty and important challenges for the sector, however, long-term expectations may predominate over the conjunctural conditions that the Colombian economy will face in this period, causing the positive dynamics to slow down, but, even so, continue.