APAC office leasing volumes finally returning to pre-pandemic levels | Real Estate Asia

APAC office leasing volumes finally returning to pre-pandemic levels

Leasing volumes increased 25% in Q3.

A recent report by JLL reveals that leasing activity in Asia Pacific improved in Q3 2021, recording an increase of 25%  y-o-y off a low base. 

“Leasing activity has yet to fully recover but overall volumes are returning to pre-pandemic levels, 3Q21 Asia Pacific quarterly volumes were only 5% below the pre-pandemic five-year average. However, the improvement in leasing activity has been uneven and much of the y-o-y growth was driven by Mainland China markets,” the analyst said.

Here’s more from JLL:

Beijing registered remarkable growth due to stronger than expected relocation demand, large domestic TMT companies were especially active. Shanghai CBD leasing volumes were also robust with activity largely driven by domestic financials and professional services firms. Mainland China 3Q21 volumes were more than double the pre-pandemic average. 

Australia volumes continued to improve in 3Q21 with volumes down only 10% compared to the pre-pandemic third quarter average. Improved economic and labour market conditions underpinned expansionary demand in both Sydney and Melbourne. However, some occupiers rationalised space in both markets. 

Leasing demand in Southeast Asia was mixed as some markets outperformed while demand was weak in others. COVID-19 restrictions saw Singapore volumes contract marginally q-o-q yet activity in the city state was above the pre-pandemic average. Preleasing activity supported a marked improvement in Bangkok leasing activity; however, volumes in Jakarta and Manila remained weak. 

Although India’s quarterly volumes improved marginally in 3Q21, they were subdued compared to pre-pandemic levels in large part due to staff at IT/ITeS companies continuing to work from home. However, these companies are likely to ask staff to return to the office in the coming quarters and leasing activity should pick up in response.

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