In the last quarter of 2020, in Bucharest there were transactions of office spaces with a total area of 77,000 square meters, the highest quarterly value of the year, thus bringing the annual volume of transactions to approximately 237,000 meters squares, according to the real estate consulting company Cushman & Wakefield Echinox. Compared to the previous year, the transactional office area decreased by 39%, while the share of renewal contracts increased from 21% to 45%.
The most important office project completed in the last quarter of 2020 was One Tower, with a leasable area of 24,000 square meters, part of the mixed project One Floreasca City, the total deliveries of new office spaces in 2020 totaling 155,000 square meters, a decrease of 46% compared to 2019.
The commercial stock (destined for lease) of office buildings in Bucharest amounts to approximately 2.95 million square meters, other buildings with an area of approximately 150,000 square meters being occupied by the owners, while projects with a total area of 350,000 square meters are currently under construction, being scheduled for delivery between 2021-2022.
In this context, the (contractual) vacancy rate of office spaces is 12.5%, with a significant difference between class A (9.7%) and class B (20.7%) spaces. At the end of the year, the degree of offices use remained relatively low, with less than half of the employees coming to the office workplace regularly, given that most companies continue to operate in the Work from Home or hybrid systems.
Madalina Cojocaru, Partner, Office Agency, Cushman & Wakefield Echinox: “In the current context, we will see a challenging start to the new year for office space owners, who need to adapt their buildings to convince employees that they can return to the office workplace and work in a safe space from the sanitary point of view. On the other hand, we noticed that an important part of the transactions signed at the end of 2020 were pre-leases, a positive aspect that reveals that certain occupiers notice the favorable context, in which they can obtain attractive commercial conditions and can make an upgrade in terms of location and quality of space occupied.”
Both developers and investors remain optimistic about the strategic importance of office space, taking into account the continue construction activity on sites, but also the important acquisitions signed in the midst of the pandemic, 2020 being a record year in terms of real estate office transactions on the local market.
The most important office projects under construction are One Cotroceni Park, J8 Office Park, Globalworth Square, U Center, Miro Offices, Ţiriac Tower, Dacia One, Millo Offices, @Expo or Sema London & Oslo, the developers having signed pre-lease contracts for about 60% of the spaces.