Barcelona closes Q1 with 115,000 sqm of leased office space

Barcelona closes Q1 with 115,000 sqm of leased office space

The office leasing market in Barcelona has recorded a significant increase in the first quarter of the year, reaching nearly 115,000 square meters in rental operations, representing an increase of 50% over the same period last year. These data have been provided by the international real estate consulting firm JLL, which positions this period as the second best start of the year since 2009.

Factors such as stabilizing interest rates and moderating inflation have improved economic certainty, positively influencing tenants' decision-making regarding office leases and the expansion of their space. Additionally, the consolidation of the hybrid format, which integrates face-to-face and remote work, has boosted office leasing.

60% of hiring in Grade A buildings

To promote the return of employees to offices, tenants are prioritizing aspects such as quality, sustainability and location of the properties in their decision making process.

During the first quarter of the year 2024, approximately 60% of the contracted area corresponds to Grade A buildings that have sustainability certifications.

In terms of location, the most central areas of the city, including the Central Business District (CBD), the city center and the 22@ sector, account for 84% of the total leased area. The presence of a variety of services and a good connection to public transport are factors contributing to this concentration.

In addition, there has been a significant increase in the average contracted area in the first quarter of the year. While in 2023 the average area was approximately 700 square meters, in this quarter it has increased to 1,650 square meters.

The gradual improvement in macroeconomic indicators has translated into renewed hiring activity by tenants. Assets of more recent construction or renovation, of better quality and well located within Barcelona have been the main beneficiaries during the first three months of the year. These aspects are fundamental to incentivize the employee to go to the office and retain talent, especially in those sectors with more competition”, comments Adriana Gorri, director of Markets at JLL España.

Laura Caballero, head of the Barcelona office of JLL España, elaborates: “The Barcelona market has experienced healthy hiring activity throughout the first quarter of the year driven by its strong fundamentals and greater certainty. The performance of the city center is particularly noteworthy, as centrality is a highly valued asset; as is 22@, which has had a remarkable start to the year with large transactions.

Main leasings in the Barcelona office market:

Among the most significant transactions in the sector is the pre-lease of approximately 25,000 square meters by Astrazeneca in the Estel building, which is being refurbished and is expected to be operational in 2025. This operation, in which JLL has acted as co-advisor, will allocate the space to a biomedical research hub.

Another relevant agreement has been the lease of more than 1,800 square meters of office space by Rover in the 22@ district of Barcelona, with JLL as advisor. This area has experienced remarkable activity during the first quarter, marking the best start to the year since the district was founded, only surpassed by 2019.

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