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First semester of the “pandemic year” in the office market

The drop in new demand is starting to be felt, but the occupancy rate remains significant in most submarkets

New office space delivered in the first half of the year reached nearly 105,000 square meters, in tune with Colliers International’s estimates, but total demand in Bucharest was down by nearly 28%, to a bit over 124,000 square meters, while new demand halved after an exceptional year, to under 45,000 square meters. Overall, Colliers International consultants do not expect to see too much in terms of new contracts, except for companies that are actually pressured to relocate or expand, in the context in which their representatives have no clarity on how work processes will take place in the future or how their own business will evolve.

Building activity in the office market continued almost normally during spring, even in the pandemic lockdown context, and there are no major delays for buildings due in 2020, with a potential pipeline of about 230,000 square meters, mainly already fully contracted or mostly pre-leased, according to data from Colliers International.

The first half of the year saw a delivery of nearly 105,000 square meters in new modern office spaces, with the bulk coming online in the first quarter of the year. Two thirds of the total surface resulted from Ana Tower and the third phase of Globalworth’s Campus project. 

The drop in new demand is just now starting to be felt, with the second quarter of the year printing one of the lowest figures this cycle – just 16,000 square meters. While the first semester does not look too bad at all, there is still great inertia at play, plus based on our own experience, talks about future leasing deals are not proceeding at all at a good pace. This means that the second half of the year could bring further slowdown in office spaces leasing”, explains Sebastian Dragomir, Partner & Head of Office Advisory at Colliers International.

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Silviu Pop

Head of Research | Romania

Bucharest

Before joining Colliers mid-2017 as Head of Research for Romania, Silviu Pop worked with ING Bank for close to three years as an economist, covering macroeconomic/financial market themes for Romania, Bulgaria, Serbia and Croatia. His previous professional experience includes working almost 7 years as a financial journalist at various media outlets in Romania, including the sole business-oriented TV station in Romania, where he hosted a daily show for a period of time; during this interval,  he won a number of scholarships, including a stint with Reuters. He holds a BSc in economics at the Bucharest University of Economic Studies.

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