Most European economies, including the Baltic states, finished 2017 strongly. Estonia's economic growth was the highest in the Baltic countries last year, totaling 4.9%. In Latvia GDP growth reached 4.5% and in Lithuania the figure was 3.8%.
Capital cities are still the main investment targets in the Baltic countries with the most expensive yet liquid assets, and the retail sector was the most demanded in 2017.
The traditional stock additions in Tallinn during 2017 were in total 7,500 sq m of GLA, showing an increase of 1.0%. In Q4 2017 Norde Centrum was extended and rebranded as NAUTICA.
In Tallinn the largest shopping centre developments currently under active construction are - T1: «Mall of Tallinn» and the Ülemiste SC extension.
Vacancy levels in 2018 will remain low, especially in Riga and Vilnius.
In Riga, additions to the existing stock were insignificant, reflecting the main tendency for full reconstruction of large retail areas, such as those completed in Domina Shopping and the ongoing re-development in Riga Plaza caused by the Prisma exit.
Akropolis Group is constructing the first multi-functional centre in Riga, and the developers of ALFA SC and Origo have started their new extension phases to be delivered in 2019.
IKEA (34,500 sq m) and Outlet Village in Saliena (24,000 sq m) will be new openings in Riga regions during 2018.
The new stock additions will have uncertain impact on the rental rates and will vary significantly across the industry. Growth of the economy and new incoming retailers will counter balance the supply and demand relationship.
New large retail concepts in the Baltics during 2018: Decathlon (France) in Vilnius and O’Learys (Sweden) in Tallinn with further expansion plans in Latvia.