Retail Rents Rise Across Emerging Europe

Prague’s Na Příkopě and Pařížská are the most expensive retail streets in emerging Europe, with monthly rents averaging 220 euros per square metre. Kaunas is Europe’s most affordable retail location, with annual rents standing at just 174 euros per square metre. The figures were published on November 16 in a major new report prepared by real estate agency Cushman and Wakefield.

“Retailers have been bidding competitively for space on Prague’s main high streets, helping to drive rental growth on both Na Příkopě (5 per cent) and Pařížská (7.7 per cent),” reads the report. “Prime high street locations have seen a gradual shift in focus from mass market brands tailored to the needs of the local population to premium retailers and F&B operators capitalising on the high tourist numbers. Several development projects are underway, aimed at improving the quality of existing retail stock in the city centre. Prague’s reliance on tourist spending means that e-commerce has not yet had a significant impact on the city’s retail market.”

“The refurbishment of the Savarin, which connects Na Příkopě, Wenceslas Square and Jindřišská Street, will also involve some changes in the current occupiers, as more attractive occupiers are strongly interested in Na Příkopě,” says Jan Kotrbáček, international partner and head of the CEE retail agency team at Cushman and Wakefield. “We also expect rents in Wenceslas Square to come closer to those in Na Příkopě in the future.”

The only other city in the region which hosts a street warranting rents of 100 euros a month is Budapest, which has seen some of the world’s biggest increases in retail rents. Budapest’s main high streets Vaci Utca and Andrassy út turned in respective growth rates of 20 per cent and 22 per cent over the year to June, driven by sustained occupier demand from both international and domestic retailers seeking to expand their presence in the Hungarian capital. Monthly rents in Vaci Utca are currently 100 euros per square metre, and 55 euros per square metre on Andrassy út.

The only country to see a fall in high street retail rental rates in the region is Poland, where new shopping centre development has led to growing competition and downward pressure on rents in some areas, notably in secondary locations. Nowy Swiat in Warsaw currently commands monthly rents of 85 euros per square metre, while in Krakow rents on smart Florianska average 75 euros.

Of the other emerging European cities surveyed by Cushman and Wakefield, the highest monthly square metre rents are on Belgrade’s Kneza Mihaila (85 euros), Čopova in Ljubljana (60 euros), Vitosha Boulevard in Sofia (46 euros), Obchodna ulica in Bratislava and Bucharest’s Calea Victoriei (both 45 euros).

London’s New Bond Street is Europe’s most expensive retail street, with annual rents of 16,200 euros per square metre.