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Office Demand Surges in March

May 6, 2021

Office Demand Surges in March

Demand is now just 9% below pre-pandemic levels.

April 29, 2021 | Les Shaver | GlobeSt.com

Office demand surged in March, rising 28% from February and 161 percent in Q1 2021, according to the VTS Office Demand Index (VODI). Demand is now just 9% below pre-pandemic levels.

If the current pace continues, demand for office space in April 2021 could meet or exceed pre-pandemic levels. Half of the major markets, inducing Chicago, Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., San Francisco, and Seattle, have exceeded or are within 5% of pre-pandemic demand for office space. Still, only Seattle (18.5%), Los Angeles (-2.8%), Washington, D.C. (-4.8%) and San Francisco (-8.8%) have a VODI within 10 percent of or above their recent historical average. Even though it’s near pre-pandemic VODI levels, Chicago is 27 percent off its recent historical average.

Seattle and hard-hit San Francisco posted strong Q1 gains, leading the way at 365 and 276 percent quarter-over-quarter VTS Office Demand Index growth, respectively. Volatile Seattle has seen four months of growth and is now above both the pre-pandemic index value and its recent historical average. While San Francisco saw demand fall sharply in the four months leading up to the pandemic (down 41 percent from October 2019 to February 2020), it has now rebounded to levels not seen since October 2019.

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