For real estate offices, the second quarter of 2013 has been marked by contrasting figures.

On the one hand, take-up recorded a decline of 23% in terms of square metres, and 36% in terms of number of transactions, compared to the same period of 2012. However these figures relate only to three months of the year. This is by no means alarming. On the other hand, the vacancy rate has continued to decline in the first quarter and began to stabilise at 5.5% at end-June.

In the first quarter, only four contracts for rent had exceeded 1,000 square metres; over the past three months, they were eleven in number, five on surfaces over 2,500 square metres. This explains why, despite the sharp decline in take-up of 38,884 square metres, the average size of the areas concerned remained virtually unchanged at 827 square metres, compared to the second quarter of 2012.

73% of the transactions concerned spaces smaller than the average. The Translation Centre of the European Union has leased 5,130 square metres at the Cloche d'Or; Credit Suisse has chosen 5,072 square metres in the IIK building in Kirchberg. In the centre of Luxembourg, one of the services of the State has opted for 4,417 square metres on the route d'Arlon and CCB SA has signed for 2,551 square metres. Finally, the German Dussmann Group, one of the largest employers in Luxembourg with 2,910 employees, in Contern are renting 2,732 square metres of office space and 1,500 square metres of industrial space. Among the good news, the vacancy rate has continued to decline, falling to 5.5% in June against 5.54% at end-March, down 11% compared to the second quarter of 2012. The phenomenon of subleasing has virtually disappeared, to 0.38% of the area. Across the City of Luxembourg, Hamm and Kalchesbrück are suffering the most, with 18.12% and 13.12% vacancy respectively. Kirchberg and the city centre are always in high demand, with very low vacancy rate: 1.63% and 2.63%. The situation is very different on the outskirts of the city and the rest of the country. Strassen (5.17%), Howald (4.12%), Belval (0.93%), Munsbach (5.35%) and Esch-sur-Alzette (5.46%), while Leudelange (25%), Windhof (18.44%) and Contern (12.98%) were more difficult to rent.

The stock of square metres available has continued to increase. Over the past three months, 9,600 square metres as been added, bringing the stock to 3,453,300 square metres across Luxembourg.

By the end of the year, few new additions are expected. Nevertheless, the City Link building, 3,457 square metres at Boulevard de la Foire, the AIRE project of 5,000 square metres of which 1,547 square metres are still available today and the F6 building (Airport - Findel Golf Office Park), some 14 000 square meteres.

The vacancy rate could therefore continue to decline or at least maintain some stability, but it will evolve in Kirchberg, because the removal of certain European institutions will free space.

As for rents, it is interesting to note that prime rents rose in the centre of Luxembourg, exceeding €40 htva per square metre per month to €45. It is still in the city and inner suburbs where rents are higher: in Kirchberg, prices per square metre are staged from €30 to €33, around the station from €28 to €32 and Limpertsberg €27 to €30. Around the airport, Strassen and the Cloche d'Or, rents can reach €28s per square metre monthly, while they are between €24 and €26 in Merl and Belair. At Howald, Bourmicht and Leudelange, prices are unchanged from €22 to €24. In other sectors (Capellen, Kalchesbruck, Bertrange, Hamm, Munsbach, Windhof, Belval), rents range from €18 to €23.