Italian Logistics Snapshot | Q1-Q3 2022
The Italian Logistics Market Performance in Q1-Q3 2022
- Francesca Fantuzzi
- Carlo Cocuzzo
- Claudia Solarino
- The Italian economy is now facing headwinds
The Italian economy decelerated in 2022 amid higher geopolitical uncertainty stemming from the war in Ukraine, but latest GDP numbers in Q2 came in higher than expected, largely supported by consumption and investment.
- But demand for logistics assets should remain supported
Structural changes since the pandemic have strengthened demand for the logistics sector. Prime yields should accelerate and then head back towards long-run average once macroeconomic conditions stabilise. Rents for high-growth geographies should benefit from sustained occupier demand, while existing rent contracts should factor in higher inflation. Construction costs and supply constraints could impact forward funding purchases since investors may be reluctant to accept higher inflation risks.
- Investors remain prudent but assets are more institutionalised
Looking ahead, risks to GDP growth are skewed to the downside because of rising inflation and tightening financial conditions. Although investors remain cautious, logistics assets are more institutionalised, and this should help broader market liquidity conditions.
Although the Italian economy decelerated in 2022 amid higher geopolitical uncertainty, GDP growth in Q2 surprised on the upside, largely supported by consumption and investments.
The logistics sector confirms its positive trend in 2022, proving to be one of the emerging sectors attracting inverstors’ appetite. In terms of capital markets volumes, logistics hit a new record high reaching in Q1-Q3 2022 the highest number of investments ever recorded, totalling almost € 2.7 bn (+53% YoY).
Moreover, several lands and development projects were transacted in the market: both investors with a long-standing presence in the market and major European and global property companies are looking at Italy as a high potential new European logistics destination.
Logistics leasing increased in take-up: best nine months in 10 years
In the first nine months of 2022, logistics take-up in Italy totalled around 2 million sqm, +29% on the same period of one year ago. The market was particularly dynamic, recording 115 deals, similar to the same period in 2021, but with a larger size band (44% above 15,000 sqm).
The demand was driven by grade A assets (92%) and by 3PLs operators (59% of deals) which affected more than half of the demand. Tenants are increasingly more focused on quality and grade A assets, leaving less perfoming assets aside, although small size assets, with strategic placing and favorable rents are still valued.