The office space market is crossing one of the biggest challenges in history since the debut of the Coronavirus pandemic. From the way people are currently working within big companies, with smaller rented spaces amid the temporary remote working or work-from-home, to the complete vacancy of the office buildings, the crisis generated by COVID-19 has led to the recalibration of more and more office spaces/buildings. A forecast provided by 24REAL real estate agency is that 20-30% of the total area of offices might become available in the upcoming months.
“The tenants who are leaving these office spaces have either employees who are working remote (including from home), or they they are opting for an optimization of the costs in smaller spaces, with areas adjusted to the needs in the upcoming months. We see this trend as temporary, up to one year, but we definitely talk about a recalibration of the office space market within these 12 months. We have clients interested more then ever in buying some small-sized office projects (800-1,000sqm). The cost of such a project in downtown Bucharest can start from EUR 1.5 million”, said Constantin Capraru, managing partner 24REAL, a real estate agency specialized in office sapces with areas up to 1,000sqm.
As for the demand, the real estate experts noticed an increasing interest for such office spaces from the IT companies, courier and ticketing firms, as well as furniture showrooms and financial services, which mostly opt for locations in Pipera district.
According to 24REAL statistics, around 100,000 sqm of office spaces have been traded in the first half of 2020, roughly 50% less than the volume reported in the first semester of 2019. For 2020, the real estate agency estimates a total trading volume on the office market of around 200,000sqm.
At the same, the maintenance costs of the office buildings have increased on average by 30-50% in the past 6 months, due especially to the higher expenses for utilities, pay rises in the sector and due to the need of a more rigouros maintenance of the office buildings following COVID-19 prevention measures, which made the office building owners to invest larger sums of money in equipping the buildings with cutting-edge devices, meaning professional disinfectant solutions.