The office market, meaning Bratislava in this case, produced no new office space between January and March, as developers took their feet off the gas pedal long ago. Low tenant demand had been anticipated, and CBRE registered just 20,000 sqm of total leasing activity. This was 17 percent less than in the first quarter of 2012, and a 20 percent drop from the previous three month period.

 At the same time, vacancy edged up 186 bps quarter on quarter to its present level of 14.3 percent. A total of 207,700 sqm of space was immediately available for tenants, most of which was added in the Inner City submarket.

The average deal size dropped to just around 500 sqm, significantly below the long-term average in Bratislava of 700 sqm. Most worryingly of all, the lack of new demand (meaning the prevalence of renegotiations in the total leasing activity figures) meant that net take-up for the quarter was negative for the second consecutive quarter. In all, total occupied space fell by 18,120 sqm.

By contrast, the leasing market on Slovakia’s industrial sector was far more energetic, with total leasing activity reaching 120,000 sqm – that’s a quadrupling of the same period in 2012. There’s less cause for excessive optimism, as one drills further down into the numbers.

CBRE reports that of the total figure, 78 percent was due to renegotiations, but new leases did reach 19 percent, producing a positive net absorption figure of 39,000 sqm. A single 5,000 sqm BTS hall was completed in Q1 2013, while another two are under construction in Bratislava and in Košice. (source: