Prime office vacancy rates in selected European cities Q4 2019

Vacancy rates are a measurement of unoccupied properties during a given period and are a good indication of an area’s desirability and opportunity for development. High vacancy rates can indicate an economic downturn, a lack of demand or possibly that standards do not meet speculative renters’ needs. Low vacancy rates are in general considered a good thing as it means there is a good level of demand from customers, although low vacancy rates may also show a need for more development which is not being met.

Prime office vacancy rates in Europe

As of the fourth quarter of 2019, the German cities Berlin, Munich, and Hamburg saw some of the lowest prime office vacancy rates in Europe at 1.5, 2.4 and 4.1 percent respectively. For comparison, Manchester, Birmingham and Glasgow all had vacancy rates of over ten percent.

Rents and rental yields

The high competitiveness of Germany’s big cities can also be seen in low rental yields. In fact, both Berlin and Munich ranked in Europe’s top three. Rental yields are the ratio of a property’s rent to the property value. Often low rental yields can be explained with relatively low rental costs. This is also the case with Munich and Berlin, which have prime rental costs per square meter two times lower than London City. According to real estate experts, the three cities with best investment and development prospects in 2020 are Paris, Berlin and Frankfurt.

Prime office vacancy rates in selected European cities in the fourth quarter 2019

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Release date

March 2020



Survey time period

4th quarter 2019

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