Global real estate consultant Cushman & Wakefield (C&W) has today announced its local business results for the year 2012.
Eric van Leuven, firm's managing partner in Portugal, said “2012 was the worst year in recent decades for the real estate market, in which transactions were scarce: leasing transactions were few and far between, primarily due to the contraction in space and costs, with office take-up failing to exceed 100,000 m2. A mere 100 million euros was invested in commercial properties, compared with 200 million in 2011 and 700 million in 2010”.
"We grossed the same amount as in 2011 and were able to complete a significant number of transactions and make important progress in all service lines. 2012 was again an excellent year for non-transactional teams, such as property management, valuations and project management - which continue to gain market share and yield excellent returns.”
The property management team had a very positive year and obtained an important mandate to manage nine buildings (31,000 m2) owned by the fund IVG, in Quinta Fonte, Oeiras. This department currently has 40 office buildings and 6 shopping centres under management, amounting to an area of over 340,000 m2 and annual revenue of 45 million Euro.
C&W's valuation & advisory team shored up its position as a market leader, appraising properties worth more than 19 billion Euros in the year, including retail, offices, residential, touristic and industrial properties.
The project management department also had a good year, handling the contract to manage and oversee the works of Évora Shopping, the architecture and management of several head offices, and the remodelling of the facilities of St. Julian’s College, amongst others.
The research & consultancy department diversified its operations in the market studies area, expanding its range of services internationally following the performance of studies in Spain, South America and Africa, for both investors and retailers. In 2012 the demand remained strong for analyses of best alternative use, conducted in conjunction with the valuation team, in order to meet the requirement to adapt projects to a new reality.
Agency departments fared worse because of the economy, although completing a few important deals in the various areas of activity.
The property investment market was hit harder, due to the lack of domestic financing and lack of external credibility. No more than 6 sales were concluded throughout the year, with a total transaction volume of around 100 million Euro.
The investment department was responsible for the sale of a building located on Av. da Liberdade which will undergo rehabilitation and re-positioning, in addition to the sale of a health club to a Portuguese institutional investor. In 2012 C&W also developed the urban redevelopment service in order to provide solutions that permit the repositioning and revitalisation of properties, and will continue to invest heavily in this area in 2013.
The office agency team was involved in the leasing of around 21,000 m2 of new offices, including the placement of Teleperformance in the Espace building, BNI in Marquês de Pombal, Eaglestone in the Café Lisboa building, JP Sá Couto in Mar Vermelho, Beckman Coulter in Parque Suécia, ManPower in Torre Ocidente, in addition to several processes involved in the renegotiation of contracts. This team is currently in charge of selling around 80,000 square meters of area in greater Lisbon, which includes the buildings Étoile 240, Avenida 252, Torre Ocidente, Espace and Explorer, Chiado Terrasse, Parque Suécia and Edifício Adamastor da Imopólis, Miraflores Premium 1 and 5 of MEAG and the IVG portfolio at Quinta da Fonte.
Despite the sharp contraction in consumption, the retail department was responsible for sales of 5,000 square meters of retail area, occupied by 17 stores including the new flagship store of Cartier, which is expected to open in summer 2013, and the recently opened Boutique of Relógios Plus, both located on Avenida da Liberdade. The team let 19,000 square meters of new and existing projects for shopping centres, including the 2,300 square meters to be opened by H&M at Glicinias Plaza, in Aveiro.
Despite the strong downturn in the sector, the industrial and land team was involved in a number of sizeable deals primarily entailing the occupation of small and medium-sized warehouses for logistics and storage operations. In 2012 the department gained further mandates, including the sale of a portfolio of plots of land for development in Alta de Lisboa.
Previewing 2013, Eric van Leuven says: “2013 will be similar to last year, as austerity is ongoing and there will also be a sharp rise in taxes which could bring about a contraction in consumption and undermine corporate confidence. We are, however, optimistic that the property market will improve, as all the players involved are more aware of the situation and in a better position to rethink traditional business models and equations".
“Regarding the activity of Cushman & Wakefield, and assuming that the year will be similar to 2012, we view 2013 with a certain optimism due to the company's structure and capabilities adapted to this new reality, the strong portfolio of clients and the ambitious work pipeline", concluded Eric van Leuven.