More than Half of Core Office Markets see Demand for Office Space Swing 13 Percent or More in June

Nationally, demand remains just shy of two-thirds of normal, according to a VTS Office Demand Index (VODI) analysis

NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Demand for office space in many major cities was volatile in June, according to the latest VTS Office Demand Index (VODI) analysis. More than half of the office markets analyzed experienced demand shifts between 13 and 23 percent. Of the markets that experienced a volatile month – New York City, San Francisco, Boston, and Seattle – only San Francisco saw growth though it may be short-lived. The VODI tracks unique new tenant tour requirements, both in-person and virtual, of office properties in core U.S. markets, and is the earliest available indicator of upcoming office leasing activity as well as the only commercial real estate index to explicitly track new tenant demand.

Nationally, demand expectedly fell four VODI points from 67 in May to 63 in June (a VODI of 100 would indicate a return to pre-pandemic normal). While the decline amounts to a 6 percent month-over-month decline, and a 4.5 percent reduction quarter-over-quarter, the rate of decline is on par with seasonal norms.

Boston saw the greatest dip in June, with demand for non-life-science office space falling 23 percent (14 VODI points) from May. This follows five consecutive months of increasing demand for office space. With a VODI of 46, demand for office space is now less than half of what was considered to be normal prior to the pandemic.

In New York City, demand for office space also took a sizable fall, reversing nearly all growth seen over the past four months and ending the second quarter down 10.5 percent. Demand in New York City is now just above two-thirds of its pre-pandemic normal at 68 percent.

San Francisco, the only market to see a double-digit month-over-month demand increase, has finally reached a demand level of at least 50 percent of normal. The 16 percent increase in June makes it the fourth consecutive month of increasing demand for office space in San Francisco. The last time San Francisco experienced demand of at least half of normal was nine months ago in September 2021.

While not every market experienced radical monthly changes in June, I am closely monitoring a potential shift in both New York City and San Francisco. June has historically been a hot month for growth in New York City, so to see such a large swing in the other direction is concerning. It may be that the seasonal decline we typically see later in the summer has moved forward, or it could be a true fundamental change. It is worth watching over the next few months,” said Nick Romito, CEO of VTS. “In San Francisco, we have seen an extended period of growth–rising 70 percent in just the past four months. However, the underlying market fundamentals do not, at this time, support a robust recovery. I would not be surprised to see demand for office space in San Francisco fall again soon.”

VTS Office Demand Index (VODI)

 

 

Remote Work-Friendly

Less Remote Work-Friendly

National

S.F.

BOS

SEA

D.C.

N.Y.C.

CHI

L.A.

Current VODI (June)

63

51

46

55

62

68

67

73

Month-over-Month VODI Change (%)

-6%

15.9%

-23.3%

-12.7

6.9%

-15%

6.3%

-1.4%

Month-over-Month VODI Change (pts.)

-4

+7

-14

-8

+4

-12

+4

-1

Quarter-over-Quarter VODI Change (%)

-4.5%

37.8%

-16.4%

14.6%

-20.5%

-10.5%

13.6%

-14.1%

Quarter-over-Quarter VODI Change (pts.)

-3

+14

-9

+7

-16

-8

+8

-12

Year-over-Year VODI Change (%)

-25.9%

-23.9%

-23.3%

-21.4%

-22.5%

-29.2%

-25.6%

-28.4%

Year-over-Year VODI Change

(pts.)

-22

-16

-14

-15

-18

-28

-23

-29

It is worth noting that the negative year-over-year changes are largely a reflection of inflated June 2021 values that were caused by a massive surge in demand once COVID-19 vaccines became available to the general public.

Remote-friendliess continues to dominate the recovery

Of the markets covered in the report, the cities with higher rates of remote-friendliness – Boston, San Francisco, Seattle, and Washington, D.C. – continue to lag behind those whose economies have fewer remote-friendly jobs – Chicago, Los Angeles, and New York City. In June, the spread between the two groups’ average VODIs was 22.8 percent. This means that, on average, Boston, San Francisco, Seattle, and Washington, D.C. are performing 22.8 percent higher than their counterparts.

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Contacts

Media:
Eric Johnson

VTS

eric.johnson@vts.com

Lauren Riefflin

Kingston Marketing Group

lauren@kingstonmarketing.group

Elise Szwajkowski

Marino

eszwajkowski@marinopr.com