Up to 20% of the total occupied office space will become vacant in the next period, and the office demand will suffer a decrease of approximately 30%, to at most 250,000 sqm from the overall volume traded this year, according to the estimates of the real estate consulting agency 24REAL.
“The situation generated by the state of emergency imposed in recent months, the measures taken by the authorities at the local level, but also the global climate affected by the rapid expansion of COVID-19 made the effects on the Romanian office market to appear immediately. Three months ago, customers were looking for an area of 1,000 square meters, for example, today they analyze areas up to three times smaller. We are talking about companies with activity in the area of technology, which can operate almost exclusively in the online environment. At the same time, our estimates show that up to 20% of the occupied office space will be vacated, the main cause being the restriction of business and the optimization of operating processes. of enterprises,” says Constantin Căpraru, managing partner of 24REAL.
According to the company’s press release, following these changes, the owners of office space will become much more flexible in relation to tenants and especially with the agreed contractual period, in the context in which the predictability of business activity approaches 0 in this period, for many sectors of activity.
“If in the years 2007-2008 the lease agreements were concluded for periods of 5-7 years, in 2010 the interval decreased to 5 years, so that now we can expect that the periods of the lease contracts decrease even to less than 3 years. Overcoming the economic impasse will be overcome by the owners who will know how to best manage the surfaces they have, in the options of repositioning, delimitation and relocation of spaces and flows in the buildings they own. There are areas of activity (IT / telecom , pharma) where customers have successfully continued the program of relocation and rental of larger office space, relying on a visible growth of their business in this period, “adds Constantin Căpraru.
According to 24REAL specialists, previous then pandemic crisis, de inquiries showed interest in modern office projects, with areas even over 1,000 sqm, while now, the demand has mostly moved to offices located in modernized villas in central areas or located in the north of the Capital, with green spaces, as well as office spaces that have terraces or generous gardens / courtyards.
“We expect a decrease in classic office space and an increase in unconventional and lower cost villas or workspaces, or customers opting for boutique office buildings. Against the background of the situation caused by COVID-19, during this period, the owners of the office spaces received requests from the tenants to postpone the payment of the rents or to diminish them. Flexibility is the watchword on the office market at present,” underlines Căpraru.
According to 24REAL data, the volume of net transactions this year would be around 250,000 sqm, compared to over 350,000 sqm, as recorded last year, while the volume of deliveries of superior class offices should bring to market of 260,000 sqm, which would increase the total stock of modern offices to about 3.5 million sqm.