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25 September 2023, Europe, Germany | News

Catella Survey 2023 - Homeoffice Office Mystery - Who is coming back?

There is no question about it: "The" office remains an integral part of the modern working world, even after the Corona pandemic and the experience of "remote working". But the balance between the old working world and the new more flexible conditions, has not yet been found. Statements from corporates to traditional mid-sized companies do not create a clear picture. At the very least, it seems clear that the classic 100% presence - especially in service professions - will no longer exist.

Whether it's always "Friday" or the €49 ticket as compensation will become clear from our survey below. The real estate industry currently still has problems quantifying these market developments. In the following survey, among 250 real estate investors in the DACH region (response rate 31%), these and other neuralgic points of the current discussion are underpinned with a numerical framework.

Here are some results:

Concept change ahead?
- 82% of the market players we surveyed said they were aiming for a combined use of home office and office building in the future.

- Only 2% of those surveyed said they intended to use only the home office in the future. This data makes it clear, despite the hype years during the pandemic, that the office building is not a concept of the past.

- 63 % of the stakeholders surveyed stated that a spacious area design to promote personal exchange is gaining in importance.

- 41 % expect the central location of an office property to become increasingly important in the future.

- 61% of those we surveyed said that good public transport links to the office building are gaining in importance.

Communication requirements determine presence in the office.
- 70 % of the respondents expect that personal direct exchange will positively promote communication within the company.

- In our survey, 49% of respondents said that increased visits to the office building would improve the corporate culture.

- 39 % of the people we surveyed shared that frequent awareness of the workplaces in the office building has a positive influence on the workforce's identification with the company.

- 73 % of respondents said they had already experienced that mobile working, or the home office is an important criterion in the application process.

Current market figures as well as the results of our survey imply that the office real estate market has to adapt to new requirements. The requirements for the location of the office building are also influenced by current market developments. Above all, office space in central locations in large metropolitan areas is the focus of demand. We expect that office space in central locations in large metropolitan areas with a design that meets the new requirements of the market will continue to be in high demand on the office property market in the future. However, with regard to older office properties in decentralized locations or in smaller office markets, it is likely that the position of a large number of these office properties in the market will deteriorate significantly - including a further tightening of ESG requirements for these properties. In quantitative terms, we expect a significant increase in vacancy rates for the property/location combination. However, in the top segment of the office property markets in large metropolitan areas, a rise in vacancy rates is considered unlikely due to continued high demand for office space and the requirement for "green properties". Furthermore, positive growth in prime rents is expected in this segment of the office property market in the coming years.