Anyone following the news frequently comes across reports about an approaching recession, or even a crisis. Anton Pil from JP Morgan, Harvard Professor Carmen Reinhart and economist Paul Krugman - to name but a few. They are all concerned that Federal Government interest rate increases could result in a downturn in the economy.
The signs on this side of the ocean, however, look OK for now. In fact, the economy in the European Union even grew by 2.4 percent in 2017, the highest growth figure in ten years. Last year’s growth is expected to be 2.3 percent and, according to the Dutch Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis, we will be in the black by a good 2 percent again this year.
The strong economy in Europe and the important role of the Netherlands in this is reflected in the growth in logistics property. According to the NVM (property experts), 2.4 million square metres (m2) of logistics property was hired or sold in 2017: a record in the Netherlands. The figures will probably not be much lower for the past year either. This means that the demand for logistics property has more than doubled in the past five years.
Something we’ve also seen in Rotterdam. The three Distribution Parks - Maasvlakte, Botlek and Eemhaven - quickly became full during the last period. On Maasvlakte, various large warehouse projects were completed over the past year: 50,000 m2 for Dudok, 20,000 m2 for NeeleVat and a 30,000 m2 expansion for the existing Nippon Express warehouse. In any event, Rotterdam Polymer Hub (35,000 m2) will be added this year and various cold storage warehouses on Maasvlakte will be expanded.
This is also resulting in a rapid increase in demand for space on the latest Distribution Park, Maasvlakte West. We are currently in discussion with four candidates for land allocation, which means that a large proportion of the available square metres has already been reserved. The first signatures are expected in Q1.
It’s not that surprising that there’s so much interest, because this 100-hectare site is currently the only available ‘greenfield’ site for distribution in the Port of Rotterdam. Its central location and available facilities make it a recession-proof investment; whatever the Federal Government does with interest rates!