Dutch offices have outperformed their German, French and UK counterparts on income returns, investors were told in London this week.
Research by JLL shows that income returns averaged 6.8% in the Netherlands between 2005 and 2015 – 80bps higher than in France, 90bps higher than in Belgian and 130bps higher than in the UK.
The results of the study were announced at an event co-hosted by IVBN and IPE Real Estate, attended by investors that included Asian sovereign-wealth and multi-manager capital.
JLL also said Dutch office markets benefitted from low correlations to other European office markets – Amsterdam, for example, was found to have a correlation of 0.27 and 0.14 with London and Munich, respectively.
IVBN, the Association of Institutional Property Investors in the Netherlands, commissioned the research in part to provide an accurate portrayal of a market that has suffered from an association with high vacancy levels.
Overbuilding in suburban locations that lack transport links and amenities since the mid-1990s – JLL estimates such office stock grew by 125% – have led to oversupply and vacancy.
The national vacancy level is high at 13% – studies suggest a healthy level is 5-7% – but JLL said this did not reflect the supply-demand picture for grade-A space.
“At these locations, vacancy rates are comparatively low, rents are at a substantial higher level and demand for quality office space is still strong, while adding new office space is often difficult,” the report said.
During a panel session, investors explained how they were focusing on more central locations with transport locations, including Sophie van Oosterom, CIO for EMEA at CBRE Global Investors.
Dirk Gort, CEO of ASR Vastgoed, explained how the Dutch insurer-owned asset manager had been acquiring assets close to train stations. At the end of 2016, the company bought a €275m portfolio from Basisfonds Stationslocaties.
Investors also learnt there were opportunities to invest in cities outside Amsterdam, with Utrecht, one of the four large cities of the Randstad conurbation, tipped as one of the fastest growing areas.
Peter Savelberg, founder of Tristate City, explained how investors should approach the Dutch real estate markets as part of a wider urban conglomeration that includes Brussels and German cities like Düsseldorf.