The revision by companies of their plans to move and surrender the office space to sublease led to a significant reduction in demand for space in business centers in Moscow. According to consultants in the real estate market, the number of transactions on lease and purchase of offices in the first half decreased almost by half in comparison with January—June 2019. By the end of 2020, this figure could be the lowest in the last five years.The number of transactions on lease and purchase of offices has decreased in January—June by 46% compared to the same period of 2019 — with 301 thousand sq m to 163 sq m, estimated by analysts at Knight Frank. Despite the closure of major transactions (group “Tinkoff” rented 78 thousand square meters in the complex AFI Square, and “Mail of Russia” took 37 thousand square meters in the “WEB arena”), the amount placed on the market areas exceeded the volume of leased and purchased offices. CBRE also noted a decrease in demand. Knight Frank predict that by the end of 2020 will be absorbed by 200 thousand square meters is the minimum volume in 2015.Knight Frank attributed the decline in acquisitions, including the stop of most of the deals were at an early stage of discussion in the beginning of the year. Due to the effects of coronavirus, the company abandoned plans to move, so they booked the Plaza again entered the market. For example, as previously reported, negotiations on rent 16 thousand square meters in the complex Kvartal West (developer is “Tashir” Samvel Karapetyan) frozen “Rosgeologiya”, and “Rosatom” have decided not to remove the space in “Sirius Park” Plaza Development of the deceased patron Mikhail Abramov (see “Kommersant” on March 24). In addition, to lower absorption of led and the decision of the tenants to leave of employees at remote work and now these companies are going to retake the freed space (see Kommersant dated 2 July).In 2019, was commissioned only 500 thousand square meters of offices, which was the minimum volume over the past two years. By this time the total amount of offices in Moscow amounted to 16.8 million sq m in class A now free of 8.9% of the area, and the class B — 6.7 per cent. Low demand in the first half of the year 2020 has led to an increase in vacancy by 0.1–0.3 percentage points. Vacancy could grow and stronger, but the office tenants, unlike retailers from small and medium-sized businesses that are unable to terminate the contract unilaterally without significant penalties, the Director of the office real estate Department at Knight Frank Maria Zimina. According to her, except for obligations under the lease agreement from the mass of the moving company is holding and what the market is virtually nonexistent the supply of office space area of over 2 thousand square meters, “which will be suitable in quality and available at a price.”On the background of a slight growth of vacancy and reduced rental rates in class b offices A and B — 0.2% (up to 25 thousand RUB. for 1 sq. m a year) and 2.2% (to 16.6 thousand rubles), respectively. But in any case, prices for offices remain comparable to 2014, when rates were the highest since 2009, reminiscent of Knight Frank. According to Maria Zimina, although the majority of office tenants and waiting for the sharp decline in interest rates, a serious drop is still not expected.According to JLL, the greatest activity among the tenants show financial organizations, service companies and engaged in mining. They accounted for 48%, 20% and 15% of transactions in the second quarter. After record-high demand in 2019, the analysts at Cushman & Wakefield expect that the area leased and sold office space may reach 2 million sq m by the end of 2020, but the “transformation of market realities” forced the company to revise the forecast.Elizaveta Makarova
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