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2020, one the poorest years in the last decade for the Bucharest office market

2020 was one the poorest in the last decade for the Bucharest office market in terms of demand, reflecting uncertainties generated by the pandemic.

Overall, gross take-up declined by c.40% compared to 2019 to 214,000 square meters, the lowest level since 2012.

New demand stood at around 70,000 square meters, according to the 2020 annual report released by Colliers.

The effects of the ”pandemic year” continue to be felt in the Bucharest office sector in 2021, with a recovery likely to last several years.

Outside Bucharest, the gross demand in the four major office submarkets – Cluj-Napoca, Timișoara, Iași and Brașov – decreased some 19% in 2020, to 60,000 square meters.

But, more than half of last year’s take-up came from a single lease, a renewal of over 30,000 square meters in Iași (Amazon).

These markets hold a cumulated modern office stock of close to 900,000 square meters, less than one third of Bucharest’s, while these cities tend to have a similar pace for job creation.

156,000 square meters of new modern offices delivered last year

In terms of delivery, 2020 was a robust year for the Bucharest office market, with some 156,000 square meters of new modern offices delivered.

Also, there is a big difference compared to the 286,000 square meters seen in 2019, but it is still a fairly robust figure at around 5% of the current modern office stock in Bucharest.

In 2021, about 250,000 square meters of new modern offices are set to be finalized, with pre-lease ratios at around 40% for new projects at the end of the previous year.

A positive aspect is that the major additions in 2020 were spread throughout different submarkets, a sign of a mature and stable market.

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