Hamburg heads to new heights

Hamburg pavilion with two levels at EXPO REAL and so the largest stand of the fair

Hamburg heads to new heights

From 8 – 10 October 2012, the international real estate industry will present itself at Europe’s largest trade fair for commercial real estate and investment EXPO REAL in Munich. Extending over 637 square metres, the Hanseatic city of Hamburg will boast the largest stand of the fair. Organised by HWF Hamburg Business Development Corporation as a joint stand, it will showcase the bright development perspectives the real estate industry will encounter in the North of Germany. A particularly strong presence is shown by the business developers of the Hamburg Metropolitan Region expanded in May 2012. Uwe Jens Neumann, CEO of HWF, explains: "To meet the high interest for the Hamburg pavilion, we once again expanded exhibition spaces." An interactive Hamburg map featuring the city’s current projects and available spaces, and a brand new virtual trade fair newsagent round off the offers of the Hamburg pavilion. "By the digitalisation of content and the concomitant reduction of printed advertising material, Hamburg also takes into account the environment at EXPO REAL and sets a positive example for other trade fair exhibitors", Neumann comments.

Economy and population continuously grow in Hamburg. This creates an attractive environment for the real estate industry. "A comprehensive housing construction programme, innovative urban development concepts and ambitious climate protection targets open up new perspectives for domestic and foreign investment in Hamburg," explains Dr. Peter Tschentscher, Hamburg Minister of Finance, who will give a talk at the Hamburg reception, a tradition at EXPO REAL. "Hamburg not only has the space, but also the economic basis to fulfil your visions", the minister continues. With a total of 17.5 billion euro, Hamburg achieved the greatest money-equivalent project volume and the highest growth (+ 2.9 bn euro compared to the previous year), a survey by BulwienGesa study on the project development markets of Berlin, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Köln, Munich and Stuttgart revealed.

Growth as a chance

For Hamburg’s First Mayor Olaf Scholz, large cities are models for the future. To ensure prosperity and quality of life at long term in the Elbe metropolis, the Hanseatic city must keep pace with them. The Hamburg locals, says Olaf Scholz, should understand the chance the further growth of their city and the necessary urban densification with new housing and less open space will bring. This may also make it necessary to raise construction limits to new heights. "In other cities, far more citizens living on the same space as here in Hamburg", Scholz recently said. At least, 6,000 flats are envisaged by the Hamburg Senate to be built, and also the demand for commercial and industrial real estate is on the rise. For the real estate industry, this development offers many opportunities, with industry prospects being particularly bright in Hamburg at the moment. Investors value the stability of the real estate market. Among Germany’s large cities, Hamburg scores with a solid development of the office market. While sales for office space at leading commercial premises in Germany declined as a whole, the Hanseatic city’s office market remained largely stable.

Vacancy rates decreased

The Hamburg-based real estate agent Grossmann & Berger also positively assesses the results of the first six months of 2012 as Hamburg’s office space market only declined by two per cent to 215,000 square metres after 2011’s record transactions. With nearly ten per cent, the percentage of owner-occupation was slightly higher than in the first two quarters of 2011. All in all, market activities remained very dynamic in the middle of the year. A good lease and rental performance, and the relatively low speculative production level will reduce vacancy rates by further 18 per cent to roughly 960,000 square metres. Plots for new buildings in the inner city are a rare good. The pre-rental rate for 2012/2013’s new constructions is well over 50 per cent. Due to the stable demand for office space and the simultaneously lesser volumes of speculative premises, the real estate on offer will continue to decrease in the Hanseatic city, reports the broker.

Hamburg Metropolitan Region Hamburg offers bright perspectives

1 May 2012 was a very special date for the Hamburg Metropolitan Region. On that day, the federal state of Mecklenburg-West Pomerania, the rural districts of Ludwigslust-Parchim and North-West Mecklenburg, the county-independent Hanseatic city of Lübeck and Neumünster as well as district of Ostholstein were admitted as new members.  According to the study "Emerging Trends in Real Estate Europe", conducted by PriceWaterhouseCoopers and the Urban Land Institute, the Hamburg Metropolitan Region boasts one of Europe’s most attractive real estate markets. In regard to investment expectations, Hamburg also is in the top group. Unlike other areas, the Hamburg Metropolitan Region scores with secure market conditions.  Particularly attractive are conveniently located premises near the port, in Hamburg’s inner city, or along major traffic routes. With the growing demand for large, contiguous areas, the prospects for commercial real estate in the Hamburg Metropolitan Region.

To ensure optimum customer service, the business development corporation show a particularly strong presence at the joint Hamburg stand. Long-term partners such as the Süderelbe AG, WAS Wirtschafts- und Aufbaugesellschaft Stormarn mbH, WEP Wirtschaftsförderungs- und Entwicklungsgesellschaft des Kreises Pinneberg mbH and the Entwicklungsgesellschaft Norderstedt mbH (EGNO) will convey to visitors what the real estate location Hamburg has to offer beyond Hamburg’s city limits.

For the first time, the office of the Hamburg Metropolitan Region will set up a "stand within a stand" to present the region’s assets together with the business developers of the rural districts of Cuxhaven and Heidekreis and the business development corporation of the rural district of Harburg (Wirtschaftsförderungsgesellschaft im Landkreis Harburg mbH). HWF Hamburg Business Development Corporation is both present with a column of its own as well represented at the joint stand. Additional business developers are partners at the neighbouring stand of the state of Schleswig-Holstein.

Hotel market on growth course

Hamburg is one of the most popular city destinations. With an occupancy rate of 74 per cent, the Hanseatic City holds the top position. Since 2001, overnight stays have been increased by a total of 4.96 million nights, representing a relative growth of 99.8 per cent, respectively. According to the ranking of the "Hotel Market Guide Germany 2012", Hamburg’s hotel industry has grown faster than in any other city. Therefore, the bed capacity will have to be increased by one third. In the past years, investments mainly focused on the middle segment. New openings predominately took place with large three to four star hotels of more than 100 beds, benefiting from solid occupancy rates. Today, the highest potential lies within the five star segment, which only accounts for eight per cent of the Hamburg hotel market.

Hamburg pavilion grows upwards

The joint Hamburg pavilion also reflects the industry’s positive performance. Demand is high, premises on offer are rare. Launched in the year 2000 as a 100 square metres booth, it has continuously been expanded over the year, covering a record 637 square metres in 2012. To achieve this, an additional level was added to parts of the stand. More companies are thus able to represent themselves at the Hamburg stand. From 48 co-exhibitors in 2011, their numbers grew to 55 this year.

The stand’s technology is also state-of-the art. An interactive Hamburg map showcasing current projects and public land offers, and an inter-active trade fair newsagent allowing interested parties to easily and quickly gain access to image brochures and prospect of stand’s participants complement Hamburg’s presentation. By the digitalisation of content and the concomitant reduction of printed advertising material, Hamburg also takes into account the environment at EXPO REAL and sets a positive example for other trade fair exhibitors. Both innovations have been realised in co-operation with lab3 mediendesign and Freiland Group as media partners.