Office vacancy rate in Barcelona grows 8.5% after 7 years of continued decline

According to Forcadell, while the Barcelona real estate market recovery is already underway, its office sector initiates an upward trend, due to a realignment between supply and demand.

Vacancy rates in the Barcelona Office Market started an upward trend in the first half-year, following seven years of continued decline, reaching 8.5% at the closing of Q2 2021. This figure is expected to keep increasing slightly throughout 2021-2022, as confirmed by the H1 2021 Real Estate Market Report published by the FORCADELL CONSULTANCY.

According to Forcadell, this trend is driven by different factors: the Covid 19 crisis has had a slowdown effect in office take-up. In addition to this new supply, new construction projects affected by the health crisis have maintained their deliveries, representing a constant trickle of released surface areas, especially in the Centre and Prime zones. Regarding vacancy rates by zones, the report highlights the increase in space area of Central Business Districts (CBD), currently representing 42% of total supply.

The Office report indicates that Barcelona has closed the first half-year with a 143,550 sqm take-up, a very good performance when compared to the volume reached in the whole of 2020 (174,000 sqm). However, Manel de Bes, Forcadell’s Office department director, considers that “in any case, there is still certain caution in the market: transactions are slower and corporations are not as quick when deciding to move”. The drivers of this H1 2021 have been the public sector together with the tech and service companies, leading with a 55% of the surface area take-up.

Regarding prices, despite the supply increase, fluctuations have gone almost unnoticeable, due to the fact that negotiations with property owners have centered on implementation aids and rental price escalation clauses, to facilitate rent transactions. Therefore, and according to FORCADELL, Barcelona maintains an average rent of 16.10 €/sqm/mnth, specifically in the highest range, the Prime zone.

As for the coworking segment, analyzed separately by Forcadell, the report confirms that in the first 2021 half-year, flexible spaces operators have kept a low level of activity, “but the most critical situation is over, and in these last months there has been an increase in flexible spaces transactions”, affirms Manel de Bes. “In fact, the report specifies that the sector has maintained an average of 60% occupancy rate.

Regarding the Investment Market, the Forcadell report confirms that Barcelona has closed H1 2021 with €738 m in total office investment volume. According to the Forcadell Consultancy, the Catalan capital has regained the level it was used to. The health crisis initiated in 2020 momentarily paralyzed investment transactions. However, the stabilization of the current situation has overcome investors’ uncertainties, who have assumed the context and demonstrated a clear determination to continue investing in the health crisis context.

According to Christian Gracia, Investment, Land and New Development director, “the gradual market regularization in Barcelona will bring a steady investment transaction increase, even though the Office sector, once the undisputed leader, has been sidelined by the surging Industrial-Logistic market.

Contact Communications Dept.

Cristina San José

Cristina San José

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