(28.12.2022) The increase in employment since the end of the health crisis is boosting demand for office space. According to Credit Suisse's "Swiss Office Property Market 2023" study, however, supply is not shrinking as sharply as in previous economic upturns due to the trend for remote working.
During the pandemic, many businesses did not rent office space. The return to normalcy in 2021 has nevertheless led to an increase in demand, challenging some of the predictions of a drastic drop, especially as a result of widespread remote work.
Remote working seems to be becoming the norm in many sectors, and occupancy rates have consequently fallen significantly compared to the pre-crisis period. In addition, with the advent of hybrid forms of work, alternating between office and remote work, the use of offices has changed: it now focuses on communication and interaction with employees as well as customers. This new reality has also altered tenants' requirements for workspaces.
With increased demand, the supply rate fell by 0.2 points between 2021 and 2022, from 5.8% to 5.6%. In the major cities, almost 54% of office space over 1,000 square meters has been leased. Nevertheless, the study also points to a return to the market of certain properties. Thus, supply is not being reduced as much as employment growth would suggest. This is largely due to the use of remote working.
In the urban centers, the vacancy rate for office space remains low in Bern and Zurich, where it is just over 1%, whereas in Geneva it is over 4% and in Basel over 5%.
Last modification 28.12.2022