Second largest office market in Germany
17.2 m m²
CRS office floor space 2020
CRS volume of new construction
CRS achievable peak rent
Source: bulwiengesa AG
At the end of 2020, the office space stock in the Metropole Ruhr totalled just under 17.2 million m² MFG. This makes it the second largest office market in Germany behind Berlin (19.8 million m² MFG). Among the submarkets, Essen has the highest stock with around 3.2 million m², followed by Dortmund with 2.7 million m² and Duisburg with 2.2 million m².
According to the preliminary evaluations, the Metropole Ruhr was supplied with approx. 211,000 m² of new space last year, which is above the medium and long-term average of 175,000 and 145,000 m² respectively. In comparison with the seven A-cities, the Metropole Ruhr is only beaten by Berlin and Frankfurt (Main), where 465,000 and 213,000 m² respectively were completed.
Among the submarkets of the Metropole Ruhr, Dortmund with around 50,000 and Essen with 43,000 m² recorded the highest volumes. They were followed by Bochum with 22,000 m² and Duisburg and Herne with 14,000 m² each.
For the current year, a completion volume of around 170,000 m² is expected in the Metropole Ruhr. Construction stops due to the Corona crisis are currently not known and, against the background of the high to very high occupancy rates of the office properties under construction, are also not to be expected.
The office space vacancy rate in the Metropole Ruhr rose by just under 85,000 m² to 690,000 m² compared to the previous year, which still corresponds to a healthy supply reserve of 4.0 % of the stock. In Essen and Dortmund alone, around 40,000 m² more office space will be vacant on the rental market at the end of 2020 than in the previous year. The increase in sublet space should also be mentioned in this context.
Decisive for this development were, among other things, a slight decline in total office employment by approx. 1.0 % to approx. 768,500 (provisional value) and a reluctance to make leasing decisions, which has led to noticeable declines in turnover in some submarkets.
Office take-up in the Metropole Ruhr totalled approx. 500,000 sq m last year, which was approx. 5.7 % or 30,000 sq m below the previous year's level. Compared to the seven A-cities, which recorded turnover losses of between 21 % in Munich and 56 % in Stuttgart, the decline in the Metropole Ruhr was very moderate. Some submarkets, such as Duisburg, Moers and Herne, were even able to record turnover results well above their long-term averages.
On the other hand, larger declines were registered in Essen (- 48 %), Bochum (- 28 %) and Dortmund (-14 %). However, this is not solely due to the pandemic and its effects. Sales declines were to be expected anyway in view of the partly high levels of the previous year. In addition, some submarkets in the Metropole Ruhr continue to be characterised by a pronounced lack of supply, which stood in the way of a better result.
The market-shaping completions of the past year include, for example, the owner-occupier construction starts of Edeka with approx. 28,000 m² and Scheupen AG with approx. 6,000 m² in Moers, the letting of 7,000 m² to Autobahn GmbH in the Bredeney office park in Essen and the owner-occupier construction start of TÜV Nord with approx. 15,000 m² in Essen-Frillendorf, the project letting of 15,000 m² of office space by VW Infotainment at Mark 51°7 in Bochum, the start of owner-occupier construction by Thyssenkrupp Steel with 8,800 m² in Duisburg and the project letting of 6,650 m² by Vanderlande in Dortmund's Sebrathweg office quarter.
In 2021, restraint on the demand side is still to be expected, especially in the first half of the year. With increasing easing, the currently still postponed leasing intentions should ensure a noticeable revival of demand for office space.
The achievable top rent in the Metropole Ruhr is now 16.50 euros/m², which is quoted for high-quality rental space in very good locations in the submarkets of Essen and Dortmund. In the submarkets of Bochum and Duisburg this is 16.00 euros/m². In the smaller submarkets such as Bottrop, Gelsenkirchen, Herne or Mulheim in the Metropole Ruhr, the achievable top rent is 13.00 euros/m².
The average rent for all submarkets in the Metropole Ruhr rose by 2.5% or 0.20 euros/m² to 8.32 euros/m² compared with the previous year. Looking only at the largest office locations of Duisburg, Essen, Bochum and Dortmund, the average median rent is 10.85 euros/m², 3.3% or 0.30 euros/m² above the previous year's figure. In the smaller submarkets of the Metropole Ruhr, the average rent rose by just under 2% to 7.31 euros/m² within a year. The decisive factors for the positive trend in average rents are, on the one hand, the generally good demand situation for office space despite the Corona pandemic and the increased share of deals in higher-quality buildings, which is reflected in correspondingly higher rental deals.