New York and San Francisco have emerged as the most expensive flexible office markets worldwide, while Berlin is one of the fastest-growing European markets, according to Workthere, a flexible office listing platform launched by Savills, that helps occupiers find flexible workspace.
Private office desk spaces in New York cost an average of $961 per month, closely followed by San Francisco.
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Griffin Foley, Northeast Lead, Workthere Americas, said: “Occupiers are focussed on cultivating an updated office strategy around a space employees want to be in, and in an environment that enhances their desired culture. Similar to the Manhattan office market as a whole, there has been an undeniable flight to quality which has resulted in a shrunken set of options to choose from and ultimately higher asking rents.” Foley added that businesses were seeking to locate in places near subway stations to make the commute more convenient and limit travel times.
London, one of only three European cities in the top ten, comes fourth in the ranking, at $803 per desk per month, but it was closely followed by Berlin at $800. Outside of the top ten were Amsterdam ($603) and Copenhagen ($596).
Jack Williamson, Head of Workthere UK, said that as one of the most mature flexible markets globally, London was now experiencing a strong recovery. “Due to the large number of flex spaces there is a variety of pricing models and quality, meaning the rate of that perceived recovery, when only pricing is taken into account, is slightly below expectations as some operators are willing to drop prices to increase occupancy levels,” explaining London’s positioning in the rankings.
Meanwhile, Berlin’s flexible market has limited supply with a vacancy rate of 3.5%. The growth of the flexible market is being driven by science, digital and technology sectors, keeping it buoyant during the Covid-19 pandemic, where the flex market only saw a 1.4% decrease in space during the two years of the pandemic.
This growth is set to continue, said Workthere, as Tesla prepares to begin production of electric vehicles from its first European manufacturing plant, located near the city; there is also a plentiful supply of venture capital funding for innovative start-ups.
Warsaw is the largest flex office market in Poland. At the end of 2021, it had 185,300 sq m of coworking spaces and serviced offices, accounting for approximately 3% of the city’s total office stock. Another 11,000 sq m is expected to be added to the market this year.
Jarosław Pilch, Head of Tenant Representation, Savills Poland, and Head of Workthere.pl, said: “The availability of flex office space in Warsaw is shrinking. Following the first wave of flex office expansion several years ago, very few locations have emerged in the capital since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic. The existing ones have gradually filled up and now enjoy very high occupancy levels, translating into higher prices.”
Office desk spaces in Warsaw cost between PLN 1,200 and 1,800 per month, two or three times less than in the top ten cities of Workthere’s ranking.
“The price for a coworking desk in Warsaw, which stood at around PLN 1,000 per month last year, has now almost doubled in many locations. Demand for flex spaces is being boosted by the current preferences of tenants, particularly companies entering Poland, who are looking for fitted-out offices on shorter leases, for example for a year, and with a single fee for all services,” adds Jarosław Pilch, Savills Poland and Workthere.pl.
Ed Bouterse, Head of Workthere Europe, said: “The European flex market is now extremely tight and an office for between 30-50 people is hard to find today, while the maximum discount achievable on larger deals is only 8-12%. All the big operators are opening new locations this August.”