HCMC office buildings report surging vacancy rates

By Trung Tin   January 15, 2021 | 03:00 am PT
HCMC office buildings report surging vacancy rates
An aerial view of downtown HCMC. Photo by VnExpress/Quynh Tran.
The vacancy rate in grade A office buildings in HCMC rose to over 18 percent last year from 4 percent pre-pandemic.

Real estate services firm CBRE said that it experienced a year of stagnation with grade B vacancy rising to 9.1 percent.

It attributed the surge to tenants terminating contracts to exit the market or move to lower-priced office buildings, saying 27 percent of its transactions involved the latter.

A new grade A building on the city’s outskirts asked for $23 per square meter per month, or half the average rate in the market.

Some landlords reduced rents to attract tenants, others offered flexible payment terms.

Covid-19 has changed the real estate strategy of lessees from having employees working exclusively from office to working at different places.

A survey by accounting firms PwC found organizations restructuring their workplace model to enable people to work both remotely and in office and to reduce the number of employees in office at any given time.

Pham Ngoc Thien Thanh, associate director of CBRE Vietnam, said in the next two years, regardless of the falling demand, the market would see a wave of new supply.

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