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REAL ESTATE: Who Was Filling Tianjin’s Office Space in 2017?
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Who Was Filling Tianjin’s Office Space in 2017?

By Vivian Zhao, Research Analyst at JLL Tianjin

BT 201802 real 01天津在 2017 年因举办全国运动会而成为全国关注重点,其商业地产市场也持续活跃。办公楼市场也持续发展,建造热潮不减。新建办公大楼吸引许多租户入驻更加现代化和高效的办公空间,取代之前质量较差的办公空间。另外,这些新建办公楼有助新商业区域确立自己在城市中的地位。最后,新建办公 楼往往临近地铁站,这也改变了许多天津居民的出行方式。虽然在2016年,商务写字楼租赁需求稍有放缓,但更多元化的专业服务商和甲级写字楼等受到了众多企业的青睐,甲级写字楼的租赁量在过去五年达到了新高。那么,商用写字楼的租赁情况如何,又是哪些类型的企业入驻了这些办公空间呢?

首先,本土企业占绝大多数。2016年,全市共有外商投资企业1106家,同比增长6.9%。据预计,2017年的数据将与16年持平,毕竟截至2017年上半年新成立的外资企业数量仅为426家。相比之下,2016年新登记的国内私营企业增长率为15.9%,比外资企业多出很多。

其次,金融业企业最为活跃。经初步计算,2017年天津市GDP总量为1.86万亿元,同比增长3.6%。服务业在三大产业中增幅最大,达到1.01万亿元,占全部GDP比重约54.3%。在第三产业的发展支撑下,金融业依然是市场上最活跃的,其次是专业服务业和IT行业。

另外,保险公司、非银行金融机构和证券公司等传统金融机构不断扩大业务,扩张办公空间,纽约一家保险公司Metlife的保费收入升至2.2亿,同比增长152.7%。该公司原本的2000平方米的办公面积随后扩大到5000平方米,增长了152.7%。另一个例子是平安公司,平安在搬迁后扩建办公面积达7000平方米,业务持续扩张。

会计师事务所、律师事务、旅行社、海外研究机构等公司的办公面积也持续扩张。同时,消费结构升级也刺激了IT、房地产、物流、医疗等其他行业的发展。 “互联网+”的战略举措更是鼓励了更多的电子商务、物流、移动支付、现代农业等多种产业发展。因此,IT、房地产、物流、航运等行业在办公租赁市场仍占有较大份额。

此外,从租户的角度来看,天津普通写字楼与高品质新落成项目的租金差距远小于北京、上海等一线城市,因此更加具有性价比和吸引力。新落成项目有高质量的硬件设备、更好的物业服务并且靠近商业设施和公共交通枢纽,可以提升企业竞争力、树立良好的企业形象和信誉,吸引客户以及人才。

For the past three years, residents in downtown Tianjin saw an average of one high-quality office building with 50,000 sqm GFA (Gross Floor Area) rising every three months. The supply wave of office buildings is reshaping the image of this important industrial city in China. In 2015, “peer-to-peer lending” or P2P tenants aggressively expanded throughout the city. However, it was short lived as the city government put a brake on new P2P business registrations fearing longer term financial sector risks. Leasing demand slowed down in 2016 but became more diversified, drawing upon multiple sectors such as traditional financial institutions, professional service providers and real estate and related companies. This resulted in a healthier, more sustainable and long-term market. In 2017, the leasing market kept growing. In particular, Grade-A leasing volume reached a new high when taken over the past five years. Under the condition of landlords practicing a prudent attitude, who was filling the space in 2017?
 

• Domestic Companies Dominate The Leasing Market

In 2016, 1,106 foreign enterprises obtained approval to establish business across the city, an increase of 6.9% y-o-y. We forecast that the figure in 2017 will remain stable as in the previous year as the number of newly set up foreign enterprises as of 1H17 was 426. By comparison, domestic companies outpaced foreign firms. Growth rate of newly registered domestic private enterprises was 15.9% in 2016, 9 percentage points greater than the number of newly set up foreign companies. As the government continues to open more industries and sectors for domestic private capital to participate in, domestic firms are likely to dominate the market in the upcoming years.

Real 01• Finance Remains The Most Active, Followed By Professional Service And IT Sectors

Based on preliminary calculation, Tianjin’s overall GDP in 2017 was RMB 1.86 trillion, an increase of 3.6% y-o-y. The service (tertiary) industry saw the largest increase of 6.0% of three industry sectors to RMB 1.01 trillion, amounting to 54.3% of overall GDP. Supported by the high proportion of tertiary industry in three sectors, finance remains the most active in the market, followed by professional service and IT sectors.
 

After P2P companies’ rapid expansion and stagnation by regulation, traditional financial institutions, both domestic and MNC insurance companies, non-banking institutions and securities firms continued expansion operations, upgrading and expanding their office space to form high-quality office towers. Insurance companies were particularly noticeable in 2017. Both property insurance companies and personal companies grew in Tianjin, making the total number reach 31 and 34, respectively. As of November 2017, the premium income of property insurance and personal insurance reached 12.9 billion and 39.8 billion, an increase of 10.4% and 7.2%, respectively. Premium income of Metlife, a New York based insurance company that returned 2,000 sqm of office space to its previous landlord and expanded to 5,000 sqm in Vantone Centre, increased to 220 million, which is a 152.7% increase y-o-y. Another such example is Ping An, a property insurance firm and one of the big players in Tianjin’s property insurance market. Ping An relocated and expanded its office space to 7,000 sqm in Yanlord Riverside Plaza with continuous expansion of its business.

BT 201802 real 02Thanks to the growth of retail sales in China and Tianjin’s demonstration of financial innovation, Czech consumer finance provider Home Credit continues to expand its business scale in China, leasing another 21,000 sqm space in Tianjin Lujiazui Financial Plaza A, which is a Grade A office property that had been completed in the third quarter of 2017.
 

Expansion in professional service companies showed a slowdown in 2017 as compared to 2016, but it is still a key demand driver for the market. Demand drivers were not only the typical sub-industries such as accounting firms and law firms but also travel agencies and overseas study agencies. As of 2016, Tianjin residents made over 424,000 trips overseas, an increase of 17.7% y-o-y. We forecast that these sub-industries would play a more important role in the consumer upgrade stage. Meanwhile, consumption structure upgrade also initiated the development of other sectors such as IT, real estate, logistics and healthcare. The city government’s strategic “Internet Plus” initiative encouraged more capital to be invested in new technologies and start-ups in e-commerce, high-efficiency logistics, mobile payments, modern agriculture and multiple industry developments. As a result, sectors including IT, real estate and logistics and shipping are taking a greater share in the office leasing market.

Real 02Real 03

• Relocation Demand Attracts Continuous Attention

New completion of office space often spurs tenants to upgrade. As a result of the annual supply (including both Grade A and Grade B properties) peaking at 580,000 sqm in 2016, proportion of relocation demand reached 55% in 2016. While the supply volume was only one third of 2016, the leftover vacant space in recently completed buildings also helped the proportion of relocation demand to stand at 40% in 2017. From the tenants’ perspective, new completions should have high-quality hardware equipment, provide better property services and are close to commercial facilities and public transportation hubs to strengthen the enterprises’ competition power as well as set a good corporate image and credibility to attract clients and talent. The rental gap between ordinary office buildings and high-quality new completions in Tianjin is much shorter than in Tier 1 cities such as Beijing and Shanghai. This also incites more companies to consider moving out from old properties to new completions. One such example was Winners Law Firm, which relocated to Vantone Centre, a Grade A building completed in 2016, from a Grade C building that is 10 minutes’ walk away.
 

For the 2018 outlook, with more moderated economic growth and improvement of economic structure, leasing demand would still be driven by domestic companies from sectors mentioned above. New supplies will not only concentrate on traditional commercial areas, but on new emerging commercial areas. This will provide more options to those tenants outside the traditional commercial areas, and spur their upgrading demand. Proportion of relocation demand would grow due to another supply peak in 2018.

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