Office fit-out costs rise 10.8% to US$1,109 per sqm in APAC | Real Estate Asia

Office fit-out costs rise 10.8% to US$1,109 per sqm in APAC

Blame it on supply chain disruptions and labour shortages amidst the pandemic.

It now costs 10.8% more on average to design and build workspaces in Asia Pacific, with the average fit-out cost per sqm now at US$1,109, according to JLL’s Asia Pacific Fit-Out Cost Guide 2021/2022.

The global real estate firm reported that the factors behind the price increases in most markets were due to direct implications of the pandemic, such as supply chain disruptions, labour shortages, material availability and the rising cost of raw materials.

Martin Hinge, Executive Managing Director, Project Development Services, JLL Asia Pacific, explains: “As the region grapples with the reopening of economies, we’re seeing a significant jump in pricing for office fit-outs, especially in cities that rely heavily on foreign labour and imported materials.”

The research reveals that fit-out costs vary from market to market, ranging from US$1,902 per sqm in Tokyo, Asia Pacific’s most expensive market, to US$ 669 per sqm in Ahmedabad, India. Over the next 12 months, JLL predicts that it will likely become more costly to fit out an office, particularly in some markets in China, India and Southeast Asia.

“Given the continued restrictions around the deployment of labour and having to seek alternative and potentially more expensive materials, there remains a high possibility that price increases will sustain across the region,” says Hinge. “However, there are some signs of green shoots as vaccination rates rise and travel commences pan-region. This may ease the manpower and skills shortage in certain markets.”

Sustainability will shape the future of office design

Despite rising costs, office design will continue to feature strongly on many companies’ agendas in the year ahead. According to the report, the top three areas that business leaders have earmarked for further investment in 2022 are technology and audio-visual tools, mechanical and electrical facilities, like sensors and filtration, and sustainability features, such as rooftop gardens, indoor greenery and water conservation.

Hinge says: “Building an office in a sustainable and responsible way creates upfront value for companies. Not only can they decrease operational costs by driving energy efficiency, but they can create a more productive and conducive work environment to win in the war for talent.”

“As the office pivots to a place of collaboration and ideation, companies are embarking on the journey of hybrid work by creating seamless virtual and physical experiences for their people. We can also expect a renewed commitment to spending on sustainability, along with the continual evolution of the office, to enhance the overall employee experience,” concludes Hinge.

To download the Asia Pacific Fit-Out Cost Guide 2021/2022, please click here.

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