Latvia's economic growth surpassed expectations with a strong and broad-based upswing in 2017 and GDP grew by 4.5% y/y. In 2017, Latvian exports of goods and services increased by 4.8% while imports increased by 9.5%. Turnover and volume of sales in the wholesale and retail trade, excluding automotive and fuel, grew by 6.6% in 2017 y/y.
The latest data from the ECB shows that in March 2018 the average level of consumer prices rose by 2.3 % y/y.
The unemployment rate in Latvia decreased from 8.3% in Q4 2017 to 7.8 % in Q1 2018.
Modern office stock in Riga has increased from ca. 615,000 sq m to ca. 618,800 sq m, an increase of 0.62% sequentially with the completion of «Imperial Palace» at Brivibas Boulevard 21, Riga.
Overall vacancy for existing modern offices during Q1 has declined from 3.5% to 3.1% since Q4 2017.
The prime rent level has increased to 17 EUR/sq m/month, whilst the prime yield has remained stable at 6.75%, a compression amounting to 0.25 p.p y/y.
Modern stock take-up in Q1 2018 amounted to ca. 9,400 sq m, a decline of 13% y/y.
Modern stock absorption was ca. 6,200 sq m, a 32% increase sequentially when compared to Q4 2017 and close to 26,600 sq m y/y.
Signed leases during Q1 2018 indicate that the IT and telecommunications segments were the most active in the market. Overall, take-up this quarter was driven by relocations and expansions of established enterprises.