Flexible office space transforming US commercial property sector

A new report from CBRE claims that the US market for flexible office space will generate significant growth over the next decade, even in the event of a recession, as flex operators consolidate and forge financial partnerships with building owners.

The CBRE report outlines several growth scenarios for the flexible office space sector, which currently occupies a cumulative 71 million sq. ft., or 1.8 percent of the office space in 40 US markets. CBRE’s baseline forecast calls for flexible office space to expand to approximately 13 percent of office space by 2030, reaching up to 600 million sq. ft. Even in a low-growth scenario, CBRE sees flexible office space claiming up to 6.5 percent of the market by 2030.

Fuelling growth is demand from small businesses and enterprise users alike

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Fuelling that growth is demand from small businesses and enterprise users alike that favour the flexibility of office accommodations on relatively short-term leases, allowing them to expand or contract their space according to the needs of their business. Additionally, the flexible office space category has room to grow in every U.S. market. Even markets where flexible office space is well established – such as San Francisco at 4 percent of its office market and Manhattan at 3.6 percent – aren’t as penetrated as major international markets like London and Shanghai, both at 6 percent.