Demand for Poland’s industrial and warehouse market hit 2 million square metres in the first half of 2018 – the country’s best ever result and the third best in Europe, according to a recent report from real estate investment manager JLL.

The three leading sectors were retailers, logistics and light manufacturing, which together accounted for almost 80% of net demand. Central Poland retained its position as the sector’s most popular region, with a net take-up of 370,000 sq m.

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Another outstanding performance came from the Wrocław market. Its 265,000 sq m of net take-up was driven mainly by logistics operators. “Net demand, excluding renewals, totalled almost 1.6 million sq m. This is the third best result in Europe after Germany and the Netherlands. These three markets account for up to 50% of new demand, recorded in the first half of 2018,” said Tomasz Olszewski, JLL head of industrial central and Eastern Europe.

In light of a series of planned investments decreasing the availability of workers in Poland, JLL forecasts that in the near future there will be increased interest in newer markets, such as Lubuskie, Olsztyn and Białystok.

“At the end of the first half of 2018, industrial stock passed another milestone and stood at 14 million sq m. This gives Poland a solid eighth place in the EU in terms of market size,” said Jan Jakub Zombirt, associate director, strategic consulting at JLL.

Thriving demand, combined with relatively low development activity during recent quarters, has pushed Poland's vacancy rate at the end of the first half to its lowest level in market history, at 4.9%, said the JLL report. 

The above achievements are linked to Poland’s very strong growth in inbound foreign investment. Greenfield FDI reached a record high in 2017, at $14.9bn, and the country is on track for another record-breaking year in 2018, according to fDi Markets, a service from the Financial Times.