Shopping Malls in Austria: The Pipeline is Veeery Short!

Over the long term, the total sales area of shopping malls in Austria has grown by approx. 50,000 m² per year. Individual figures may of course vary depending on the specific year or on the opening of large-scale projects, but the general trend has remained constant over the past 20 years. Peak values were observed in 2010, due to the openings of Varena/Villach, Riverside/Vienna, and Kaufhaus Tyrol/Innsbruck, as well as in 2012 (G3/Gerasdorf, The Mall/Vienna, etc.). Lows were recorded in 2002 and 2013, when barely any new projects were completed.
A closer analysis also reveals that the economic and real estate crisis of 2008/2009 did not in fact have any noticeable direct impacts on the project development. On the contrary: the peak years were 2010 and 2012. The reason for this lies clearly in project lead times, which have been lengthening due to more involved approval processes. The decisions to move ahead with those projects had already been made prior to the outbreak of the crisis.
However, the future situation is looking to be very different. Whereas in previous years, the pipeline for new projects had generally been packed full, we now observe noticeable reluctance: significantly fewer projects and openings have been announced. Although an almost “normal” increase in sales area is still expected for 2016 (approx. 45,000 m², partly from the expansion of the Huma mall), the curve will fall considerably in 2017 and 2018. Projects announced a long time ago have either been delayed (e.g. Kometgründe/Vienna) or their realization is becoming increasingly unlikely (e.g. Uno-Shopping/Leonding).