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Global Office MarketView (Q4 2011)

Downshift to a Lower Gear


  • Occupier hesitancy to make large space commitments was a unifying theme across all global regions in Q4 2011. It is expected that occupiers’ focus will remain on reducing costs either through consolidation or relocation to avoid high rents demanded for space in prime locations in 2012. Many occupiers in the U.S. and EMEA took advantage of attractive low rents in modern CBD buildings to negotiate favorable terms.
  • Nevertheless, there were improvements in global demand and vacancy in the fourth quarter. Global vacancy fell another 10 bps, reaching 13.2%, a level below the peak of 14.0% but still above pre-recession norms. The office market recovery continued in 2011 but downshifted to a lower gear.
  • Of the markets that performed best in 2011, technology, energy and resources-related occupiers were key sources of demand in markets such as San Francisco and New York (technology), Houston (energy), Perth, Brisbane, and São Paulo and London (resource-driven).
  • Since the CBRE Global Office Rent Index began increasing in Q2 2010, the average quarterly growth rate through Q3 2011 was 1.2%, 72 bps higher than the fourth quarter’s rate of 0.48%. The Global Office Rent Index rose to a level of 107.6 in the fourth quarter, thus bringing the index 10% below its pre-recession peak.

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