Bergen and Stavanger is experiencing positive momentum in their respective leasing markets, while Trondheim remains stable.
- Bergen: Highly active investment market; office vacancy is close to 9% and trending downwards.
- Trondheim: increasing rents in the city center, vacancy still high at 10.6%
- Stavanger incl. Forus: Increased economic activity in the region causes downward pressure on vacancy, now at 9.7%
The investment market in Bergen was very active in 2018, and the total transaction volume ended at approximately NOK 9.5 billion (including the acquisition of Mongstad Group at approx. NOK 4 billion) compared to NOK 5 billion in 2017. Prime yield estimates remain unchanged and are expected to stay in the 4.5 – 4.75 % interval for the best assets throughout 2019.
There is a continuous demand for good standard office space located centrally in Bergen and the price now lie in the interval NOK 2,100 – 2,900 per sqm. per year. Office vacancy is trending downwards, much fuelled by conversion of office to residential space in the city centre. The office vacancy is now at 8.5 - 9 %, down from 10% in first half of 2018.
The transaction volume in Trondheim ended at NOK 3.6 billion for 2018 and prime yield estimates remain flat at 4.75%. The investment continues to be driven by buyers rather than sellers. Low yields and fair pricing should imply more active sellers, however alternative investments with comparable returns are scarce.
The office vacancy increased over the year and per Q1 2019 is at 10.6%. Highest vacancy is found in fringe areas, especially south of the city centre where the vacancy is above 25%. In 2019, approximately 64,000 m2 new office space is expected to enter the market, putting upwards pressure on the vacancy going forward.
Rent levels in the city centre experience upward trends, with increasing prices for new office and redevelopments.
The Stavanger transaction market ended at about NOK 8.5 billion in 2018. Prime yield is stable at 4.5% for properties located in the CBD, but for most transactions in the region, yield levels around 7-8% continue to be the normal.
The office vacancy in Stavanger now stands at 9.7%, a reduction much driven by increased activity in the region (Stavanger, Sandnes, Sola and Randaberg), an increase in take-up at Forus, a government sector hungry for space and few new office completions.
In the period 2019-2020, approximately 50,000 m2 new office space is expected to enter the market, especially concentrated around Stavanger city centre. Few new developments have started construction in 2018, thus the pipeline after 2020 remains uncertain.