Dutch retail real estate fund Vastned has posted a rise in like-for-like gross rental and aims to continue its focus on top locations in city centres, but warns that real estate prices are increasing heavily in those places.
Scarce top locations
Already 81 % of all locations in Vastned's keep are top locations in major city centres like Amsterdam, Madrid or Paris. However, it is increasingly difficult to keep acquiring these locations, says CEO Taco de Groot to Dutch business newspaper FD. As availability is low and the number of interested buyers is high, prices are going up.
The fund saw a slight decrease in occupancy rate from 98.1 % at the end of 2017 to 96.2 % at the end of last June due to the departure of Salvatore Ferragamo in Madrid and several smaller tenants leaving from mixed retail projects in the Netherlands, Belgium and France. Still, the like-for-like gross rental went up 0.6 %.
Vastned concluded 43 leases in the first half year of 2018, including 21 for core city assets. However, because of the lower demand for locations in smaller towns in the Netherlands, Vastned has sold several non-strategic properties.