Location will remain the most important factor when investors and occupiers make decisions about office space, according to Jones Lang LaSalle Offices 2020 research.
Whilst cost and the quality of available space are rapidly rising up the agenda, location will continue to outweigh these concerns and become even more important. We expect to see rental premiums for location of up to 70% commonplace in many Western European countries.
Bill Page, Head of EMEA Offices Research said: "Corporate occupiers are looking to maximize space utilization and fit-out to improve efficiencies. But an increasingly strategic approach to recruitment, retention, brand and client access means location is growing in importance. The battle for the right space in the right place will rage on."
Investors and occupiers are increasingly using sophisticated analysis to determine the best locations across Europe and within markets. Smart occupiers will be prepared to pay a premium for the right space in the right location, as they can see the payback it will deliver to strategy. Investors who examine changing occupier trends and changing transport infrastructure will be better prepared for success.
A knock-on effect of the increasing importance of location is the opportunity to unlock value through refurbishing assets in core areas. While this may seem an obvious strategy, Jones Lang LaSalle's analysis proves certain markets offer a far stronger advantage than others.
Benoît du Passage, Managing Director France and Southern Europe, Jones Lang LaSalle and executive sponsor of the client research project commented:
"Office buildings in central areas command higher liquidity, greater income stability and stronger rental growth potential. Peripheral areas can work, especially if there is suitable financial discount on offer but only if transport links and building quality can fill the gap."
Pierre-Paul Verelst, Head of Research Belux, added: "Higher rents in the Brussels CBD compared to the Periphery and the Decentralized areas are largely explained by the better transport infrastructure and accessibility. These aspects are key in occupiers' choice. This is also valid in Luxembourg with Central districts being favored over Decentralized and Periphery."
Source: Jones Lang LaSalle