JLL Office Property Clock Q2 2020

Office take-up drops to record low as result of the COVID-19 pandemic

July 16, 2020

The health, economic, and real estate impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic continued to disrupt markets across EMEA in Q2 and look to remain a primary determinant of performance in the second half of the year. Macroeconomic indicators point to the most severe contraction on record in the second quarter, to be followed by a strong but incomplete rebound in Q3 and Q4 as containment restrictions are eased, fiscal and monetary policy continue to backstop business finances and the labour market, and consumer behaviour gradually returns to normal. The crisis has accelerated existing trends evident before the pandemic: the retail shift toward e-commerce; the de-densification of office space; the adoption of remote working technology and communication tools. The next six months will continue to be characterised by high levels of uncertainty and market disruption, though transaction activity is set to rebuild, price discovery will be less opaque, and finance conditions will remain favourable. Structural changes to how office space is used will continue to emerge, incorporating lower employee density and deployment of remote work options, with the likely net effect of increasing office demand and raising the premium on the highest quality assets.

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