Madrid ended the third quarter of the year as the European city with the highest level of office occupancy, with an average of 65%, according to Savills data.
Occupancy in Madrid is eight percentage points above the European average, which stood at 57% in September, two points higher than in February. Furthermore, at the end of the third quarter, Madrid overtook the Central Business District (CBD) of Paris (63%) as the European city with the highest occupancy in the office segment.
Other markets that experienced a notable recovery in occupancy were London's West End, which rose from 50% to 62%, supported by the hiring of companies in the financial sector, and Warsaw, with occupancy in the Polish capital increasing from 46% to 55% from February to September.
Savills highlights that the top two cities in the ranking, Madrid and Paris, stand out for their high proportion of city centre housing, good transport infrastructure and lower public transport costs.
In terms of occupancy in the other cities surveyed, Stockholm remained at 60% occupancy, while Prague (52%), London City (50%) and Dublin (48%) showed little change from February.
Savills data shows that, from February to September, average occupancy rates in European offices have increased on all days of the week, with Tuesday being the most popular day to work in the office, with an average occupancy rate of 64%.
"Given the preference for remote working on Fridays, we do not expect overall occupancy rates to increase to pre-pandemic levels and therefore the level of changes in peak occupancy will provide a better indicator of the structural impact of remote/office working," notes Savills.
Looking ahead to the coming quarters, Savills expects average occupancy rates in European offices to begin to stabilise at around 60% "as companies and their employees find a balance that works for them".
The consultancy recalls that, during the third quarter of the year, many US-based companies have increased pressure on employees to increase office attendance "although any evidence of a significant increase remains limited", Savills notes.