Savills: office occupancy rates are increasing across Europe

Madrid is leading the field in office occupancy, as more people choose to return to work, while Warsaw has seen the biggest increase in occupancy rates since the pandemic. Across Europe, according to new research by Savills, the average office occupancy rate has increased from 55% to 59% in the last year.

Rebecca Webb, Director, EMEA Cross Border Tenant Advisory, Savills

A similar pattern can be observed across the Continent, as weekday office attendance is gradually becoming more skewed towards peak days from Tuesday to Thursday. Attendance on Tuesdays is highest at 68%, while on Wednesdays and Thursdays it is at 64%.

“Given the high expectations of top talent, including ESG and workplace flexibility, occupiers are competing for the best buildings to attract and retain staff,” said Rebecca Webb, director, EMEA cross border tenant advisory, Savills. “We see higher occupancy levels in the buildings that meet the demand of modern workplace needs.”

Another noticeable trend in the market is occupiers renegotiating leases or moving to a different building that suits the needs of the business better, she said.

Savills figures show that the office occupancy rate in the Spanish capital is now 68%, almost back to the average pre-pandemic rate of 70% in Europe. London’s West End has the second highest rate at 61%, followed by the Paris CBD at 59%.

Source: Savills

Warsaw has seen a surge from 46% to 56% in the last year, while in the last six months Prague and Dublin have recorded the biggest increases, rising to 57% and 52% respectively.

“Average European occupancy rates have started to stabilise around the 60% mark, which implies that companies and employees are finding an equilibrium that works for them,” said Mike Barnes, associate director, Savills European commercial research team.

The European cities that are showing a pattern of high occupancy rates, such as Madrid, London West End and Paris CBD, are “supported by good transport links and have a broad mix of tenants from different sectors”, Barnes pointed out.