The average office transaction in the first nine months of 2023 stood at 1,810 sqm, which is the highest average of the past four years and close to the level of 1,900 sqm recorded in 2019, according to Cushman & Wakefield data.
Compared with 2022 and 2021, the first 9 months of this year marked a 35% increase of the average transaction size, an evolution reflected in the total demand (347,200 sqm), corresponding to a 56% y-o-y increase.
Moreover, Q3 set an all – time quarterly record in terms of demand in Bucharest, with 157,100 sqm being transacted.
Mădălina Cojocaru, partner Office Agency at Cushman & Wakefield Echinox, points out that the IT&C sector, which usually accounts for around 40% - 50% of the total annual take-up, has started losing some of its market share. However, there is increasing demand from production companies, professional and financial services companies, operators of private clinics and hospitals and even from private educational units.
“It must also be noted that, although most of the demand resulted from the renewal / renegotiation of existing spaces, companies have generally decided to maintain their contractually leased areas, with a few of them even expanding their office spaces. There has been a series of tenants which adjusted their needs for office spaces and downsized their contracted areas following renegotiations, a phenomenon which will probably continue in the coming months and which may gradually stabilise from H2 2024 onwards,” said Cojocaru.
In terms of new office deliveries, the first nine months brought 102,500 sqm on the market, with the total stock reaching 3.41 million sqm. Monthly prime headline rents were flat at €22.00 per sqm.
Meanwhile, the development pipeline for new projects stands at around 80,000 sqm in Bucharest, which is a 16-year low. This is due to the slow permitting process for new real estate investments.
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